Do you like narrow-minded people? I believe the majority of the people, if they answered that question honestly, would say “No!” Such an attitude reflects the desire to prejudice or belittle those who sincerely seek to go by the rules and laws in life. But I believe many of us appreciate narrow-minded people when we stop and really look at the facts. Check a few of these facts with me:
A pharmacist who fills the prescription according to the doctor’s orders and not according to some idea he may have.
The automobile driver who operates his vehicle according to the rules of the road in order to have a safe trip.
The builder who builds a house according to the blueprint. If he does, there will be no surprises as to the looks and proper function of the building.
The math teacher who insists on teaching according the laws of mathematics.
The game official who insists on calling the game according to the rules and not giving favor to one team or the other.
The chemist who insists on following the prescribed formulas to bring about the desired reaction and results.
We can see that the broad-minded attitude has no place in these things and many others we could mention. There is no room at all for the attitude which suggests that one may change rules and laws to please his own desires.
With these comments in mind, we can see and appreciate the preacher who insists upon a “thus says the Lord” and bases his sermons upon “book, chapter and verse”. Sometimes such a one may be considered narrow-minded. But such a tactic is used to prejudice the hearer against one who insists upon following the Word of God in all that he teaches and practices in religion.
For example, one may insist that faith in Jesus Christ is essential to everlasting life, and gives John 3:16 as his proof: “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.” He teaches that one must repent of his sins and gives Paul’s words to the certain philosophers at Mars Hill: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent…” (Acts 17:30) He may also insist that a confession that Jesus Christ is God’s Son is “unto salvation” as cited in Romans 10:9-10: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confessions is made unto salvation”. Too, he shows that one must be baptized for the remission of sins, giving 1 Peter 3:20-21 for his proof: “There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” Ananias told Saul of Tarsus, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord”.
What are you going to say about such a one who teaches these things? Are you going to say he is “narrow-minded and by such seek to prejudice people against the Word of God? I say, “Thank God for individuals who are determined not to follow their own rules in religion. We do not need men who teach their own ideas and lead souls away from the truth and will of God.
I wish to leave with you the words of Paul in Acts 20:32: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”