Is it bad to be narrow-minded? It’s certainly a term which carries with it a heavy negative connotation; but is it actually a bad thing?
St. Paul, particularly in his first letter to the Corinthians, models a form of narrow-mindedness which actually commends him and the gospel. He writes explicitly in I Corinthians 2:2, that he:
“decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified”
That is to say, he deliberately closed off his mind even to its own knowledge, that he might be focused only on Jesus Christ and him crucified. He’ll later come back to this same topic, reminding the Corinthians that this is the very same thing on which they need to focus, writing in I Corinthians 15:3 that the thing of “first importance” is that
“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared” (I Corinthians 15:3-5).
Today’s Christians are being constantly challenged by people who would persuade them to become more ‘open minded’, to mix into the simplicity of the Christian faith all kinds of other concepts and concerns. The temptation to find compromise between external pressures and the Word of God is very great, and the way in which the whole of society works today is by progressive compromises.
To say that there can be no compromise between the Word of God and political pressure groups – and indeed that there can never be any compromise – is seen as a highly offensive position. However, it is nothing less than what is demanded of all Christians, indeed to do anything else is to replace God with an idol – it is to change the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25) and then worship that lie.
St. Peter teaches us the importance of being ready to answer those who ask reason for the hope we have; but he first calls us in that very same place to honour Christ the Lord as holy (I Peter 3:15). If we truly honour Christ as Lord, then we cannot even consider the slightest whisker of compromise when it comes to that which is taught by his Word.
Let us therefore strive to be as narrow-minded as St. Paul; being imitators of him, as he is of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).