Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why I am fundamental in my beliefs.

Dr. Bauder said, "Moreover—and this is the crux of the matter—fundamentalists insist that no Christian fellowship can exist or should be pretended with people who deny the gospel.[1]"  This is a key to where I stand.

Many have been stung by a fundamentalism which WAS very wrong in its approach.  I appreciate that. Many have felt a legalism which was a lazy response to real and valid questions men have. In addition, some separation happens that really cannot be Biblically maintained.  Yet, do abuses within a movement invalidate it? Separation, because of the gospel truth IS a right separation. 

If a man claiming to be a Christian, or a Denomination or Church claiming to be orthodox, but not holding to those doctrines which are essential to orthodoxy, we ought not give that one any credibility. 

Of course this now brings into the whole discussion - what are those fundamentals of the faith?  We can discuss this matter.  At least I think we should.  Not that we seek to 'argue them into the kingdom' but that we do get them thinking rightly.  For not all those who believe wrongly are essentially wrong, and in a hardened state.  We should, for their sake, contend earnestly. 

There are those within my own Church body who I think are a bit narrow in their associational viewpoint.  I admit this freely.  But are they MORE wrong, than those who are too broad (New Evangelicals) in the same?  This is the fallacy I think many make.  Many respond to a fundamentalist upbringing or experience which had aspects of these errors, by repudiating the whole of it. 

Let me ask a question. It certainly wasn't outside of the will of God for bad experiences to have existed, was it?  Have we not all grown a bit for the striving? We need to remember the great hand of our Sovereign God is not held down for error on either side.  New Evangelicalism does have good to teach us, but so does Fundamentalism.  What I am concerned is that we abandon the right intent of those early fundamentalists, due to the error of those reactionaries in the 40s - and 50s.  We can't let the devil divide us like this. Then we perpetuate error.

I suppose I could cease to use the term fundamentalist to describe me, however, I certainly do not fit in with the larger evangelical group. 

I oppose much, for example, of the CCM movement, and rock bands in Church.  Not that an instrument is evil of itself, but the way they are played is often to drive the emotional state of people to an ecstatic non-thinking state.  We should never seek to move the will of a person apart from doctrinal teaching.  If the heart of a man is moved by the music, he often has no content to cling to and a decision is made which has little root.  If we move the heart of a man by affecting it by the message of the gospel, doctrinally we do him much good, for now he has that with which to hang his hat! 

I like the term fundamentalist, because, though someone may get a wrong idea as to what I personally hold, I know where they might think I am wrong, and I can respond.  It's easier to respond to the negatives at times than to develop a whole list of positives on which I stand. 

For example, many fundies are KJV Only.  I am not (nor is my Church).  I do respect it greatly.  It alongside my NKJV are my 2 primary bibles.  I also like the ESV, the HCSB, and at times the good old NASB.  I can define my Christianity within fundamentalism easier than within Evangelicalism.  It is closer to where I stand.

[1] Bauder, Dr. Kevin. A Fundamentalism Worth Saving. An Address delivered to the American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries. 2005

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