Are Christian narrow-minded?

Dondi

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Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded about thier beliefs, that is having little tolerance for other religious views. But is it not because the Founder of Christianity stated that He was the only Way to God? It is truly the belief of Christians that they have the Truth. This means to Christians that any other method of getting to God is invalid, for the fundamental reason that Jesus is the link to God. He died for the sins of the world, to save us from Hell and grant us a place in Heaven. Hence, there is an urgency in their message, namely that to die without Jesus means eternity in Hell. So for many Christian denominations, Christians are exhorted to get the Word out in the form of evangelism and door-knocking. How do people of other faiths really view this concept? Does it bother you to think that Christians believe that you will go to hell without Christ? Do you blame this assertion in light of what they have been taught? Do you consider Christians as narrow-minded? I'd like responses from those outside the Christian faith, please.
 
That particular belief makes me uncomfortable. I don't think it's healthy. It's just so particularist and seems like something that could become dangerous, certainly it has in the past. But I don't think it's any more closed-minded than the beliefs of many other world religions. And I think that people can be truly beautiful even while holding closed-minded beliefs. I don't hold it against any individual who thinks that way. I only worry about the repurcussions the beliefs of the past will have on the future.

Dauer
 
I hope yah dont mind me replying beeing that I'm Christian.
Do you consider Christians as narrow-minded?

The answer in most cases is yes.

1 Cor 1:26-27
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
NKJV
Matt 7:13-14
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
NKJV

biblicaly speaking yes. And speaking to a few Christians and knowing myself.... Yes.
 
dauer said:
That particular belief makes me uncomfortable. I don't think it's healthy. It's just so particularist and seems like something that could become dangerous, certainly it has in the past. But I don't think it's any more closed-minded than the beliefs of many other world religions. And I think that people can be truly beautiful even while holding closed-minded beliefs. I don't hold it against any individual who thinks that way. I only worry about the repurcussions the beliefs of the past will have on the future.

Dauer

Are you referring to such events like the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Holocaust? Are you afraid that something like this may happen again in the future?
 
Yes and maybe. Am I fearful? No. Do I think something could happen again? Certainly. Fundamentalism of any kind just needs the right kind of spark to send it ablaze. I have just as much of a problem with any other form of fundamentalism.

Dauer
 
I figured on moving this to the comparative board, as it's essentially asking for multi-faith viewpoints on a specific faith.

As for the assertion that Christians are narrow minded - I have to say, I find Christianity to be one of the most diverse groups. Perhaps it's because Christianity has developed in Free-Thinking countries, where the ability to question, Free Speech, and individual rights, have allowed a whole sphere of approaches to original principles.

I have to admit, I used to have a very similar view of Christianity as first posed before I came to the internet, but I specifically sought out Christian discussion groups for spiritual discussions, and have been impressed by the variety and apparent diversity of views since.

I have been welcomed by many Christians online, from the liberal to fundamentalist, the majority of which have been happy to accept myself as myself. In fact, it tends to be the more extreme personalities who fear that I need to be saved *by them personally* and that many consider that there is a plan of action at play, set forth by God, and that although they may evangelise their own relationship to Christ, they generally accept that if someone like myself were to convert, it would not be through threats or cajoling but by simply being there as and when I needed them.

So claims that Christians were narrow-minded I think would be too much of a generalisation, and although there is an undeniable element of exclusivism to Christianity, to reduce the faith to that would be an oversimplification, in my opinion.
 
There is the "straight and narrow path". But then there is the "come along if you will/wish. We can navigate it together." But if not, then you are wished well, as they (Christians) move along.

Narrow minded in the path chosen, but open minded in who can come along. Narrow minded in how things are done, but open minded to those who decide not to proceed (as in - Your choice).

v/r

Q
 
Namaste Dondi,

thank you for the post.

Dondi said:
Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded about thier beliefs, that is having little tolerance for other religious views.

true enough. generally speaking, i would tend to think that this would apply to specific beings, which could be of any religious view.

But is it not because the Founder of Christianity stated that He was the only Way to God?

i suspect that is some of it, to be sure. some of it is also human nature and the way that human egos tend to group themselves...

It is truly the belief of Christians that they have the Truth. This means to Christians that any other method of getting to God is invalid, for the fundamental reason that Jesus is the link to God. He died for the sins of the world, to save us from Hell and grant us a place in Heaven.

that is my observation as well. in fact, the Great Commission would seem to imply that Christians don't actually have a choice in this matter... they *must* spread their teaching.

of course, for beings like myself, concepts of hell and heaven are understood quite differently and, consequently, i would choose neither of those abodes to reside in.

Hence, there is an urgency in their message, namely that to die without Jesus means eternity in Hell. So for many Christian denominations, Christians are exhorted to get the Word out in the form of evangelism and door-knocking.

agreed.

How do people of other faiths really view this concept? Does it bother you to think that Christians believe that you will go to hell without Christ?

not really... honestly, there isn't all that much difference, from my point of view, between the various hells that i'm told i will be in if i don't adhere to a particular religous view point.

the question is easily enough turned to the other side of the discussion.

Do you blame this assertion in light of what they have been taught?

i don't blame them.

Do you consider Christians as narrow-minded? I'd like responses from those outside the Christian faith, please.

some are and some are not, it really just depends on the individual.

there are some beings that seem to have a very dogmatic mindset and, coupled with the sense of being one of the Elect, tends to create massive ego problems which can be quite difficult to deal with.

there are other beings which really do seem to resemble the heart of their teaching with humility and grace. i suspect that it is just karma ;)

metta,

~v
 
Re: Are Christians narrow-minded?

It seems to me that we are essentially talking about soteriology here. Other religions often have a different approach than Christianity either in presenting a more universal description of the path towards salvation, or by presenting a scenario in which "hell" is not even an essential factor - hence no need for all the "fire & brimstone."

Buddhism, for example, does include treatment of human suffering, and even describes hells (in the plural) through which most of will pass between lives. None of these (with rare exception) is permanent, however. Thus the emphasis is on Liberation from the wheel of rebirth and from unnecessary suffering in this rather illusory samsara/maya we call "the world."

More liberal and progressive Christians often accept the idea that Christ is a presence or a (Universal) spirit within us all ... and not simply a historical figure from Biblical history. The latter is then viewed as but a recent, and perhaps perfect example of the former, yet also a goal that is Divinely apportioned to and attainable by us all (or at least, this is certainly what Christ indicated, where he quotes directly & supports an Old Testament prophesy ... John 10:30-36).

Faith alone becomes increasingly one's own business, as is the way we choose to worship or honor the Divine (in essence One, though found in expression everywhere amidst the multiplicity of the world we live in). Christ also gave clear answer to the question, "How should we pray?" by the way. And yet it never ceases to amaze me that even on these two points (prayer, and our innate Divinity), Christians either do not agree, or just flat deny Christ's own words ... while insisting that they nevertheless have a monopoly on truth. Yes, I do smile sometimes when the Bible-beating begins. But I also become a little sad.

What really matters ... surely ... is how we conduct our lives, especially in terms of thought, word & deed. How much more sense it makes intuitively that this would be the basis for the evaluation of (each of) our individual contribution to the greater whole! :)

In such a picture, Christ is not lessened. Rather, Christ is broken free of the paralyzing & crippling chains in which he has essentially been imprisoned - primarily by the Church, and by narrow-minded thinking everywhere - throughout the centuries. I believe it is largely thanks to the clergy that we have the myth of eternal damnation to begin with ... a most pernicious lie indeed, dreamed up to draw the masses to the pew, and to move the hand deeper into the pocket for the collection plate.

If this view of things comes as a shock to some, and it shouldn't, then think again. It is not the good name, reputation, and ministry of Christianity's Founder I question, but that of his followers. I do not advocate apostasy, unless it serve the Soul (the true Christ within), which it may in some cases! By and large, we cannot profit - at least not at this point in history - by tossing the baby out with the bathwater.

That baby, Madonna's Christ, is in my experience (and mostly beyond it) nearer to Humanity now than any time for 2,000 years ... and I have faith that the way of Compassion and Forgiveness - as taught by Christ and other World Saviors - will not only survive, but will eventually flower into the beautiful touchstone for planetary transformation that it was originally intended. As G.K. Chesterton said, "
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."

May God be with those with whom is true effort ....

Peace Out,
protokletos
 
Re: Are Christians narrow-minded?

You sound like my father...I can accept that, and find comfort in it.

v/r

Q
 
Most narrow-minded are referred to as the fundamentalists. There are plenty of Christians who are not fundamentalist and very open-minded.
 
the biggest thing that bugs me is these organized religions (all of them do it) who go after all other religions & go after each other as Christians. I think all religions do this however & use force. Not all people do it, but all religions do it & many people in the religion do it even to there families.
if someone has the slightest difference in traditional beliefs, then the heresy & false doctrines start up, so yes that is pretty closed minded.
i am actually a pretty good listener & have all these different christian church doctrines figured out & a lot of it i just ignore. it is not until i feel provoked, then i get real closed minded as in ( i do not want to hear any more) .

several of my beliefs in the bible & Jesus people have never even heard of before & i realize that they are complicated so i keep them all tidy in a little bundle, to myself.

here is a classic example of a closed minded Christian. this person went after several people in less than two hours.:eek: here are the arguments that were started toward other christians. it is like a sickness or disease.
i figured this was appropriate for the questions that were asked.

dont forget your extensive collection of pornography, condoms, and illegal substances which you would burn a bible to get more of given the opportunity

you should stop speaking of what you dont know. if i need a review of a pornographic movie i will come to you, if i need spiritual guidance i will go elsewhere

I do love hell, i get to think about everybody who does not live their life correctly and how they will spend eternity their while i will live in an endless paradise.

i know i am a good christian so i can judge people and know that my judgment is the same as Gods would be, you on the other hand are not a good christian along with about 90% of the population so you need to keep your mouth shut

i cannot believe that you spent your time making a thread about this. you clearley have too much time on your hands and are in need of the lords guidance to spend your time

you are clearley a bad christian and probably will be going to hell along with ur entire church

i do not belive you have completley embraced the christian life style and by looking at some of your other posts, i dont think that you will be considered worthy of entrance into heaven


i dont care what you believe but all i know is that if you continue this life of sin, you will find yourself in hell

well luckily i wont have to deal with people like you in the afterlife... in heaven, because you will be burning in hell along with the others who dont listen to me and God

i do not show hate in my speach. i just see it as pointless to show consideration while speaking to sombody such as yourself. Also, just because you were babtised does not mean you are going to heaven, it just means that now the deamons will know that you were capable of escaping that fate but failed to, you will be tortured in hell twice as hard for your mistakes


this post is nothing but a mockery of the institution which is church. Humor is one of the many tools of the devil and in a perfect god fearing society would never be tolerated


i joined this forum after reading the posts by emends posts about his disfunctional family. His daughter apparently is a whore and his son seems to be a pervert while his wife is a murderer. I do not see any way for his family to EVER be redemed for their discressions. The only thing i can pray for is that his family is quickly wiped from this world so that he will have the freedom to live a pure christian life.

despite what any of them so called "christian" groups say none of them understand what it is to love god. music attempts to change your state of mind from by over stimulating your senses. remind you of anything? like masturbation? a true christian can have their spirit uplifted by the power of god and without the use of the drug our damned society calls music.
 
eww yucky.. I hope God deals with this persons self-righteous judgemental agenda and shows him how wrong he is. I cant believe that this person thinks he can bring anyone to Christ with a horrible attitude like that. Its people like that who give me that yucky morning breath taste in my mouth.
 
Christians,

I have often wondered, would it be okay, if your God was the same God for all other faiths, except because as we live in a multicultural world all worship in their own way. The Christ spirit as eternal, and always it has been here, in all it's many manifestations, God to gods, goddesses, and pure consciousness.
The narrowness I see is that humanity chooses to lay claim on something so vast, so magnanimous, in ownership.
We may own what is below our feet, we can never own the above.
 
Ciel said:
Christians,

I have often wondered, would it be okay, if your God was the same God for all other faiths, except because as we live in a multicultural world all worship in their own way. The Christ spirit as eternal, and always it has been here, in all it's many manifestations, God to gods, goddesses, and pure consciousness.
The narrowness I see is that humanity chooses to lay claim on something so vast, so magnanimous, in ownership.
We may own what is below our feet, we can never own the above.

Im not sure this was a question specifcally or just a general question...

Im sorry but its not possible to do so because narrow is the path.. hence the narrow mindedness I guess. Anytime someone suggest that all paths lead to God it brings up red flags for me because its not true according to my bible.. my bible plainly states that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and noone gets to the Father except through him. Also.. whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life... To suggest that Christ did not exist as was told in the bible.. that He was a spirit that is in every religion... denies what He did for us denies that He lived and denies everything we believe.

It sounds pretty.. how you stated it.. Its a pretty box wrapped with a pretty bow.. but the box is empty.

However.. Im not the judge and jury.. I believe that God gets the job done one way or another.. Each mans salvation is his issue with God.. I worry about mine.. and I share the gospel when I can. God saves souls.. I just deliver the message of salvation and hope.. as was told in the bible.
 
Far from a pretty box, Faithful Servant.

Looking through the eyes of reality, there is at present in New Orleans, hell on earth. So I pose another question. If all those who are outside the main stream of Christianity, the sinners of the world, as they have been known, if all the sinners face hell and destruction, could you with the sensitivity of a mother, as the Divine is both mother and father to this earth, could you with all the care and love in your heart, bear to see even sinners thrown into the hell of the inferno before your eyes in New Orleans?

Is there not a need for the rational in this life.

If God created all, then also God created choice.

I know I have often been mistaken for a dreamer, yet the rational and the reality is of the greatest importance, as is real human sentiment in the real world.
 
Close-mindedness is not unique to Christians, though it tends to be more pronounced in general with religions of "The Book." We all distrust what is different from us and it is a difficult process to listen to what someone else is saying - especially if you've grown up in a culture that explicitly or implicitly condemns those with different beliefs.

The challenge of Christianity and Islam is that the orthodoxy in both is based on forbidding questions and the inerrancy of the "book" and the traditional interpretation of it. That makes it all the more difficult for people in these orthodox traditions to genuinely listen to others, and open themselves up to others in response.

The irony I have found is that everybody is using different metaphors to explain the same basic experiences and if we just listen to one another, we actually do have a lot of common ground.
 
I agree that most Christian denominations have same basics: The Virgin Birth, Jesus as God the Son, His Death, Burial, and Bodily Resurrection, and Salvation in His Name. Beyond that, there is a kalidescope of variant beliefs within the specific denominations. Some believe you have to get baptised to be saved. Some believe in infant baptism. Some say you have to be Baptised in the Holy Spirit and/or with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues. Some say you have to be a member of their specific church to be saved. Some say you are saved by grace alone, other insist that in addition, works are required. Some have sacraments, some have ordinances. Then there are the aberrant groups who teach doctrine outside the scope of orthodox Christianity.

So Christians end up trying to save each other. Or end up arguing over doctrine. Many are ill equipt to witness to other faiths, either they don't completely understand their own beliefs or they lack an understanding of other religions.

In the church I belonged to, a typical witness (and yes, I'll raise my hand ) is given a set of verses to memorise and a simple Gospel presentation (Roman's Road, Four Spiritual Laws, the Bridge Illustration, etc.). Then on Saturdays, we canvass certain areas and knock on doors. We'd introduce ourselves and engage in some small talk, then launch into our presentation. Sometimes, however, when are confronted with questions from people we witness to, some of us get deer-in-headlight eyes. Usually, we will try and keep on track by saying if you only pray and receive Christ, your questions will be answered. I never really understood this, really. I think the idea is to get them saved and then the Spirit of God will enlighten their understanding.

But I was never really comfortable with the idea of pressing the person for a decision. I can usually tell when the person is sincere or just trying to humor us so we would leave. But we figured there was no harm in getting them to say the "Sinner's Prayer" anyway, if it meant getting them saved. Who are we to judge if they are sincere or not? God knows.

I'll tell you, though, I've see some dramatic breakdown in tears of joy when some have received Christ as Savior and they felt the love and forgiveness from God. There is a geniune need for God in their lives, a need for their sins to be forgiven, a need for God's mercy. And I felt the presence of the Lord in these instances. They needed a nudge to come to God. And I was more than happy to oblige.
 
Ciel said:
Christians,

I have often wondered, would it be okay, if your God was the same God for all other faiths, except because as we live in a multicultural world all worship in their own way. The Christ spirit as eternal, and always it has been here, in all it's many manifestations, God to gods, goddesses, and pure consciousness.
The narrowness I see is that humanity chooses to lay claim on something so vast, so magnanimous, in ownership.
We may own what is below our feet, we can never own the above.

Ciel, from what i can see all the monotheistic religions are seeing the same God. i dont seperate the jewish God, the muslim God & the Christian God that way.
i think we can own the above.
i have more to say about this in honesty, just taking the weekend off to put it together.
 
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