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Should we be open-minded?

Published: 25 May 2014 (GMT+10)

Danyl M., U.S., wrote in response to Gary Bates’ article Thinking ‘upside-down’! Lita Sanders replies below.

wikipedia.org open-minded
I’d like to make some points clear about my beliefs. I read the article on the ‘Good News,’ and it spoke of the ‘alternative’ for anyone who ‘spurns,’ (to ‘scornfully reject.’)The thing is, I don’t. I always take open mindedness to be a virtue. I was only a pious christian when 7 years old during my 1st communion classes, half my lifetime ago. But that was based on blind faith and the fact I was mostly unaware of anything else. I in no way deliberately deny Christianity, I just never was attatched to it or understood it (I am curious about Christianity for the sake of understanding though.) I would like to apologize on the behalf of the 1,000,000,000+ Muslims for any atrocities we may have committed against you; as that was hirbah. My entire family is Catholic (Irish and Filipino,) I being one of a few exceptions. Though none are pronounced atheists to my knowledge; despite my family being moderately religious, I am surrounded by Christians. Even the girl who proved me wrong and showed to me that love at first sight does exist, was a Catholic who wore a St. Benedict medal every day and was the friendliest person I’ve ever known. My late grandmother was the only person in my family that I know is more pious than myself and devoted herself to God, building a retreat house along with a Church on her own property and funded an orphanage. Regardless of what few Muslims might claim, she was a wonderful person with her heart in the right place and deserves eternal peace. With the PalestineIsrael conflict, I have heard the phrase "Bridges not walls!" appear many times. All I wish is to come to an understanding with the world and how it works and Islam is what I’ve choosen. It has motivated me to become a better person: more friendly, pious, wise, motivated, and open.

Lita Sanders, CMI-US, responds:

Dear Danyl,

Anyone who hears the Gospel message, and thinks, “That’s all right, I think there’s a better way for me to be saved,” scorns the Gospel regardless of whether they do it out of ‘open-mindedness’ or overt hatred of God.

You are probably correct that you were never attached to Christianity in the sense of saving faith; simply adhering to sacraments or attending church services won’t save you, if you don’t believe in Jesus.

I wonder if your adherence to Islam might be much the same as your former professed adherence to Christianity. It is a bit disingenuous to apologize for something someone else did, if I may be frank, especially when they were probably happy they did it and thought it contributed to their standing in Allah’s sight. And since no Muslim has wronged me personally, it would be just as disingenuous of me to accept your apology.

Your open-mindedness, far from being a virtue, removes the possibility of honest debate. That’s because you just disavow the nasty parts of Islam, like dhimi and the sword, and adhere to whatever you like in the Qur’an. In reality, you end up making your own religion perhaps inspired by the Qur’an. But that does not respect the message or intent of the Qur’an, any more than a person who thinks Jesus had some nice moral truisms in His sermons and quotes the Bible when it suits him honors the Bible. I don’t care if you respect the message of the Qur’an; I certainly don’t—I think it’s a terrible book that has no aesthetic or moral value, and that has contributed to the death of millions of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and also deplorable treatment of women as some lesser beings or chattels (contrasting with the Bible’s view that all people are made in the image of God and therefore equal in His sight). Even worse, it enslaves millions more in a false religion that cannot save them. But you should at least be honest about what you really are. You’re no more a Muslim than I am.

If you want to come to a better understanding of the world, then you should read the Bible—it will tell you about the world’s origins, history, and destiny. And it will tell you how God has intervened in the world events of civilization to bring about His plan of salvation.

One can only be open-minded about things that don’t really matter. I am very closed-minded when it comes to allowing drunk pilots to fly, for instance, because that’s a very real safety issue. I want to know the person in control of my flight is also in his right mind. It’s even more important to be certain (for one cannot be open-minded when one is really certain) about one’s eternal destiny. I urge you to read our Good News article.

Sincerely,

Lita Sanders

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