Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fighting Fundamentalist

Is there a link between fundamentalism and fighting? Is it true that the more fundamental someone is in their belief system the more aggressive they are in defending their position, and attacking others.

The term fundamentalism was coined by Baptist editor Curtis Lee Laws in 1920 to designate Christians who were ready "to do battle royal for the Fundamentals".

I confess I may have some of this fundamentalist blood flowing in my veins. Fighting about doctrines, proving I'm right and the other guys are wrong used to come naturally to me. I pray I am changing.

Within Christianity it seems the ones who are more liberal or moderate in their faith and practices are more accepting of others. From the fundamentalist point of view, being liberal or moderate is often viewed as though there is less passion for truth, and as an acceptance of a diluted luke-warm faith.

Consider how we view Muslims extremists. There are many moderate or liberal Muslims who don't see God calling them to do suicide terrorist attacks. Are the ones that generate violent news headlines the ones that have the strongest fundamental beliefs?

So what if I don't want to be a fighting fundamentalist? Do I need to just chill, tell everyone they are right, and have a diluted luke-warm faith?

Is there a 3rd option?

What if we were fundamental about Jesus, and took his teachings seriously?

  • turn the other cheek
  • Love your enemies
  • do good to those who hate you
  • bless those who curse you
  • pray for those who mistreat you
  • value others higher than you value yourself

What if being fundamental about following Jesus produced people who were known for their love for others. What if it meant we had good dialog on interesting topics like doctrines but refused to cross the line where a dialog turns into an argument. That line is crossed when we forget to show love and respect, and care more about winning the argument.

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." John 18:36

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