The Expository Files

Fundamentalism is not a Bad Word  


First of all, I do not ever recall describing myself as a "fundamentalist." I suppose secularists would call me that though, because I believe that the Bible is the word of God. And I suppose that some "fundamentalists" would deny that I am one because I do not accept the false doctrine of premillenialism. Instead, I believe that Jesus will come again to take His people home to heaven. That's what I read in the Bible. I do not care much for all the speculation and fanciful theories pinpointing this year or next year or whatever year as being the time that Jesus comes again. We simply cannot know.

I much prefer the name "Christian" anyway. The word fundamentalism is a rather new invention in our language. I do not believe you can find it being used before this century. It is used to describe people who approach the Bible with the same respect as the vast majority of Americans did in the 1800's. At any rate, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Saviour of sinners. I believe that the Bible is the word of God. I believe that God is the Creator of the universe. I believe that Jesus was conceived by miracle, raised from the dead by miracle, and did many miracles in between. I believe that He is the supreme authority over His church. I believe that the world would be a much better place if everyone would follow His teachings. I believe that Christ is the only hope for those lost in sin and that there is no other path to salvation. If that makes me a fundamentalist, then I gladly declare myself guilty.

Who is the Troublemaker?
"And it came about that when Ahab saw Elijah that Ahab said to him, 'Is this you, you troubler of Israel?" (I KINGS 18:17). Of course, Ahab was as corrupt a man that ever ruled over Israel, perhaps only exceeded in his wickedness by his wife, Jezebel. This evil had led to many problems in Israel as its national strength was sapped away by greed, immorality and sin. Elijah had warned, preached and urged repentance, and so Ahab blames him for what had become a national disgrace. Sound familiar? It ought to; the same thing is happening in our own nation today!Ask the liberal what is causing our nation's problems today. Is it the deterioration of the family and its values? "Oh no! It couldn't be that!" Such an idea is held up to ridicule and when a vice president even suggests such he is mocked and scorned. No, the fault lies with the fundamentalists, doesn't it!

It's the fundamentalists who say we have a responsibility to instill values and morals in our children. We've got to get rid of this concept of moral right and wrong and personal responsibility. Its the fundamentalists who cry out that killing millions of babies each year is harming our attitude toward human life. Aren't all of them ready to load their guns and shoot abortion doctors (That is exactly what a liberal Washington columnist said!)?

And don't the fundamentalists cause aids by suggesting that abstinence ought to be practiced and oppose schools providing condoms?

And they want to pray even at school! Can't they see all the improvements we have made in our school systems since we got rid of prayer?

They call adultery, fornication and homosexual activity sins because they read that in the Bible. Those narrowminded bigots! They cause crime too. Look at Jim Jones and David Koresh. They are con men like Jim Baker or Jimmy Swaggert. Are not they all that way? Can't trust any of them!

They just want to impose their views on others. They don't want anyone to think for themselves. They don't want us to be free. They are the religious right or religious fanatics or religious radical fringe. They certainly are troubling our land by their moral stands and teaching.

The Real Troublemakers - Then and Now
"And he (Elijah) said, 'I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and you have followed the Baal." (I Kings 18:18). It was Ahab and those like him who had brought trouble to the land of Israel by forsaking their God and His commandments. That was the source of the multiplying pain and misery then, and it is today as well. How much of the harsh reality of the present would vanish if we returned to the higher moral ground from which we have fallen? Or even better, to surpass yesterday's attainments and try for higher still!

It is a false charge to suggest that Jones, Kadesh, Baker, Swaggert and company in any way represent lives patterned after the teachings of Jesus. How many children does Kadesh have by women other than his own wife? Many! How many children does Jesus allow a man to have by other women than his own wife in His teachings? None! Kadesh arms his people with guns but Jesus armed His with the truth of the gospel of peace, instructing them to love their enemies, do good unto all men and not to live by the sword.

Why I am not a Liberal
"For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools." (ROMANS 1:21,22). Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, describes here the source of the sorry state of human society in his day. The liberal minds of that day had declared that it didn't really matter what you believed about God (v. 23); that sin was a false concept (v. 24); that homosexuality was normal (v.26,27) and therefore society's order had crumbled to where unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, hating God, insolence, arrogance, pride so forth. This is why I am not a liberal. It has already been tried. It leads to a place I do not wish to go.

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 8.6; June 2001


 

 

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