Christians and or Christianity has sometimes been called, “narrow-minded” or that it is “not open to other ideas” and these charges are true. In all fairness, the charges (of those sorts) are true I have to give them that. It is not open to a lot of ideas, changes, or even modifications. While there are some things to keep in mind about changes (we’ll touch on that in a moment) we should first address why Christianity is so “narrow.”
To begin with it is narrow because that’s what Jesus said it is. In Matthew 7:13 Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.” That one is pretty self-explanatory but just in case…. Jesus is saying there is an easy way and a hard way in life. The hard way is to accept Him, His teachings, and most importantly, trust in His atoning death and subsequent resurrection. The easy way is to do nothing. It is hard to trust and follow Jesus sometimes. There are times when you want to go your own way and do you own thing but to trust in the Messiah is hard at times. It requires you to fall back and remember what you once knew or what you cannot see.
Another example of why it is hard is because there is no room for additions to the Gospel. Paul said in Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!” Again this one is pretty harsh and straight shooting. The Galatians were dealing with some legalist coming in and trying to tell them that they first needed to become Jews then they could be saved. That is like saying you cannot go to church until you clean up your act which we all know is malarky. Paul was so mad about this he wrote a whole letter (or book) to fight against this idea. There is nothing you can do to add to your salvation and nothing you can do to improve it either. It is what it is and it is finished! Jesus did all the work you just trust in Him (see above).
Christianity is hard because there can be only one way to God and that is the way He tells you to go. Jesus is not a way but the way (pay attention to the articles “a” and ”the”).
So what the other idea of changing with the times? There are some things that need to be looked at here. Remember that the Bible and the books that make it up were written thousands of years ago so the times have changed. Right? Well yes and no. Times have changed and situations have changed, but the issues remain. Sin is still bad, love and obedience to God are still good. When you read the Bible look for the principle in the original situation and then apply that to your situation. If you cannot understand the original situation then find resources. There are thousands of them. Email me if you need to I am happy to help you find out what was going on and put things in context (firstname.lastname@example.org). The point remains, Jesus is the way to the Father because He came from the Father to speak the Father’s words. That does not change.
Remember the Bible is 66 separate books that make up a larger book.
One last word. Taking one book, story, or verse and making it the focus is like taking a section from Lord of the Rings and saying the series is about a guy named Sauron who rules middle earth. Or taking Harry Potter and making it about a mean teacher who didn’t like Harry. No, you read the whole book and put it in context. Context of when it was written, who it was originally written to, and how these people wrote. You cannot judge history by any other standard than the standard that was used at the time. That includes events and the recording of events. We should not read into the Bible our thoughts and ideas but read the Bible and get thoughts and ideas. Did you know canon (as in Biblical Canon) means reed, measuring stick, or criterion by which something is judged? As Christians we are to let the Bible judge us.
Don’t exclude what or who Jesus Included!
Ok, one more last word. Because Christianity is a narrow way does not mean you get to be a um well how about we go with meany. Jesus is the one who made it narrow (I am the way the truth and the light), but is also the one who invited everyone including a thief dying on a cross, a prostitute, a tax collector, a host of other sinners, and me to come to Him. If I could sum up the message of the Gospel in a sentence or two. You cannot earn or make your way to God. He came in the flesh died on a cross, rose again three days later, and makes you clean so you can come. You just have to accept that God loves you that much and that is a hard thing to do.
Just a thought,