And now..below is the “comment” I received in italics, and my response follows, paragraph by paragraph.
“I disagree with the notion that the Bible is about to be made illegal in the United States. This is ridiculous hysteria. Jesus said that Heaven and Earth would pass away, but his words would not pass away.”
Just because Jesus said that His words would not pass away does not mean that they might not be banned. The words would still exist, would they not? They would simply be removed, perhaps bibles might be destroyed, or hidden from view.
You can disagree with this all you like; it’s a matter of personal opinion. Stating that the fear of the bible being banned is “ridiculous hysteria” is pure speculation that is no more valid than my own opinion and feelings that governing powers could attempt to squelch Christianity and the availability of the bible.
“However, I do think that Christian fundamentalism as a belief system is not only in the process of passing away now, but I do firmly believe that this “ism” will indeed pass away more or less completely within the next 50-75 years. It is a religious system that was created in the United States in the first decade of the 20th century. It is a man-made religious system, and it is dying because more and more people are recognizing this fact.”
I heartily disagree with you that this religious system is dying. It appears that you want to toss the baby out with the bathwater. It would be helpful had you defined this “Christian fundamentalism,” but I’ll attempt to do so for you through the following example contained within Wikipedia:
Belief that Christ’s death was the atonement for sin
Bodily resurrection of Jesus
Historical reality of the miracles of Jesus
“By the late 1910s, theological conservatives rallying around the Five Fundamentals came to be known as “fundamentalists”. In practice, the first point regarding the Bible was the focus of most of the controversy.” (Source)
Next you say:
“The doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, a belief that was imposed upon the Bible by man from outside of it (the Bible makes no such claim for itself), is the harbinger of the demise of Christian fundamentalism. All truth is God’s truth, and lies such as Biblical inerrancy cannot and will not stand the test of time.
Biblical inerrancy is believed to be so because of the bible stating that it is the inspired word of God and that all scripture is God-breathed. The bible itself claims this inerrancy.
“Biblical inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible, in its original manuscripts, is accurate and totally free from error of any kind; that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact”.Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.” (Source)
Christian fundamentalism is not dying because the world outside of it is overwhelming it with evil, as you would like to imagine in order to relinquish yourselves from self-responsibility. It is dying because of its clownish attempts to disregard scientific facts and all sorts of other facts—including the passages of holy scripture that it finds inconvenient and runs from, all the while claiming to be Biblical and giving it mere lip service.”
Again, the fundamentals of Christianity are not dying. They are the foundation of that the bible is built upon. They sum up why we are following Christ (His divinity), they are the roots of salvation, of forgiveness of sin. of Christ as mediator between sinful man and God. You cite nothing to show that this aspect of Christianity is declining among Christians. You’re speaking from a political perspective that is essentially condemning and completely rebuking the conservative religious right’s take on religion. I can and do actually agree with you, believe it or not, as to a lot of what you claim in this essay of yours, but the attempt at negating the fundamentals isn’t something we agree upon.
Your essay is unfortunately filled to overflowing with ridiculous assumptions not based in fact; it is also condescending and disrespectful.
“Christian fundamentalism is a religious system that has driven itself to the point where it must erect a whole pack of monumental and laughable lies to defend itself. Theses defenses make fundamentalism and Jesus look so bad that no sane person could help but walk away from it. Moreover, Christian fundamentalism denies the power of the Holy Spirit to do anything important outside of simple Bible translation. The whole belief system has shot the New Testament principles of Christian love in the head. It is a well-known fact (far and wide) that Christian fundamentalist churches are places that inflict their members with pain, guilt, hopelessness, and bondage. Rather than being places of love and acceptance, they are like dark prisons where the warden’s primary purpose is to make his inmates go insane. No one wants to attend a church that is, in and of itself, a hell on Earth. As one person has rightly said, “These churches comb the Earth to identify any happiness or joy that may be in a person’s life so they can stomp it out before it grows.” Jesus came to rescue people from this sort of loveless and heartless bondage.”
Your generalizing to all of Christian fundamentalism seems erroneous and assuming, yet again. I do, agree one hundred percent with what you state about the love of Jesus being removed from the legalistic, pharisee-like approach that a lot of conservative Christianity embraces — this Christian love that we are supposed to be about emulating as followers of Jesus Christ is definitely not being adhered to by the Christian right. They do not seem to “get it.” Nowhere but within the conservative religious right followers of Jesus do we see this lack of love and compassion for one’s fellow men and women. I most especially like this last thought of yours, “Jesus came to rescue people from this sort of loveless and heartless bondage.”
Your assumption, however, is that I am a typical conservative right winger Christian, which I am quite firmly not. Politically I am Independent and lean left, if anything; nevertheless, I do believe in the five fundamentals of Christianity, like inerranncy, infallibility of the bible, the virgin birth, Resurrection, etc. Just because I believe in these fundamentals does not make me one of the religious right, though, which is what your essay seems to shout and assume about me and probably a lot of others whom you lump under the same label “fundamentalist.”
“Another reason people are fleeing is the widespread attempt of Christian fundamentalists to acquire government power at all levels so it can use the police and military power of the state to enforce compliance with new laws that embody the Christian fundamentalist understanding of the Bible. More and more people are coming to understand that the recently coined term “Christian Taliban” really does apply to the Christian fundamentalist mindset.”
This kind of mindset is dominion-ism, which I clearly state I am not a believer in within my introduction to this blog. I believe in the freedom of religion and do not believe that theological and biblical beliefs, or biblical morality, should be forced upon the populace of free men and women of the United States.
“In other words, the people who are so afraid their authorized KJV Bibles are going to be outlawed are in fact the very same people who would themselves gladly outlaw the rest of Christendom, which we know you regard as apostasy.”
This is absurd and you’re generalizing and assumptions through out the rest of this essay are equally as absurd. Perhaps here you are meaning a general “you,” and not me personally, but this is how your writing comes off and it’s annoying.
“The only growing question in the American mind now is not whether you are going to start killing those of us you regard as “the enemies of God” but rather WHEN you are going to start killing us.”
How very over-dramatic. The bible clearly tells us that it is Christian believers who will be murdered because of their beliefs, not “the enemies of God.” Your writing is screaming paranoia. my friend. Now Dominionism is a real concern; this I agree with you about quite strongly, but I don’t believe that there are enough of the Dominionists in power to raise paranoia to the height of what you suggest in this essay of yours.
“When we read the works of deeply evil and violent men such as Rousas Rushdoony, with their heretical plans for imposing Christian Reconstructionism, Dominionism, and Theonomy on the whole world, we do not see just a “group of evil men.” We see Christian fundamentalism and its true essence of evil at work in the world. As one person has defined it, “Christian fundamentalism is a form of godliness from which all love has been drained away.”
You would be surprised, I guess, to note that I agree with you about this though I disagree with your calling this “Christian fundamentalism.” You are attempting to neatly box people up despite the nuances, complexities, and intricacies within their faith. We do not all believe and feel the same, regardless of what we feel about the fundamentals of Christianity. Many of the religious right are legalistic and seemingly are determined to destroy what is good and loving within the bible. They are hardly Christ-like in their attitudes, actions, voting behaviors, and politics, but it’s your use of the word “fundamentalism” that disturbs me because of the way you try and lump all of us together. We are all “the body of Christ,” but some have strayed from what the bible teaches to a great degree, and specifically from what Christ taught.
“Personally, I will be glad when Christian fundamentalism is dead so the real Jesus Christ of the New Testament can be heard once again in the world and be followed in Love, Spirit, and Truth. I long for the day when people will come to Jesus because they love him rather than because they are scared to death of him and want to save themselves from eternal fire. You cannot love someone that you fear. It is impossible. If you are scared to death of the pain Jesus might inflict upon you someday in the future, it is impossible for you to love him. As the scriptures say in the New Testament, those who come to him out of fear will never see the Kingdom of God. These days, all Christian fundamentalist churches have to sell is fear. Stop for a moment and consider your own fear inside.”
Again, I agree with you to a great extent; I don’t have fear inside. I trust God the great majority of the time and don’t lose sleep out of worry and fear for this world’s future, though I admit that I did at one time. I don’t care for the religious right’s screaming of fire and brimstone, a punitive hell, and the non-ceasing lectures about the wages of sin, while negatively and obsessively focusing upon particular sins which raise certain Republican hackles — homosexuality and abortion to be exact. There is a place for the hard truth, certainly, but it need not be beating people over the head twenty four seven either.
You must understand that there is a place to discuss the harsh realities, though. Hell is real and it does exist. Hell is the location and destination for those who reject Jesus Christ. While you want a loving message and I agree that we must focus upon this more than anything else, we cannot lie to the unsaved and pretend that hell is not ahead for those who do not believe.
“I do not fear Jesus and gladly kneel before him. He is trustworthy and full of love and mercy. However, neither I nor the American people in general will ever kneel before the American man-made religion of Christian fundamentalism and its ridiculous-looking leaders who sport those horrible-looking 1970sTV news anchor haircuts.”
Nor do I fear Jesus Christ either, but I do know enough of what the bible tells us to respect and be in great awe/fear of Him. There will come a time where evil will be removed and defeated from this earth and a new heaven and earth will emerge, but this will come about through a costly war with Jesus Christ leading the war, if you’ll recall. (Revelation).
“Christian fundamentalism is rapidly losing all credibility with the American people, including the children in your own churches. The most recent quotes are that 88 percent of the children raised in Christian fundamentalist churches leave that man-made belief system and all of its weird cultural affectations at 18 years of age and never come back to it for their entire lives. You people need to understand that people do not dislike you and flee from you because they hated Jesus first. They are running away in droves because they reject the insane and clownish culture of the people who have been deceived by Christian fundamentalism.”
How odd that you come onto my blog and accuse me of this religious right Christian conservatism/fundamentalism. You don’t appear to understand that one can still firmly believe in the fundamentals of Christianity and not be one of the religious right. This phrasing of yours, “you people” is divisive, condescending, and obviously IN ERROR. Stop jumping to conclusions and assuming things about your brothers and sisters in Christ. In your passion to try to correct what you see as erroneous perspective, you’ve gone overboard — because of your negligence and assumptions, you’ve misjudged me and probably countless others as well.
“The people of the 1st century followed Jesus around in great multitudes. Were they any different from us? Fewer and fewer people are following Christian fundamentalism and people already in it are fleeing from it because they do not see the real Jesus of the New Testament anywhere in it.”
I heartily agree with what you’re saying regarding many of the legalistic religious right; what I disagree with again is you lumping all of this under an umbrella of “Christian fundamentalism” and attempting to make that a dirty word.
“In the 1940s the more moderate faction of fundamentalists (or “postfundamentalists”) maintained the same theology but began calling themselves “evangelicals” to stress their less militant position. Olson (2007) points out, “Most postfundamentalist evangelicals do not wish to be called fundamentalists, even though their basic theological orientation is not very different.” A key event, Olson says, was the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in 1942. As Hankins (2008) notes, “Beginning in the 1940s….militant and separatist evangelicals came to be called fundamentalists, while culturally engaged and non-militant evangelicals were supposed to be called evangelicals.”
For example, American evangelist Billy Graham came from a fundamentalist background, but parted company with that movement because of his choice, early in his ministry (1950s), to cooperate with other Christians. Graham represents a movement that arose within fundamentalism, but has increasingly become distinct from it, known as neo-evangelicalism or New Evangelicalism (a term coined by Harold J. Ockenga, the “Father of New Evangelicalism”).” (Source)
“Now, I know that some of you are going to view this message as some sort of persecution. This is not persecution. You people have erected this monumental nonsense that anyone who dares to disagree with your positions on assorted religious matters is causing you to undergo persecution. This weak-minded, armchair nonsense is a slap in the face of every Christian in human history that has undergone pitiless physical and mental torture—real persecution—because of their faith in Jesus Christ. You people should be ashamed of yourselves for sullying their memory and sacrifice as you sit there in your comfortable Lazyboy chair with a Coke in your hand. Man-up and girl-up when the truth is passed under your nose as a sound rebuke.”
Dear man, your assumptions are just off the chart and they are offensive because of your errors. Many of my thoughts, concerns, and initial worries when I began this blog a couple years ago were centered upon and focused upon the threat of real persecution occurring within the United States of America to Christians here. I still feel that this is a foregone conclusion and see many occurrences within current events of this very possibility. I think the freedom of religion is being threatened and stepped upon in various ways here in the USA, but I don’t feel that mere disagreement is persecution, by any means.
“However, I have no illusion that this message will have any sort of positive effect on you because you have been taught that anyone who disagrees with anything you believe or say is automatically an enemy of God. I know for certain that these words were wasted on you. Talking to any Christian fundamentalist is like talking to a brainless fence post, and it is an exercise in futility. Everyone knows this.”
(sigh) How embarrassing for you, to assume so much about someone whom you obviously have not read, whom you do not know at all. I see a lot of foolish, passionate immaturity and impulsiveness within your essay here. And you are very wrong about me — you have a lot of excellent points within your writing and message though, that I do very much agree with. It’s your incessant condemnation, generalizing, and assumptions that ruin your message for me.
Please do not be so hasty in the future to assume you can box someone up into what you feel that they are in order to simplify them and their beliefs; that is stupid and pure ignorance, and I suspect not worthy of the intelligence you appear to possess.
“However, the reason for this is not because of your righteousness or faithfulness. The reason for this is the very Biblical “hardness of your own hearts.” Like most people with hard hearts, you are unable to take in the truth because of that very hardness. The coldest and most hard-hearted people I know in this world are Christian fundamentalists—and this is just one more reason no one wants to have anything to do with you.”
Ridiculous..more generalizing, assumption, etc. Not all within the religious right are hard hearted, ignorant, and set in their ways. If you read my blog at all, though, you would know beyond a shadow of any doubt that I am not one of them.
“I will finish with this video from a famous Christian who also dares to speak to you the truth that you refuse to hear because there really is none so blind as he who refuses to see the truth when it is dropped straight into his lap:”
I think not. Like Bishop Shelby Spong, I think Mr. Shaeffer is similarly in error. When religious progressive-ism completely destroys and attempts to take apart everything that Jesus Himself stood for and said within the bible, it is wrong. I don’t even see this “progressive-ism” as “Christianity” anymore. When one takes away the divinity of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, His Resurrection, the power within the blood He shed to forgive our sins and make us holy, one does away with everything that Christianity stands for.
These fundamentals teach how Christ is able to breach the divide between God and man, and through this attempt at trying to modernize the bible, one does away with everything that makes Jesus who He is, the divine Son of God who came in human form to suffer and die so that we might be born again.
I will not celebrate those who attempt to neutralize the power and divinity of Jesus Christ through their progressiveness, nor will I pass on or approve this erroneous message through these kind of youtube’s upon my blog; you’ll have to sell this upon your own.
Thank you again for the lengthy essay you left as a comment on this blog. It would have been more appropriate had you simply wrote your own posting and linked it to my blog as a response to one of my postings. Well, live and learn, eh?
- The Fundamental Platform (mymorningmeditations.com)
- ASS-umptions (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com)
- The Inerrancy of Scripture (pilgrimpassing.com)
- On “inerrancy” by Kurt Johnson (kurtkjohnson.wordpress.com)
- What Love is this? (resolvedtoreason.wordpress.com)
- Jesus doesn’t need our protection. (brgulker.wordpress.com)