According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary the word ‘narrow-minded’ is defined as, not willing to accept opinions, beliefs, or behaviors that are unusual or different from your own.
Culture has assimilated our thinking to believe that narrow-mindedness is bad. Perhaps when it comes to every single opinion, or every single subject, or every single dogma it is unacceptable. But when it comes to the area of religion, and especially soteriology (salvation), narrow-mindedness is not a bad thing. In fact, I argue three areas in which narrow-mindedness is good.
Narrow-mindedness defines the gospel
(Mt 7:13-14) “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Jesus’ narrowness did not stop there. In John 14:6, conversing with His disciples, He stated, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus left no room for any other way to have a relationship with God. He is it! He is the sole and only gate to the Father. His way is narrow and only those with a narrow mind to believe this will enter.
Narrow-mindedness is logical
If Jesus is the only way to God then it is logical to say that no other religion can claim something different and be true at the same time Jesus’ statement is true. It is the law of non contradiction. In other words, all religions CANNOT co-exist. We’ve all seen the bumper sticker. You know? The one in the picture below.
Containing all the symbols of the world’s major religions, it is a statement that everyone should put aside their religious beliefs and live in harmony. However, it has become more about all religions being valid and no other religion is better than any other.
Religiously speaking this is a logical impossibility. Can peoples of different religions live together without blowing each other off the face of the planet? Absolutely! But different religions cannot all be true, for that would be a contradiction. If one is true then by logic the other cannot be. If Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh and the only way to have a relationship with the Father then His statement is either completely true or completely false. The claims of truth made must be able to be validated, and if they are it leaves no room for any other “truth” because nothing else will be true except the said, validated truth.
Narrow-mindedness is not a bad thing
Given that being narrow-minded in the area of absolute truth is essential then we must conclude that not all narrow-mindedness is bad. Everyone is narrow-minded in one way or another. Even those who are opposed to narrow-mindedness are narrow-minded of their narrow-minded peers, if you think about the definition given above. If you are not willing to accept my narrow-mindedness because it differs from your opinion, you are narrow-minded.
But standing for truth cannot be qualified as narrow-mindedness. Why? Because there is only one truth. And if that truth is absolute then there is no other truth. And if there is no other truth then it is not narrow-minded to claim that there is only one truth.
After all, either Jesus is who He claimed to be or He is not. He cannot be both God and not God at the same time (John 1:1, 8:58). He cannot be Savior and not Savior at the same time (Matt 1:21). He cannot atone for sins and not atone for sins at the same time (Heb 9:12). He cannot claim exclusivity and not claim exclusivity at the same time (John 14:6). Either He is, or He isn’t (Heb 1:3). And that is the absolute truth!
Soli Deo Gloria