Fundamentalists are often accused of being mad at the world when really they are only normal, New Testament Christians who are responsibly militant. However, some Fundamentalists are going along with the times and have become moderate or mushy.
Many “recovering Fundamentalists,” like many Evangelicals, are not militant but are moderate, even mushy and are only mad at true Fundamentalists from whom they separated. Evangelicals are mad because they can’t answer the Fundamentalist accusation of cowardice, compromise, and corruption.
Original Christians separated from heresy. According to Irenaeus, Polycarp (died in 156 and who had studied under the Apostle John) once met the heretic Marcion in the street: “Do you recognize me?” asked Marcion. “Indeed,” replied Polycarp, “I recognize you as the firstborn of Satan!” Polycarp was a Fundamentalist and was martyred for his faith in 150 A.D. Marcion did not believe God created the earth and rejected the Old Testament and much of the New Testament. Polycarp separated himself from the heretic. Polycarp was not into bridge building. Most modern religious leaders confer legitimacy on heretics by recognizing them as their peers.
Irenaeus (d. 202), in his Against Heresies, reports a story told by Polycarp. Once, when the Apostle John walked into a public bath, he heard that a famed leader of the Gnostics was already inside. Reportedly, John immediately grabbed his belongings and fled from the place, saying, “Let us flee, lest the bath fall in, as long as Cerinthus, that enemy of the truth, is within!” Cerinthus did not believe God created the universe nor did he believe in Christ’s virgin birth. He taught that Christ would be raised from the dead when others will be raised. John was not willing to give Cerinthus any credibility by sitting with him in the bath. John also wrote in his second epistle that unbelievers should be rejected including anyone who denied the doctrine of Christ–not bidding God speed to any heretic.
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Most preachers almost say something during their preaching and when they do so, they never offend anyone. While we should never try to offend others, we must not offend God by encouraging, engaging, and excusing false doctrine. We are required to rebuke it. However, we must rebuke with a loving attitude and never in a self-righteous manner, a mistake made by many leading Fundamentalists in the past.
Responsible militancy is another proof that Fundamentalists are the original Christians. This is evident from Christ Himself as he castigated the unholy merchandizers in the Temple and even chased them from the Temple with a whip that He made for that purpose.
Another example of militancy is that of Paul and Barnabas and their disagreement over John Mark (Acts 15:36–41). This was a conflict and confrontation, not simply a conversation. Also in a militant vein, Paul opposed Peter “to his face” for his duplicity before the Gentiles, and Paul did it “before them all” (Gal. 2:11–14). This was no suggestion that “we can have a difference of opinion” but a direct, definite, denunciation of error. Many modern Fundamentalists are very reluctant to confront compromise lest they be accused of being “holier than thou,” “bigots,” etc.
I must admit that Fundamentalists have produced some weirdos but then all groups have done so. Some Baptist pastors have been or are very close to being cult leaders–with a King James Bible. They should be rebuked, rejected, and removed although Fundamentalists have always believed that each church is totally independent with no hierarchy in control. That leaves each church responsible for any error in the pulpit and most church members fail to challenge and remove a wavering, waffling, and willful pastor. One reason for their refusal is they are very uninformed and often intimidated.
The Recovering Fundamentalist website is dishonest. In attempting to ridicule the Bible, it reports what Jews would do in the future (cannibalism) as if it were a command for them to eat their own children! That is disingenuous, dishonest, and despicable.
Famous recovering Fundamentalist Frank Schaeffer is the renegade son of theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer. Frank seems to be obsessed about Fundamentalists fearing homosexuals. However, we don’t fear them. We object to their wicked lifestyle that is killing them!
A recovering Fundamentalist wrote of Christ, “He hung out with whores” yet Christ was never alone with a woman (except His mother) unless you believe being alone means speaking with a woman at a public well at high noon. Recovering Fundamentalists use that argument to justify their willingness to associate with any lowlife with whom they curse, drink, and generally act like heathen. Need I say that Christ always reproved the sinners with whom he “hung around”?
It is a fact that Fundamentalists are the original Christians in their teaching, their godly lifestyle, their separation (personal and ecclesiastical), and their responsible militancy.
I’m a lifetime Fundamentalist with a grand, great, and glorious heritage and I’m not recovering from anything. Moreover, I have nothing to recover from–other than the blather of “recovering Fundamentalists” who use the unjust treatment received from false Fundamentalists as an excuse to whine, whimper, and weep about their actual or alleged mistreatment.
I suggest they grow up; chill out; visit a dying Christian; win a lost person to Christ; and remember, respect, and return to their Fundamentalist roots.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.