In my article titled Partaking Of Christ's Sufferings, I briefly mentioned that those who stand for the truth are sometimes bitterly scorned as fundamentalists. There are others who do not necessarily show contempt for those who stand for the truth, but they still show an impolite disregard for much of what they have to say. These are issues which have been on my heart for a while, and they are issues which I would like to address in this article.
First, I would like to point out that the "bitterness towards fundamentalists" mindset is sometimes partly derived from an ignorance of what a fundamentalist actually is, but this is really quite simple: If we go by the fundamentals of math, then we are a fundamentalist when it comes to math. And likewise, if we go by the fundamentals of Christianity, then we are a Christian fundamentalist. So common sense would tell us that every true Christian is a fundamentalist.
A fundamentalist can be a bad thing or a good thing depending on what fundamentals we go by. For example, if someone is a Satanist fundamentalist (i.e., one who follows the fundamentals of Satanism), this would be a bad thing. But if someone is a Christian fundamentalist (i.e., one who follows the fundamentals of Christianity), this would be a good thing.
There are many who believe that they are following Jesus while denying His most important teachings...but they are still fundamentalists. The only difference is that they are following the fundamentals of "another Jesus" (2 Corinthians 11:4).
About a year ago, I was attempting to reason with an individual that I know who seems to be very deceived as the result of a so-called "open-minded" attitude which is so typical among those who are on the broad way that "leads to destruction" (Matthew 7:13).
This person did not give a very reasonable response to my reasoning, and she seemed to disregard much of what I wrote to her...but she did write "I am certainly not a fundamentalist". She also stated that she "believes that the Bible is true, but that some people use it for self serving-purposes".
My response to her was this: "I agree that the Bible is used for self-serving purposes, but that is the whole point of going by the fundamentals of it. It can only be used for self-serving purposes if we do not accept what it says or if we twist what it says. As long we are not doing that, then we are going by the fundamentals of it. So I guess I don't understand your definition of a fundamentalist. Maybe you could explain".
After I wrote this, she did not reply to my e-mail. This seems very typical, and I find it very troubling that many professing Christians simply refuse to have a reasonable discussion about such simple matters as this. Was this individual just simply avoiding correction? I will let God decide that, but I just want to give people something to think about, because I have seen cases similar to this many times. I think everyone understands that it's reasonable to go by the fundamentals of math. For example, we understand that 2+2=4, even if we really, really want it to be 5 (*wink*), so it is rather odd that most people would rather reject the fundamentals when it comes to that which is most important: Our eternal destiny. More often then not, unreasonableness seems to be preferred when the subject is of a spiritual nature.
In stark contrast to the plain words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, there are also some who claim that doctrine is not important - but they themselves are also believing a doctrine - the only difference is that they are believing a false doctrine. A doctrine is simply something that is taught. So whether you teach that doctrine is important or that it is not important, you are still teaching a doctrine. You can't get around this: If you are going to teach, then you will be teaching a doctrine. All I ask is that you be sure that it is not a false doctrine. Frankly, I really don't think that is too much to ask.
There are also some who will tell you that there is no absolute truth, and there are some who will give you the impression that we cannot know truth. But if you hang out with them long enough, you may find that they do indeed have a "truth" of their own which they want you to follow. They may say that there is no absolute truth, but if they absolutely believe that, then that is their absolute "truth". If they do not absolutely believe that, then I suggest that they find a truth that is based on solid factual evidence that they can be sure of if they expect any reasonable person to take them seriously.
As for those who deny that truth can be known, they also have a "truth" of their own which they obviously want others to follow. They may say that we cannot know truth, yet those who try to correct them are labeled as "negative" and "divisive" for daring to question their "truth". Are people blind to this hypocrisy? Or are they just playing games with words? Perhaps it could be both. But either way, this is obviously a very hypocritical position, and I have addressed these issues in more detail in my article titled Philosophy vs. Christ.
Some of those who have lovingly tried to bring correction have also heard the words "judge not lest you be judged" repeated to them. But, as I explained in my article titled "Judge Not Lest You Be Judged" - those who do this are also judging - seemingly without even realizing it. They have judged someone as being wrong simply because they are trying to bring correction.
In fact, Jesus did not say that we should not judge at all, but He plainly said "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). May God guide us to do so rather than making pre-judgments, or using the words "judge not lest you be judged" in order to avoid correction.
I wrote this article because there is a great need for correction today, and since we were all born with the same human carnal nature, we all have a natural tendency to avoid correction. We don't like to believe that we are the ones who are wrong. All of the mindsets that I have addressed in this article seem to have one thing in common: They all seem to be attempts to avoid correction. And I am only trying to get people to examine whether they are attempts to avoid correction or not. I know that I have avoided correction many times, so I am not claiming to be any better than anyone else, but I am just trying to give people something to seriously think about for their own good.
As in my article titled Do You Have a Love for the Truth, I am just trying to get people to examine whether they truly have a love for the truth, or if they simply want to believe that something else is the truth. Do you really want to go to the Bible as a book that will correct you? Or do you just want to impose your own will on the Bible? Please think seriously and honestly about that.
As I have said in my article titled Philosophy vs. Christ, it is far better to face the facts honestly right now rather than regret them forever! I have written this article in hope that people will not experience eternal regret....but those who do will have no one to blame but themselves.
Should Christians Argue?
"Am I A Fundamentalist?" By Dave Hunt
"Are We Fundamentalists?", by Peter Masters
TBC Notes: Back to the Fundamentals
The Importance of Fundamentalism - Part one, by T.A. McMahon
The Importance of Fundamentalism - Part two, by T.A. McMahon
Playing the Pharisee Card
20 Amusing Self-Destructing Phrases That Commit Suicide
Do Warnings Make You Cringe and Turn on Your Mental Auto-block?
Truth vs. Uncertainty
Yes, Jesus Did Care about Correct Doctrine, and So Should We
The Importance of Biblical Doctrine (Radio Interview With Gary Gilley)
The Intolerance of Tolerance, by Don Carson (You Tube Video)
The irony of the new tolerance
When Tolerance is a One Way Street, by David Fiorazo
Unwittingly Proving The Bible to be True
Fundamentalism & Postmodernism
Are You Spiritual But Not Religious?
Personal Being or Silly Putty God?
What About God's Truth?
WHAT IS SALVATION?
BACK TO MY HOMEPAGE