Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by John3v36, Aug 30, 2002.
I hear People use the term "fundamentalist & liberal".
When you use the terms what do you mean?
How I use and perceive the terms:
Fundamentalists - Someone who uses the presuppositions of modernism to define and defend their faith. Also someone who believes that the Bible is to be interpreted literally, except in places where it isn't. (Fundamentalists generally claim such places are "obviously" allegory because they: say something the fundamentalist doesn't agree with, say something that is patently impossible or illogical, or are in conflict with another part of scripture.) It is my opinion that fundamentalists begin with their ultra-conservative, androcentric worldview and use the Scriptures selectively to reinforce that worldview. They claim otheriwse.
Conservatives - Generally hold to the traditional doctrines of the Church and also hold to what is commonly perceived to be conservative social values (at least when telling others what to do). They recognize the authority of the Bible, but generally put more interpretive leeway into understanding authorial intent/social context.
Liberals - Are open to at least questioning the traditional doctrines of the Church and support more progressive social values (at least in what they are willing to allow others to do - many are quite conservative personally - it's an enigma ). As Christians, they recognize the authority of the Bible but do not generally assign divine authorship to it. They are therefore more comfortable with broad interpretive parameters and even with disagreeing with some biblical writings.
[ August 30, 2002, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua ]
"Liberals - Are open to at least questioning the traditional doctrines of the Church and support more progressive social values (at least in what they are willing to allow others to do - many are quite conservative personally - it's an enigma ). As Christians, they recognize the authority of the Bible but do not generally assign divine authorship to it. They are therefore more comfortable with broad interpretive parameters and even with disagreeing with some biblical writings."
In other words, they promote homosexuality and murdering the unborn, conveniently cutting and pasting the Scriptures to suit a political agenda. And do not believe in the inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures. Some (such as Harry Emerson Fosdick) claim the blood of Jesus Christ has no atoning power and also deny the Virgin Birth.
I think you could safely call Fosdick a liberal.
But he wrote one heck of a hymn.
He asked for definitions instead of critique of the terms each one of us use. So is this your definition of a "liberal"? I would be very interested to see your own definitions of the terms "fundamentalist" and "liberal". (I am serious -- not trying to be combative)
I think everyone should challenge every traditional doctrine of the Church. You need to know for yourself why we belive what we believe and not just take someones word for it. (I do concede that many doctrines are very difficult for many of us and we must rely some on the authority of those who came before us).
I think the split between conservative and liberal (at least on this board) would be that while challenging those beliefs the conservative will asume the Bible is correct and find his answers there while the liberal might have more freedom. The real definition though comes in the outcome. The conservative agrees with the traditonal doctrine (most of it anyway) and the liberal disagrees with it (or some of it, you get my point )
"They are therefore more comfortable ...with disagreeing with some biblical writings."
Are the Liberals you referring to Born Again?
Be careful Deb you have only been here a month Joshua won't like you questioning his post.
Very presumptuous and condescending.
In other words, in Joshua's view fundamentalists are not critical thinkers who prove their faith. While there are some that claim the title who are not critical thinkers, a true fundamentalist is by rule one who tries everything he believes by scripture and critically evaluates it. One of the key differences is that we believe that the Bible is inspired by God and thus our final authority.
Where Joshua accuses us of not being consistent in our literal interpretation beliefs, I would explain differently. The Bible is true and when there are things we don't immediately understand we attempt to explain them. Some explainations are better than others but to one who rejects the authority of scripture, it appears inconsistent.
Implicit in Joshua's answer is his bias that liberals are some how more consistent than fundamentalists. This is somewhat true. When you take a stand and attempt to define what you believe in concrete terms, you run a greater risk of inconsistency than if you don't hold any belief too strongly... other than the belief that those who do are ignorant.
This actually should be combined with a few other factors and be the definition of a fundamentalist.
... I would say openly hostile!
In other words, I believe this and therefore it is important to me... but I can't say that God says so therefore it would be judgmental to say these are rules for everyone. The end result is they are moral people who effectively worship their own opinions.
However, they do assign a great deal of authority to secular and humanistic opinions.
Whereas the fundamentalist accepts the Bible and judges his world by it, the liberal accepts his world (and worldview) and judges scripture by them.
”Why stand on the broad road and get trampled?” Justified Version
"It is always better to stand up for conservatism, than to fall into liberalism" Justified Version
”Conservatives- Theology dictates morality/Liberals- morality dictates Theology” Justified Version
Ah, the CBF!!! If truth were deplicted on a scale on a scale here is how it would look.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Pagans Sadducees Liberals Moderates Conservatives Truth\Some Fundies\Some Conservatives
8 9 10 11
Some Fundies Some Fundies\Pharisees Some Charismatics
Yes, literal except when it is an allegory, metaphor, simile, etc. If plain sense makes common sense seek no other sense is how one put it, but since common sense is not so common anymore that might prove tricky. If you must err it is better to err to the right because there is more hope for a Pharisee than a Sadducee. Some Pharisees were saved, but I don't remember a Sadducee being mentioned. I could be wrong, but when you are that far into unbelief and "higher criticism" it is hard to come back. It is easier to cure hypocrisy.
Belief in a verbal-plenary inspiration is fundamental\basic to intrepreting the Word. If it is God's Word and every word is important you don't try and explain away everything your culture finds distateful. If you remember that most of the ones called were not Paul's but simple folks then you can expect that God meant for the simple to understand and obey it not scholars to rewrite it and tell us what God really meant to say. And if you do just a little history searching and some word studies you can find out what it meant at the time it was written and apply it to us rather than being revisionist and believing fairy tales from men the likes of Westcott and Hort, which barely spoke of God in any of their writings before or after the revision of 1881 andmay not even be saved, but were able to bamboozle and ramrod a group of men who by their own confession were not qualified to do anything but lookfor typos and update the language by taking eth off of giveth and taketh.
Remember the so-called scholars are the ones who delivered up Jesus to Pilate, held the Inquisitions and made the people dependent upon them. We don't believe in Popes, but we have elevated the ThDs to the same category because after all what do we know of Lucian reclensions and the like though they never happened. We just listen to the theologians instead of being Bereans. In case, a few wish to be Bereans we create a never ending list of versions to boggle both saved and lost so that it is just easier to listen to our new Popes and Nicolaitans than to study ourselves and call them to task.
So we capitulate to our culture having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof and become a church where every man does that which is right in his own eyes and then wondering why our churches are dwindling and the world laughs at us and why Christ would wonder if there would be any faith left when He returned.
Hmm, that chart did not format right. Let's try this.
6 Some Conservatives
7 Truth - Some Fundies and Some Conservatives
8 Some Conservatives and Some Fundies
9 Some Fundies
11 Some Charismatics.
The core difference between fundamentalists/conservatives and liberals is our approach to scripture and our view of it. The Apostle Paul outlines the distinctions between the two very clearly in II Tim. 2:15-18. In verse 15, Paul commands believers to "be diligent to present yourself approved to God" and to "rightly divide the word of truth." The word translated "rightly divide" is a word which was used in ancient times to describe the building of a straight road or path. Fundamentalists/conservatives seek to obey the command to "rightly divide" the word. Lay out the scriptures accurately and clearly and then obey them.
In 16-18 Paul draws a sharp contrast to this practice commanding believers to "shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness." Then Paul illustrates what he means by "profane and vain babblings" by giving the example of those profane and vain babblers Hymenaeus and Philetus "who have strayed (the word translated strayed is the direct opposite of the word translated "rightly divide" and means to veer or to swerve) concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past (modern liberals do worse than this, they deny the resurrection altogether), and overthrow the faith of some (denying the basic tenets of Christian faith is bound to destroy faith in those deceived by the teaching)".
So a person is either a fundamentalist/conservative, seeking to lay the scripture out in an orderly way and obey it or he is something else; one who swerves off the straight and narrow path of truth into error that leads to immorality and the destruction of faith. Paul commands believers to shun such teaching and teachers! Amen, Paul!
DITTO and Amen to what my learned brothers above have said, God Bless you both.
p.s. Maverick I was wondering when you would get fed up with this mess and spell it out for us, thanks again
I am trying to understand this scale. Is it that on a scale from 0 to 11 that pagans have no truth and that some charismatics have the truth (assuming all or nearly all) or that position 7 represents truth (assuming all or nearly all) and that truth is the domain of some fundies and some conservatives? If the former, why charismatics and not pharisees or, goodness, even liberals? If the latter, how does position 7 and 8 differ? Does position 4 concern what Rahner refers to as anonymous Christians? Positions 6 and 9 puzzle me. Are not these two groups covered in 7 and 8. And if not, then are you asserting that for fundies and conservatives not having the truth are closer to the truth than say Pharisees and Liberals. I gather that if the scale represents the latter that a special realm of fundies and conservatives among fundies and conservatives is the most fortunate? Thus, when one speaks of liberals not having the truth, one should also be speaking of (some) conservatives and (some) fundies, but not quite?
Part of the problem is time. I can't hit every issue especially when the same things just move from forum to forum. Some issues will be going on ad nausem because those who have an agenda won't quit. Those who are propagating the "new" ideas are the divisive ones and should be called down as Scripture has called us to do and for the sake of some novice that gets on here and sweet talked by the purveyors of hoo-ha! I usually hang on on the polls forum. If y'all see one you'd like me to look at just e-mail me. Better yet, load your musket, raise the flag and charge the rascals yourself. Take no prisoners except the ones you can free from the devil!
I will be filling in for my pastor for maybe 8 services while he is at a conference in Sept, so I have messages to write as well as my Sunday School lessons so y'all will have to take up my slack and cover my back. Truth will prevail so give'em hail! (That last word is to be spoken in Southern dialect)
"Fundamentalists" are those who are essentially separatistic. In its essence, it will fight for what Scripture declares and if the "battle" is lost, passages that teach separation come into play. Usually, fundis do not engage with other groups that are either apostate or disobedient to the Word (CBF, Mainstream baptists, Alliance, etc). The fundamentals were basic truths that all Christians held to.
"Conservatives" are those who could probably be classified as Neo-Evangelicals. Many of the truths are held to. Some are compromised for greater "unity". Schools such as Dallas Seminary, Trinity Evangelical, and Fuller Theological Seminary promote this idea.
"Liberals" are those who decide what is authoritative or not in the Bible based on outside factors. Social issues pretty much dictate how authoritative biblical issues are. In other words, their god wasn't wise or competant enough to leave anyone a record of what he beleives in.
Okay!! Am I a fundamentalist, conservative or liberal?
I Believe the the Bible To be exact in the Hebrew and the Greek. I don't believe the heritage or tradition of the church counts beyond what you can show from the Bible. I believe that the Bible should be taken literally most of the time. When a passage is intended figuratively, the surrounding verses will indicate this. You need to take into account figures of speech. For example, if we saw someone dress up and we said he's putting on the dog, we don't mean he's going to wear a dog. In the same way the Bible includes figures of speech that were used at the time of it's writing. But, even this figure leads to a literal meaning. When men in the Bible interpret other parts of the Bible, it seems to me that this is how they do it, so I try to follow their example.
Whether the Baptist Church has always done it this way or has never done it that way is of no importance. If the Bible teaches it, it is a vital part of what we should believe. If the Bible does not teach it one way or the other, do what you want.
Where the Bible speaks we should have Unity.
Where it is silent Liberty.
But in all things Charity.
Fundamentalist: One who holds the Bible as his/her sole source of faith and practice and ascribes to it complete authority to govern their life.
Conservative: One who relies on sound principles/doctrine that have existed for centuries to govern life.
Liberals: One who has no precendence for absolute truth, and relies on social relativism and personal opinion to govern life.