I’ve heard all I need to hear from Joel Osteen and SNL to know I don’t need to hear anything else from them. They offer nothing of benefit to me. It’s wasted time and brain space to hear them out any more than I have. None of us are so open-minded that we don’t ignore somebody’s message.
That shouldn’t be controversial—maybe it isn’t—but it’s the opposite of having an open mind and open-mindedness is a fruit of the world’s spirit of acceptance.
I listened to an Osteen sermon once and it confirmed all I had ever heard of him. He taught me God promises me material success and health. But even Jesus didn’t have these so I’m not going to take that to the bank. He and I don’t read the same Bible. Ours aren’t even different translations; we read different books. I won’t glean any new insights from Osteen so I’m not going to listen to another sermon.
It used to be that when I was uber-bored or wanted to puff myself up, I’d make a game of trying not to laugh while watching SNL. It has bad actors, the humor is in how many cuss words they can say, and the satire is only straw-manning their political opponents. I was the reigning champion of that game I made because the show is so unfunny. But in my victories, I got bored—and honest—and saw that I was putting myself in an echo chamber. To watch their political skits didn’t even give me a greater understanding of how Democrats think; there was no reason for me to watch it.
But if a trusted source were to tell me that Osteen repented or SNL went red, I would hear them out once more. But “trusted source” is funny because Osteen, and SNL too, might be a trusted source for somebody while my trusted sources are what that someone has heard enough from. You see?
It’s right that we ignore certain people because (1) we can’t hear every opinion and (2) we won’t agree with every opinion, though we may say we are open to their suggestions.
Ask yourself the following question I heard on a podcast. I did and added Richard Rohr to my list. Who is someone you’d say you’ve heard enough of to know everything you need to know about them?
– Scot Bellavia