I had a brief chat the other day with Zac Russell, a former conservative Christian who went to an independent fundamental Baptist college. He’s no longer a believer, but he mentioned that there was a textbook used by some of those kinds of schools that literally praised having a closed mind.
Seriously? I have to see that.
So he sent me the page from What’s on Your Mind?: Discover the Power of Biblical Thinking by John Goetsch. Turns out he was right.
In 1 Timothy 4, Paul is very specific about why it is so important to keep a closed mind. With approximately ten thousand thoughts going through our brain waves every day, it is easy for the wrong things to slip in. This lesson focuses on why having a closed mind is essential to living a Christ-pleasing life.
I’ve never seen a textbook urge readers to literally “keep a closed mind.” But this is for a Bible school, so I guess having an impenetrable bubble is a prerequisite for taking classes.
1 Timothy 4, by the way, talks about “demons” teaching you things that go against the faith. Those demons are “hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
Uh-huh… Wouldn’t it be better advice to counter false teachings with strong rebuttals instead of avoiding them altogether?
You don’t defeat an argument by running away from it. Forcing people to just stick their fingers in their ears at the first sign of opposition is a horrible way to convince them your ideas are right. Some of them will eventually realize that those “demons” make more sense.
That’s what happened to Zac — and, I’m sure, plenty of other Christians who went through similar training.
What’s the next chapter in this book? How to keep the inside of your bubble clean?