Published November 12, 2013

Paul's Epistle...
"Too Narrow?"

The other day I received an email from a reader of this newsletter: "Please remove me from your email list. Your views are just a little too narrow for me."

"Narrow?" Really?'s what I say to that: "Thanks for the compliment!"  He's right. My views are too narrow – much too narrow for today's society.

I make no bones about believing in the inerrancy of God's Holy Word. What God says is sin — is sin. What He says is the right thing to do — is the right thing to do. What He wants — is what I want. When it comes to the fundamentals, this really does make it quite easy to make the proper choices for living.

But this is exactly what the world today doesn't want to hear. There is no more vaunted virtue today in the secular world than "tolerance." "You must be more broad-minded, not narrow-minded," "more accepting of the choices of others," they might say. What our ancestors called "sin," society calls "choice." I saw a photo the other day of an atheist billboard that said, "Have Fun! There is no god." Anything goes. Do what you want. Now that's broad-mindedness!

The world's view is infecting Christians, too, unfortunately. That's why you see polls of self-professed Christians increasingly supporting same-sex marriage, something that quite obviously is outside the will of God. "But, hey – society says it's OK, so why not? Live and let live."

The other day I read a story about a Bible-believing student who accepted the Bible's literal account of creation. But then he went to a college affiliated with a major Christian denomination and was told that the book of Genesis merely represented truth in an allegorical manner – not in a literal sense. And this was from his theology professor. And then he discovered that every single professor in this Christian college's science department was an enthusiastic evolutionist. This from a "Christian" college? Sadly, even many of today's Christian seminaries scoff at the whole truth of Scripture. What should we expect from tomorrow's preachers if their seminary instructors have planted such liberal doubts in their minds?

"Doubt," you'll recall, was Satan's tactic in the garden as he tempted Eve, asking her, "Has God indeed said....?" (Gen. 3:1). Plant a little "doubt" and Satan's got his foot in the door. The tactic is still quite effective today. Obviously.

So, is a strict reading of Scripture "too narrow?" St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) said this: "If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself."  There is the key. The world today is quite willing to place its own sinful ways ahead of God – in Whom they don't believe (or reject) anyway. They are most willing and eager simply to do what they want. Their own choices come first — not what they're told to do by anyone else, most especially God. They are simply being "broad-minded."

Jesus had a very different perspective on this. In His sermon on the mount, He said, "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. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt. 7:13-14).

So... are you one of the "few" who choose the narrow way rather than one of the "many" choosing the broad way to destruction? I hope so. And, if so, you and I can both wear our "narrowness" as a badge of honor.

- Paul

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