Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Narrow Minded?

Recently I was reading through a book titled, Doctrinal Discourses, consisting of the writings of Robertson L. Whiteside. The following pithy saying appeared under the heading Anvil Sparks.

Narrow-minded? Well, a person’s mind should be narrow enough to shut out everything but truth, and broad enough to accept all truth. (pg. 221).

It is common for faithful Christians to be criticized as “narrow-minded.”

In our day it seems that most are willing to accept the validity of any and all beliefs. It is certainly true that you are entitled to believe what you wish to believe and I am entitled to believe what I wish to believe. However, this is a far cry from saying that what you believe is just as good or correct as what I believe. Much of what we “believe” is fact based. So, you are either right, or you are wrong. To believe something that “isn’t so” is to be mistaken. It is to be wrong. And being wrong is simply not as valid as being right! This can be simply illustrated in mathematics. You are welcome to believe that 2+2=5. However, the fact that you hold to such a position does not validate the position itself. I believe that 2+2=4. I am right, and if you believe that 5 is the right answer, you are wrong. My position is valid, yours is not.

The same is true religiously.

It is not valid to deny that Jesus is the Messiah. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). The proof of this is in Christ’s resurrection. I believe that Jesus is God’s son. My belief is valid, those who deny him are wrong.

It is not valid to deny the inspiration of scripture. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Timothy 3:16). Individuals who claim to believe the Bible, and yet deny its inspiration do not have a valid belief. I believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. My belief is validated by the scriptures themselves.

It is not valid to deny the necessity of Baptism for salvation. “There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism…” (1 Peter 3:21; see also Mark 16:16; Romans 6:1-4; Acts 2:38; 22:16). Those who deny the necessity of baptism, though they be in the religious majority, are wrong. Their belief is not valid. I believe that baptism is “for the remission of sins”, the scriptures validate my position.

We could go on and on, but these serve to illustrate the point. As Whiteside said, “A person’s mind should be narrow enough to shut out everything but truth, and broad enough to accept all truth.”