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. : )

1 comment:

  1. I grew up with the idea that basically saying anything that went against our church was "adding or subtracting" from the Bible. It really stunted my theological growth in my early years. Now I'm an adult and I'm just now starting to figure out what it all means.