I wasn't really aware of the idea of narrow-mindedness until I went to high school. If I'd come across the term earlier, I might have pictured a person with an unnecessarily oval head who, strictly as as result of bad genes, had wound up with an abnormally shaped brain.
What is narrow-mindedness really? According to the Wikipedia Dictionary, it means "having restricted or rigid views and being unreceptive to new ideas."
So why are Christians in particular accused of being narrow-minded? Well, people say that they have a right to believe what they want to believe and that we Christians can't force our ideas on them. Yes, that's right. We cannot, nor should we, try to force people to believe what we do.
Christians believe in the veracity of the Bible, in an eternal and perfect God, and in Jesus, who is God's Son. Jesus was fully man and fully God, and He died on the cross to abolish the sins of the world. He rose from the grave 3 days later and lives today. Christians believe that those who place their faith in Christ will have eternal life with Him in Heaven. (Romans 10:9-13)
Then people say that our beliefs may be right for us, but something else may be right for them. For example, if someone believes that he can simply live a good life to make it into Heaven, then supposedly he can do that. These people say that we have no right to tell the world that they are sinners and need to repent or pay an eternal penalty for it in Hell. "Your God is fine for you, but don't force it on me," they say.
In essence, they believe we are narrow-minded because we believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" Okay, so that's YOUR way, these people claim, but that's not what I want to believe.
I ask you: Just because you don't believe it, that doesn't make it untrue. For example: whether or not you believe in flying machines is irrelevant. Airplanes exist. Simple as that.
And do you know what I have to say to their claims that we Christians are narrow-minded?
Newsflash: THEY'RE RIGHT!
WE ARE NARROW-MINDED!
The core principle of saying there's only one way to do something is narrow-mindedness. I have another name for it: it's called truth.
No matter how much you believe something, if it's not true, IT'S NOT GOING TO HELP YOU. Imagine you have cancer, and you're being offered radiation treatment and surgery to help eradicate the illness. But no, you've heard that's unpleasant, so you've decided to just eat really healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, exercise, spend time outside, and take two showers per day. You'll get clean and healthy in no time, right?
Wrong! You're thinking, that's totally ridiculous! How could anyone possibly think that they could get rid of cancer by eating certain foods and taking extra showers!?
Well, that's what people are saying when they reject Christ and try to get to Heaven their own way. Humanity is very ill. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23. Every human being has done wrong and therefore is not fit to go to Heaven and be in God's presence. This is something worse than cancer, because if you don't get cured, you'll suffer for all of eternity. You can't get rid of this illness by helping little old ladies across the street, being kind to people, and giving money to charity. These are all good things, but they're just like trying to eat healthy foods and exercise to get rid of cancer!
GOD created man, and He created the entire universe. I think he knows how Heaven and Hell work. How does it work? Well, here's the honest, narrow-minded truth: Every human being is a sinner and headed to Hell after death if he doesn't accept Jesus, who is the only way to God.
As Christmas approaches, remember that from the beginning, this holiday was about the Good News, which is the birth of Christ. Praise the Lord that even though God is a just God whose very nature demands humanity to be judged, He is also a loving God. He loves each and every person on earth, including you.
That's why He offered a way to be saved, to be accepted into God's family. IT DOESN'T MATTER what you've done. Jesus came to the world to save sinners. If you've committed murder, lied to your parents, stolen money, or cheated on a test, all sins are the same to God, and He asks you to confess them and accept Jesus.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16
All you have to do is pray to God and confess your sins and ask Him to save you. All you have to do is believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again for YOU and for all humanity.
Don't keep trying to get rid of your sin "cancer" by "being good." It's not going to work! Jesus is the only way.