Last Friday’s post was a tribute to our beloved brother Dee Bowman who passed from this life on Thursday.
The post featured quotes from Dee’s writings and preaching. It received not only an outpouring of appreciation and love for Dee but reminded several readers of other quotes Dee was famous for saying.
My daughter, Rachél, recalls a time when Dee came to Columbia, Tennessee, for a meeting at the Jackson Heights Church. She was in her early teens at the time and was captivated by Dee’s powerful preaching and personal magnetism.
She remembers Dee saying, “It’s good to be open-minded, but don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”
She said that thought helped her a lot at that time in her life, and she’s never forgotten Dee’s wise words.
This quote reminds me of a compliment Luke paid to the Jews in Berea when they heard the preaching of the apostle Paul.
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11).
An open, willing and receptive mind is necessary for us to fairly evaluate what we hear presented as the gospel. This calls for diligence and requires careful examination. But without an open mind, it’s impossible to give Truth a fair hearing.
Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day whose ears were “hard of hearing,” because their minds were closed and their hearts were calloused (Matt 13:15).
We need to be like those Paul said, “received the Word of God” and “welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God,” (1 Thess. 2:13).
Open-mindedness allows us to distinguish between Truth and tradition. Between the unchanging Word of God, and new means and methods for engaging in ministry and spreading the message.
The mindset of “We’ve never done it that way,” is a sure-fire way to kill initiative, dampen enthusiasm, and impede progress. It shows a lack of open-mindedness to fresh approaches, and improved techniques.
However, Dee’s warning is well heeded. Being too open-minded can affect disastrous results.
The Galatian Christians serve as a negative example of being too open-minded. They had allowed “another gospel,” to influence their thinking. One that Paul called a “perverted Gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9).
He calls the Galatians “foolish’ and rhetorically asked, “Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” (Gal. 6:1).
He rebukes them and says their open-mindedness to “another gospel,” has resulted in their being “estranged from Christ.” Then he plainly says, “You are fallen from grace.”
In a day of ever-changing morals and vacillating values, we need to be careful that we’re not so open-minded that our brains fall out.
While I’m always open to study and reexamination of my beliefs, some things are settled. “I know in whom I have believed”(2 Tim. 1:12).
*There is a God who is the Creator of the world and sustainer of life. (Gen 1:1; Ax. 17:24-25).
*Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:6).
*The Bible is the inspired Word of God and provides “all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3).
*God created two genders: Male and female. (Gen. 1:27).
*God ordered, ordained, and arraigned marriage to between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4-6).
*Same-sex relationships are described by the Holy Spirit as being “against nature.” “Vile passions.” “Indecent.” “Shameful.” And “depraved.”
*Jesus said, “I will build My Church.” He purchased it with His blood. And He is the Head of the church (Matt. 16:18; Ax. 20:28; Eph. 1:22-23).
While there are other issues, we could cite, these are sufficient to illustrate the point. And these demonstrate that as a society we’ve been so open-minded that our brains have fallen out. Sadly, some Christians have followed suit.
Dee Bowman’s cautionary advice will serve you well in this mixed-up, messed-up world.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacheman