I wrote in a previous post about diversity in the church and how we have a hard time being accepting of different kinds of people. I think that sometimes this concept can get a little confused. So I would like to offer a clarification. True diversity in the church, and true tolerance, is about people, not ideas.
We are to love people. Love them like crazy. We all know that the Bible commands us to do this. It commands us to treat others like we would want to be treated. We know. We don't always do it. And we don't always understand it completely. But we understand.
We are not to love all ideas.
All people are valuable. They are created equal. But ideas are not the same way. We should not be accepting of all ideas. Some are not valuable. Some are not worth our time. Some should be thrown out.
Some churches, in their zeal to eliminate the stereotype of Christians being intolerant and hating people not like them, have made a huge mistake. They've confused accepting people with accepting ideas.
You don't have to agree with someone to love them. You don't have to accept what the person believes to accept the person. The person and their ideas are not identical.
Accepting all ideas as equal is in fact a very dangerous thing. The Bible makes it clear that we are not to do that. We are to demolish ideas that are contrary to God's Word. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
G.K. Chesterton said that "The point of an open mind, like an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
We need to make sure that our ideas are solid. And to be solid, you have to throw the bad ones out.
But let me make something clear. I am not saying that we can't discuss different ideas, and have a friendly debate about them. Debate is necessary to really know what solid is.
All people should be accepted and loved. But this is not the same with all ideas. Some ideas are stupid, and we should throw them out.
Question to think about and discuss:
What do you think it means to have an open mind?