From a quick look at the empirical evidence, there’s little doubt in my mind that clear-thinking and strong-willed people tend to not stay for long in fundamentalism. So how exactly do fundamentalists explain why so many of their best and brightest heading for greener pastures?
For the answer, we can look to “Dr.” Rick Flanders who this past August wrote an article entitled “He’s Leaving Fundamentalism” to explain in no uncertain terms that if a person is leaving fundyland it certainly isn’t the fault of fundamentalism. Blaming the person who is leaving is the rule of the day.
Here are a few key strategies we can learn from…
1. Treat the definition of “fundamentalism” as if it merely referred to a person who believes “the fundamentals” of the Christian faith.
“Although there is a human religious movement called the Fundamentalist, and also distinct movements legitimately labeled Fundamentalist, Fundamentalism itself is not a human movement, but rather a divine truth.”
“Whatever the people are doing who are “leaving Fundamentalism,” it is bad. “Leaving Fundamentalism” inevitably means backing off from policies and principles that have characterized those who stood most faithfully for the Bible in our lifetime.”
Oh, really? So what about all the huge glaring problems in the movement? Well once you’ve conflated being “a fundamentalist” with being the only ones who have “the truth” then you can…
2. Downplay the faults and paint them as small in comparison to the horrors of leaving “the truth.”
“In some cases the defector is parting from evidence of carnality in some of the Fundamentalists he has known. But Fundamentalism should not be rejected because Fundamentalists need revival. Tell us what you mean. Surely you do not mean that you are giving up truth because men who have taught it have been found to be less than spiritual all the time. Many Fundamentalists are sincere and holy people, although some have been found to be less than so. Fundamentalism should not be abandoned just because Fundamentalists need revival.”
Oh. Ok then. Just suck it up and keep on trucking for Jesus no matter how bad things get. If there are problems just shut up about them and remember that we’re the only people who really have the truth. In fact you can all just…
3. Stick Your Head In The Sand
“Fundamentalism is the dividing of light from darkness, and is nothing but a good thing. Is that what our disillusioned brethren are leaving?”
No, Rick, they’re leaving because your corrupt movement refuses to deal with its own problems of pride and arrogance. It refuses to seek justice victims of crimes and instead protects criminals. It divides the body of Christ over silly issues of personal preference. It calls good evil and evil good. That is why people are leaving, Rick. They’re leaving because they love Jesus and His church too much to stay around and watch it be exploited and perverted.
The hubris is astounding.