Emerging from Fundamentalism

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by humblethinker, Nov 16, 2013.

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  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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  2. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Sad. That last sentence in particular. Regardless of our theological stripe, lost souls will not be helped outside of the fundamental propositions of our faith. Why does this poor man even use the adjective "true?" The propositions -- the redemptive truth of the gospel -- is what sets men free. Caring for afflicted people is wonderfully virtuous, but if you have no cure, where is the good news?

    More opportunities for prayer ... both for the lost and for those with good intentions.
     
  3. Don

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    Possibly an over-generalization on my part ... but "fundamentalism" has become synonymous with "legalism" in the minds of many folks. When we say, "coming out of fundamentalism," seems to me most people actually mean "coming out of legalism."

    Now, that's not to say that fundamentalists don't fall into the legalism trap; they do. But so do oh-so-many others who don't claim the title of "fundamentalist."
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Wow...very true, or they become extremely liberal to an apostate venue or lastly they become Mystics and charasmatics
     
  5. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Interesting. So much depends on the definition of the terms we use. If the liberals choose to equate fundamentalism with legalism, I wonder if they also equate liberalism with libertinism? I have to admit that I do not read enough of what they have to say to know how the terms have been redefined.
     
  6. quantumfaith

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    That just might be a good idea. For you to expand your reading choices. It really is amazing what can learn when they read from a variety of sources.
     
  7. questdriven

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    To a small degree, I can relate to the article. I was raised in a very fundamental family and church, but eventually I began to question some of the things I had been taught. Not doctrine-wise, but in regards to things like "it's an abomination for women to wear pants".

    While I hold fundamental doctrines, I reject legalism and sometimes refrain from referring to myself as a fundamentalist because of the ideas people may associate the term with.
    But really? The actual definition of fundamentalism is in doctrine, so you can be a fundamentalist without being legalistic.
    So I can describe myself as a fundamentalist who rejects legalism.
     
  8. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Thank you. That is good advice. I do keep trying. However, I fear that the stack of books grows faster than my ability to consume them. I am slowly working my way through the downgrade controversy. I am eager to trace it into the 20th century.

    So, I am open to recommendations. Therefore, where would I read relative to this fundamentalism-legalism equivalency? Is there something of a scholarly source -- Baptist preferably -- to which you might direct me?
     
  9. Luke2427

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    I appreciate this line:

    "My grandfather’s love for poor lost souls, his desire to find a true religion of the heart, is what gives me hope as I move beyond his narrow fundamentalism toward a larger vision of the kingdom of God."

    It indicates that though his grandfather was terribly flawed in his thinking about many things, he was still a good man to his family and others.

    At the same time it reserves the right for independent thinking. No matter how good a man he was, and no matter how right he was on some things, that does not mean we have to embrace many other things that he was very wrong about.

    Fundamentalism, as it has become in the last 80 years or so, is a plague on this land. But it is a plague unleashed upon us by very many good men- many of them meant well. They really believed that the theater was evil and that drums beat by their rhythms the devil into men's hearts. They really believed pants on women were an abomination and many of them believed the King James Bible was the only version inspired by God and all others were perversions.

    And many of these men were trying to save America from these things they perceived as destructive evil.


    But I think the problem is that many of them lacked the humility to consider that they might be wrong. Some of them have probably never even SAID the words, "I was wrong about that thing that I thought was true for so long," or any words close to them.

    And the arrogance of good men has caused Christianity to be a laughing stock in America. Fundamentalism, as it is today, looks so mind numbingly stupid to millions of thinking people and has weakened the hands of many of us who are trying to reach those people.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    Good words.

    I've discovered over the years that many of the people I strongly disagree with (and who think I'm on a greased slide to hell) are motivated by the best of intentions, according to what they believe to be true and right. That really shouldn't be a surprise, but in our culture of vilifying everyone with whom we disagree (a culture where the expression of contempt is more welcome than a reasoned and patient argument), it can be shocking.

    Most of the time, in religious circles, the ultimate goals of both the "liberal" and "conservative", "fundamentalist" and "moderate" are essentially the same - that people be reconciled to God and find freedom and life in Christ. The difference comes with the presuppositions and methods.

    We have a lot to learn from people with whom we disagree, and we need to have the humility to really listen and consider other viewpoints so that we can be corrected, if appropriate, and if nothing else, to learn what and why others believe as they do.
     
  11. michael-acts17:11

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    I agree with most of what you've said. I would only take issue with the idea that they are/were well-intentioned. I once believed this, until I understood the depth of their sin, the wickedness of their narcissistic self-righteousness, the evil of their pursuit of unScriptural priestly authority over others, their abominable efforts to keep God's people in shallow spiritual darkness to keep them in spiritual infancy; ever dependent on the spoonfuls of curdled milk that never allows them to become strong, mature Christians.

    There is a Biblical name for such men, pharisees. And, having grown up in this cult, I believe there will be many times more people in hell because of them than the number of people they actually "won" to Christ. Fundamentalists, & other like-minded denominations, have inoculated this nation with a false form of godliness, which has made the masses they have influenced immune to hearing the truth of the gospel.

    These who think they will be first in Heaven will be last, with the blood of many on their hands. Many of these wolves will be told "I never knew you", claiming their great works (preaching against "sin" & condemnation of others) to be proof of their righteousness.
     
  12. questdriven

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    Yes!! :) So much agree!
     
  13. quantumfaith

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    Great Post BB
     
  14. Luke2427

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    I agree that every word you write above describes many, if not most, if not the vast majority of modern "fundamentalists."

    But I can't help but think that some of them are just ignorant.
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    But yet there is a segment of the population that stays there...even aafter they see the legalism...why?
     
  16. prophet

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    Ask this of the RCC sheeple.
     
  17. michael-acts17:11

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    Being a sheep is comfortable, requires no intellectual effort, & fosters pride in ignorance. They have been indoctrinated with a gospel of guilt. Constantly hearing how bad they are & how much worse every one else is fulfills their need to feel guilty & to feel better by comparing themselves to others.

    Their churches are microcosms of the nation. Look how many people seek an 0bama type figure to worship & adore. How many people are willing to ignore the blatant lies & loss of liberty in this pursuit. People are sheep. Self-delusion is key to loyalty to a false prophet. I have seen churches torn apart because of the sin of the pastor. Yet there is always a remnant, usual 50% of the congregation, who have the ability to justify any action or sin by their pastor because he is "God's man", "God's anointed", and you don't touch God's "anointed". It's insanity.
     
  18. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Good!

    Won't say much except to say...that's good Quest....a good "take" on
    things. It is good to be "fundamental" in our Bible doctrine and practice!

    Bro. Greg:thumbsup:
     
  19. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Sad...

    :tear: Such venomous words from some here that claim to be the enlightened and compassionate ones. Until you (or I) can say we did as much as Dr. Rice did to win so many into the Kingdom then I think silence (or the absence of the use of ones keyboard) would be more appropriate. The "atheists" and the "gay rights" crowd call US intolerant bigots....and then we get on public forums and demonstrate that maybe in some ways we are. It is never "legalism" to live in obedience to the Word of God. I will grant though that it can be "legalistic" to promote dogmatic "standards" of conduct that cannot be based on the clear teaching of specific scripture. I think though, from what I know of Dr. Rice's ministry, that his main mission was seeking to win the lost to Christ. To criticize him here is inappropriate. He had a good legacy...and I am also of the opinion that that is part of the reason that his grandson, John of Japan, doesn't post much here anymore. Sometimes it can be like "casting pearls before swine". I've probably said too much...I'm done.

    :tonofbricks:Bro. Greg:praying:
     
  20. questdriven

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    I can kinda understand where he's coming from, though....
    Because, earlier this year, when I was trying to leave my old church but felt like I couldn't because my mom was so against the idea and I didn't want to cause too much of a stir, especially considering we had recently had a death in the family?
    Yeah, we had us a few emotional and frustrating discussions and it just hurt that she thought she had done a horrible job raising me and that I was somehow straying off the path by rejecting what I had come to consider to be legalism. Even though none of my core beliefs had changed.

    It was very, very tempting to demonize her beliefs, demonize my childhood church...and for a while I was very confused...I believed they had a right to their beliefs, but wanted to think badly of them because of how frustrated and hurt I was.
    Later on when things began to calm down and I was able to peaceably find another church, I realized I had judged them too harshly, even if it had mostly been in my mind.

    Putting too much emphasis on trivial, legalistic matters can definitely turn people away, but it'd be unfair to lump them all in that category.
    IMO, my childhood church teaches mostly legalism and puts way too much emphasis on it in their sermons, which is why I don't attend there anymore; while in my mom's opinion it's all Biblical. But? Having known them personally, they're good people and they do care about you.
     
    #20 questdriven, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2013
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