One of the biggest reasons most Christians are not Fundamentalists is they’ve been fed too much rhetoric over the years by theological liberals who are trying to keep their jobs. If most Christians read their Bibles and believed them, then there’d be quite a few famous Christian teachers who’d be out of a job.
One of my favorite teachers has slipped in his firm belief in the Bible being inspired, and it was a horrible blow to me. I noticed that his statement of faith had nothing about an inerrant, inspired Bible, and I emailed him and told him so. There was no response, and his statement of faith is unchanged. That can only mean that he no longer believes the Bible to be the word of God. I’ve had to stop going to his website. So, let me explain what Fundamentalism really is, how to get there, and WHY you should get there.
Fundamentalism is a belief that the Bible is complete and without error in whole or part, written by God – and a desire to conform our lives to it.
There you go.
“But I believe that!”
If you believe that, you’re a Fundamentalist. But here’s where I’m going to get you – every Christian insists they believe in the Bible, but there’s a disconnect. When you read something in there you don’t like, a lot of you justify your lack of belief by saying, “Well, that part’s not in the original manuscripts.” Or, “Well, that’s not for today.” “That was just Paul.”
If you’ve said that, you do not believe the Bible is without error in whole and part, inspired and preserved, the word of God.
You’re fairly close to being what the Bible describes as an “unbeliever.”
It’s true. You either believe the Bible is correct, inerrant, inspired, written by God and preserved – or you don’t. One of the biggest inconsistencies among Messianics that firmly drive me nuts is that often they hold themselves to be the guardians of the word of God, yet a majority of them do not believe the canon is sealed, do not believe the Bible is without error, and do not believe it is preserved.
Fundamentalists believe with perfect faith there is no errors. No “this was not in the oldest and best manuscripts” – we even challenge that whenever we hear it, because most of us have done the research, and found the oldest and best manuscripts to be not so old, and heavily edited – therefore unreliable.
We especially get suspicious when we look at the verses that are always in question – any verse supporting the doctrine of Jesus Christ being pre-existent, Jesus Christ being God in human flesh, any evidence for the Trinity, any evidence for the resurrection. Every reference to prayer and fasting is reduced to “prayer”. Funny that THESE should always be the ones in question.
Most of the references to the shed blood of Jesus Christ is removed from the “oldest and best” manuscripts. Some of the experts believe Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were written by Origen, an Arianist Gnostic who interpreted the Bible allegorically, and did not believe Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. You won’t be meeting Origen in heaven, I’m sure.
I personally do not believe Origen wrote Sinaiticus – because Sinaiticus was written by Constantinus Simonides in the early 19th century. It was a forgery. I do agree it was either Origen or Eusebius who wrote Vaticanus – or possibly Origen wrote it, and Eusebius was the first of many editors (unlike the Textus Receptus, which wasn’t edited).
So one of the “Oldest and best” manuscripts is a clumsy forgery, and the other was written by a Christ-denying heretic who did not believe the Bible literally, and simply took out of the manuscript what he didn’t like.
Most of what you’ve learned about the Bible was written by heretics who don’t believe it. Textual critics, who denied Christ, wrote all of the incomprehensible rules about the Bible – not the ones you’ve heard, but the ones saying “The Bible is to be treated like any other book.” That’s the first commandment of Textual Critics. That statement should shock you.
Everything changes when you believe the Bible has no errors. I have to say it that way, because so many people say with a straight face that “The Bible is inerrant” but later on you hear them say “Well, that was added in by a pious Scribe”. If they can say both with a straight face, they’re lying about one or the other.
When they tell you that none of the disputed verses concern any of the cardinal truths and doctrines of Christianity, they’re lying.
When they tell you that the disputed verses run to only a handful, they’re lying. The total number of verses in Revelation are less than the number of disputed verses. They literally amount to 1 and 2 Peter, the Epistles of John plus Jude.
That’s… um… a lot.
Your Bible has no errors.
Your Bible has no mistakes.
Every word is there for a reason.
Every verse in the King James Bible was present in the original manuscripts.
Paul did not add things because they were cultural.
Paul wrote things because God told him to.
There are no errors, no mistakes, no contradictions.
Once you grasp on to the fact that when you hold the King James Bible you’re holding the word of God in your hand, your entire outlook changes.
The changes in my Christian life were immense after that.
Once you realize that God said, “Pray without ceasing”, and not just nice words written by some guy named Paul, you begin to think – “Gee, I should pray without ceasing!”
You’re going to forget to do it, but see – your attitude has gone from “Paul says…” to “God says” or “It is written in the Bible…”. That places a LOT more authority on that. That’s why Andy Stanley is an unbelieving heretic. He says we need to stop saying “The Bible says” and instead say, “Paul writes in Romans…”
That’s only because Andy Stanley is a Barthian heretic and unbeliever.
When you grasp this mindset, that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative word of God and our only rule of faith and practice… everything changes.
You begin to look at people you always thought were Fundamentalists – and with a shock you realize that either they don’t believe or are misguided.
And then you begin to notice the Bible says authoritatively, “Come out of her, and touch not the unclean thing” when talking about the world.
You notice that you are commanded to be “Not unequally yoked”, and suddenly you realize that verse isn’t talking just about marriage. You notice the verse in Romans 16 where it tells you to mark and avoid false teachers.
And you think, “God must have a reason to tell us that.”
Now you’re a Fundamentalist.
It’s that simple. That’s really all it is. You believe the Bible, and try to conform your life to it.
The things that people don’t like about Fundamentalism are Fundamentalist because that’s what the Bible commands! Should you associate with people who’s idea of salvation is works?
The Bible says no.
Should you associate with people who’s idea of salvation is to be sprinkled with water as a baby?
The Bible says no.
Fundamentalists see things as black and white because that’s how the Bible presents it. You’re saved or you’re not. Your doctrine is right or it’s not. If your doctrine is wrong a little bit, it’s still wrong. Just delete the “little bit” part, because you can’t find that concept in the Bible.
“We need to have dialog with people that have a different faith tradition!”
No, the people with a different faith tradition have the same Bible you do. They know that salvation requires repentance. They know that salvation is a spiritual, one time event and that it’s forever. They know that baptism is by bodily immersion. They know that being sprinkled with water as an infant is not salvation.
So they’re wrong. They teach error. Timothy was told to keep his doctrine without spot.
There’s nothing in the Bible about dialog with people who labor in error. The Bible calls it false teaching.
We’re told to mark them and avoid them. We’re told to rebuke a heretic once or twice, then avoid.
Don’t like it? Your argument then is with God. And then that reveals a spiritual condition that needs to be addressed.
The reason so few are Fundamentalist is because so few are saved. Are there Evangelicals who are truly saved? Yes, but you can’t be a Fundamentalist for very long in an Evangelical church.
Believe the Bible, and conform your life to it. It’s that simple.