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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Christian Fundamentalism - Fundies

Ugh, externalistic fundamentalism. That beautiful concept that has helped produce more crusty Christians than I can imagine. It makes a lot of sense. Much of child training up until 1995 when Ted Tripp's book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" came out drove the child's externals and really ignored the child's heart. They wanted their children to look good and be a pretty trophy on their shelf. 

When people care only for the letter of the law they are not setting themselves up for success. And when they add to the law, especially in application to other people's lives, they are setting themselves up for destruction. I've heard more than enough stories of unrepentant hypocrites who made a big deal about how they dressed, how they never watched movies, how they never danced or drank, etc.   Where was the faith?  The love?  The heart? 

If you're a dad and you're handing your son knowledge but it's filled with nothing but hypocrisy, your son will throw it out. You may think he doesn't perceive your hypocrisy but children aren't stupid; they will see through the lies.  The children sit and watch their dad or mom say one thing and do the exact opposite in their actions. This leads to the overwhelming rebellion we see today.

But do we replace the externalists with antinomian libertines?  These guys want to dance on the grave of fundamentalists who pretend to take the Bible seriously.  They want to dress however they want, show off as much cleavage and leg as possible, in reaction to what they perceive as narrow-minded, externalistic fundies.  "So get drunk and party down!" Is this the proper reaction?  This doesn't sound a whole lot like loving God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength either.  They disregard everything the Bible says and live like the devil, but go to church on Sunday. The one thing I appreciate about fundamentalism is at least they're trying to obey God while the opposing party could care less about what God thinks. There's a difference between trying to obey and completely ignoring every single word that God says. He gave us this wisdom in His book called "The Bible: The Word of God." Use it. 

I'm asking for you to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Quit worrying about others and forcing your little gray-area principles down other people's throats. I ask that you force the Word of God on others. You tell them the Word and then they have the responsibility to go live it and make applications themselves. They are the ones responsible to God for their decisions and actions. 


And that's the ultimate problem I see with fundamentalism, Mormonism, Islam, Catholicism, etc. They don't want the heart. They are training these people to live to the letter of the law. Not to the heart of it. And that's what makes Christianity distinct and an amazing religion. People do things because they love God. They obey the law of God because they love him.

And I pray I will love God more today then I did yesterday. And that tomorrow I will love him more. I've struggled with many sins over my short life. And I struggled with assurance for some time. But at the end of the day, I look at my sin and hate it because I love the God who was willing to send down his Son to die on the cross for my sins and rise again three days later and now sits at the right hand of the Father. And he died to cover our sins and be the ultimate sacrifice. But do you love him and keep his commandments?

Be wise, search God's Word and strive to obey him to the best of your ability.

Let me end this with Proverbs 1:20-33:
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place ofconcourse , in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will makeknown my words unto you. Because I have called , and ye refused ; I have stretched out myhand, and no man regarded ; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh ; When yourfear cometh as desolation , and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress andanguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer ; they shall seek me early , but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose thefear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

6 comments:

Pinecone said...

"They walked for weary miles to do anything but repent and believe."

Thanks for this post - I needed to remember that I am free from sin, and can live for God...

Andrea Grace said...

Daniel, if almost everyone who adheres to this belief system turns into a terrible person, is it really still "a beautiful concept"? Maybe we have to consider that it's not our fault, but the system's.

Daniel said...

I'm having a little trouble understanding your point. You think that the system of externalistic fundamentalism is " a beautiful concept?" I hope I didn't portray that in my post.

Or are you referring to the concept of obeying God's Word because of your love for God?

Daniel said...

Andrea, here is your comment with my responses included inside. I put Andrea in front of yours, and Daniel in front of mine. It's less comments that way. :-)

Andrea - I don't think fundamentalism is beautiful at all, but from your post, you seem to. (The quotation marks were because I used words from your post) This is why I thought that:
"External fundamentalism. That beautiful concept..."



Daniel - Sorry, sarcasm.

Andrea - "It makes a lot of sense." (tell me if I took this one out of context, because looking at again I thought the placement was a bit ambiguous)

Daniel -"It makes a lot of sense" is in reference to the wording before. " has helped produce more crusty Christians than I can imagine." - So it was again sarcasm. Sorry.


Andrea - "At least they're trying to obey God..."


Daniel -This would be referring to my consideration of some good in this ideology. But I see it as done badly, or possibly even done in sin.


Andrea - What I you promoting see here (and correct me if I'm wrong)is a system that is identical to external fundamentalism in every respect except motive. Basically, both parties do the same things("obey God's word"), but one party does it to look good while the other does it to please God. And when your actions turn out looking exactly the same anyway, motive really doesn't make that much of a difference.

Daniel - Motive makes a huge difference. "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. ~ John 14:21”



"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." ~ John 15:10



"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments." ~ 1 John 2:3



Also, I do believe that there are gray areas in which should be given Christian liberty.

Daniel said...

Andrea - You're setting up an extreme contrast here: either you adhere rigidly to every aspect of the law, or you "live like the devil." But there is a third option. The law is not everything, and I would argue that in light of the incredible grace shown to us by Jesus Christ, it is in fact very little. Sure, He made a point of saying that He did not come to abolish the law, but He went on immediately to say that He fulfilled it. Either way, it really is not the final standard of how we live any more. We are no longer enslaved to the law!

And the third option, the one I referred to earlier, is love. Our love for God does not have to be manifested in obedience. Instead we can choose to display the same grace, love, and forgiveness that we have been shown! The message of Jesus was not "obey or suffer." It was, "I love you. I forgive you." And unless we can live by that, don't we become like that one guy who imprisoned his friend for a debt of ten dollars, despite being forgiven millions himself?

Daniel - "A young rich man came to Jesus. He said, And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." ~ Matthew 19:16-22

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." ~ John 15:10

Andrea - We have a choice: do we adhere to the law and stone gay people to death? Or do we embrace grace, and tell them they are still beautiful in God's eyes? Will we ostracize unwed mothers, or will we pull them close and tell them they're forgiven?

Daniel - "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. ~ John 14:21”

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35”

"A young rich man came to Jesus. He said, And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." ~ Matthew 19:16-22

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." ~ Mark 16:16

"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments." ~ 1 John 2:3

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." ~ John 15:12

Daniel said...

Andrea - What would Jesus do?

Daniel - What he said.