“He Is Too Narrow!”
The observation is sometimes made about a preacher, elder, or teacher that he is “too narrow.” It is entirely possible, of course, that one may be “too narrow.” However, this is not so often the case as some may think. Some people are so broad that they are mighty shallow. Absence of conviction is often mistaken for broadness of mind. Some people think that they have to be broad in order to match their real or imaginary importance in the business or social world. Noah was a rather important man in his day, yet he preached and practiced that no one could be saved except those who entered the ark he was building (Gen. 6-7; Heb. 11:7). When the flood came, his “narrow” preaching was entirely vindicated. It was better to be “narrow” and be in the ark than to be broad and be drowned in the waters of the Flood. The word of God is the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12). Yet, have we considered the fact that it is the narrow edge that makes the cut? The word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. It must be “narrow” to penetrate and cut, “even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow” (Heb. 4:12). Roy L. Smith has had the following to say about “broad-mindedness” in religion; it is worth reading:
“The preacher is sometimes accused of being narrow-minded because he insists upon Christians forsaking all to follow Christ. But all of life is narrow, and success is to be found only by passing through the narrow gate and the straightened way (Matt. 7:13-14).
“There is no room for broad-mindedness in the chemical laboratory. Water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. The slightest deviation from that formula is forbidden.
“There is no room for broad-mindedness in music. There can only be eight notes in a measure. The skilled director will not permit his first violin to put in even so much as an extra thirty-second note.
“There is no room for broad-mindedness in the mathematics classroom. Neither geometry, calculus, nor trigonometry allows for any variation from exact accuracy, even for old time’s sake. The solution of the problem is either right or wrong — no tolerance there.
“There is no room for broad-mindedness in biology. One varying result out of a thousand experiments will invalidate an entire theory.
“There is no room for broad-mindedness on the athletic field. The game is played according to the rules, with no favors shown for charity’s sake.
“There is no room for broad-mindedness in the garage. The mechanic there says that the piston rings must fit the cylinder walls within one two-thousandths part of an inch. Even between friends, there cannot be any variation if the motor is to run smoothly.
“Seeing these things are true, how then shall we expect that broad-mindedness shall rule in the realm of religion and morals?”