Sunday, July 29, 2018

Is it wrong to be open minded?


One of the things I heard many times growing up in the church and at Ambassador, was to not be too open-minded because our brains would fall out.  Being open-minded was opening the mind up to allow Satan to take over to deceive us.

After being in the church for many years it was obvious as to why the church discouraged open-mindedness.  It allowed people to discover the church as not all it was claiming to be.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the day that I was sitting at a church service, and suddenly felt that I had emotionally left the church. Not God or the Bible, but rather I left a physical church. There was a build up over many years, the consequence of noticing that what the bible taught, and church culture were very different.
Prior to that, I believed that what they taught was Gods truth. That day, I divorced that belief, comprehending that it's not true. It's something that's obvious in old age, but when you are young, it's a radical change in belief.

Anonymous said...

You’re only allowed to be open minded to them and in the ways they want you to be. It’s all Orwellian, of course. The rest of us realize that that’s not open-minded at all.

Darren C. said...

That reminds me of when I was talking to a Jehovah's Witness many years ago shortly after joining CGI. In frustration, I uncharitably said the JWs were brainwashed, to which the JW lady calmly and smugly responded, "Well some of us need to have our minds purified!" Even I, a strong COG'er at the time, had to roll my eyes.

It really is pitiful to see (let alone be involved in) a religious dispute between a JW and a COG'er. The air between them is so thick with arrogance and blindness.

Thank God for His mercy and redemption, which gives birth to the virtue of humility - - something I'm still trying to cultivate with His grace.

Anonymous said...

The truth shall set you free. Follow Jesus' words here and seek truth, ie, reality.

Ironically, a true Christian, that is, someone who follows Christ, has no choice but to leave these groups, since they so hate the truth (reality).

Dennis Diehl said...

All commanded to speak the same thing so there is no division is not exactly the formula for having an open mind. Neither is cursing everyone who doesn't go with the one true way to think delivered in a vision only you had. (Galatians 1:6-10)

Anonymous said...

The church's definition of "open minded" means "open to the devil".

This is done to create fear - that consideration of anything outside of the church's opinion is satanic. This creates a very closed mind to anything that is outside of the church's "understanding", where any other version of a topic is met with pre-conditioned FEAR that one is opening their mind to demonic influence. This causes people to not even wish to entertain any other form of thought on a topic, for fear that they are entering the dark side.

This explains the over-the-top reactions from members whenever an opinion is given outside of church-endorsed opinion. From walking away to "I do not want to hear it", the brain is purposely shut down to consideration of anything away from their programming by the church, because of paralyzing fear that they are inviting the devil into their minds - which ultimately threatens their eternal salvation, they think. This is the root reason why you cannot reason with people who have been indoctrinated by fringe groups or religious cults. They are convinced open-mindedness is satanic. Only their group has the truth. Only their group is enlightened. Only they understand, and only they get it.

Armstrongism exploited this way of programming to the maximum in every way. Everything in society that could be evil was evil - and any alternative explanations about virtually any other given subject were cast as satanic deceptions. In the WCG, the Method of Indoctrination was simple:

Hold Fast to Our Interpretations. we have the Truth. The World is Satan's World. If you Listen to them, you're of the World, and you will be in the Third Resurrection.

That was the bottom line. They cut the cord of open-mindedness before you even had the opportunity to blink. They cut your opportunity to use your mind, to think, to reason, to see, to study, to prove, to find, with the tool of fear and intimidation. There was never open-mindedness as an option.

Your question was "is it wrong to be open minded?" in the present. I don't believe it is at all. I've thrown out the Armstrong Model completely.

When you consider the complexities of what we have learned scientifically, the intricate nature of our universe(s), the testimonies of those who have experienced events we used to say were impossible, you have no choice but to either accept what has been proven (and much HAS been proven) or blind yourself to fact in favor of illusion of mind based on elementary understandings. You CAN be open-minded and a believer at the same time. One of the biggest issues with fundementalist literalism is the inability to see that what was said in the 1st century was said only relative to their understanding and to their comprehension. Which - let's be real - wasn't much. Jesus never went in there trying to alter history, or teach them things they were not ready for. We in the 21st century know far, far more then they could ever dream - yet fundamental literal thinking loves to throw out proven education for the first grade elementary reading books.

If you refuse to be open minded, then you can be stuck in the first grade classroom with the six-year-olds reciting your ABC's, because you're scared that learning anything else would be "wrong", then that's to your detriment. There's a reason why there is a Counselor, to lead you to understanding - and some are too closed-minded to listen to Him.



Anonymous said...

Dennis
'Speaking the same thing' was said at a time of basic, elementary Christianity as 9.09 AM points out. So it wasn't a call to intolerance. HWA installed a tyranny complex in his church, whereby a multitude of scriptures were twisted and tortured to 'prove' his Borg culture. 'Speaking the same thing' and 'unity' are amongst the favorite scriptures used to that effect.

Ekklesia said...

We've seen a great deal of open mindedness in the cogs. What else could explain our ability to accept he's as an apostle, flurry transferring the "power" from the stone of scone to himself, ignoring the true obvious meaning of a verse for the minister's nonsense, paying unbiblical tithes to enrich some elite, etc. I'd say those and a hundred other things display our open mindedness to outlandish ideas. It seems like our brains did indeed fall out. But, little by little I'm picking up the grey matter

Ed said...

I know people who have left armstrongism and have latched onto mainstream Christianity who consider me to be bitter and angry simply because I question the existence of God. Being closed minded is not just a cultic state of mind but it is also very common in mainstream Christianity. It seems that there are so many people that actually fear critical thinking believing that it will open the door for Satan to destroy their faith and rob them of salvation. Somehow questioning is bad thing in their minds but really what harm is there to aggressive question everything you believe? If what you believe is the bedrock true it will be validated by your aggressive analisys. If what you believe is error you will be delivered from what may be some harmful belief. Its a "win-win"!

Anonymous said...

Most churches don't offer classes in open mindedness or critical thinking. Too dangerous to the tithe

Anonymous said...

"We've seen a great deal of open mindedness in the cogs. What else could explain our ability to accept he's as an apostle, flurry transferring the "power" from the stone of scone to himself, ignoring the true obvious meaning of a verse for the minister's nonsense, paying unbiblical tithes to enrich some elite, etc. I'd say those and a hundred other things display our open mindedness to outlandish ideas. It seems like our brains did indeed fall out. But, little by little I'm picking up the grey matter"


It's like the old Hanes Underwear commercials.

"They don't say Hanes until I say they say Hanes".

In the COG's it's...

"It's not the truth no matter how wacky weird and off the wall until I say it's the truth."

In the COG's, no one buys anything unless a minister says to buy it. Then, they buy it. No matter how defective the purchase.

Anonymous said...

Comment was made saying: "...One of the things I heard many times growing up in the church and at Ambassador, was to not be too open-minded because our brains would fall out. Being open-minded was opening the mind up to allow Satan to take over to deceive us..."

That is interesting, considering HWA's latest book, Mystery of the Ages (MOA), Chapter 2 covering the "MYSTERY OF ANGELS AND EVIL SPIRITS:" Mystery means secret. For example, you might think that Chapter 2 would definitely cover the following secrets/mysteries of those vile evil things:

Matt 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

2 Tim 2:26 “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Heb 2:14 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

James 4:5 “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?”

2 Peter 2:12 “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed...”

I John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil...”

I John 3:12 “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother...”

The Chapter 2 Scripture Index of MOA makes no mention of any of these verses, as though the mind were closed to them.

Without verses like these, and there are numerous others, it is easy for HWA and the WCG hirelings to believe that Satan is only some wimpy thing, without any ability to control, and can only influence people.

In a parable, Jesus Christ describes the hirelings and the "wimpy" wolf:

John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

It appears that the hirelings are really the wimpy ones. And the sheep are still in a scattered condition all over the world. Many people would like to somehow be back together, but the wimpy hirelings, controlled by the wolf, won't let that happen.

Satan was also described by Jesus as a thief (verse 10) that would come: "...to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..."

It has all been allowed, including open-minds...and closed-minds. Perhaps we all have some version of these minds to one degree or another, and hopefully a time will yet come when we all may enjoy some "good news" with "sound minds" and be part of one fold (verse 16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.").

But, time will tell...

John