Skip to comments.Biblical Christians Will Never Fit into Polite Society!
Posted on 03/02/2013 7:16:33 PM PST by John Leland 1789
Evangelicals are usually very sensitive as to what people say and think about them whereas the driving force for Fundamentalists generally is not their perception by others, but their faithfulness to Scripture. Many years ago Evangelicals sold their souls for respectability. However, genuine Christians will always be persecuted and scorned as Paul wrote in I Cor. 4:13, We are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. Evangelicals will polish all the liberal apples and make a deal with the devil to gain the favor and acceptance of polite society, seeking to fit in rather than follow the Scriptures.
In the late 40s, pastors who rejected strict Bible teaching associated with other pastors of the same opinion and began to disavow the term, Fundamentalist. Some felt fundamentalism was a term of honor, but others decided it had become an embarrassment. These men, given the New Evangelical label, went their own way, started their own schools and journals, and moved to the top of Mount Olympus away from uncouth Fundamentalists. It started in 1947 with Carl F. Henrys book, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism which strongly criticized Fundamentalist separation from unbelievers, so Evangelicals separated from Fundamentalists!
Soft Fundamentalists, called New Evangelicals, got as uncomfortable as a dog in hot ashes when preachers or authors demanded separation from the world and from religious unbelief. Fundamentalists taught, Come on out while the New Evangelicals taught, Stay in and fight. Two problems with that: it is disobedience to the Word and they didnt do any fighting. They talked but refused to fight. Compromising Evangelicals seldom barked and never bit anyone. Most Evangelical leaders are not toothless but they are spineless.
Dr. Harold Ockenga started the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in 1947 as dissatisfaction was simmering throughout fundamental churches. Desiring to be known as intellectuals, New Evangelicals ended up with pseudo-intellectualism. They started Fuller Seminary taking the name and reputation of old time Fundamentalist Charles E. Fuller; however, the seminary was a poor imitation of historic Christianity. It is even more so today.
R.C. Sproul, Jr. (himself an Evangelical) said that an Evangelical is a Fundamentalist who wants the respect of Modernists, and sells his soul to get it. Some wags would say that Evangelicals are better at selling souls than saving souls. Sproul added, We evangelicals are they who cut this deal with the Modernists, We will call you brother, if you will call us scholar. Ah, yes, scholar. That is the driving desire of most Evangelicalsintellectual respectability.
Sometimes, the strict Fundamentalists were not very intellectual plus they sometimes wore shiny vinyl shoes and white socks with a blue suit and clip-on tie! Gasp! We were told that the alleged anti-intellectualism of Fundamentalists made it impossible to win Modernist preachers; however, the problem with the Modernist was not his self-professed intellectualism but his unspoken, unacknowledged, and unconfessed sin. This intellectualism argument is one of the main strings Evangelicals pluck ad nauseam and it smacks of arrogance and elitism.
Evangelical leader Billy Graham hit the big time in his Los Angeles Tent Crusade in 1949. In 1956, Graham, his father-in-law Nelson Bell, and Harold Ockenga started the magazine Christianity Today. Since that time, CT has been the obedient and reliable mouthpiece for loosey-goosey Evangelicalism.
Graham was the most successful promoter of ecumenical evangelism or cooperative evangelism. Few Fundamentalists would object to cooperative evangelism but see compromise, compliance, and corruption in ecumenical evangelism. Billy Graham, in order to reach the masses, decided that he would cooperate with unbelieving religious leaders, contrary to his former assurances to Bob Jones, John R. Rice, William B. Riley and others. He decided that he would preach anywhere under any sponsorship as long as there were no strings attached. At first blush that may sound noble and desirable but it is the anteroom to compromise.
After 1949, in Grahams crusades the leading unbelieving pastors were in control, making decisions, leading in prayer, while the few Fundamentalists sat in the shadows. Often Billy sneered at Fundamentalists and refused to be called one, although it is a fact that Fundamentalists educated him and gave him his start in evangelism.
Thousands of times, Fundamentalist pastors in various cities served faithfully preaching the Word, and then Graham came to town insisting on cooperating with unbelieving religious leaders for his crusade. That compromise is the most visible difference in fundamentalism and evangelicalism. It is a fact that many Christians who defend Graham would never put up with their pastor calling lost pastors, even Catholic priests, their brothers and recommending their work.
One can discuss and debate whether ecumenical evangelism is scriptural or not but if II John 10-11 is right then such compromise is sinful. However, it is not debatable that Graham has colluded and compromised, but has never challenged unbelievers who supported his crusades. His cooperation with these pastors endorsed their false ministries. The fact that some people trusted Christ in the crusades is no justification for clear disobedience to Scripture.
I have often noticed the defensive, defiant, and distasteful attitude that many Evangelicals have toward Fundamentalists. Not sure, but I think they are guilt-ridden over their cowardice in facing the truth and making amends for a lifetime of compromise. I invite the guilt-stricken Evangelicals to come home to the roots of their fathers. All will be forgiven and I for one will personally kill, dress, and barbeque the fatted calf, wash off the stink of the pigpen, put a ring on their finger, shoes on their feet and may even dance a jig (solo, of course) upon their return.
The split should not have happened in midcentury and the breach can be healed. The last sixty plus years were summed up by R. C. Sproul, Jr. in Our Fundamentalist Betters. The fundamentalists of the last century were laughed at and scorned. And for that they earned the praise of Jesus. May we find the courage not only to affirm the fundamentals, but may we be given a double portion of the spirit of the fundamentalists. They fought the good fight, while we collaborated. They kept the faith, while we merely kept our positions in our communities. May we learn to fear no man, and to fear God. For such is the beginning of wisdom.
That says it all. Are you fitting or following?
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 14 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Three years ago, the second edition of ISLAM: America's Trojan Horse! was published, and his new eBook, The God Haters is available for $9.99 from www.thegodhaters.com. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations. His other web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)
Copyright 2013, Don Boys, Ph.D.
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Some good observations here. I think we’re all reaching the point where there will be no other choice but to be “All offensive, all the time,” unless we deny Christ. And gosh, we Southern church ladies don’t like to give offense, but one could get into it, with practice ...
I for one have a lot of suppressed hostility looking for a suitable outlet ...
I think it cuts both ways. You don't necessarily have to compromise your beliefs to try to work in the world and make it a better place. One of the key issues is, simply, voting. Under this definition, Fundamentalists simply stay home on election day, whereas the new Evangelical way of thinking is that if Christians stay home, that simply hands the country over to the enemy.
I'll grant that with the RINO establishment doing its work, there often isn't much choice in who to vote for. But, when that's the case, I think that simply means that all good Christians need to try to fix that, too. On whatever level they can.
It's an imperfect world, and a disappointing one. But it won't get better if the Christians all retreat from the world and let it go to hell. Maybe it will go to hell, anyway, but they should make every effort to fight the growth of evil in the world.
Couple of weekends I went to a church that had a tagline something like “Church for people who don’t do church”.
I don’t even know how to describe it but in 75 minutes they never cracked a Bible and only fleetingly referenced a couple passages with out reading them.
I want the truth, not a secular story with some Jesus added to make it sound good. How about a biblical story with some real like sprinkled in it?
makes sense. bookmark.
Don’t most Christians believe they’re Biblical?
So do these people not believe in Christ’s words:
“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Bump for later
Excellent points. One can talk about Evangelicals vs. Fundamentalists all day and never get around to talking about The Lord Jesus. He is the point, not any of the labelled schools of faith.
God’s creativity is limitless. He can use a fire breathing brimstone type and a gentle dove type with aplomb. “Consider, therefore, the kindness and the sternness of God.” Sometimes sternness is just the right kind of medicine needed to attack unbelief. Let the attack commence! Once the “patient” breaks, let the doves do their gentle work.
I cannot be alone in being sick to death of Christian camps of thought that try to cut the Living God down to human size. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and harden whom I choose to harden”. The Lord is not asking for Baptist, Pentecostal, Reformed, Catholic, or other permission to show mercy or harden. Period.
He decides. So call on His name, people! He is rich in mercy.
oh, I like this article! :)
I first heard of this Dr. Ockenga (pronounced `Ocking-gay’, no joke) in college from my fundamentalist roommate who regarded him as the devil incarnate.
In my humble view, separating oneself from this corrupt world begins with the TV remote. Simplistic, but true. And when bored, reach for your Bible, not the remote.
Not familiar with this divide between Evangelicals as I’m not really Christian, I’m Catholic. Unless the divide is Sola Scriptura versus Crystal Cathedral. Maybe, JMHO.
There's a lot to be said for that.
Southern ladies are extremely well versed in offensive dialog. The reason it often goes unnoticed is that they have such a lovely delivery. No matter how offensive or downright vile the verbiage they always conclude with bless their heart and that makes it all palatable.
Yes. As I said, it cut both ways. But there was a time when many Evangelicals simply stayed home on election day, and a moment when they got together and decided that they would try to get out the vote, even if none of the candidates were real Christians. But a right-to-lifer was better than an abortion lover.
Regretably, the RINO GOPe has done its best to mock and suppress that movement. It got Bush into office twice, yet Rove persuaded him to turn his back on his base after the second time. Still, I think that was a positive step.
I agree that, in the old phrase, Christians should be in the world but not of the world.
I guess I don’t know what an Evangelical is. I just read the bible a lot and believe it completely.
I am not too sure i understand at all because Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are just more words that are Greek to me.
How ever i assume that the fundamentalists would be referred to as the church, and the Evangelicals are preaching the Gospel that the church should
I believe that Jesus was the son of God and was killed on the cross and rose from the grave and was glorified and now sits at the right hand of God but i have no church.
I also believe what he said in his own words happen to be the only Gospel we have.
Many people try to water down the Bible in order not to offend some one, others will try to make it more severe in order to keep what they believe to be undesirables out.
Some of the apostles went to great length to make the members of their church understand the importance of living the gospel they were commissioned to preach.
In this day of greed they are not only trying to make every one believers but also trying to make every one members of their church.
For they bind heavy burdens which are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not lift one of their little fingers to help them.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make one convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
The object of the church was not to get every one to join the church, (in fact not just any one could join the church) but to preach the gospel OF jesus.
So if i understand what the thread is saying, it seems to me that the fundamentalists may have a better concept of how a church should be organized.
But the Evangelicals are doing what Jesus said to do and that is to preach the gospel, and maybe failing in running a well organized church.
Good point. Maybe I should have said, “Southern church ladies don’t like it when people take offense.”
If I call them heathens I am a Fundamentalist.
If I call them the non church ed I’m an Evangelical.
Wait.........I need a broader brush.
John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
I think our big challenge as Christians is to be in the world, but not of the world. We should be there because the world needs us. It needs to see people living Christ-like lives and proclaiming the truth in love.
We should not be there because we have our hat in hand, hoping to collect some respect from the “cool” kids. Our payoff is from the Lord, not the cool kids.
Yep, left a church a couple years back.
They said I was a hater.
Funny how they label, yet if I label what God has clearly labeled..........
What you said. (Jesus)
Actually, good manners are based upon Christian principles.
Unfortunately, a worldly system has twisted good manners into tools of arrogance.
Little Mrs McGillicutty approaches the Church doors for her Bible Study. She has confessed her sins and is in fellowship through faith in Christ.
Sgt Smuckatelli sees Mrs McGillicutty approaching the doors and realizes that in her 90 lb frame, she may be challenged to open the door with a 20 lb door closer attached.
Mrs McGillicutty needs to overcome the hurdle of opening the door and might be distracted from her faith through Christ, by thinking she has to open the door by herself, thinking slips into a thinking mode independent of God.
With good manners, Sgt Smuckatelli realizes he has no problem opening the door and proceeds to open the door for Mrs McGillicutty, relieving her of the possible distraction.
This would be good manners.
Conversely, if the Sgt felt he wanted to perform a good work, so that Mrs McGillicutty would be appreciative of him and his good work, but he does this independent of faith in Christ, then Sgt McGillicutty becomes guilty of a sin of arrogance. Depending on how he reacts with Mrs McGillicutty, he might even cause her to fall out of fellowship.
Good manners focuses on Christ first and many times will not receive a reward prior to the first death, nor even recognition. Arrogance frequently attempts to counterfeit good manners as works independent of faith through Christ, and as such simply misses the mark of His Plan in each of our lives (sin).
You could always give offense to Clint, bless his li’l ol’ pea-pickin’ heart.
Briefly, "Evangelicals" of the 18th and 19th centuries were fundamentalists. The word "Fundamentalist" began to be used (after 1925 especially) for those continuing in that expression of doctrine and manner of Christian life, when those calling themselves "evangelicals" began to be ultra-inclusive, and more worldly in their outward expression.
when those calling themselves “evangelicals” began to be ultra-inclusive, and more worldly in their outward expression.
I would say that that would be one illustration of it nowadays. Yes.
I saw a church advertized on a billboard once as “we’re not too hot, we’re not too cold, we’re just right.” The irony was hilarious! Guess they’d never read Revelation.
1)Belives in the deity of Christ.
2)Believes that Christ came down in the flesh, dwelt among us, died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the grave to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
3)That the word of God (Bible) is totally reliable and the final authority in matters of faith. No extra-biblical revelation is needed.
4)That we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And that by faith and repentance we are totally justified by what Christ did on the cross.
Was actually making a point rather than soliciting help. But hey I'm teachable. :-)
Be that as it may you drew a comparison with Catholics. I've had many a discussion here on FR and Catholics tell me they have scriptural backing for their more "traditional, extra biblical" system. So again I ask, rhetorically "Dont most Christians believe theyre Biblical?"
Love can also mean correction where warranted. That would be true love, in a Christian sense.
God loved us so much that He sent His son to die. If we love someone and want them to avoid eternal damnation, we correct them.
Remember Matthew 7.