Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Fundamentalist Repulsion of Christian Worldview

Only a righteous man, a regenerated child of God, understands the world, its history, present, and future.  Man's thinking was corrupted by the fall and without salvation, he doesn't grasp God's intended purpose and plan.   After creation, God mandated raising a family and earning a living through the words "be fruitful," "multiply," "replenish the earth," "subdue" and "have dominion."  He never rescinded that mandate after the curse, only that those two responsibilities would occur with sorrow.  Sin would make it harder, but both still had to be done according to God's command.

Since sin made God's cultural mandate impossible without redemption, He built into the curse the promise of redemption.  The seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent.  The image of God in man, common grace, and the providence of God do allow men to accomplish deeds in line with God's directive, but they fail at the root objective of glorifying Him.

Christians are redeemed to fulfill God's mandate.  Only true believers know or even can know what that is.  God alone is the source of the universe, of His created order, the origin of the laws of physical nature, which we study in the natural sciences, the source of the laws of human nature, as well the principles of morality, justice, aesthetics, and logic.  We are the ones who have something to say about and to contribute to life on earth.

The need for redemption brought an evangelistic purpose to the mandate.  God loves the world.  But God continues to fulfill His pre-fall, pre-curse purpose through that redemption.  Redemption is a means to an end.  God is to be glorified.  He will be glorified, because He will redeem a people to Himself who will glorify Him.  The mandate must be fulfilled still.

To fulfill the mandate, Christians cannot divide the sacred from the secular and forsake every institution on earth but the church.  The church is pivotal in this age.  God's will gets accomplished through the church, but in the world, believers are there still fulfilling the mandate God gave them. The lives of believers should revolve around the church, but they are lived out in the world.  Since this is God's world, believers know best what it's all about and should stay engaged in informing of and transforming in God's position.

This post is about fundamentalism, but fundamentalism has been better overall than evangelicalism in fulfilling the mandate.  That's a very big subject that would take too long in this post, but I'll say what is wrong with evangelicalism.  Evangelicalism has morphed to the world system, in so many ways mimicking the world as a strategy.  I was reminded of this today when I saw an online clip of Tim Tebow reading a nasty tweet about him on the Jimmy Kimmel show.  Rather than revealing the mandate to the world as God intended it, the evangelicals adapted it as a plan of infiltration.

Fundamentalism was an era of my life from 1974 to about 1995.  I think that I understand it very well, now looking from the outside.  Fundamentalists started their own schools and colleges and separated everyone from the world.  The work in the world became meaningless.  All that had meaning was the church.  They so separated themselves from everyone that they left everything in the world, every institution to the godless.  This was not the story of early American Christianity. Christians had their influence everywhere.  They were the historians and the teachers and the philosophers.

Fundamentalism forsook the public square, when only Christianity understands this world.  The reason nobody gets it is because nobody is there to get it.  As time went on, sadly fundamentalism has begun to take on more of the world and taken on the evangelical strategy.

You can't think of hardly a fundamentalist thinker, writer, author, artist, or composer that matters.  Fundamentalists completely forsook God's mandate through an extreme and unbiblical type of separation.  Even if Christians have lost the impact God desires, they can still have an impact.  I think it's too late for the country, but it doesn't mean that it isn't something that Christians should still be doing, that is, revealing to the world God's truth, goodness, and beauty about everything.


Chris Gable said...

Good thoughts, Bro. Brandenberg! And a good reminder of our need to be salt and light all throughout our world today.

Jim Peet said...

Kent, We used this on S/I today. here

Jim Stiekes said...

I can't speak for all fundamentalists or for the "movement" or "system." But my ind. fund. Baptist Chuch has never turned its back on the problems. Our pastor met just this week with state legislators to impress upon them some of our current concerns here in MI. The author is correct in general, but there are pockets of Godly, biblical resistance within fundamentalism

George Calvas said...

" Our pastor met just this week with state legislators to impress upon them some of our current concerns here in MI."

When that does not work (diplomacy), that is what the prophets were to be used for in the "work of the ministry". Go and preach to the leaders and remind then about Romans 13 so that we can "live in peace with all men".

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Chris.

Thanks Jim.

Jim Stiekes,

Thanks for commenting. You and some others may be primarily missing the point here, and may not even see or know what I'm talking about. I'm sure fundamentalism contacts govt officials. They also preach to lost friends at work and try to see people "get saved" there. That's also not what I'm talking about, but it is so much out of the fundamentalist mindset, that many don't know what I'm talking about. Some do, I'm sure, but most don't. Thanks again.

Lance Ketchum said...

The ambiguity of the term "fundamentalism" is innate to the "movement." There was never any real agreed consensus regarding "cardinal doctrines." So many assume this without ever having read the five little books published called "The Fundamentals."

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked Scripture on the matter:

" Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." ( 1 John 2:15 )

" No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." ( 2 Timothy 2:4 )

I'm not sure about "fundamentalists", but I can't seem to find anywhere that God commands me to get involved with anything this world says or does.

Other than being ready with an answer for the hope that lies within me, or obeying those that have the rule over me, or obeying the ordinances of men, or praying for those who despitefully use me, or praying for those who are in authority that I may lead a peaceable life...I can't find anything that says I should vote or care about what this world is up to.

I'm not a "fundamentalist", but I once was.