Friday, August 28, 2009

State of the Fundamentalist (Part 1)

This is going to be a very long, drawn out process. I've been doing preliminary research for over a week, and, since I don't want to disappoint, I'm going to start by making some general observations.

I was driving into work the same way that I always come into work, and I passed by the campus of my alma mater. I remember sitting in the chapel services every Monday-Thursday, going to Sunday morning worship, and hearing about the "Fundamentalist" position staked out by my school.

Now that I am out of the school, I am seeing that taking hard and fast stances on issues is not the easy thing that the school makes it out to be. That is the first part of the "State of Fundamentalism" that we will tackle - its hard and fast positions on matters of theological/social importance.

I am not trained as a theologian; I don't have the necessary background available to effectively hash out different theological perspectives. All I know is that I am a Bible-beliving Christian, and in reading my Bible, I must come to grips with a great truth: God is completely and TOTALLY in control over everything. There is nothing that I can do to get saved, only God can save. This statement alone would cause me great trouble in certain areas of Fundamentalism. Many preachers in the movement would say that there is a necessity for balance (God's will/man's choice), but to add any element of man's CHOICE working out his salvation introduces works. Without even attempting to answer this, the Fundamentalist pastor waves it away, without a second look, but without addressing this issue. We will continue to have people shouted down aisles, told that they need to "choose Christ" without fully understanding and appreciating the need of a proper understanding of salvation.
Another theological "hotbed" of Fundamentalism is eschatology. Most Funds are pre-trib, pre-mill. Some, with the same biblical conviction, are not. Those who are not run the risk of ridicule, or downright contempt if they attempt to hold any other position. I remember once, at my parent's old church, the preacher for a Sunday School message stating that the "only eschatology taught in Scripture is a pre-trib, pre-mill position, and if anyone else teaches anything different, they are adding to the gospel." What an incredible statement! I believe that a pre-trib, pre-mill position best explains the end times, but I would NEVER say it's the only biblical possibility.

This attitude among many (not all) Funds leads me to the next point in our state of the Funds: their perceived moral superiority.... which I will cover later. Much longer post that I wanted to use, but FWIW. : )

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another website - It's very funny.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Testing out mobile blogging - i dont know how much ill use it but we will see!
- Brandon

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm doing some preliminary research.... and I am stunned at what I am seeing. I am doing some reading on Fundamentalism at the school I attended - reading some blogs and such - and I am just floored by some of the things that still are happening - and why, even now, I am convinced that the school is part of the very real and dangerous problems in modern Fundamentalism. I will explain more - I was just stunned. I was really impressed with one blog in particular - it will be added later today. I never met these people while I was at the school, but I wish I did. : )


One of the big things that you will find here on this blog is the critique and analysis of modern Fundamentalism. I attended a "Fundamentalist" school, grew up in a "Fundamentalist" church, and basically that is all I ever heard about. As I have gotten older, and especially after I finished my graduate degree in history ed, I have had a much greater fascination with Fundamentalist history. Later this week, I will post a "state of the Fundamentalist" post, and in it describe the fracturing of the Fundamentalist movement that I see. Probably within the next week (or two - as time permits), I will then post my opinion of the "future of the Fundamentalist" and what it means for evangelical Christianity. Stay tuned....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Should we drink, or not, to that?

When I type the word “wine” into my bible search engine (courtesy of, I get 233 results (using the KJV search). Everything from the proverbial - “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” - Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 21:17 - “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich”, to the very sweet: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.” (Song of Solomon 1:2) There is also the miraculous (John 2), to the practical suggestion that Paul gave to young Timothy, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” (I Tim 5:23). From health tips to unspeakable sins, wine is mentioned throughout the Bible. The question is simply this: is it wrong to partake?

Where I work, there are many people who do not feel it is wrong to drink. Even at my church, I know there are some who do not feel it is wrong to drink. I am specifically thinking of one person who says there is not a problem, provided you do not become drunk. Where does one draw the line on a controversial issue in modern Christianity?
I really don’t like topical issues, because I think there is more to life and more to Christianity than trying to nail down specific topics. I do think, though, it is very important to set down some points in advance.

1. Does the activity bring me closer to God, and bring Him glory?
2. Does the activity encourage my friends/family and reflect God in my life for them to see?
3. Does the Bible specifically prohibit the activity?

Once we set the points down, then we can look at the activity, which in this case, is the consumption of alcohol.

1. Does the activity bring me closer to God, and bring Him glory? If we were to look at this question, the answer would probably be… I don’t know. Is it possible for two Christians to have a glass of wine with dinner and have God-honoring conversation? Sure. We’ll come back to this later.
2. Does the activity encourage my friends/family and reflect God in my life for them to see? Again, the best answer is I don’t know. I don’t drink, so my life experience is limited. We’ll come back to this later as well.
3. Does the Bible specifically prohibit the activity? Now we’re getting somewhere. If we are treating the information in the Bible fairly and accurately, the answer is no. Wine is mentioned in the Bible, and people (including Jesus) drank some variation or form of wine. Paul recommended it to Timothy. So, if the people in the Bible did it, it must be okay for Bible-believing Christians, right? RIGHT?

Maybe not. Let’s reexamine questions 1 and 2 with some modern context, and let’s add one more question: What is the purpose of drinking alcohol today?
I think if we were all absolutely honest, the main purpose of alcohol today is to get people drunk. There are such high contents of alcohol in beer, wine, spirits, etc., that one cannot make any other conclusion. Wanna forget about a tough day? Have a couple of drinks; you’ll forget the day. Wanna celebrate? Have a couple of glasses. The advertising, the whole gearing of alcohol sales is to have a good time partying, and generally doing things that wouldn’t honor the Lord Jesus Christ. I haven’t seen any beer commercials in churches recently. : )
So, let’s go back and answer 1 and 2 with the context.
Does the activity bring me closer to God and bring him glory? Probably not.
Does the activity encourage my friends/family and reflect God in my life for them to see? Probably not.

It is my opinion that it is not prudent for Christians to drink. Is it wrong? That is for that Christian to decide – each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. (Romans 14:5) Would I separate or not fellowship? Absolutely not! It is not that big to me in light of eternity.

There is a message that has been very helpful from my pastor in this regard – I’ll link to it so that you can hear it; it’s called “The Beverage Use of Alcohol”.

It is sad that some people make too big of a deal out of this, but at the same time, as Christians, we should be showing Christ in all that we do, even in this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Shameless Plug

For those of you who know me from church, you will see a guy author a post or two, or make a comment on stories named Aaron Butner. He works with me, and he is a clever man with great insights - he has a blog with his name - you can link to it in my favorite blogs list.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Care

My wife and I were talking tonight - and I love what we came to agree on in the health care discussion - after telling her about the angry meetings I saw on the internet today she looked at me and said, "Romans 13." She gets it right; my feelings about health care are irrelevant. My focus should be, "How can I be a better testimony for Christ? By being respectful to my elected officials." If I disagree, I'll vote them out. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I know that my friends like to discuss issues - I want this to be a place where we can do that very freely - but I want to know what you guys want to talk about. So... what would you like to talk about?

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is a bit of an experiment on my part. I'm hoping to have many different people come and blog here from time to time, but I would like to explain the title.
I live in Greenville, and the school I attended is sometimes referred to as "the bubble". I like to think that I am capable of making my own choices and decisions, especially when it comes to following God and Jesus Christ. That thinking makes me chafe against the school's bubble, which, I guess, makes me an insurgent.
I hope that you will find this blog helpful (and we will see) and I look forward to hear from you guys!