Closed minded?

There is always the accusation by some in the agnostic camp that I am closed minded. And there is again the suggestion that I am closed minded towards different views of Christianity, or economics or whatever. Someone just today suggested I have a problem with people that don't agree with me.

I would like to share with you a bit of my history. When I became a Christian on January 1st 85, I went to a radically fundementalist Pentecostal church. I immediatley cut my hair, threw out all my clothes and records and Flanderised myself to ridiculous degree. I became a fire breathing fundegelical. I am the only person I know that read the entire Francis Schaefer complete works collection. I prayed for an hour to two every morning before work started often at 6 am yes I got up at 4am to pray. I read seven chapters of the bible a day, and I listened to the best of the evangelical preachers all day long on my radio at work.

Since that time my views on just about every single thing have changed. I used to believe women shouldn't be allowed to speak in church, gays could be and should be healed or not allowed in church, the bible told us the earth was 7,000 years old, there are no errors or inconsistencies in the bible, people should be submitted to the pastor of the church and the government, poor people were lazy ect.

When I saw an arguement was more convincing than mine I accepted and moved on. Please do not take my passion as closed mindedness, I am anything but. But I passionately believe what I do believe, until someone proves me wrong.


Wow. That's pretty amazing! Glad for the turnaround, otherwise we wouldn't have "the rev" we know and love.



Rev, thankfully you are open to arguement. The first time I "got" Christianity was when you told the story of the punk kids you took in. That was just such a wow moment for me.

Any chance either of you could re-tell that story or TTT that old thread ?

man what happened to you! :-)

I'm kidding! Your conversion sounds a lot like mine!

"flanderized" man...I like that better then "fundie"!

I guess I'm still in the flanderized mode!

I have never thought you are close minded. Just a little nutty. :)

Hmmm..."the nut" now that has a ring to it.

I could sell some bjj tapes...

the "nut" hands and knees position.

Learn how to "crack the nut" through pinning combinations and submissions.

See the nut, turn the tables when he teaches the imprenatable "shell of the nut" position.

I'll redefine the Turtle Guard!

Hey rev, if this is about the thread "religion as an excuse", then I didn't mean to imply you are closed minded, or that rooster is really. Just the difference between the two of you is very great and must come down to personality in the end. Since you both belong to the same religion I'm interested in how you reach your respective conclusions about the world if you are being led to truth by an outside agency (ie God)? I'm also interested to hear more about the massive shifts in how you view the world and what caused them? When you originally converted why did you go for the "flanders" approach, do you think, and why did you end up changing? Do you feel truer to your real self now or then..or does that have nothing to do with it?

I guess what I was trying to get at with that thread was where does the self end and the stuff from God begin?

who the hell said you could hang around our Agnostic camp? now run along before we have you arrested for trespassing!!!

closemindedness is a necessity sometimes, as with all things its a balance between open mindedness and will to follow what you already beleive. We all run up against a wall at some point that stops us from further openeness. This is as it should be, its for every man himself to find that right balance for himself.

Chance, I don't really know of the thread you are talking about.

I do not think Rooster and I are the same religion.

I believe that God leads us on a journey of revelation, using our experiences, our faith community, the word and the ears of our heart in contemplation and silence to continue to reveal himself. We stop the journey when our need to be right is more important than our desire to find and follow Jesus.

Where the self ends and God begins is a question that I wrestle with daily. I am glad God has grace, as I see more and more of my own finger prints on things.


"Where the self ends and God begins is a question that I wrestle with daily. I am glad God has grace, as I see more and more of my own finger prints on things."

Interesting comment. How do you even begin to tell these possibly competing influences apart? Do you feel that the Christian experience is (or should be) a journey towards losing the self and becomming something different, or one of perfecting the self?

'I believe that God leads us on a journey of revelation, using our experiences, our faith community, the word and the ears of our heart in contemplation and silence to continue to reveal himself. We stop the journey when our need to be right is more important than our desire to find and follow Jesus'

in 1987 my teenage self was radically altered into what john jensen described. I was as sincere and gung ho as was possible. I took my bible to school. I had not a single friend for two years as a result. I read 10 chapters a day. I was a member of an old club called the 'young preachers club'. Ready to preach pray sing or die at a moments notice. I was whisked around to various bible clubs to talk to my fellow teenagers. I distributed thousands of tracts etc. Despite my mothers schizophrenic religion I had a faith of my own.

I worked for two different christian camps full time. I went overseas to hong kong for a summer in their YFC camp to rehab it and carry bibles to china. Those were foundations of my life. A journey started and has never ended. To find the JESUS .

As I grew older, more educated and more experienced in life I tended to release some of my old beliefs and eventually all of them and started over. I have not regretted it one bit nor has my true morality suffered. I have become a better more honest person. Being Right no longer plagued my mind. There is much more but when I poke fun at fundamentalists, I poke fun at something I truly understand.

you can be right
and I'll be real
honesty won't be a pain that you'll have to feel
cause I don't need your approval
to find my worth
I'm trapped inside of my own mind
afraid to open my eyes cause of what I'd find and I
don't want to live like this anymore

there goes my pain
there goes my chains
did you see them falling
because this feeling
that has no meaning

there goes the world
off of my shoulders
there goes the world
off of my back
there it goes

does it scare you that I can
be something different than you
would it make you feel more comfortable if I wasn't
you can't control me
and you can't take away from me who I am


I would'nt use the word closed...more like narrow.

Lets see in the 80's...I was a pot smoking, drunken idiotic thoughts abot God one way or the other.

I'm probably a pseudo-fundamentalist...the whole strict letter of the law thing bugs me...but so does the "Hey, I'm ok...your ok style of Christianity"


love ya bro, did you get my e mail?


I am happily close minded on the issue of pedophilia.  I can't imagine why being open minded about it would be a virtue.  So the accusation of being close-minded is flawed, especially in a time where believing something definite and firm is the ultimate crime.  

Sherm, didn't get your email

Ridge, really bad analogy, there is no suggestion that everyone should be open to anyone, but that we should all hold our opinions strongly, and just as strongly let them go when they prove false.

Chance, Jesus says losing the self is perfecting the self. He who seeks to find his life will lose it, but he who seeks to lose his life for my sake, will find it. I guess I judge things by the criteria God has set in the bible. So when I see the fruits of the Spirit, I believe it is more Gods work than my own, and when I see the fruits of the flesh, I believe it is more my own work.



That may be your experience, but it is not the case in academia much of the time.  Being accused of being closed minded means things like insisting on the primacy of Jesus or that homosexuality is a disordered sexuality.   You are certainly considered to be close minded for your own beliefs about Jesus in many of these circles.  So the accusation has meanings like I alluded to.

On the issue of being closed minded as you meant it I think that sometimes you come off as particularly snarky towards fundamentalists and I don't know if that is right or wrong.  I mean the things that anger you about it are justified and frankly I come across people all the time who can't stand Christianity because of what fundamentalists have put them through.   So I don't really know the right way to deal with that.  I suspect you see yourself in many fundamentalists and you want them to change just like you changed.

That is probably true in some sense, but it is also part of my calling in my opinion. I believe I was named John for a reason, I believe I am called to be a prophet and to call the church to be true to their saviour. I don't read much about gentle prophets, snarky is actually part of the job description.


zealot66 ,

What were the camps and YFC like for you? For your faith? For your development as a person? Was the camp like one of those shown in Jesus Camp movie?

nah, they were very conservative ministries. Kind of in the vein of billy graham. Which The founder of YFC kansas city was good friends and a contemporary of billy graham. It was a good place in many ways. I still have life long friends from 16 years past.

Jesus Camp bears no resemblance to YFC camps in the kansas city area. They operated since the 70's. Its now called Youth Front or something.