[POLL] Is Fundamentalism Dying or Thriving?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by jmbertrand, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. jmbertrand

    jmbertrand
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    After the Scopes trial, liberals assumed that fundamentalism was dead. Much to their surprise, it emerged stronger than ever. Today, with evangelicalism in the ascendancy and the tendency of fundamentalist leaders to marginalize themselves, there are some who are ready to pronounce fundamentalism dead (or at least, dying) -- ironically, of self-inflicted wounds. So, what do you think? Is fundamentalism dead, dying, treading water, or thriving? Post your rationale for voting as you do.
     
  2. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    The term fundamentalism is in danger of being redefined by its enemies as well as those who wrongly claim the title for themselves...[unnecessary innuendos deleted]

    The concept of fundamentalism cannot die as long as the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are operating in this world.

    [Posting Rules #2. Show grace to the other posters. ...be slow to offend...Remember... it is easy to go too far and offend. But please note that your words can sometimes be harsh if used in the wrong way.
    3. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Moderators and Administrators will be visibly proactive in dealing with potentially offensive situations .

    [ November 12, 2002, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Bob 63 ]
     
  3. JamesJ

    JamesJ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    0
    AMEN Scott J !!

    When all of the "I believe's" and "I think's" and "I feel's" get boiled down, it's the Word of God, in it's fundamental form, that reveals to us who God is and what He's done for us.
     
  4. Maverick

    Maverick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a TRO, I would say that it depends on the areas. In some places, we are dead, others hanging on and in some places doing well. It is hard to rate the movement since it is primarily of Ind Bapt Churches. No organized stat clerk. You might also have to divide it into the scholarly/"historic" folks and the paradigm challenging/"foot soldier" types who while in the midst of the battle have had expand the concept to counter movements not around in the beginning.

    All living things grow unless they are dying. Some folks want to leave Fundamentalism in the books and quote those authors. Others see it as a something that has to speak to other areas and that the definitions have to be clarified in a world of crazies. There are jerks and nuts in both camps. I've seen them and worked with them.

    While I am not a Hylesite, Jack did a lot of good for people. So far, the church and the college have survived his death. That may be a good sign that it was not the temple of Jack, but truly of God. While I did not approve of some things in that camp they have challenged me in my thinking and made me study. That is good.

    Neither am I a follower of Ruckman, whom I feel has done great damage to both the KJVO/TRO stance and Fundamentalism as a whole. Again, he has certainly challenged me to think and study. I could not fellowship with him and probably would have a hard time with his disciples. Been there with at least one group in VA. Now THAT was an education!!!

    We have gotten a bit slack in many things as we see the compromisers/Liberals grow and we don't always have the guts to say what needs to be said. We like to have big congregations as well and it is easier to duck a subject or two versus risk losing a member. My pastor says he admires my brass because I do tackle things that many pastors would not. It is easy when your paycheck is not dependent upon the congregation. If this church tosses me, I go on and my family eats and I don't lose my house.

    By the way, they are in the midst of making me the official Associate Pastor. I have been doing the duties but they did not want to give me the title since they could not give me a salary. That is OK. I don't need one. It would have not come up except I can preach to 36 or more in jail, but cannot visit one unless I am the Pastor or Associate, so the jail ministry pushed the issue. All it might mean is that the title might get me an interview as a pastor sometime down the road since titles are important to pulpit committees. They weren't paying me the past three years so why should it change? ;)

    Fundamentalism may make greater strides if more pastors become bivocational and/or more bold. ;)
     
  5. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fundamentalism is not centrally organized and is, consequently, very diverse. Judging its overall health is difficult.

    Among the fundamentalists with whom I associate, the movement is quite healthy. There are strong churches which balance evangelism and discipleship. Many of these churches have Christian schools and many of their students go to Christian colleges with the intent of going into full-time Christian service. Many of the graduates of the colleges further their education in fundamental seminaries. The seminarians pastor churches, and plant churches in the US and overseas. Other seminarians pursue further degrees at evangelical seminaries with the intent of either teaching in the colleges or seminaries, or starting schools overseas to train nationals. In summary, believers are producing believers, parents are producing godly children, churches are mothering new churches, and seminaries and colleges are training young people to minister to God's glory. With this kind of foundation in place, the movement is poised to grow and flourish.
     
  6. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Messages:
    7,693
    Likes Received:
    0
    I voted with the majority in saying "treading water".

    IMO Fundamentalism's biggest weakness is its inward-focused ghetto mentality (a mis-application of the concept of separation) that is rendering fundamentalist institutions increasingly irrelevant in a world that needs scriptural truth and principals applied to ALL areas of life, not just a fire-insurance salvation and self-propogating institutions.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    To to contrary, I think true fundamenatalism is increasingly relevant as people see the fallacy of moral relativism. Fundamentalism has always held to the absolute nature of God's truth and its sufficiency for all areas of life. Some fundamentalists have hijacked fundamentalism and unfortunately have been very vocal.

    I see good and bad among those who are popularly called fundamentalism. I think swaimj is right. There is a healthy side to it and there are some unhealthy aspects. The fundamentalism that I am associated with is vibrant and committed to biblical truth, separation, evangelism, and discipleship.

    An interesting quote from a non-fundamentalist who makes the fundamentalist argue as well as anyone:
    The call of separation is not one of marginalization but rather one of distinction. One can hardly read the letters to teh seven churches in Revelation and come away with an honest argument for the increasing syncretism of modern ecumenism. In this sense, fundamentalism has held the line, though not always as consistently or as graciously as it should to be sure.
     
  8. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    5,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fundamental Baptist Church is the only church that I've ever attended that stood for something. I only know the experience I've had with it...and that's going on 8 years only.

    I would say it's thriving... I have no prior knowledge of how it was before my 8 years started... I hear it was stronger.
     
  9. Rev. G

    Rev. G
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    0
    It depends. . . . What is your definition of "fundamentalism"?

    Rev. G
     
  10. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Messages:
    7,693
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    The term fundamentalists has a very broad sweep in Canada. It includes Pentecostalists, a few dispensationalist Baptists, and other independent churches.

    If you mean Baptists who adhere to the fundamentals of the faith, accept the bible as God's Word, then there is an increase.

    As an example, I call myself a conservative and not a fundamentalist.....then we usually say the name differently.....funnymentalist. Churches in our fellowship vary in both theology and eschatology. Some are strong dispensationalist, many are middle-road calvinists...more and more are leaning to full Calvinism, amill and frowning on dispensationalism.

    I am not always sure that I would be welcomed in many American Baptist churches. Then, I have been in a few and we had rich fellowship. Some fundamentalist want to flog a horse to death....others maintain a balance. I even see this on the board,,,I can almost tell what a certain thread will be once I see the name.

    Labels are always tough, especially in different cultures. I once corresponded with W.A. Criswell. We enjoyed good fellowship. One letter, he wrote some speedy notes in red ink and sent it back. That was the last letter he wrote to me and I to him. The red ink to an Englishman was an insult; to him it was separting what he had to say from my blue pen writing.....you see, culture ran interference and caused a rift. I wonder if this isn't what is happening now between baptists.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Fundamentalism has gone through a number of changes (is "evolution" a good word??) in the past 100+ years. Can't imagine it being static in this generation, either. :confused:

    Number wise (percentage of all believers) I would say historic fundamentalism (baptist) is definitely on the decline. [​IMG]
     
  13. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Australian Assemblies of God are considered to be "Fundamentalist" along with any other denomination that does not accept Homosexuality as some churches are in the habit of doing.

    The broad term in Australia to define a fundamentalist church is one that accepts the Bible as the inspired infallible Word of God. Not a "road map" as some suggest.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by "increasingly irrelevant in a world that needs scriptural truth and principals applied to ALL areas of life, not just a fire-insurance salvation and self-propogating institutions." My contention was that fundamentalism is not increasingly irrelevant, but rather increasingly relevant becuase it holds scriptural truth as scriptural truth rather than as flawed history or mythic stories, etc. The fundamentalists that I have contact with are teaching SCripture for all areas of life rather than a fire insurance salvaiton and self-propogating institutions (whatever that means).

    If I misunderstood you, then I apologize. With Bob, I do think that the numbers of historic fundamentalists are dwindling as a whole. But I also think that historic fundamentalists are increasing among fundamentalists, that is, a lot of fundamentalists are beginning to see through the weak soteriology, the KJVOnly issue, the hyper-separation, etc and are returning to historic fundamentalism.
     
  15. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Messages:
    7,693
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pastor Larry, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said:

     
  16. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,649
    Likes Received:
    312
    As long as there are men (and women), who take God at His Word, who are willing to abide by the plain meaning of words, who will defend and order their ministry according to these concepts, fundamentalism will as it always has present with us. We may not be large in number, but that is not what God has called us to be. He has called us to be faithful and obediant to Him.
     
  17. Zebedee

    Zebedee
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am familiar with the Jack Hyles/Sword of the Lord/Southwide Fellowship segment of fundamentalism, and it, in my opinion, is dying.
     
  18. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    These are perversions of fundamentalism... Jack Hyles in particular was not a fundamentalist in practice.
     

Share This Page

Loading...