What is Fundamentalism?

We’ve dealt with repentance, truly getting saved, withdrawing from the world, and no longer cooperating with the unsaved for “the sake of the Gospel”. I need to deviate for a moment and address some misconceptions – because I believe that the current “sleepwalking” state of most Christians is that – they simply have not been taught better.

I believe that if the things I’ve talked about the last few days had been taught to most Christians, they’d have rushed to do them! Or not do them, as the case may be.
We talked recently about Evangelicalism, how many famous pastors and evangelists – you know those guys like Charles Swindoll and David Jeremiah – who use the words Evangelical and Fundamentalist – as if their interchangeable. Unless Swindoll is trying to ridicule someone who has a stand for the Bible, in which case he uses the word “Fundamentalist” as if it’s pejorative. In other words, he can’t use the word as if it’s something to inspire and something derogatory at the same time.

So, are you an Evangelical, or a Fundamentalist? Here’s the definitions, and you tell me what you think describes you best.

Fundamentalist – stands for the inerrant truth of the Bible. Believes the Bible literally, believes in a literal six day creation, believes Jesus Christ literally is one third of the Trinity, rose from the dead and ascended physically to heaven. Believes in a literal bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ in an event called the Rapture, believes in a literal seven year tribulation, believes in the eventual return of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of that seven years to judge the world, believes in a millennium, in other words – takes the Bible seriously and believes it. Wants to do what God has asked of you.

Evangelical – not so worried about sound doctrine – the most important thing is that you have good fuzzy feelings. We should all love one another, as long as it doesn’t cost anything, and doesn’t require too much. Whether the Bible is without error or not is not so important! We just need to have happy feelings. We like strong sermons, as long as they don’t require us to do anything! WE should accept everyone who names the name of Christ as fellow Christians, and judge not – the most important thing is unity! We’ll not worry about if they’re saved or not – if they’re not, they’ll find out eventually. no big deal, because most of us think Hell is just sitting in a big empty room facing a corner in a time out! And hey, God’s a loving God – He’ll probably let them out someday! Our definition of saved is walking down an aisle, and repeating after the Pastor. You know you’re saved after that if you have a big emotional reaction, maybe laughing, maybe crying, maybe a rash or a warm feeling. What do you mean, that’s not in the Bible? I don’t worry too much about that, Brother! Our church has 10,000 people, so God HAS to be with us!
Which are you? Here’s the important question – which one do you think God wants you to be?

16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Jeremiah 6:16-17 (KJV)

Here’s where I get a little controversial – I have a few questions about any professing Christian who is completely unconcerned about God’s will for their life. Because let me tell you, that anyone who after getting saved starts worrying about “What does God want me to do???” becomes a Fundamentalist if they look for the answers to that question.
I’d love feedback on this article. I’d like an evangelical to explain to me why they aren’t worried about God’s will for their life. I’m the only person that I can see inside their head. I’m the only person I can hear the thoughts of, and understand the reasonings.
Am I confusing my own call to ministry with that of a concerned Christian’s desire to do God’s will? Do those not called to ministry have the same concern?
I’ll tell you the truth – I think they do. That’s why there’s countless books and sermons that proclaim, “How to find God’s will for your life!!!”
Ray Comfort answers that question with – look, God puts His own desires in you at Salvation. Your thoughts begin to conform to His, slowly. So if you get a desire to do something for God, that’s His will. Do it! Don’t just sit there!
Okay, saved you a lot of money.
The essential difference between a Fundamentalist and an Evangelical is how they regard the Bible. And I’m telling you, once you really understand this issue, you’ll suddenly be concerned about what Bible you read!
That’s why Evangelicals loudly complain about the King James issue – they don’t regard the Bible as inerrant. It’s inspired, they say, but it may have a few errors. No big deal.
To me, it’s a huge deal. You’re saying God is not God. Because a Holy, just and perfect God would write a holy, just and perfect Bible.
I’m always dumbfounded when I read famous Christians say they believe in a literal, inspired, perfect Bible – but then they admit they no longer believe in a word for word inspiration.
Debunk the caricatures liberal Christians often have regarding evangelicals. As a case in point, some liberal Christians think typical evangelicals believe in the dictation theory of inspiration (the view that God literally dictated the Bible word for word to the biblical writers). Emphasize that typical evangelicals reject this view. At the same time, however, be ready to explain and defend the correct view of inspiration… (Ron Rhodes, http://www.ronrhodes.addr.com/articles/witnessing-to-liberals.html).
Uhhh… Mr. Rhodes, that IS the correct view! I will state that Mr. Rhodes defends the Bible as without error in the same article. But the Greek compound words for “Inspired” in 2 Timothy is means “God Breathed”. In other words, dictated. The Lord Jesus Christ even said in the Sermon on the Mount that the Bible was not only letter for letter inspired, but even the very parts of the letters were inspired! Now, how can it be letter for letter inspired without being dictated???
I’m a little reluctant to take Mr. Rhodes to task. I think his article was poorly worded. At the same time… there’s only one correct view of this. Stating that “typical evangelicals reject this view” should have been followed by a strong rebuke for that action!
Do YOU reject the view that God literally chose the words of the Bible?
If a fundamentalist is someone who believes the Bible literally, and an Evangelical does not – which are you? Do you believe the Bible literally?
Why not? And if you don’t believe the Bible literally… are you saved? That’s an important question, because if you don’t believe 2 Timothy 3:16, then how can you believe John 3:16 and John 14:6?
If you don’t believe John 14:6… which Jesus are you believing in?

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Corinthians 11:4 (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 (KJV)

Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

3 thoughts on “What is Fundamentalism?”

  1. Thank you for this message. We recently heard of a ‘hermeneutic’ method that teaches ‘the word of God is literal, unless He tells us to do otherwise’. However, for Book of Revelation ‘it is symbolic, unless told to do otherwise’. This was very confusing to listener. Where does God tell us to apply this type of view to scripture. Your thoughts would be helpful.


    1. The first half of it was right – “the Bible is to be taken literally, unless it says otherwise.”
      Where it says otherwise, it will give you the interpretation itself somewhere in that passage.
      Revelation is to be taken literally. There is some symbolic visions (seven of them) – for example the Antichrist is not literally a seven headed monster. However, it’s abundantly clear from the context that this is a vision, and related to the visions shown to Daniel.
      The hermaneutic method you’re hearing of is a typical Calvinist interpretation of Revelation, based upon a premise that an “invisible, universal church” replaces Israel. This sounds good to many Anti-semitic Christians – until you get to Revelation. The only way to reconcile the contrast is to say it is written in “apocalyptic” language, present only in that one book.
      As you noticed… it’s inconsistent.
      When looking for if a passage is sumbolic, look for “and he gave the interpretation of the vision”. The Bible always interprets itself. If you don’t see something like that… take it literally.


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