Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Pagan Worldview of Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism

Sometime Monday, I'll continue my series Reductio Ad Absurdum: Conservative Evangelicalism Meets the Doctrine of Separation (parts one and two).  This brief break is directly related to those posts.


There is only one God.  The one God is the Truth and, therefore, there is one truth.  These first two statements are foundational to a Christian worldview.  The two are also interdependent.

Enter evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  I'm sure all fundamentalists and most evangelicals would say "yes" to both statements.  They agree.  But they really don't.  They probably both believe the first statement, but, again, the two statements are interdependent.  You can't have one without the other.  God is Truth.  There is one God.  If you believe in more than one Truth, you are now not talking about the same God.  The one and only God is defined by Truth.  He defines Himself by Truth.  The God is the Truth that He says about Himself.   He is Who He is.  Our understanding of Him is the Truth.  And there is one Truth.

Evangelicals and fundamentalists think and believe a world of more than one Truth. They say there is one.  But two or more is actually fine.  They even encourage a world of more than one.   And if you believe in a  world of one, you cannot continue with them.  You won't fit in with evangelicalism and fundamentalism with only one Truth.

I'm asking you to think about this, to give it strong consideration.  Don't just dismiss it because it seems extreme and over the top.  More than one Truth can coexist in an evangelical and fundamentalist world.  Not in God's world, but in their world.  And once you've allowed for that, you are now on common ground with paganism.  Paganism lives in the worldview of evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  The two would deny paganism, but paganism lives in their worldview.

The very existence of evangelicalism and fundamentalism depends upon paganism.  It depends upon more than One Truth and, therefore, more than one God.  No Christian should think or believe that way, but evangelicalism and fundamentalism both encourage that thought and belief.

Your head may be wagging fast and hard back and forth (try going up and down).   What I'm saying is truth.  Just consider it.   The two truths of evangelicalism and fundamentalism they call an essential truth and a non-essential truth.  Instant protest.  I know.  You say those aren't two truths.  But they really are.  Scripture does not provide this designation to truth, essential and non-essential.  Truth, by its nature, is all essential.  It is One, because God is One.

The two truths, essential and non-essential, really are about allowing for error.  When something is non-essential, you really don't have to be right about it.  You must be right on the essential truth in this worldview.  And the modern version of this was invented by evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  The line that falls between essential and non-essential is regularly changing.  It's a big and common argument among evangelicals and fundamentalists.   I believe they put more intensity into where that line is drawn than they do about the defense of the actual truth itself.  For instance, as someone reads this, he would be more angry about this than he would be if I said that it doesn't matter if there were three conflicting beliefs about eschatology.

Sometimes I talk about pagans borrowing from a Christian worldview, which they must do in order to argue for any view.  However, Christians borrow from a pagan worldview for their essential and non-essential truth view.  They live in a world of contradictions and conflict.  This is not the Father's world.

So why?  Why have this pagan worldview?  I can't say that the reasons are in this order or especially that these are all of them, but here are some.

First, getting along is more important than the Truth.  Some say that the gospel is first in importance, but they act like getting along is first in importance.  We don't need large coalitions.  The Bible is against them.  I could, at this point, explain why getting along is so important to evangelicals and fundamentalists, but it's not my emphasis here.

Second, evangelicals and fundamentalists don't believe in one Bible.  They are fine with two or more sets of Words.  That makes a difference.  If you don't know what the Words are, then you can't know what the interpretation is.  You, therefore, must give leeway.  I could say that the 'two Bibles' is the second reason with a closely related third reason that we then can't be sure what the Bible says.  This abolishes the doctrine of perspicuity.  They will say they believe it, but, in fact, do not.

Third, a wrong ecclesiology.  I'm not going to elaborate on this, as I have many times before, because I don't want to take this post off course.

Fourth, rationalism, modernism, secularism, and humanism.  Humanism sees truth as relative, not objective.  Truth is arrived at through dialectics.  You may say that that evangelicalism and fundamentalism don't believe this.  They practice it.  I see them as influenced by the worldly philosophy like the Corinthians were by the worldly philosophy of their days (which Paul deals with in 1 Cor 1-3).

This having more than one Truth has brought disaster.  It has ruined worship, art, literature, the roles of men and women, education, and the family.  It will only get worse without consideration and then a change.  The right view of the world must be believed to be more important than what seems to be gained from the pagan worldview that I've described.

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