Monday, April 12, 2010

What parachute are you using?

"Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open" is a popular bumper sticker these days.  The idea of course is that by keeping one's mind open to all possibilities, only then you can understand the world.  Shutting out any option means you are close-minded, and may be missing a great truth or revelation that comes from worldview or philosophy different than your own.  According to one of the preachers I was listening to on the radio today, the Jewish definition of open minded was significantly different.  (transcript John McGee Grace To You) In the ancient Hebrew world, an open mind was a simple one, an open door, one that not only let everything come in, but also kept nothing from going out.   Sound like any open minded folks you know?  Changing ideologies with the wind, always on the lookout for something new usually to fill in the spiritual gap in their life? 

Either definition of an open mind is a house built on sand.  There is no foundation to build on, only a shifting mass of thoughts, possibilities, ideologies and if-thens.  Bill Watterson illustrated this indirectly in a Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin could suddenly see all sides of everything at once after a discussion with his dad where he was shown both sides of an issue.  His world turned cubist, and movement or even perception was made impossible until Calvin "eliminated all viewpoints but one".  When we take in all the possibilities, we are left immobile.  Look at what has happened to the politically correct movement.  In an attempt to see all side of various cultural issues, it has become difficult, if not impossible to interact with people without the possibility of offending someone within earshot.  In the attempt to not favor any ideology over another in the public square, it has become a ridiculous shell game devoid of any common sense when dealing with numerous situations.  Take our counter terrorism actions.  The majority of people who are involved in the various plots, successful and unsuccessful have been Middle Eastern males.  Yet the PC police say that focusing on Middle Eastern males in our security details would be racist.  So we get scenarios where elderly women are pulled aside to be wanded because of their hip replacement, but the Fruit of Kaboom bomber made it on board a flight to America with his paid in cash ticket and plastic explosives in his drawers.  (1. No, not every male of Middle Eastern decent should be banned from getting on a US or US bound flight, we just need to acknowledge who is plotting and performing the majority of these acts and pattern our reactions accordingly 2. My point was not to go off on a political tangent this evening, but I'm tired from a couple of weeks of manual labor)

Has the open mind become an excuse for not setting down principles?  Time and time again, we hear that even on Christian college campuses and in the church itself, ideas like absolute truth are falling out of favor.  Acknowledging absolute truth means closing your mind to other ideas and marching forward in faith that you have chosen the correct mindset, and that very idea has become an anathema to modern Western civilization.  Pragmatism and relativism are the order of the day, because they carry no risk.  If you are wrong in your thinking, just change it.

Jesus did not stand up and say "I am A way, A truth and A light."  He said "I am THE way, THE truth and THE light." (John 14:6 emphasis added) Do you want that assurance, or do you want a worldly parachute?  I know which one I've got my trust in, and He has kept me sustained and going and softened many a landing a far cry better than that worldly parachute so many are relying on. 

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