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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Greg Linscott, Mar 11, 2004.
This is the title to an article in the latest Frontline Magazine.
What are your thoughts?
I think the article is misplaced in its blame as it seems to blame a lack of mentors.
Many of us love to mentor and disciple young men. I have found something of an attitude of "mentor me to my desires."
I fear it is partially a lack of "sold-outedness" on the part of many young men.
Disenfranchised by the movement known as fundamentalism. When movements major on the minors it does not take too long for them to lose subsequent generations.
"We have kept our traditions and lost our children."
Excellent post. We as fundementalists MUST make some real changes.
Where are the young Fundamentalists? HELLO.........THEY ARE LOTS OF THEM IN GOOD INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTAL KJV BAPTIST CHURCHES!!
Since I have not read the article I do not know what was said, but the idea that fundamentalism is fading is a real one. The church in America has in my opinion died to holiness. We have more excuses for sin then carter has liver pills. We have adopted doctrines that override scripture and justify sin by teaching that everyone sins every day which is not biblical. Or when confronted with sin we hold to the life verse "no one is perfect." We seem to love our cliché's more then admitting that our love for the lord is not what it ought to be as being why we sin as we do when we do. There is little wonder why the young people do not see any power in the faith today and someone might see that fundamentalism is dead..
Now some will feel that I have spoken too strongly so here is my question. What makes someone a fundamental?
Thank you for your well-thought out, meaningful contribution.
Thank you for your well-thought out, meaningful contribution. I will take that as sincere and not as a snide remark from someone that spends all their time on a liberal message board. If you travel in the circle that I do with my family singing and preaching you would find many GOOD FUNDAMENTAL churches with GOOD GODLY young people.
The reason for the article is a concern that many of our young ministerial students graduate from our fundamental schools and then align themselves with non-fundamentalist groups and denominations. The FBF in particular has, from my understanding, become basically irrelevant to the younger generation. Why? Probably several reasons but at least these: failed leadership and not effectively dealing with issues plaguing fundamentalism (e.g., version issue, easy believism, separation over non-essentials, lack of integrity in preaching issues, etc.).
I suppose it was half-sincere, half-snide.
I recognize that there are young people in good churches. What I am not always convinced of is that they are capable of exercising discernment in our fundamentalist convictions. What you often see in our young people in fundamentalist churches are the extremes of either blind loyalty ("I believe a, b, and c because my preacher said so" type thinking), or unbridled acceptance of anything claiming to be "Christian" (such as the overwhelming popularity of the Passion among young people).
I submit that the ones you refer to are followers. If you can tell me something different- that there are young fundamentalists who are firm in their convictions and are prepared to lead a new generation...
What do you call "young"? I am 21 and would certainly call myself "fundamentalist". In my experience, the problem with those of similar age is worldliness. There is such an emphasis on so-called "friendship evangelism" that we are taught to go partying, drinking, rocking to rave "music", watching gory or profane or nude movies, etc. or else the lost will never be saved! The churches are so scared of confronting popular ideas and becoming "legalistic" that standards don't matter, and doctrine and holiness and street preaching are hardly the top of people's priorities! But this is symptomatic of the state of society as a whole - and this I think has been caused by rising wages, the subsequent persuit of entertainment, and especially the T.V., state-controlled education, and other media encouraging this way of thinking/acting. If only we had more IFB churches here in Britain!
I agree with your assessment- it is not a lack of mentors.
One of the problems I see is that Fundamentalism as a movement has gone, well, stale. Where are our books? I know there are many classics and such, but why aren't we writing? We lose influence, I believe, in part because we have allowed leading Evangelicals to do much of our thinking for us. Other forms of Christian media, too, are conspicuously lacking any significant Fundamentalist presence- magazines, Internet, broadcast...
Perhaps part of this is also attributed to the perception that our movement is all about separation. Don't get me wrong-- I believe in militant separation. But I think sometimes it turns men of my generation off, because it becomes the defining characteristic, or an end unto itself. It becomes a tone rather than a position or practice- something that we relish and take pleasure in.
There is also the "lump-in" factor, or the lack of definition to the movement. A Fundamental Baptist, in today's terminology and usage, can mean anything from a conservative SBCer to a hard-core Ruckmanite. What does it mean to be a Fundamentalist in America today? I think the answer scares many well-meaning young pastors and leaders, due to "guilt by association."
Those are some of my thoughts. Interested to hear yours.
For all the questions about where the young fundamentalists are, it seems that a better question is where the old fundamentalists are. Aefting's post hits the nail on the head--recent generations have blown it on some major issues. Younger fundamentalists view them as having precious little credibility because they see separation taking place on issues but not on core doctrines. And at least for the moment doctrine is very important to this generation.
I'm seeing a fork in the road for this generation. Many younger fundamentalists are maintaining the historic application of the principles, even though they have very little allegiance to the "movement" in its current form.
Others are abandoning the principles and embracing broader evangelicalism. This is attractive in many ways, because we all like to have a "group." The problem is that broad evangelicalism has its own set of problems. (Don't believe this? Read one of the threads about SBC politics. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.) Whose problems are worse--evangelicals or conformity-oriented fundamentalists? Good question. I don't know how to answer.
One of the great dangers, IMO, is our innate desire for man's approval. We crave the security that comes from having the support of our associations. Sound familiar? Perhaps it's because you've read Genesis 11. My personal hope is that the younger generations will remain committed to fundamentalist principles even if they do not choose to be a part of the de facto denomination that is "Fundamentalism."
Greg, I didn't want to come across as sarcastic. However there is so much junk on this board from those who call themselves fundamental who have absolutely no convictions about anything! I get is lots of churches across this country where the young dress right talk right and use the KJV. I agree with some on here the problem is not with the young people as much as with the old people getting soft in their old age.....but then that's scriptural isn't it.
hmm, must be fundamentalists.
Is that all it takes?
Please don't let this degrade into a version debate. The issue is part of the conversation, no question. But it is this kind of "give and take" that is somewhat illustrative of the problem in our movement.
I don't perceive a version debate starting here at all. It just seemed like a very simple definition of a young fundamentalist.
IMO a fundamentalist is MUCH more than those three things listed.
The question is valid. Where are the TRUE young fundamentalists, not those who are only fundamental in respect to a "list."
Especially since those three things are also true of Mormons.
Where can young fundamentalist pastors turn for help with the issues they face today? More and more are turning to conservative evangelicals because fundamental institutions, with the exception of a few schools and fewer churches, are not providing any help.
On the other hand, there are plenty of problems in the broader evangelical world, too. A lot of these problems are due to the new evangelical rejection of Biblical separation. Personally, I'd rather have the fundamentalist problems anyday.
I agree with you, C4K, on the defining characteristics.
The KJV issue has been brought up, however. What I am asking is if it is going to be part of this line of discussion, that we talk more about the issue's effect on people staying/leaving, rather than the merits of the issue itself.
There's the answer in a nutshell. Fundamentalism is being redefined as something different than what it is.
While pseudo-fundamentalists- KJVO's contend with fundamentalists over versions, other sound doctrine is left untaught. While standards are being forced down kids' throats, they are becoming disillusioned because their leaders lack Christian love and compassion. The opinions and intimidation of legalists become the motivation rather than what God's Word actually says.
Fundamentalism is not defined by wearing dresses/coat&tie or by using the KJV. Fundamentalism is a belief in biblical authority, biblical doctrines, and the willingness to separate from those who don't.