Published Nov. 19, 2013

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

Wow – I was absolutely amazed (and delighted) at the number and content of responses to last week's "Too Narrow?" column. I received more replies than any other Epistle I've written (so far as I can recall) and — believe it or not — they were all in agreement! Every one of them! What an encouragement! Also, it must have been one of the most passed-along columns I've done in the past decade with quite a few Facebook repostings and such.

Here are just a few typical responses I received:

"Your comments are outstanding about narrow mindedness. We, the Christian Church, have become so liberal today. Instead of rising up against this society, we just sort of blend in and let things happen. What little freedom we have left is swiftly being swept away and it's all because we don't stand up and be counted. Same sex marriage is sickening and something that I'll never accept. Like you say, if the Holy Scriptures say it's wrong, it's wrong. It's time we stand up for that which is right..." – H. H.

"Good article! I'm 75 years old and certainly never thought I'd be seeing our country going morally downhill so rapidly. As Zig Ziglar said, ‘I guess you noticed God did not call the Ten Commandments the Ten Suggestions...'" – J. L.

"I love your article. And I love that you don't sound judgmental or critical. Either you believe the Bible or you don't. I warn my kids that Satan likes to use certain ‘grey' areas to get a foothold. He's sneaky and subtle and will offer you just what you want. But Paul didn't feel constricted by the Gospel. He said, ‘For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.' (Gal. 5:13).... Please, stay ‘narrow'!" – T. H.

"I commend Paul and Shelia for their strong stand for righteousness and no compromise with the world. We either believe God's words to the fullest or we don't. One day we will all stand before the judge of the world and have to answer for how we have lived and presented His Word. I stand with Paul today. If his words are considered narrowminded, then so be it. I would rather have that compliment than have to answer to God for broad-minded compromise..." – D. N.

"Too narrow? Hold a Bible up sideways and reply, ‘Yes, my views are as narrow as this Book!'" – R. B.

"Paul, I'm not old, I'm not young. What I am is a believer in God's Word. Therefore, if God said it, then that is all I need to know. Sometimes I think I don't like everything God's way, but I know God knows best – thus what God says is more than good enough for me. I personally have a problem with churches today that feel like they have to preach ‘feel-good sermons' so as not to step on anyone's toes. Me, I know for fact when I walk out of church on Sunday that if my toes hurt, they should. It just means I have to ‘straighten up and fly right' as my grandma would say... I love your narrowmindedness, cause I am, too..." – R. W.

"While it is disturbing to see our society and indeed government take such liberties with morality, we have it on good authority – God's Word – that our world will decline and move away from His will. It is ever more important for us to hold fast to the unshakable truths in His Word, drawing close to the Holy Spirit and to influence all those the Lord brings in contact with us. I pray for my young grandchildren because of the dark days that are ahead, but know that He is able, yesterday, today and tomorrow to protect and draw to Him those who will listen and heed His voice..." – R. C.

"...Looking over my life I believe that if I would have stayed on the narrow path and not departed from it ... I would have been in a much better position than I ended up with today. But I do thank God for second chances and I believe He brought me back to my senses by showing His great love for me..." – P. R.

"Congratulations! You just touched a ‘politically incorrect, right-wing, fundamental, intolerant, red-neck' nerve! This malaise to be ‘open-minded' (if you are too open your brain will fall out) has become systemic, structural and pervasive – especially among opportunistic and bleeding-heart anti-Christian academic apologists where everything BUT Christianity goes. Swimming in the middle of professed ‘academic believers' who really believe nothing has [for me] evolved into a cautious maneuver. I appreciate your stand for ‘calling a spade a spade.'" – J. A.

"My husband and I totally agree with your message. Several years ago, I got him a tee shirt that says ‘Narrow Minded' in large print with the Bible verse you quoted under that. He has been proudly wearing it since..." – L. B.

"Paul, I will remain one of the ‘few.' I pray you will too! I just don't like the end of the ‘many!'" – R. R.

"We as Christians are too easily swept up in the world's dictates as to what is right or wrong. Hollywood seems to se the standards and everyone blindly follows. How sad when supposed believers neglect to read what God says in His Word and become more broadminded. Today, if a Christian really wants to stand up for what is right, he/she is immediately branded as being ‘intolerant' and bigoted. I think we as Christians will have to become much more vocal about what God's Word says is sin. Many believers are already being persecuted in North America for their faith and stand against sin, and we will have to make a choice – believe and stand with God's Word, or follow the world's standards. Paul – keep being narrow-minded. You are an encouragement to the rest of us who are trying hard to follow the Lord and obey Him." – M. D. (Ontario).

That last writer summed it up well and provided the challenge. Christ has given us the "light of life" (John 8:12), but far too many of us are hiding that light "under a basket" (Matt. 5:14). We're not standing up for what God says, even thought we find ourselves "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we are to] shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life..." (Phil. 2:15-16a).

- Paul

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