Ok, then, I'm a Fundamentalist
The Enemy of the 21st Century and the New Church Order
By Scott MacIntyre
Article Courtesy of Wood & Steel Ministries
There it is…the new "f" word representing all that is terrible and wrong within the church. It's Fundamentalism. Just saying the word in the New Church Order* in America today is probably far worse than blurting out the old "f" word…which they might tolerate much better.
In an e-mail recently received from Deborah Dombrowski's Lighthouse Trails Research Project, I was discouraged to see Rick Warren criticizing 'fundamentalism' again. The quote from the Philadelphia Enquirer article reads as follows:
"Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century.' "Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.'"1
Seems that Rick Warren is peddling a bit of fear himself. Just what does
he need to fear from Christian fundamentalism? Why does he feel the need to
identify Muslim fundamentalism with Christian fundamentalism? They are not the
same. Far more than mere implication,
This is not the first time that Rick Warren has addressed Christian fundamentalists…
"Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left; I don't know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren't that many Fundamentalists left in America." 2
If so few Christian fundamentalists exist, how can they possibly be
viewed as one of the biggest enemies of the 21st century?
With an almost unlimited repertoire of quips and anecdotes,
"The New Testament says the church is the body of Christ, but for the last 100 years, the hands and feet have been amputated, and the church has just been a mouth. And mostly, it's been known for what it's against,"
What an interesting comment from a man who has been so outspoken against many aspects of the traditional church. He's criticized other people's methods of evangelism, their music, and now fundamentalism. In other words, it's okay for Rick Warren to be critical of the church, but not for the church to be critical of the world. Hello? There must be privileges to being '
Being a fundamentalist has become as negative as being a Nazi. And those who call themselves 'fundamentalists' are seemingly deemed as evil as Hitler. This is unfortunate. The whole Christian fundamentalist movement was a call for the church to return to sound doctrine and away from liberalism. The landscape is littered with benign liberal churches, which having claimed some form of godliness, ultimately denied its power.
It is true that some elements of Christian fundamentalism took on certain characteristics of conservative style that were regarded as vigorously as conservative doctrine. When I was younger, fundamentalists looked all the world like Ward Cleaver characters, with baggy slacks hiked up to their armpits, a white shirt, and a tie. Hair style was the standard white sidewall cut, with absolutely no facial hair. They sang only hymns and tolerated classical music. The King James 1611 was the only Bible, and all other churches were suspect. The sign on their church could easily have read, "KJV 1611, Soul-Winning, & Separated".
Moving beyond the mere bathwater of style, one can discover that true
fundamentalism is far deeper than what many interpret
it to be, or what some have made it. A passion for biblical integrity is far
more important than the trappings that have traditionally encased the
fundamentalist image. And it is on this level that I have deep concerns over
Rick Warren's comments. From
It is difficult to believe that it is only the small number of
fundamentalist-styled churches that invokes fear within those who are
recreating church. Could it be that the Word of God itself is a threat to the
aspirations of those who would recreate the church to their own designs, and
therefore must label and marginalize the Bereans who want to compare those designs to the
truth of Scripture? I think there's a larger group of people who have awakened
by the leading of God to stand up and proclaim the sufficiency of Scripture. In
reality, if there's a threat, it is the truth of the Bible. And I look for
When we were emancipated from a purpose driven church three years ago, the pastor referred to me as becoming a fundamentalist, and leaving to attend a fundamentalist church. Hmmm…Calvary Chapel was not my idea of a fundamentalist church. You know, longer hair, contemporary music, New King James, and all. His comment confused me at the time, for nothing in me resembled a short-haired, "1611 KJV" kind of guy. I even have a beard. But it all makes more sense to me now...I needed to be marginalized. It's all part of the process of eliminating any threats to the status quo of the Purpose Driven system, so it can thrive on center stage.
Those of the New Church Order must create some distance between
themselves and those of us who are 'peskily' going about comparing new church
doctrine with what the Bible says. And perhaps the most efficient way, though
not Biblical by any stretch, is to label those of us who are toting a Bible as
dangerous Fundamentalists, thereby taking advantage of the public disposition
against other types of fundamentalism rampant in our world today. As the New
Church Order is being sold to
It is reminiscent of the political landscape. Yesterday's liberal is today's 'centrist'. Yesterday's conservative is today's 'whacko'. In the New Church Order, yesterday's teacher of the Bible is today's 'fundamentalist', complete with all the negative aspects of public opinion they can muster. And the implication to 'whacko' is not far behind.
So I guess I'm a fundamentalist...at least in the technical sense of the word, as it relates to reclaiming the fundamentals of the faith as taught in Scripture. In all honesty, I'd rather be thought of as a good Berean. Turn the light of Scripture on, and let the scurrying begin.