I think American culture, with its emphasis on freedom and independence of speech and thought and supposed open-mindedness tells us that to refuse to entertain certain thoughts demonstrates an undesirable closed-mindedness. When unsure about something, the secular educated world says that the responsible thing to do is to consider all view points with an “open mind.” This means to allow different views equal weight and opportunity to be right.
“You cannot think through a spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey.”
But godly wisdom is knowing when to cut off a stream of thoughts that lead to confusion, not because of a blind faith or a lack of faith, as our accusers might say, but because of an unshakeable faith that God is who He says He is even when we are confused. Even when we do not see clearly.
For faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
Jesus is the answer. Life is not a never-ending inquiry where we search for a truth that will never be found. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The story has an end. It has been written. “Open-mindedness” as most often prescribed theoretically ought to result in tolerance and acceptance of all. But even the proponents of this “open-mindedness” are oftentimes closed-minded in their judgement of those who hold to certain convictions. It is, in itself, a paradox. To be “open-minded” and yet judge those who are not as “open-minded” as you is, in the end, to be not very open-minded or tolerant at all.
“In intellectual matters, you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion.”
We must be wise with our questions. Doubts and questions are fine, and often good – there are things we need to struggle with. But we must also know that the answers, though we may not presently have knowledge of them, do exist, and they exist in God. Consequently, we can trust in Him, even when we don’t have the answers – and we must trust in Him.
“Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise we see nothing (see Matthew 11:25).”
– Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” (Sept. 14)
I like to think that obedience is a straight-forward matter of obeying or not obeying, knowing what is before me, what the stakes are, etc. But more often than not, obedience requires faith. It is hard for those of us who trust strongly in our own intellect and reason.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5