This TED presentation isn’t just about fundamentalists but the principles that Pamela Meyer shares here are so incredibly relevant to the fundamentalist experience that I couldn’t help but share this talk here.
As part of the never ending quest for a broader definition of fundamentalism (including but not by any means exclusive of Independent Baptist fundamentalism) I’d like to contribute a few thoughts on what fundamentalism IS by taking a quick look at what it IS NOT.
Fundamentalism is not just believing that the Bible is true; it’s believing that only one tiny group of people knows the “real truth” of the Bible.
Fundamentalism isn’t having rules and standards; it’s having rulers who make themselves ultimate standard.
Fundamentalism isn’t refusing to serve alcohol; it refusing to serve anybody who isn’t “deserving.”
Fundamentalism isn’t believing that your convictions are right; it’s believing that they could never be wrong.
Fundamentalism isn’t applying our religious fervor to our political choices; it’s trusting political choices to bring about religious fervor.
Fundamentalism isn’t a belief that people are sinners; it’s a belief that some few chosen spiritual elite are not.
Fundamentalism isn’t striving for personal holiness; it’s wallowing in prideful ignorance.
Fundamentalism isn’t loving hymns of the faith; it’s refusing to accept as part of the faith those who don’t love hymns.
Fundamentalism isn’t teaching your children self-sacrifice; it’s happily sacrificing them on the altar of other people’s selfishness.
Fundamentalism is not simply believing that God created the world; it’s living in a world run by a god of our own creation.
Nothing is more bizarre to the outside observer of fundamentalism than seeing two fundies who have almost come to blows because each believes that the other is not a “true fundamentalist.” In fact, it’s every bit as fascinating as watching two Trekkies argue over the design of an anti-matter drive. Not only is it impossible to win such a fight but it wouldn’t really matter even if you did.
The list of tests of true fundamentalism has become quite lengthy over the year and gathered to itself more than a little weirdness. Questioning a person’s fundamentalist credibility may involve asking things such as… Has any child of theirs ever worn their baseball cap backwards? Have they ever had a face lift? Does their church’s hymnbook remove the word ‘worm’ from the first verse of At the Cross? Have they been observed at the mall walking in rhythm with the rock music playing? Then they may not be a true fundamentalist.
Do they believe that Jesus had a belly button? Do they not believe that Cain had one? Are they waiting for a mid-trib rapture? Do they believe Revelation 2 and 3 might just be talking about churches instead of church ages? Do they allow canned music in their services? They’re obviously too liberal to be a true fundamentalist.
Indeed, there are only true fundamentalists left: me and thee. And I have my doubts about thee.
A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.