The FIFTH ATTACK sounds like this: “You already have your mind made up. It’s obvious you’re CLOSED minded.”
Objectors (whether atheistic or religious) to Biblical truths will say that they’re objective and open minded, that it is people in cults like the church of Christ that are CLOSED minded. They may use words like; ‘fanatical’ ‘legalist’ ‘rigid’ ‘without grace.’ Is this true and is it fair? How could we answer this attack?
First, it’s important to note that they are just as CONSTANT in their position as you. Is it only the other guy that is closed minded? How come I’m the one that’s closed minded when they’re the ones arguing against the bible? Does the one who gives the attack first get to be the open minded one?
One of the ways to prevent this attack is to LISTEN before you respond. So often we begin answering before we even understand what the other person is asserting. “He that giveth answer before he heareth, It is folly and shame unto him.” [Prov 18:13]. It’s key that we LISTEN to understand them before we’re able to answer them effectively.
I am OPEN MINDED. I left the world and became a Christian based on the evidence for God, both internal scriptural evidence and external evidence. I am OPEN MINDED because I’ve accepted their challenges, listened to every one of their discussion points and then asked questions about them, citing scriptures. I am OPEN MINDED because I examine the scriptures daily to see if these things are so. [Acts 17:11; 1Thess 5:21] I am OPEN MINDED because I examine myself, whether I’m in the faith. [2Cor 13:5]
Being ‘CLOSED MINDED’ is the terminology used by the antagonist. The Bible uses the word ‘STEADFASTNESS.’ We are to remain steadfast in our faith. “Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee the crown of life.” [Rev 2:10] Steadfastness, faithfulness will be perceived as being closed minded to the unbeliever. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEDFAST, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.” [1Cor 15:58] How this verse sounds depends on the hearer, whether they believe the scriptures or disbelieve. (emph. mine seb)
Being closed minded is approved in other areas of life. There are EXAMPLES of their minds being made up. Are you closed minded against 7×7=28? Are you closed minded against the idea of a flat earth? Are you closed minded in favor of the idea that man went to the moon? Are you closed minded for the truth that George Washington was a real person?
DO NOT GET ANGRY and do not take it personally. Ad Hominem attacks usually come at the end of a person’s ability to defend their position. Maintain a positive and friendly demeanor as the scriptures say, “but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” [Eph 4:15] Always remain calm. If the person had a scripture, they’d produce it. The ones they do produce are taken out of context & distorted to prove their point. This is predictable, so prepare for it. “…as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” [2Peter 3:15]
Finally, we’re not here to win arguments, we’re trying to win souls to Christ, to show people the way to heaven. Always remember that.
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not LOVE, it profiteth me nothing. LOVE suffereth long, and is kind; LOVE envieth not; LOVE vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. But now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.
[1Cor 13:1-7, 13] ASV