Fundamentalism

When I think of fundamentalist Christians I think of persons that take all scripture in the Bible literally.

Literal translation of the Bible is taking the Word in the Bible as direct God breathed or what we call God inspired. From my dealings with fundamentalist Christians I find a lot of them read the King James Version of the Bible.

Fundamentalists when they read the Bible want to read it as if God is speaking to them directly. So if the Bible had a verse [it does not to my knowledge] “the ground is thirsty” the fundas [short for fundamentalists] may not read much in to it. The ground is thirsty would mean the ground is dry. This ground is thirsty is a figure of speech. There are many figures of speech through out the Bible as there are many metaphors and analogies in the Bible.

Literal is not to read too much in to what one reads not to cogitate. It is as if the fundas do not want to think they do not want to think about scripture. We have our in built senses and our senses convey information to our brain / soul. Brain / soul cogitates the information resulting in understanding, what we call perception. Fundas do not have to think about God; let God do all the thinking and Christians just obey scripture.

Bible scripture to fundas is inerrant. There is no error in scripture it is as if God is saying exactly what he said those many years ago when he said it. Does God speak in King James language – yes some might say. Fundas are attracted to the King James Bible.

Fundas think it is wise to think inside the parameters of what the Bible directly says. To think outside these parameters is getting in to human wisdom.

Fundamentalist Christians will distance themselves from any description of “religion”, because, they will argue, religion is a movement where Man tries to reach up to God through good works, irrespective of the particular brand of religion. True Christianity, on the other hand, is God reaching down to Man, wherein good works are meaningless. The Fundamentalist Christian is saved through the Grace of God, and unyielding belief in Him, and not through any works that he or she may do while on Earth.

Fundamentalist Christianity, is a movement that arose mainly within British and American Protestantism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among conservative evangelical Christians, who, in a reaction to liberal theology, actively asserted that the following ideas were fundamental to the Christian faith:

The inerrancy of the Bible,

Sola Scriptura,

The virgin birth of Christ,

The doctrine of substitution atonement,

The bodily resurrection of Jesus,

And the imminent personal return of Jesus Christ.

Substitution atonement, in other words, God attributed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and he, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve.

Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, “by scripture alone”) is the doctrine that the Bible is the only infallible and inerrant authority for Christian faith, and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.

I have found fundas really controlling; controlling me and others in their sphere of thought. It is as if fundas are not controlled themselves. To compensate for their lack of self control they control others. Fundas want others to do and think what they say. Fundas love controlling other people they get excitement from it. A true leader to me is one that does not control other people but is a person of good self control them self. A true leader teaches his subjects. A true leader does not need to control because by the leaders self control the true leader keeps order.

Fundas are really modern conservatives. Fundas want to conserve the original fundamental teachings of the church. Schisms are a rule of the church over the centuries. What was once a conservative fundamental church can over time turn in to a luke warm liberal church. Over the generations of Christians the church has splintered and now we get the fringe churches the ones that are like the fringe of a gigantic metaphoric tree.

Salvation: I think salvation can be by faith and belief alone but I see no problem with our faith expressing itself in good works. Good works is a sign to the world of our good faith. Do not put a lighted lamp under a bushel but put it in a place so it can light up a large area. When people see the light they will see the good works we do.

I do not believe that a Christian has to speak in tongues to be saved. Tongues are a spiritual gift mentioned in the new testament of the Bible.

The words “born again” are just another expression of a person that has accepted Christ Jesus as Lord of their life and means they are saved. The church in the past spoke about “conversion of the soul”. Born again and conversion of the soul to me mean the same.

There would be a lot of Christians who say they believe in the main fundamental beliefs mentioned [Also above] in the Bible but these people will say they are not fundamentalists. Fundamentalism to a lot of people is dangerous because people see it as been extreme, “over the top” and not stable. Fundas tend towards extreme conservatism. Is that good or bad?

I opened this homily at the beginning with writings saying that fundamentalism in the Christian arena is based on a literal understanding of the Bible. The Bible has had many versions printed but the true essence of the Christian Bible remains. Literal can be good in places and can be bad in places. We can in been too liberal throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to read the Bible both literally and liberally. There are two sides to a coin but the one coin. But it takes a very sinless wise person to know all that God is saying. Alas no person can put their hand up to say “I am wise and sinless”. Jesus [God; Son of God] was the only non sinner human that has walked this earth. In the mean time the church must trudge on the best way it can.

We must remember as a church that there is only one body of Jesus Christ and we must try and keep our consciences right with each other and with God. Been wise is been healthy.

In response to this homily:

The fundamentalist person will pray and pray and pray maybe also in tongues for my salvation. They may spend much time praying and maybe praying with others. They probably will see me as needing salvation. This praying will irk me for a while until it leaves me [Get out of my hair or get out of my head]. Sorry if I have offended.

The traditional conservative person will pray but not much. This person might see the good sense.

The non believer will probably not understand my writings.

Kind regards; Lester John Murray.

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