Friday, January 07, 2005and you thought I was done!
This is a quick follow-up to entry I posted a few weeks ago entitled "A Plea for Fundamentalism". I must say I was a bit disappointed by how little comments I received from my readers on this post. I thought it was quite controversial and would stimulate some debate, but...zilch!
I said, in my previous "Fundamentalist" post, that for a Fundamentalist Christian, it was the Bible plus nothing. It is here that I want to bring precision:
How a Fundamentalist reads his Bible (according to Rand):
A Christian Fundamentalist believes and follows the Bible, well, fundamentally!!!
By this I mean that the Fundamentalist views the Bible as the very Word of God. What is written on the page, is what God said Himself, or said through a prophet, apostle or other servant of the Most High. It is to be feared and observed without question or compromise.
Ephesians 5:22-23: this passage, in no uncertain terms, tells us that wives are to be submitted to their husbands, and that the husband is the head of the wife. Not exactly a popular doctrine in these "feminist" times. While many who call themselves Christians would do away with this doctrine and justify it by saying it was only applicable in the days of the apostles, the Fundamentalist will hold that the wife IS to be submitted and that the husband IS the head of the wife. There is nothing in the context of Ephesians chapter 5 that would allow us to conclude that this precept was for a specific time period.
Exodus 20: 7: this passage clearly says that taking the Lord's name in vain is a big no-no. It comes complete with a threat: YOU WILL NOT BE HELD GUILTLESS IF YOU DO!!! Now many "Christians" will believe in different interpretations for this verse; for example:
(a) it means you won't do anything wicked and say you are doing it with God's blessing (doing it in His name).
(b) it means you won't swear or promise something with "God as your witness" and not live up to your vow.
(c) it means you will not use God's name in vain in your conversations, like saying "oh my God!" or "Jesus" in vain.
(d) all of the above.
The Fundamentalist chooses (d). The context and the Hebrew allows for any of these possible interpretations, so the Christian Fundamentalist doesn't fool around, he fears God and he doesn't take God's name in vain, in every possible sense of the commandment.
Yet another example:
Romans 1: 24-28: this passage condemns the sin of homosexuality, both female and male homosexuality. Again, some will downplay this passage and say that it was part of the social fabric of the day, but again, nothing in the context of Romans 1 allows us to believe that the passage was relevant only to the 1st century. So the Fundamentalist believes that homosexuals are sinners outside of the grace of God, needing to be born-again into the family of God if they are to be saved.
One final example:
Romans 11: this whole chapter deals with Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians in a totally separate way. Paul starts by saying that God is not finished with the Israelites, then says that by their "spiritual slumber" salvation has come into the Gentiles, and warns the Gentiles not to look down their noses at the Jews for they remain God's natural branch (the natural chosen people), and finally v.25 and 26, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, makes it clear that "the blindness in part" of Israel is temporary (until the fullness of Gentiles are saved), and then all ISRAEL will be saved. A Fundamentalist believes that Israel was, is and will be the chosen nation of God.
These are but four examples of how a Fundamentalist deals with Scripture. The common thread is simple: don't take any chances with Scripture, don't downplay or ignore the things that don't fit with your thinking. The Scriptures are suppose to form your thinking, it should never be the other way around. Why? Because our "thinking" is corrupted by sin (1 Corinthians 2: 14).
Some food for thought I hope,