- TABLE OF CONTENTS
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STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
The following is an article written by a friend and pastor.
I have added my thoughts in blue.
I am certainly not the final authority, but this brother hit the nail right on the head, and I think we need to read this and think about our ways and the ways of Christ.
In 1883 a group of Christian bible scholars met for the first time at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, near Niagara Falls and established the principles of Christian fundamentalism. It was here that the Niagara Bible Conference gathered every year from 1883 through 1897 (with the exception of 1884). It met at the Queen's Royal Hotel and its pavilion. James Brooks, in his Truth magazine describes the meeting of 1892 as one
"more largely attended than ever before. Often every seat in the pavilion was occupied, and the porches were filled with eager hearers of the Word. The place too becomes more beautiful as the years go by, and it would be difficult to find a spot better suited to the quiet and prayerful study of the Sacred Scriptures. The building in which the Conference meets, overlooking Lake Ontario and the River Niagara, and surrounded by green trees, is secluded from the noise of the world; and so excellent were the arrangements for the accommodation of the guests, both in Queen's Royal Hotel and in the boarding houses of the village, that not a word of complaint was heard from any one." Some of the scholars who were present, known as the founding fathers of Fundamentalism, were W.E. Blackstone, Charles Erdman, James H. Brookes, William Moorehead, A.J. Gordon, A.C. Dixon, C.I. Scofield, and J. Hudson Taylor (who founded the China Inland Mission).
The messages generally centered on the doctrines of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, missions and prophecy. Premillennialism was defended and taught. Article XIV of the 1878 Niagara Bible Conference Creed states,
"We believe that the world will not be converted during the present dispensation, but is fast ripening for judgment, while there will be a fearful apostasy in the professing Christian body; and hence that the Lord Jesus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and that this personal and premillennial advent is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel for which we should be constantly looking." Some of the contributions of the Niagara Conference were:
1. The conference helped to strengthen the distinctive character of Fundamentalism. It was this feature of the movement which made possible the organization, in 1919, of the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association.
2. The conference spawned new missionary activity and evangelism. The faith missions movement itself finds its roots in Niagara, where Arthur Tappan Pierson, editor of the Missionary Review of the World, and J. Hudson Taylor of the China Inland Mission urged their listeners to pledge support to foreign missions.
3. Niagara contributed to the rise and spread of a large Bible conference movement. Receiving invitations from various parts of America to establish similar meetings, the Niagara also provided the impetus and leadership for numerous conferences.
4. Niagara had a significant impact on the rise of the Bible institute and college movement. With evolutionary views and new theology engulfing an increasing number of theological seminaries, the Niagara spokesmen began promoting another type of institution, the Bible school, and virtually every Fundamentalist school that was organized prior to 1930 found advice, encouragement, or personnel from among those whose lives Niagara had influenced.
5. The conference gave early expression to Fundamentalism’s emphasis on concentrated Bible study. One of this conference’s methods of Bible study, the Bible reading, was in many cases a clear application of the biblical theology method, that is, the unfolding of particular doctrines chronologically rather than systematically through the Bible. The program of a Niagara conference was often designed to expound one particular doctrine, Christology for example, with each speaker assigned a different section of Scripture through which he would trace the teaching.
6. The conference precipitated a vast amount of Fundamentalist literature on prophecy, of which there had been little before the prolific writers of Niagara began producing it. From the pens of Brookes, Erdman, Kellogg, West, Blackstone, Pierson, Scofield, and others came a profusion of Christian literature, not only on prophecy but on every cardinal doctrine. Especially significant were writings on the Person and Work of Christ, The Holy Spirit, and missions.
7. The Niagara meetings inspired scores of Christian businessmen to dedicate their lives to Christ and to become generous donors to Fundamentalist churches, schools, missions, and publication enterprises.
David O. Beale, In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850
Cornerstone Baptist Church, Ontario
II TIMOTHY 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II TIMOTHY 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
I THESSALONIANS 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
REVELATION 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
One of the great themes of the New Testament is the importance of taking care to maintain truth in the face of attacks that come from every direction. It is a theme common to all of the scriptures but is emphasized in the"second" books like II Corinthians, II Thessalonians, II Timothy and II Peter. We are constantly warned that attacks on truth will often come from unexpected sources.
Jude 4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
As things have played out in the New Testament era, the great enemies of the gospel have often been within more than from the outside of Christendom. I believe that we witnessed such a phenomena in the 20th Century and that this phenomena still continues into the 21st century, and because it does, it is time that we sound the alarm for the enemy within.
Now before you decide that I have become absolutely apostate and have left the faith, allow me to say that I still believe the "fundamentals." I believe in the inspiration and authority of scripture (KJV). I believe in the virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death burial and resurrection of Christ. I believe in the Trinity, the blood atonement, the imminent return of Christ and that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe.
In short, I still hold to the fundamentals, but I am not a fundamentalist. The first thing that we need clear up is that the term "Fundamentalist" does not mean a person who holds to the historical Christian faith. Far from it. Fundamentalism was a movement that developed out of the turmoil of the late 19th Century in which much of historical Christian doctrine and dogma was deemed to be unimportant so long as a handful of "fundamentals" were kept. What I hope to show is that "Fundamentalism" and Historical Christianity are not the same.
Then too, I need to point out that this statement has nothing to do with the principles that Billy Graham, Vernon Grounds, Rick Warren, use to establish what they called "Emergent Christianity." What they did was to establish an off shoot of fundamentalism denouncing what they perceived to be the "stigma" that came with fundamentalism while maintaining the basic position. To this observer, they only attempted to rename it and hope to get a better reaction from the lost, or more profanely, fill the offering plate.
No, I am not renaming anything. As I have studied fundamentalism in the light of Scripture and historical Christianity, I have determined that I not only am not now, but I may never have been a fundamentalist.
And this statement begs the question, "Why?" "
How can a person say that he is not a fundamentalist when he believes in the fundamentals?"
That is a fair question and one I will attempt to answer.
By the turn of the 20th Century, historical Christianity in America was under siege as perhaps it had never been before. The attacks were coming from every direction and every blow was devastating. After the War Between the States, the nation was "reconstructed" in a manner completely foreign to, and in opposition to, the religious principles upon which the nation had been founded. Beginning with Abraham Lincoln, we had six Republican presidents who each seemed to try and outdo those who had gone before them in regards to the destruction of the Christian principles upon which the nation was founded. It seemed that every political doctrine founded on the Bible was attacked and abandoned.
The divorce between Caesar, which Jesus called for from his teaching, was actually taking place, but it was a divorce out of malice, not a true separation of church and state BY THE CHURCH. Capitalism, the grubby kind, was on the rise, and Jesus was simply in the way.
Even our foundational liberties were under attack. Things got so bad that preachers in some areas, were required to sign loyalty oaths and if a pastor refused to sign such, he was beaten or jailed. These abuses are not widely reported but there are documented cases where it did take place and probably would have taken place more often had not so many Christians compromised with the tyrants rather than opposing them.
Where did the evolution of this divide lead? Answer: To a man made kingdom in the church house. What did true Bible believing pastors do after the divorce was complete? Fundamentalists have come full circle and are USING nationalism and patriotism to advance church power and attendance. The divorce has a happy ending as the political right has married the lonely divorcee and given her a place amongst the mighty.
Today, Fundamental Baptists have sold their birthright, that is, to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ, for the less noble calling of being church house bosses. This is accomplished by calling the saints to salute the national flag, beat the war drums, and exalt the US Constitution above the Word of God. How is this different from signing on with Abe Lincoln? I hear someone singing "My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" as these Baptist preachers promote right wing politics and US War policy. The (un) Civil War did not bring in the Kingdom of Christ, and Bush and Obama wars in the Middle East have nothing to do with bringing anything glorifying to God except lower gas prices and banking connections in the Middle East. (2011-- Ain't workin' out so good, right?)
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
During this time (the 1800s) we became an industrial nation with men like J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller amassing great fortunes. In fact, I have read that during this time 90% of the wealth of the nation came to be in the control of less than 2% of the people in the nation leaving 98% of the people to fight over 10% of the wealth. Whether or not these statistics are exactly true, the fact is that we went from being a nation without poverty and without extreme wealth to being a nation with both, and Christianity was left to deal with the problems that attend both.
While Christians lifted many a burden of the poor, the wealthy came to see the Church as a pain in the neck, for the brand of Capitalism practiced during the 1800s was wicked and brutal.
These things were serious and would have been devastating if they were the only attacks coming. However, these were only the catalyst for some far more sinister attacks. The devastation done in some of these other attacks was immeasurable, and although these attacks seemed to come as a series of unrelated issues, their cumulative effect was that of a set of carefully choreographed and sequenced battles against orthodox Christianity. Even Judaism came under attack.
EVOLUTION: The first of the attacks I will mention, and I give these in no particular chronological order, was that of Charles Darwin with his theory of evolution. Although no reputable scientist holds to the Darwinian model today, his "Origin of the Species" was a bombshell when it came out. Christians had always assumed the Biblical account to be accurate and had paid little or no attention to the actual mechanics by which God had created the heavens and the earth. The only thing that mattered was that God did create out of nothing, and because He did so, He was the sovereign God before whom all of us would someday stand. Now, that very foundational truth was under attack. Christians were "blindsided" by this attack and soon it seemed that the entire world of science embraced Darwin and left the Bible believer looking like an ignorant buffoon.
To this day, Fundamentalist preachers frequently have no idea what the devices of the devil are with evolution. Some inform themselves, but it is far easier to ignore evolution and claim that if parents put their kids in a Baptist church school, the kids would be safe. Sooner of later, these kids hit the wall, and they do not have a clue what is coming. These kids are then subjected to what appears to be very rational explanations of how alleged science defines their origins.
Then, Karl Marx wrote "The Communist Manifesto" and in it he outlined the premise of having government and economics without any accountability to God whatsoever. Our founding fathers, some of whom were not even believers, would not have considered forming a government without asking for the blessing of divine providence. Suddenly there was a political theory that presented the possibility of government, not only without asking for divine guidance, but capable of operating completely outside of any acknowledgment of God. Both Republican and Democrats seemed determined to add as many of these principles as they could. Christians who would try to exalt the Biblical principles of government were ridiculed as relics of another age.
Sigmund Freud developed Psychology so that we could learn about the mind, find forgiveness for our transgressions, and live happy lives without going through God and in short, learn to live at peace with all mankind without any reliance on God whatsoever. No longer was man a sinner in need of salvation, he was basically good and it was society, especially that part of society that would detract from a positive self-image, that needed to be corrected.
By this day the vast majority of pastors and church gurus have been seduced into using the 300+ "disorders" defined in the Psychiatric manual of ailments. None of them can be taken into a lab or clinical setting and tested or diagnosed by actual testing. They are all Mother Goose. Yet, the average pastor will defer to the shrink and simply encourage the victim to, "Ask the Lord to help you get through this," or, "God has given us these professional counselors to help heal us."
In time, John Dewey developed an educational system that could do the same thing for education. God could be left completely out and it would not make any difference so far as Dewey and his followers were concerned. Under the guise of secularism, the public school system became a training ground for people who would do good without God.
Fundamentalists, since about 1955, have been fleeing into brick and mortar. They have opened thousands of schools run by the local church. While these may serve a purpose in many cases, there was no mandate in the Epistles of "going out of the world." Jesus told Peter to feed sheep, and Paul told Timothy to teach. The story of the Lord's Church for 2000 years shows that those who flee into brick and mortar instead of teaching the saints to survive IN the world, end up making monsters. They also fail to prepare the saints for the onslaught of every day life. This now shows up most urgently in the practice of street preaching and "door-to-door" visitation.
The Jews in Europe fled into ghettos. This was an invention the Jews came up with so they could limit who lived in their ghettos to those who wanted to live 100% observant of Moses' law. What happened? The Gentiles were delighted, and the secretive nature of Jewish life resulted in many agitators claiming the Jews were plotting to rule the world and take over all the banks. What the Jews thought would keep them pure became their prison in the end as they were told they could liver nowhere else.
The modern "Fundamental" saint is not very eager to speak for Jesus at every opportunity because the church system has given him a time on the calendar to speak for Jesus. The Gospel is preached every Sunday instead of teaching at all meetings as in the local churches in Acts. So, soul winning consists mainly of dragging sinners in tow to the church house and moaning and pleading with the Holy Spirit to kick them down onto the carpet up front during the singing of "Just as I Am". It is safer to be with others when speaking for Jesus, and it is approved by the "man of God." Fleeing to the real estate is NOT the New Testament picture. Fundamentalists are now told, "You should be here every time the church doors are open." "Hold the Fort" is the favorite hymn. It is impossible to "pull down strongholds" if one never walks where the enemy is.
In religion, Unitarianism, whose denial of the deity of Christ had stirred up the nation into such a fury that they started a war that killed 650,000 people, gave way to liberalism which denied the existence of a God at all. They could have a Christianity without Christ and now they wanted a religion without a supreme being.
Fundamental Baptists have a supreme being, but the jack boot syndrome drives pastors to take absolute power over the saints. So do the Mormons and the gurus of India. They all have a Jesus of some sort. Baptist Fundamental preachers demand mindless obedience and thrash anyone who thinks for himself and studies the Word with a mind open to the Holy Ghost. This results in practical Unitarians who follow a man and ignore Christ. They give him mere lip service.
Each of these attacks appeared to be independent of one another but in reality they were totally and completely helpless to exist without one another. You can't have communism without evolution. Psychology depends on education without God, etc. And so in time the aggregate attack on Biblical Christianity was something beyond anything Christians were prepared to deal with.
To be sure, it is easy to sit in the 21st Century and criticize our forebears for the directions in which they took Christianity. After all, we have a real advantage in several areas men like Henry Morris and John Whitcomb have completely and totally blown Darwinianism out of the water. Jay Adams and the Nouthetic Counselors have shown that Biblical counseling is far more effective than Psychology. Christian schools and home schools have shown the humanistic education system to be completely and utterly failed in giving a quality education. The poor reading and math skills of a second generation of public Dewey education is proof it failed. Indeed, God has raised up men to take on some of the individual "tentacles" of this "octopus" that has attacked us making it easy for us to wonder how they could have ever been so fooled. But we need to be careful.
Francis Schaeffer, who sadly wandered into Fundamentalism about a month before dying, entered the battle zone and took on the adversary in his camp. We do not have men like this today. It is impossible to take down a stronghold and stay in the fort. So, while home schools and church based schools serve a purpose, they foster a siege mentality in Fundamentalism. Were Fundamental Baptists always this way? NO For all his warts, J. Frank Norris took on the Southern Baptist Convention, whipped off track betting, and brought the poor off the streets to be ministered to in the church house. Today, we hear this tagged "social Gospel" by the gold bricks of Baptistdom. How did the blunt instruction of Jesus Christ become obnoxious to Fundamentalism?
To say that there was an all out attack on historical Christianity would be the understatement of the century. The attacks were coming from every side and they did not have the Creation Scientists, the Nouthetic counselors or the Christian educators to help them along. The attacks of that day, no doubt, left many a Bible believer in a daze wondering and what would come next if he was the only one who had not "bowed the knee to Baal."
But if the attacks of the enemy from the "outside" were not enough, they also came from within. Biblical Christianity was under attack from the "Pietists." These were people who "majored on minors" often ignoring the major tenants of Christianity only to go to seed on issues that had no real importance whatsoever.
They also ignored the real war, which the writer makes very clear. Not only were they not predisposed to fight the real war, they virtually punished and ostracized anyone who went down town alone instead of with the "street preachers" and got into it on the INSIDE of the local university or Christian Science Reading Room.
One example of people with Pietist thought were the Abolitionists who believed that the abolishment of slavery and the doing away of alcohol would bring in the Kingdom of God. Another was the Women's Christian Temperance Union, who believed that all of the ills of our nation could be traced to alcohol and if we were to abolish the manufacture and sale of alcohol all of our problems would be solved.
Perhaps I am getting ahead of the writer, but fighting abortion and demanding Caesar pray in the school house is just as much sub-Christian abolitionist as the above. The way one saves a nation is to exalt righteousness in the market place and preach Jesus Christ ONE ON ONE. Anything else is a Band-Aid on a malignant cancer. This writer misses the point to some degree, in that, the Pietists went to the world to convert the world to morality, not to Christ. They wanted to cure a drunk of being a drunk by taking his booze away from him. Of course, it failed-- the drunk was not changed from the inside out. The Pietists simply made ugly nannies of Christians.
It is important that we emphasize the difficulty of the day because otherwise it would be easy to sit back with a critical spirit, one that would say, "Had I been there, I would never have done what they did." I don't think that there is any question that the majority of Bible believers in that day did what they did believing that they were doing the best thing. However, hindsight, being what it is, will show that what they did in response to all of the attacks was not the Biblical thing to do.
At any rate, it was out of all of this that Fundamentalism was born. It is difficult to know just when Fundamentalism started but for sake of our discussion we will use the books by the Stewart Brothers entitled "The Fundamentals" as our starting point. When Lyman and Milton Stewart sent out their series of books to every pastor, Sunday school teacher and Christian worker they could find, they at least gave a name to a new movement. The premise of this movement was to marginalize every issue except the very most basic issues of Christianity.
To give you an idea of how much the Fundamentalists tried to cut down on the issues of Christianity, we can compare the "fundamentals" with the London Baptist Confession of 1689. In that year, the Baptists of England got together and established some 31 planks, each with several sub points, as the issues that they agreed upon. The Presbyterians had a similar document, "The Westminster Confession of Faith." These "confessional groups" chose a very broad basis for fellowship.
The writer neglected to note that the Roman Catholic Church, while recently trying to be cozy to Christendom in general, has never dropped any of its "Fundamentals." Why is it the those on the narrow way find it so easy to drop ANYTHING taught in the Word of God except their alleged Fundamentals? The whole premise that Bible bleievers need a reduction of total biblical doctrine to a set of five, seven, or nine Fundamentals is blasphemy.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In contrast, the Fundamentalists chose to take all of these issues and narrowed them down to about 5 or 6 issues and basically said that the rest were not worth making any fuss over. They narrowed Christianity to the lowest common denominator. In essence, the Fundamentalists established the "minimum standards" for Christianity in an attempt to become as inclusive as they could.
In school that is called letting the kid pass with a "D". Understand this, dear reader-- If there are fundamentals, then there are by implication non-essentials, right? This is rank humanism. Are you shocked at my conclusion? Well, humanism says that man is the one who sets his own standards. Man decides what he will live by and what is non-essential. That is the bedrock of modern government law and regulation. It is the motto of the nanny state- the majority has decided what is correct and what is not acceptable in "free speech." So, man decided what doctrines of the Bible are essential. The rest must be set aside whenever we meet with one another. The Bible damns this to hell:
Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Fundamentalism changed the emphasis of Christianity from revival to evangelism.
To see the difference, one needs to compare at the difference between the results of the preaching during the Great Awakening and that of the recent Fundamentalists. When Edwards, Whitfield and the great preachers of the Great Awakening preached, in time the Colonies were turned to a Biblical basis for government, economics, education and every area of life. The recent Fundamentalists were only interested in "nickels and noses."
I had a friend who was saved out of professional wrestling promotion. He said they had a motto- "Nickels and noses, and a butt every 18 inches." The only difference between this motto and that of Fundamental Baptists, Charismatics, and Rich Warren at Brokeback Church is that they thoughtfully have increased the seat comfort to 24 inches.
They cared not a whit for (repentance and Christian growth) so long as souls were being saved and Christians ceased to drink and smoke. Christian colleges and Bible Institutes were built, but many included Psychology departments and taught The Gap Theory or other compromises in their science departments. Calling the world a "sinking ship" they were, in many cases, content to turn everything over to the devil so long as souls were being saved.
This is spot on! This only gets worse and worse as Contemporary Christian Rock and Rap groups play, an "evangelist" tells the crowd that Jesus loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life, and they are all asked to walk the aisle and feel it come to them with a great rush. Well, if anyone in those gatherings does not get some sort of rush from the blast of the amplifiers, somebody ought to call 911 and send them to the Emergency Room.
The net effect was to get the souls saved and then send them to the fold of the hireling to be fed and raised. Billy Graham perfected this method of minimal offense to the local pastors. The world, the flesh, and the devil were on faculty at the Bible college, and they sent out preachers to local churches who preached the Gospel all the time, and, for variety, they hauled bus loads of lambs to Bill Gothard's Basic Youth Conflicts seminar to come home with a big red book written by Bill's sodomite brother. Later, they sent their men to Promise Keepers to learn worm training so they could come home and lay on the carpet and be a worm in front of their wife and kids. But, they are saved, brother. It takes a large measure of gullibility to believe this circus is driven by salvation as a prerequisite.
You will see more clearly how this compromise was so devastating as we look into some of the things that Fundamentalism marginalized. Several years ago, when I first began to think about this issue, I realized that they left out, counted as unimportant.
The Baptist Distinctives.
BAPTISM BY IMMERSION FOR ADULTS
A REGENERATE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP WHO STOPPED SINNING OF THEIR OWN WILL
THE LORD'S SUPPER-- AN ORDINANCE NOT A SACRAMENT
THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
I am a Baptist!
Down through the centuries Baptists have suffered and even died because they held to these doctrines. In fact, it was these doctrines for which people suffered for the faith. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in history who died for any of the "fundamentals," but history stands replete with the testimonies of those who suffered and died because they held to adult baptism, the autonomy of the local Church etc.
This should include far more than only Baptists. The Covenanters died for similar "side issues". The Anabaptists, who pre-dated the Baptists, as well as the Waldensean, and all the way back to the Donatists died for "side issues". These were NOT Baptists. The title "Baptist" did not exist until somewhere in the 1600s in England. To claim all those others were Baptists is to marginalize honest research and raw truth. The "Trail of Blood" (Baptist exclusiveism definition) is a classic Mother Goose notion which has caused Fundamental Baptists to totally ignore the true history of Christ's Church. These men who wave the King James Bible will not admit that God handed it to them courtesy of Puritans and Reformers. There was not a Baptist in sight in 1611.
The writer is correct in principle though-- few saints in the Church Age have died for the "Fundamentals." Hey, Pope Francis believes every one of them. It is the "nonessentials" where the Pope damns his soul. And, there ARE a whole list of non-essentials that will damn you to hell if you don't believe them. It was that guru of Baptist Fundamentalists, Jerry Falwell, who gave himself the title, "Mr. Fundamentalist," who locked arms with Jewish Rabbis and Catholic priests to march against abortion. The reason Falwell could do this was because, at least with the Catholic priests, they believe the same "fundamentals" Falwell did. Do you see where this man made invention has lead the Lord's Church today?
It is virtually impossible to define a Baptist with the Word of God, for Baptist traditions by the score end up being extrapolated from the pure Word by these tricky boys. In the end, a thousand varieties of Baptists emerge, and every one will tell you he is the only one that is a pure Baptist. It is madness to feel loyalty to such a slop hog mash bucket when we have the sincere milk of the Word by which to define ourselves. The only thing I can say for them is that most of them have not been sucked into ecumenism by virtue of their exclusiveness. But, this is a dangerous way to build loyalty in the saints.
I would not want to ascribe any sinister motive to the founders of fundamentalism, but in truth, they were saying that our Baptist (and Anabaptist) forebears suffered and died for unimportant "peripheral" issues. The things that they died for were not worth dying for!
Preach it! But, I fear that most modern Fundamental Baptists lack anything they would really die for except perhaps a coupon for a free meal at IHOP.
You will pardon me, but I have a problem with that (marginalizing any doctrine). I am not prepared to tell the Pilgrims, who suffered great deprivations and even death because they believed in the Autonomy of the Local Church, that they died for a peripheral issue. I am not prepared to try to explain to John Bunyan that he was wrong in spending 12 years in Bedford jail because he believed in the Priesthood of the Believer. And I could spend a lot more time on this, but you get the point.
The problem is, most Fundamental Baptist preachers do not believe in the priesthood of the believer, at least on a practical basis. They teach "pastoral rule", and anyone who thinks for themselves, any man who is priest of his home, is attacked from the pulpit for not following hard on the heels of the popelet in the three piece suit. Too much thinking for himself will get a saint "churched" out the front door, and it is often done by the pastor without any discussion with the aged men. So, while many Fundamental Baptists do not trash the peripheral issues, they "make them of none effect" by their Baptist traditions. Satan wins both ways.
Over the years I have watched as the name "Baptist" has fallen into disrespect by many both within and without. There are many who call themselves "Baptist" who know nothing of the distinctives or the history and so it is easy for them to discount the importance of these alleged "non-essential" doctrines. But I still hold to the historical Baptist positions that Fundamentalism leaves out.
I hold to the historical position-- The Word of God in print is the ONLY manifestation of Christ in the earth-- all of it. No part of the Bible can be set aside for any reason in order to have either fellowship, "an impact on society and government," OR soul winning. Christ is the Head, and the saints are the Body. To even claim to be a Baptist, instead of a Bible believer, is to depart from the biblical fold. The fold contains ANYONE who is in Christ, and to give myself a special name, one not found in the King James Bible, is to damn saints who are not under my banner.
John the Baptist was not a denomination. His title, Baptist, was a personal title identifying him to a time and place in prophetic history. If Jesus and Paul never called themselves Baptists, then it is insane to call the faithful true Church Baptists and downgrade any other Christians because they do not acknowledge the alleged Baptist line of succession.
But it is not only the Baptist Distinctives that were left out. Fundamentalism determined that the purpose for man being on the earth was unimportant. The Westminster (1) Catechism began with the question, "What is the chief end of man?" The answer is, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." By saying that this was not important, Fundamentalism has opened the door to those who believe that "soulwinning' is the chief end of man and that has opened the door to unbelievable compromises to the point where Contemporary Christian Music is as sensual as anything in the nightclub.
We go to John Knox and the Presbyterians to find a biblical man made "confession" which vastly predates the first Baptists. But the writer suggests a superior pedigree in Baptistdom. Some of us have spent time in England, on the missonfield, and with those persecuted for their faith in other parts of the world. 95% of them were NOT Baptists. Indeed, that is still the case. Baptists are often the first to run when the going gets hot on the missionfield.
I have watched Baptist Bible Fellowship missionaries in situ personally, and virtually two thirds of them played all the time. Some were absolute jerks, making the Gospel look like a goon show at the circus. The only Baptist missionaries I ever met who truly committed themselves to the country, learned the language, and behaved like they were ambassadors of Christ were Evangelicals, NOT Fundamentalists. This impression was gleaned from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and stories from missionaries I have fellowshipped with from around the world. I am an authority. Your war stories from you favorite missionary on furlough be damned.
It is time to take our diaper off and dress for the real war. Any saint who stands his ground in faithfulness to the Word of God, ALL OF IT, is my brother, and I will fight back to back with him.
(1) The author had the word "Baptist" here instead of Westminster. I changed it under the assumption he meant to write Westminster. I checked the original Baptist Confession, and I found nowhere that they copied the Scots, much as I believe they should have. We, at Blessed Quietness Journal, damn all man-originated confessions and allow only one confession:
KJV 1611, Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.
Literally speaking, if a "confession" carries weight, and rules the affairs of the local church, it damns the user to hell according to Revelation 22. The whole issue in this article is unstated in the ultimate by the writer. I do not fault him, for he implies the thing well. The issue is this-- If even ONE teaching or doctrine in the whole Bible is tagged as "non-essential", that act of diminishing or redacting the Word of God damns the arrogant ass who does so. The whole Bible, cover to cover, every jot and tittle, is "Fundamental". If God promises to preserve it, and if we really believe the modern bibles are trash for taking away parts of it, how dare we degrade the Truth into "essential" and "nonessential" categories? When did Jesus do this?
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Jesus, while he rebukes the Pharisees for trashing the weightier matters, stills insists they keep doing the small things. The little places in the Word of God are not ever to be set aside for any reason.
There are many other doctrines that we could and perhaps should deal with but I hope that my point that there are and were some major doctrines left out by Fundamentalism has been sufficiently substantiated.
At the same time, the narrowing of Fundamentalism opened the doors to some groups who would never have been known as Orthodox in historical circles. For example, Pentecostalism. The Pentecostals qualify as "Fundamentalists" and have been embraced by Fundamentalism. However, their doctrine of Salvation, where it is a mixture of grace and works, saved by grace, kept by works, has no basis in historical Christianity. Their "God on a leash" position that our actions manipulate God and what He does is equally contrary to historical teachings. Their Pharisaical attention to dress and hair would qualify them as pietists but not as historical Christians. And of course, women preachers, which are today the mark of liberalism and feminism, have their roots in Fundamentalism because of this movement.
More recently I have been reading about Fundamentalist Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Roman Catholics, on and on until I want to puke. This is the final fruit of inventing a word to describe "The Church".
But I suppose that nowhere did Fundamentalism do a better job of straining at gnats and swallowing camels than it did in the matter of alcohol. Now remember, this is a day when Liberalism, Evolution, Psychology, Communism, New Age-ism, etc, when we're pushing God out of every area of life, but the great preachers of Fundamentalism like Billy Sunday could find nothing more to preach on than booze. Even if you believe in total abstinence and that there is not even a medicinal purpose for alcohol, the alcohol problem is a minor one compared to the other problems that went unchallenged in that day.
Amen! But, you see, it is cheap preaching as long as you don't have any boozers in the audience. Furthermore, you don't have to preach in the bar and get a bottle in the head if you damn the boozers out of hand. This is where Baptists become Calvinists, that is, when they try to make a damnation ghetto of some group of sinners or backsliders they don't want to deal with. I have lead two queers to confess faith in Jesus Christ. I have never told any Baptist before I wrote it here. Do you know why? They would damn me for even talking to queers, and some would think I am a queer to even want to talk to them. I hope some Baptist damns me too. I need that to my credit when I stand before my Savior.
Fundamentalists piously removed themselves from music, art and culture. These things were declared to be "worldly" and "secular" and as such beneath any possibility of Fundamentalist involvement. Fundamentalists now bewail the fact that music, art and culture have become almost completely pagan, base and corrupt, blaming the ungodly without recognizing that at least part of the cause for our demise in these areas is because we refused to take part in the them. Because Fundamentalists refused to be "salty" the wicked have been able to take over with little resistance.
Being salt is a bother. It is dangerous. It is too much like getting out of the trenches and taking San Juan Hill under live fire.
Another reason why I no longer want to be called "Fundamentalist" is because of the political agenda that Fundamentalism has embraced. Although many would deny it, there has, from the beginning, been a political agenda for Fundamentalists, and it has not been a Biblical agenda.
The father of the Fundamentalist political agenda would have to be William Jennings Bryan. I intend to write a more complete account of his political agenda in the near future but for sake of the present discussion, I will limit my comments to just the Constitutional amendments that began as his ideas.
According to his autobiography that he was working on when he died, Bryan was the originator of the ideas behind the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. These amendments would be for Income Tax, Popular Election of Senators, Prohibition, and Women's Suffrage. Even a cursory understanding of these amendments would leave historical Christianity wondering how a Christian could ever embrace such wickedness.
Yes even the 18th amendment was wicked as clearly yet briefly seen by the following.
When the Constitution was written it was the law for the government and there was no provision in it that the common citizen could violate. This changed with the 18th Amendment as anyone involved in the manufacture or sale of alcohol was considered to be outside of the law. The sinister nature of this is the fact that a police force had to be created in order to enforce this new "law." I am not a lawyer, but as I understand the issue, the BATF, IRS, CIA and all of the other alphabet soup federal police forces find their legal basis in the 18th Amendment.
At the very least, one has to admit that the political agenda of Bryan was clearly no longer the political agenda that our Christian forebears had fought so hard to bring about. As the enemy swept in like a flood, the Fundamentalist reaction was not to go back to Biblical patterns of government but to try and "Christianize" the various non-Christian political agendas that were taking over. Remember once again, our nation was reeling from the attacks of the various "godless" groups who were taking over but Fundamentalism did not answer with historically Biblical political philosophy, but with attempts to "Christianize" Marxism.
This process of christening Caesar and his documents has made it a slippery slide down to beat the drums of war in the church house. The wars are NOT about defense, they are about conquest, banking, and oil. After taking Afghanistan, we are defending no more of it but the pipe line through that nation. The Baptist preachers wave their Bible and rage against "them towel heads and sand niggers," and Caesar loves it. The marriage between the Church and Caesar has ALWAYS ended in torture and pain since Constantine stayed to pray with the Whore of Rome. Mark it down-- Baptists will be attacked one day because they finally stepped back from promoting Caesar's wars and diminishing of privacy.
After Bryan, Fundamentalism "withdrew" from the political arena, declaring it to be "secular" and purposing to have nothing to do with it. And then, in the late 70's and early 80's we had the birth of the Moral Majority. Here was Fundamentalism attempting to impact the political process. However, as in so many other ways, the Fundamentalist solution was no more Biblical than the humanistic problem it was trying to fix.
The Moral Majority:
Elected first divorced President
Elected second President who governed through a medium
Elected first President to bring Sodomites into White House
Elected three "tax and spend" Presidents
Elected first President to padlock a Church
Elected first President to bow to a Shinto Shrine
Elected a President who started a war in the Middle East over weapons of mass destruction which were not there.
Not one of the "Moral Presidents" has turned a hand to stop abortion or do anything else to turn America back to righteousness and even when legislation has been proposed on such issues, it has usually been unbiblical and foreign to what our forebears gave us. In short, the political agenda of Fundamentalism has been unbiblical and has created infinitely more problems than it has solved. And the amazing thing to me is that even after 100 years of failure, most Fundamentalists have not a hare's notion of the contradictions they have created
There is only one word, in the vernacular, for Fundamental Baptists-- SUCKER !
I often wonder how people who name the name of Christ could be so ignorant and then I am reminded that for many Fundamentalists, "Ignorance is next to Godliness."
This is not exaggeration my friend. There is a systematic movement in Fundamental Baptist circles to be dumb as snot and proud of it. This is an escape mechanism for men who know they have missed the mark and don't want to look for the lost arrow.
When you look at historical Christianity, you find that education was of primary importance, especially in the leadership. It was recently pointed out that perhaps the reason the Anabaptists got into such false teachings and practices was that the educated leadership was martyred very early leaving the movement open to false teachings and practices that eventually destroyed its effectiveness.
So, they fell back on "plain clothes" and external rules to define their spirituality. Sound familiar? Baptist standards? Short hair on men, no pants on women, and a three piece suit if you are popelet?
The enemy has not had to martyr the leadership of much of Fundamentalism. With a few notable exceptions, Fundamentalism has been very proud of its ignorance, fearing education and choosing to enter the battle of wits only half armed. And even where there has been the attempt to educate, it has often not been a Biblically based education. For example, most Bible Colleges and Institutes have Psychology departments and often the social worker who is working so hard against the home is a graduate of a Fundamentalists school. Some will teach the economics of the sodomite, Lord John Maynard Keynes rather than a Biblical economic system. The science departments teach the gap theory or other compromises, the history department teach from an Abolitionist point of view.
The Baptist type Fundamentalist teaches the official line of some school he went to, or his preacher's camp meeting. This is not because he has reasoned his way through the issue. It is because that is how he can earn his way up to carry a satchel full of fame around from camp meeting to camp meeting. Lee Roberson may even use him as a sermon illustration! Sigh, pass the hubris in abundance all around!
Because of this unbiblical teaching or no teaching at all, the average Fundamentalist winds up being a "knee jerk reactionary" being easily maneuvered from one position to another. I recently heard a man speak at a home school convention from Bryan University who presented a world view quite different from that of William Jennings Bryan. I talked to the man in the hallway after his speech and to remind him how different his positions were from those of Bryan. He answered me by telling me that there would only be about 3 professors at that University who would vote for Bryan if were running for office today! We flop around like fish out of water.
Finally, I suppose that the greatest problem with Fundamentalism is in the fact that it has accomplished just the opposite of what it set out to do in the beginning. Remember, the purpose of cutting out so many historical beliefs was to limit differences and allow for unity in facing the enemy. In reality however, just the opposite has happened. False teachings and practices have entered like a flood and the result has been the splintering of Christianity rather than the unifying of it.
Whether it be eschatology, ecclesiology or whatever "ology" you can imagine, Christianity has splintered a thousand ways. Crazy notions and silly ideas are held to with maniacal fervor while historical beliefs are marginalized. If you think the Medieval Monks were silly for arguing the number of angels who could stand on the head of a pin, what do you do with the Fundamentalists who argue over the number of people who will be taken in The Rapture with creative formulas or those who argue that Christians will have to spend time in Hell before getting to heaven, or declaring Saddam Hussein to be the anti-Christ and on and on.
Try disagreeing politely with a Fundamental Baptist preacher on some cardinal biblical doctrine, and he will wag his head in concern and ask you to read this and that Bible passage. Fine, that works. Now, make a quiet comment on the character of Jack Hyles and his cozy ways with his secretary, and BANG you will be drop kicked right out the front door of the mausoleum. Or, ask your BJU preacher boy why Dr. Bob Jones Sr chose so many Freemasons for the original board of directors of BJU. Pow, you will be excommunicated, AND you will go on a list to be black balled by BJU the rest of your life. Finally, ask any Baptist or Fundamentalist to show you where the New Testament directly says that tithing, as given to Moses in the law, was brought forward into the Church Age. You will be mocked with dripping sarcasm, especially if you are standing with the pastor and several of his loyal church groupies.
I have even heard of Baptist jackboot preachers attacking someone who asks a question while someone was standing nearby, and they were attacked, only to have the jackboot preacher come around later and personally assure them they are still welcome and not to feel too bad about the confrontation. One must NEVER cause a jackboot preacher to lose face, even if he is a heretic.
Jesus, the Word of God, is NOT the first thing to defend in Baptistdom.
Historical Christianity has always had differences, but it is hard to imagine a time when the differences were sharper or more serious than today. The attempt to unite by limiting has created division beyond belief.
Allow me to say then, that in light of these things, "I am not, (and maybe never was) a Fundamentalist."
It is time to understand that we must neither claim Fundamentalism nor Baptistism. This is because both are all tangled up in one another, and they are now tangled up with Caesar and mongrel politics. Church history tells us that no group, once it departed the narrow way, ever went back to its roots in sound doctrine. To try to "save" Baptistism is no different than the Presbyterians who stay in that denomination to "save" it. It will NOT be saved. Entities, clubs, denominations, and universities are not saved because the Blood of Jesus Christ ONLY saves sinners. So, get out of Baptistdom NOW, or you will be part of the problem instead of the solution.
Why do so many men feel obligated to salute a name, Baptist or Fundamentalist, regardless of how filthy the name is at this time in Church history? There is NO biblical basis for any name other than Christ Jesus, the only name by which salvation is secured. It seems that one must claim Baptistdom, or one will lose the attention of the people he is writing to. For the record, I am no longer a Baptist NOR a Fundamentalist. I am a Bible believer, all of it. I wish the writer would finish his trip out of Sodom-- I like his zeal and his observations. He has done much thinking and study and is near the door to liberty in Christ Jesus.
I suppose I should be honest though, once I left Baptistdom and Fundamentalism, I found myself at the First Church of Cherith. It can be lonely to leave organized church and go "outside the camp". Many people have done so, and it is hard to find fellowship.
Correction, there is One outside the camp who is very good company.................
Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Fundamental Baptists-- As above, these are fundamentalists who are the sole center of their universe. They condemn all other Christians who are not Baptists, and they seldom approve of more than two or three other local churches in their area, even if they are Baptist. They have a hybrid Church history which claims there has been a line of perpetual Baptists who passed on the Baptist imprimatur since John the Baptist. This, in spite of the FACT that they have a 700 year hole in their history, and John the Baptist was in the Age of Law.
While claiming to be under Grace, not Law, 95% of all Fundamental Baptist churches teach "personal separation," not from the Bible, but from an unwritten but vicious rule book. Thus, separation is NOT personal as they claim-- it is regulated by the jackboot preacher. Meanwhile, they seldom do serious teaching of their alleged fundamentals in Bible class studies or preaching times. Tithing, which is not taught in the New Testament, is the most powerful law in Baptist land. The Gospel is taught at least once every Sunday. This is because most Baptists do not speak freely of Jesus Christ in the market place, so all evangelism in Baptist churches is done on Sunday. Baptists in the pew are honkers and screamers, but they are stupid as snot about WHY they believe what they believe.
Charismatic Fundamentalists-- These are usually old time Pentecostals who carry a King James Bible and do not make "manifestation"s the proof of their faith, preferring to prove all things with the Word of God. They are guilty of having a limited list of fundamentals just like Fundamental Baptists, but they need to be encouraged for they are lonely people as the Charismatic corporate circus tends to roll over the top of them and marginalize them as if they were losers.
American Political Fundamentalists-- The Christian Coalition, "The Family" of Doug Coe, American Family Association etc. Their agenda is to make society nice and Christian without preaching the Gospel. They are hated by Liberals, and they are infested with unsaved hangers on who are with them only for the good works which will condemn to hell in the end. American Fundamentalists throw away many biblical doctrines, and they will join with ungodly people to gain their ends. Jerry Falwell was largely responsible for spinning off this do-gooder fundamentalism from the old line men. Many of these people are raging patriots, and their gospel is taken from the US Constitution. As this article is posted, Fundamentalism is at war with the US Government, and in particular, President Barak Obama. It is impossible for political Fundamentalism to be "ambassadors for Christ" and preach the Gospel, and at the same time take charge of the ethics of ungodly America. It is also NOT the calling of the Lord's Church, according to the Apostle Paul, to force Caesar to be a good boy. So, the drop the preaching of the Gospel, lock arms with heretics, and attack. They are horrified when Caesar attacks back, as if there is some rule in America saying that Caesar just bow to the preacher's union.
Here is what happens (see video).
Historic Fundamentalists-- These are mentioned above. They have hung onto the "cardinal doctrines," which are usually about seven os less. They are stuffy and sluggish, and they invite in men who mutilate the Bible in their teaching, like John MacArthur, because if gives them notoriety with the masses. The Independent Fundamental Churches of America lead in this group.
Mega Church Fundamentalists-- This is the Rick Warren and Joel Osteen mob. They gladly accept the Fundamentalist moniker if it will bring in the masses of conservative Christians. It helps a lot that we are in the third generation of Fundamentalists who don't have a clue what they believe anyway. These monster churches become huge because they have the shortest list of Fundamentals of any churches in the world. There is almost nothing in their lift of alleged absolutes to offend anyone. Where they do take a stand on a biblical teaching, like sodomy, they let God be holy, but they say, "But at Brokeback Mountain Fellowship we are all about welcoming everyone." This lets God take the rap for being narrow and mean, while the guru with the toothy grin hugs the queers as if he were a card carrying member of the Rainbow Coalition.
Media Defined Fundamentalists-- If some mental case blows up a Federal Building, and if he claims God told him to, the media labels him a "Fundamentalist Christian." This is because Liberals are dedicated to slander any kind of Christian except Whiskeypalians and Unifairians. This alone is a very good reason to call yourself something else. "Fundamental Muslims" are lumped in with "Fundamental Christians" also, as if they share some pathological defect.
Official Fundamentalists- Janet Reno, who was Attorney General under Bill Clinton, said the Fundamental Christians are terrorists. Homeland Security and other US Government agencies keep talking about those dangerous Fundamental Christians and have labeled them "potential terrorists." This, in spite of the fact that they don't have a clue what Fundamentalists believe. It just helps alienate the antiabortion people from the mainstream and terrifies people in the market place when you talk about Jesus to them.
Hick Burp Fundamentalists-- This is my designation for the Charismatic Movement and snake handlers of Tennessee and North Carolina. They are pastored by men who wail, gasp at every inhale, and scream clichés and vain repetitions due to the fact that they will not study their Bibles. Some are even illiterate, and I am not exaggerating.
Media, Homeland Security, and Internet Fundamentalist-- If there is no other reason to abandon the moniker, "Fundamentalist," it is because we no longer own the word and its definition as we did from 1883 up to about 1970 when the word Fundamentalist was grabbed by Satanic media and politicians and applied to all violent religious groups. If you think you need to cling to a name that is neither a biblical word NOR a valid biblical principle, then you area fool, and I will have NO fellowship with you. If I am to die for Christ, let it only be for the Word of God, for Christ himself, and for the true Bride of Christ. I may feed a Hindu who is being persecuted, but I WILL NOT DIE WITH HIM FOR HIS 30 MILLION GODS. Here is a video of a very evil form of terror against a peaceful, if misguided, non-Christian guru in Indonesia. The producer makes the killers "Fundamentalists."
LET'S FIND HIGHER GROUND AS WE LEAVE THIS TOPIC
The First "Fundamental" of the faith,
which is never on the list of man-made "Fundamentals".....
Psalms 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
All things which we understand, we believe, we enjoy, and our eternal destiny, are of God. The first Fundamental of the Christian life is to dedicate every day of our life to be a blessing to God first. Our modern church house culture is all about enjoying that which charms us. So, we say (Westminster Catechism) that we must first enjoy God forever.
I think not. God created man to bring him, God, pleasure and companionship. We fail to see how utterly sad God was when he went looking for Adam, his friend, and Adam was hiding.
Are YOU God's friend? When did he last have the joy of your company?
The Second Fundamental of the faith.....
Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
How many publicans and sinners have you gone looking for to make them YOUR friend in Jesus Name.