Christians, Do You Have "Blinders" On?

There is an interesting thread at Theology Web started by a Christian on the distinction between Christians who have "blinders on" and those with the "blinders off," and what this means. I like the distinction very much. Christian, which are you?


RSM said...

I read the thread. I did not read up on all the links. When I was a Christian no one ever explained to me about having blinders on. I didn't know that asking questions was bad. What I knew was that the church stated propositions that described reality in detail. This was a mistake because I could--and did--eventually check things out. People "out there" are not necessarily evil just because their women cut their hair and wear pants and preach.

Once that was firmly established in my mind Christians of all stripes lost their power over me. These fancy women tried telling me what was and was not true. But I would just look at their outward appearance and think, "Yeah, maybe, but my people condemn any woman who looks like you because you violate biblical command. If I reject their teaching, by what logic would I accept your pronouncement?" I just didn't, though I never had the courage to say that out loud. I guess I was not wearing blinders.

Back to your question, John--or what I assume your question to be: What happens when people take off blinders? OR Does removal of blinders of necessity lead out of Christianity?

Observation of my Christian profs suggests that it doesn't. However, there are points beyond which they refuse to go because they have chosen certain answers to certain questions.

Next question: Do Christians differ from non-religious professors in this? Again, my observation suggests they don't. The human brain is not capable of dealing with more than so much material or information. At some point, the person must make the decision that, "This comes about as close to the truth as I can expect to get. I will make this theory my guideline. I know there are many who disagree, and I know my theory is not fool-proof, but it's the best I can do for now. Until something major comes along to that proves my theory untenable, this will be my position."

In other words, the nonreligious prof has chosen certain answers to certain questions. Thus, at this point in time I believe there is probably no difference between religious and nonreligious people. They all choose their cut-off point beyond which they will not go.

This suggests that refusal to ask certain questions is not necessarily wearing blinders, though it can be. In my opinion, the acceptance or non-acceptance of scientific discoveries marks the blinders/no blinders Christians. The Christian professors I described here do accept and embrace scientific discoveries. They do not, however, appear to be leaving Christianity.

The student who raised that question on the TheologyWeb forum seems not yet to have found how to balance all of this. In my opinion, no satisfactory answer was given in the discussion so far.