A Myth about Fundamentalists

Written by Drew on July 29th, 2009

Somehow liberals have managed to cast fundamentalists as hard-hearted, self-righteous, unforgiving hypocrites, who are interested only in foisting their repressive, life-numbing doctrine on an unsuspecting public.  This distortion has been so effective that all a person has to do is bark fundamentalist and people will run from convention as if it had the plague.

Maybe it’s time to revisit the meaning of “fundamental.”  Something is “fundamental” when it is basic or essential to the overall structure it helps to construct.  Remove just one of these fundamentals, and it is like knocking a load-bearing wall out of a house–the entire building collapses.

Take Christianity, for example.  Most would agree that the cross is a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith, for without it Christianity is no longer Christianity.  You cannot have redemption in Christ if he did not die for the sins of mankind.

What about forgiveness?  We’re told to beware of Christian fundamentalists, because they hold others to standards they would not even expect of themselves.  Some would have us believe that in fighting the Pharisees, somehow Christ’s movement spawned millions more.  But numerous times Christianity’s founders reiterated the importance of forgiving others and acknowledging that none of us is perfect.

  • “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).
  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
  • “For we all stumble in many ways” (Jas. 3:2).
  • “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt. 6:14-15).
  • “I do not say to you [‘forgive’] seven times, but seventy times seven” (Mt. 18:22).
  • “Pay attention to yourselves!  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent’, you must forgive him” (Lk. 17:3-4).

You must forgive him. Christianity stands or falls on forgiveness.  It is essential.  Christ and his apostles made it non-negotiable.  If you don’t forgive, you will not be forgiven by the Father in heaven.

The real problem that the world has with fundamentalists is that we won’t bend the rules just because we may fail to live up to them.  We insist that there’s nothing wrong with the rules; we are the problem.  Fundamentalists seek to bend hearts, not God’s commands.  Meanwhile, the liberals and secularists poke their fingers at our chests, saying we can’t take a stand on morality, which in turn establishes a new morality based on culture and tolerance.  In so doing, they make God on their own image.  Now who is being self-righteous?

In my time as a gospel preacher, I have seen countless victims of heartless abuses forgive those who have wronged them and move on.  They did it because of their faith.  They know that at the heart of Christianity is the requirement to forgive, and they understand that nobody’s perfect and that they have themselves committed sin.  This is the true face of Christianity. And as long as the fundamentals of the New Testament are taught and practiced, forgiveness will continue.

As for the critics who misrepresent my faith as heartless and cruel, I forgive them.

 

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Roger says:

    Great post..thanks.

  2. Barton says:

    “Fundamentalist” is just another word that has been twisted by those who like to argue. You’ll find that in all of the heated arguments, much of vocabulary consists of words that, in the truest form, aren’t bad. Unfortunately, the words are tainted and become labels by those who accuse and point fingers.

  3. sekanblogger says:

    Not only has the word fundamentalist been twisted, so has the word LIBERAL.
    I don’t care to argue, so I don’t label people, if I can help it.
    When I meet intolerant christians, I believe thay are just that!

    AS Christians, loving tolerance should always be our attitude1

  4. QFDaniel says:

    Actually,good post. thx

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