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Candle in the Night

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Closed Mind and an Open Heart

We're singing a song in choir this year that has a line at the end that goes like this, "And all who search, who will search with open eyes, who will pray with open hearts, they will see the light and find the Lord."  The first time I listened to it, I thought it said, "open minds" instead of "open eyes" and I inwardly cringed.  

I've been accused on more than one occasion of being closed-minded.

I was pondering this because in the past, it has really bothered me to be called closed-minded.  I began to think about what the Scriptures have to say on the matter.  I'm not going to quote scriptures, I assume all who read this blog have access to them in one way or another, I'll just give a summary of what I found.

The long and the short of it is this: we're not called to be open-minded.  It seems that there are two states that the mind can be in.  A bad state (high-minded, double-minded, feeble-minded...) and a good state (like-minded, sober-minded...).  The only reference to having an open mind is one that states to open your mind so the mysteries of God can be unfolded to you.  This goes along quite well with the verse that states that the mysteries of God will be unfolded unto you if you keep God's commandments.

Nowhere does it mention opening your mind to ponder the things of the world.  Not to mention the fact that usually, when I'm being accused of being closed minded, it's regarding something that the Bible specifically states is a sin.  And if I'm sinning or condoning sin, I'm separated from God and how can He show me his mysteries, or even His love for that matter?  

It's all a trap.  The idea that you need to have "an open mind" is trap of the devil to separate us from a loving God.

Okay, I realize that at this point, anyone who disagrees with me will probably stop reading (although I hope not, I'm saving the really good stuff for the end), but I'll continue anyway.  So if we're not to be open-minded, what is supposed to be open?  Our hearts, of course.  Our hearts and our ears.  

God can open our hearts, soften our hearts, and speak to our hearts.

So Lord, give us ears to hear, hearts to understand, and minds that are like-minded with You.

But what about our minds?  Didn't God give us minds so we could think things through?  So we could learn and understand?  Of course!  But he didn't give us minds alone.  He gave us hearts to open to Him.  As I sat in my college science class back in 2006, the puzzle pieces began to fit together.  The topic was evolution and I just couldn't believe that people who were considered scholars could actually believe this stuff.  There is no solid evidence, it can't be repeated, it's not testable.  And yet, the theory that the world was created by a big bang is considered science by the vast majority of scientists.  But if you questioned them deeper (Where did the stuff come from that was there before the big bang?  How is it even remotely possible that what we have now came from nothing?  The chances are one in billions, how can you believe this?), they didn't have answers.  

They are still learning.  
"Ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7) 
because although their minds are open, their hearts are closed up tight and their ears will hear anything but the voice of a loving God.

Well, I'm not going to feel bad about being closed-minded anymore.  
And I'm not going to take it as an insult when I'm told that I'm closed-minded.  
Perhaps I'll smile and say, "you're right, but my heart is wide open".  
And maybe I'll sound foolish.  But you know, I don't have a problem with that either.

God's Own Fool

Seems I've imagined Him all of my life

As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to man
He must have seemed out of His mind
Even His family said He was mad
And the priest said a demon's to blame
But, God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

We in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
We in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong

So we follow God's own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter's son
For a madman who died for a dream
And You'll have the faith His first followers had
And you'll feel the weight of the beam
So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say I believe
Let the power of paradox open your eyes
And blind those who say they can see

So we follow God's own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well



At September 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM , Blogger Louise said...

I understand your premise...but if we are called to have a mind open so the mysteries of God can be unfolded, doesn't that mean we need to learn all we can about the world He created? Isn't life - and the world, the people, etc. a mystery of God? If humans and emotions and plant life and biology are not God's mysteries then what are?! And if we are called to allow the mysteries to be unfolded, doesn't that mean we need to learn (and accept) what is unfolded to us? I know you believe that the creation of life is precious and amazing and totally God's work. You also understand the biology that explains it all in grounded, human (as opposed to divine) terminology.
If you disagree with this so far, then how do you allow the mysteries to be unfolded to you, and what do you consider mysteries?

At September 30, 2012 at 8:21 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

I see where you're coming from and I think the answer is fairly simple. Absolutely, we should be learning and opening our minds to learn what God (and science at times) is teaching us. But I believe that we have to start with God's word and go from there, not the other way around.

For example, the Bible teaches that the Earth was created by God in seven days. I hold onto that FIRST and then learn the science based on what the Bible teaches. There is plenty of science backing a seven day creation and a "young" Earth. But even before I knew all that science (before those mysteries were unfolded), I believed it because that is what the Bible says.

If I went the opposite way, and listened to my college science teachers first, I would have to then deny the truth of the Bible.

So I guess it's just that faith has to come first. You have faith that the Word of God is truth and if what a teacher, or a friend, or colleague is trying to convince you of lines up with the Word of God, it could be true as well. But if it doesn't line up with the Bible, it isn't.


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