What is Fundamentalism?

16 10 2008

Many people claim to be Fundamentalists, but the majority don’t fully know what it means.  Here’s a great definition taken from “Pursuit of Purity” by David O. Beale.

Fundamentalism means giving time, talent, and money for the defense of the Faith.  Fundamentalism means subjecting oneself to scorn, criticism, heartache, and rejection for sound doctrine and a position untainted by worldly and ecclesiastical inclusivism.  Fundamentalism means both separation from liberals and from brethren who “walk disorderly, and not of the tradition” of our founding fathers.  Fundamentalism means watching what we believe, going down to defeat, and rising up to start all over again.

There’s a lot more that could be said for every word of that paragraph, but suffice to say that Fundamentalism is more than what kind of church service you have, what standards you set, or what the name of your church is.  It’s about taking a militant stand behind the fundamentals of the Scripture and fighting tooth and nail for them.

Fundamentalism wasn’t started as a separation from the world but from those who proclaimed to be Christians but held a lesser view of the Scriptures.  Fundamentalism at it’s core was intended to find the bare minimal essentials needed to fellowship so that there could be fellowship with as many believers in as many denominations as possible (that is implying that Baptists and Fundamentalists are not synonymous).

Instead, we see the typical Fundamentalist church today, isolated from other denominations and even churches within their own denomination.  The focus no longer is on how close can we get to someone else without having to separate, but how far can we can get from everyone; and they rest in the comfort of their reclusiveness. 

My generation is fed up with this philosophy, but unfortunately, they remain as ignorant as everyone else.  My generation views Fundamentalism as a church that wears suits, listens to traditional music, and has all these legalistic standards.  So what do they do, they reject Fundamentalism all together, but they don’t realize that Fundamentalism doesn’t having anything to do with those things mentioned above. 

A person can openly claim to be a die-hard Fundamentalist and be the pastor of a church that wears shorts and flip-flops on Sunday, worships with contemporary music, and even has a drink now and then.  A true Fundamentalist holds to 5 pillars: the total inerrancy of the Scriptures, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the deity of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and salvation by faith alone through the death, burial, and resurrection of the incarnate Jesus Christ.

These 5 things must be our battle cry, and they should be used primarily as a means of fellowship and second as a means of separation.  This is something that all generations must grasp the concept of before more young people keep running away from something they have a false view of.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with  one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospe.  Philippians 1:27



One response

17 10 2008

You echo my thoughts when we went down to T4G in April… here, here, and here.

Striving unified for the faith of Christ… not the excess of a subculture. Amen, Dazzo.

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