Too new to understand.

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by SRBooe, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess it is a matter of language. I am pretty sure that I know how to use the word "fundamental." I am aware of fundamental issues in the things we do - as those are the truths of the issue that everyone must understand to be participating in the event. We know that to use a ladder safely to go up on a roof, it is fundamental that the ladder base be away from the house approximately the distance equal to 1/4th of the height of the roof and that the ground be solid where the feet of the ladder rests. That is "fundamental."

    However, it seems to me that people here are looking down their noses at people they call "fundamentalists."

    I would like to know what a "fundamentalist" is. The term alone tells me that it would be a person who sees the truths of the Bible and believes in them. I must be wrong, as I don't see how peole would insult them they way I see it being done here.

    Please educate me. Since I see the truth of the bible and want to comply with the teachings given in it, I wonder if I should be insulting myself as well. There must be something more to it that I am not aware of.
     
  2. ashleysdad

    ashleysdad
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will ATTEMPT to answer your question. The problem as I see it is in how one defines 'fundamentalist" Is it one who holds to the fundamentals of scripture such as: the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, and the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Others say they are fundamentalists and add to these things issues like women not wearing pants, no long hair on men, only using the KJV, and other things. The problem becomes not the word but what the word means to different people. For instance for me if the word is defined as following the fundamentals of the faith I am a staunch fundamentalist, if it is defined as adhering to the other issues, then maybe not so much. As far as I can tell this is where the debate centers.
     
  3. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    May I recommend reading the many threads on this very subject? That's one of the great things about the Baptist Board. You can learn a lot.
     
  4. Luke2427

    Luke2427
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    7,598
    Likes Received:
    8
    I'm probably one who you are talking about that has slammed "fundamentalists".

    Ironically I am a fundamentalist in the true sense of the word.

    But those in my experience and in the experiences of many others on this thread who use the title most proudly have given it a bad name. These people make a big deal out of standards and such and are often (not always) King James Only, etc...

    These guys tend to be legalistic and do mare harm to the cause of Christ than good, IMO.

    These are the ones who usually get slammed on here. And rightly so, IMO.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,098
    Likes Received:
    218
    A Methodist pastor friend of mine was once "accused" of being a fundamentalist simply because he believed that you had to accept Christ as your Saviour thur His shed blood to go to Heaven. He told me he was anything but a fundamentalist, but if thats what those people thought, than so be it!
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Fundamentalism is an historical movement which began in the 1920s (or earlier according to some scholars). The name came from a series of pamphlets called "The Fundamentals" which were written by conservative scholars and pastors and paid for by Christian businessmen. Those pamphlets were then sent to pastors around the country. You can find them online at: http://www.xmission.com/~fidelis/

    The founding fathers of fundamentalism included such men as R. A. Torrey, A. T. Pierson, B. B. Warfield, C. I. Scofield, etc. My own grandfather, well known evangelist John R. Rice, became a fundamentalist in 1927 and was a major force in Baptist fundamentalism.

    The early fundamentalists not only believed the fundamental doctrines of the faith (there is controversy about the original lists), but were willing to fight for them. They saw their denominations and fellowships being taken over by theological liberalism, which often opposed fundamental doctrines such as the deity, virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Christ, and were willing to fight for the truth. Many of those early fundamentalists were disciplined out of their denominations (my grandfather was blackballed by the Texas Baptist Convention), or suffered in other ways for their beliefs.

    In the 21st century, the flag of fundamentalism is largely carried by Baptists. A fundamentalist scholar friend of mine believes this is because of the Baptist distinctive of the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice. However, there are also other groups which are fundamentalist, such as the Bible Presbyterians.

    What most people who oppose fundamentalism object to is our doctrine of "personal separation." We believe that Christians ought to be separate to God from the world, and avoid what we consider to be worldly practices. This doctrine has been held by fundamentalists from the very beginning (contrary to popular belief on this board), as can be seen by the writings of early fundamentalists such as R. A. Torrey and John R. Rice, and the analysis of non-fundamentalist Francis Schaeffer in his landmark book, The Great Evangelical Disaster. As you've noted, fundamentalists are often ridiculed on the Baptist Board for this belief, which opponents of fundamentalism call (with no theological basis) "legalism."

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    That's a real laugh! :laugh: Ignorance abounds, eh what?
     
  8. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the responses. I find this to be very interesting.

    It seems me that they issue is that someone needs a label in order to cast aspersions on those who try to follow the path that is given to them in the Bible. The problem stems then from the separation between those who feel the Bible is the actual word of God from those who feel the Bible is something else.

    It also seems that the term "legalism" means something that I don't rightly understand. Is that where people approach the Bible as if it were a law book and separate all the versus as if they are separate laws? In the short time that I have been a Christain, I have learned that the books of the Bible have to be taken in their entirety in order to be accurately understood. If I take separate versus and make them into something that they are not, I would be just a like a lawyer in a court room that can twist paragraphs from law books around to make them support my agenda rather than how they were meant. Or - maybe it means something else - so I am open to correction here.

    I haven't yet found the popular lable for those who think the Bible is just a suggestion, but I think that - in politics - the fundamentalist would be called "conservatives" and those who are insulting fundamentalist would be called "liberals." The difference is that in politics, it is about the Constitution instead of the Bible.

    I am not experienced at things of God and Bible like many here probably are, so I am not really to speak with conviction on many things as some here do. It does seem to me that, since this is a "Baptist Board," we are all supposed to understand the Bible basically the same way and have the same life principles. I'd also guess that we all have accepted Christ into our hearts as our savior and the example of the type of life we are supposed to lead. If that is the case, I don't understand why anyone here is being insulted for his or her beliefs. The beliefs should be the basically the same, right?

    Then again, from looking as post here, it appears that there are as many breeds of Baptists as there are of dogs. I would guess that the crux of the problem is that Baptists now come in all colors and flavors. I didn't really know that until reading posts here. I did have a hint of that, however, when our Pastor returned from a Baptist convention in Tampa, FL, and suggested that our church may have to separate from the Baptist organization. I guess policies in the Baptist church are changing to reflect the desires of society instead of reflecting the commands of God.

    I did notice that it is felt that a "fundamentalist" is a person who practices "legalism." I don't know that I buy that. If I am correct about what "legalism" means, then anyone can use it to support their desires - whether they are conservative or liberal.

    I'll have to start a different thread about what "apostasy" means.
     
  9. Jim1999

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

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think John of Japan has carried the historical meaning of fundamentalist very well.

    In the early days of modernism, we were prepared to stand for the truth of God's word regardless of the costs.

    The largest Baptist University in Canada, McMaster was moved from Toronto to Hamilton because of modernism. Dr. T.T. Shields of Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto was expelled from the Baptist Convention because he refused to give in to modernism. He formed his own seminary, which became the base for many Baptist preachers in Ontario and Quebec. The Baptist Convention split over modernism and many independent Baptist churches were formed.

    There was a clear distinction between fundamentalism and liberal baptists. We wore the label "fundamentalists" with great admiration. It did refer to the fundamentals of the faith in those days.

    Over time, many new classes were formed, and fundamenalism took on a new face. It went from the fundamentals of the faith to include sidelines that didn't exactly fit the term fundamentalist. Many of us shunned that title and went along with evangelical. This name, too, however, took on a new meaning along with neo-evangelicalism. Titles of who we were changed from day to day, but for the most part we stuck with evangelical as opposed to fundamentalist.

    For example, we had a problem between American fundamentalists and many Canadian baptists because of our eschatology. We were accepted, but.....sometimes we were quietly labelled modernists because of our amillennialism as opposed to dispensational premillennialism. So, to my liberal friends I was a fundamentalist, but to some of my conservative friends I was a liberal.

    Eventually we just ignore labels and get on with our calling and preach the word.

    I suggest you do the same and virtually ignore labels. What think you of Christ and His word is the key. Hold firmly to that and nevermind the peripheries.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Anyone who holds to the irreducible minimum doctrines of Christianity is "fundamental" in their belief. They can hold to OTHER and widely DIVERSE positions (on baptism, church polity/organization, prophecy) but that does not affect their "fundamental" beliefs.

    1. The Bible is God's Word (including creation, etc)
    2. Jesus is God's incarnate Son
    ~Virgin Born
    ~Sinless Life
    ~Vicarious subsitutionary Atonement
    ~Bodily Resurrection
    ~Ascension
    3. Jesus is Coming Again

    These countered the rise of modernism, liberalism and godless evolution that rejected every one of the above!! Can you imagine?

    A "Fundamentalist" is one who will CONTEND, holding openly and tenaciously the "fundamentals" against attack.

    It has NOTHING to do with choices of personal separation, holy living, which translation you read, style of clothes, who you hang around with or whether you hold to temperance or abstinence in alcohol!! Those are MODERN additions that some have added to the historic position.

    Those hijackers of the name "Fundamentalist" are regularly and justly condemned here. Their man-made doctrines are bringing a reproach on the name of Christ and many of us here battle them to try to weed out such evil in the Church.
     
  11. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you guys for your responses.

    I happen to think that there are "fundamental tenets" to believe, and that all Christians should hold to them as given in your responses. That would make us all "fundamental."

    Those who call fundamentalists "looney-toons" are speaking of people whom they do not describe, so all of us who think that we hold to fundamental beliefs as Christians wonder if we are being insulted as well.

    Given all that, it is a wonder that the label "fundamentalist" is still used by anyone. It actually no longer has any meaning that we can understand. I guess it can apply to a few different groups, so it is ambiguous and can rightly be discarded.

    As a child, I was taken to a church that identified itself as "Conservative Baptist." They had a great many man-made rules that we were to follow, and since I had to attend, I learned those rules. While they were very restrictive, I can see that they were made to eliminate any possibility of being dragged into a sinful environment. The Bible didn't give us those rules, that church did.

    My understanding right now is that most people in the past would have called THAT church "fundamental." I will not insult them, though, for those chosen rules for living. They choose it for their reasons, and if it works for them and they do not sin- none should insult them for it.

    Thanks again for your responses. I pray God blesses you for taking the time to provide explanations.
     
  12. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would beg to differ.

    The 'touch not; taste not; handle not' rules do nothing to prevent one from sinning.

    Colossians 2:23- These (rules) have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
     
  13. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brother, I don't see how you can tell that the rules that the members of that church follow do not help remove temptation from them. If they avoid all the actions that they enumerated, they also avoided the temptations.

    I will not insult them for their methods of avoiding temptation. We all have to either avoid the temptation or refuse to submit. One method is easier than the other.
     
  14. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    Take it up with God then. That's His Word that I quoted.
     
  15. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, sir, you presented your interpretation.
     
  16. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    So how else do you interpret Colossians 2:20-23?

    20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" 22( referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

    Rules are good. But keeping them does not make us righteous nor do they keep us from sinning.
     
  17. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    And, like so many other ruined threads, we begin...

    One would think that with all the Bible knowledge on this board, that more of us would realize one of the FIRST and preeminent commands from Jesus was to love one another, but no. We seem to prefer to fight... :BangHead:
     
  18. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brother, the problem is that the whole book of Colossians must be considered, not just a few verses. Who wrote the word and to whom was he speaking? What caused him to address the subject? Was he referring to a problem with cults and false teachers, or was he addressing all Christians in general? By the way, which translation of the Bible are you using? Mine does not use the same words in verse 23 as yours.

    but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

    May I suggest that you are addressing motivation for churches to have their own rules of behavior, and that you are not really in position to know if those churches attempt to add to the scripture or are they agreeing that there are temptations best avoided. Also, your reworded verse is questionable - as I am sure that many agree the there is value in avoiding temptation.
     
  19. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well if you don't know the answer to those questions you asked you better get to studying. The words of Mexdeaf are ended.
     
  20. SRBooe

    SRBooe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's unfortunate. I don't know what Bible you are using, and if it is a secret one, you really should find one similar to the ones we use, doncha think?

    At least, then we can discuss things rather than attack each other's beliefs.
     

Share This Page

Loading...