Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In Praise of Fundamentalism

"Fundamentalist" has become such a dirty word these days. Let me first say something perhaps a bit controversial. There will be a thousand fundamentalists in Heaven per every one progressive. Or in other words, how much better to be a fundamentalist than to be a progressive Catholic or mainstream evangelical.

I've been exposed to quite a bit of fundamentalism. To the evangelical mainstreams at my work, the denomination I grew up in (PCA) would be considered fundamentalist-right wing. In fact, one referred to the OPC as a “scary” denomination. That is scary.

I have a number of relatives who would be unhesitant in labeling themselves ‘fundamentalist’. I have more in common with them than with dissenting Catholics. I have more respect for the simpleton thumping his bible and saying that Jesus is coming soon to rapture all the Christians than for the Jesuit theologian claiming that the greatest problem we face today is something that could be solved in the political arena. The fundamentalist (often) errs in innocence. The progressive has access to the sacraments daily and the fullness of the gift of the Holy Spirit by confirmation and access to the worlds best theologians today and yesterday... yet he rejects the Church teaching (which is part of God's revelation - therefore he rejects God's Word).

You see, the fundamentalist for all his errors has retained what’s important. He has unwavering faith in Christ. The progressive on the other hand blasphemes Christ and sets himself above the Holy Spirit. The progressive thinks that the bible is only true on matters of faith and morality as if God were incapable of scientific or historical accuracy. That’s blasphemous. The fundamentalist recognizes and respects the God-given differences between male and female. The progressive attributes the roles to cultural prejudice and God’s failure to address these issues. That’s blasphemy. The fundamentalist believes in demons and in Satan - the true enemy of Christians. The progressive ignores the brunt of Christ's earthly ministry and thinks that belief in demons is mere superstition - that would make our Lord the chief superstitionist (spell check is telling me that's not a word.... to hell with spell check!). Again, we find the progressive guilty of blasphemy.

Let us remind ourselves that God entered into human history in the Man Jesus Christ during a time where racism was commonplace, slavery was business as usual and the income gap would make modern Mexico look like the poster child of economic Egalitarianism – yet in spite of all this, Jesus didn’t mention one damn word about any of it. The fundamentalist in his simplicity understands this. The ‘learned’ progressive has forgotten – or never knew it in the first place. Worse still – he even ignores the true Christ for the “judge not lest you be judged” Christ that exists only in his imagination.

So I have many words of praise for the fundamentalist (though he errs on many things – a clear example of why Scripture was intended to be interpreted by the Church in the context of sacred tradition and not by an individual trained in some back-woods seminary that teaches in an official capacity that 2 Timothy 3:16 sufficiently proves sola scriptura) and not so many words of praise for the progressive – in fact I have none for him and I have nothing in common with him. (I think that’s the longest sentence I ever wrote). At any rate, I think you get what I’m saying – though he thinks I’m worshiping at the Whore of Babylon, at least the fundamentalist has retained the Christian faith. Progressive Catholics and mainstream evangelicals have lost any resemblance to the orthodox faith.


Joseph said...

Dang, did you bump into a modernist today, who, unbeknownst to him, has reasoned (or lack thereof) themselves out of communion with the Church?

That sounds like a rant to me. Don't worry, I have them all of the time.

A friend of mine told me a couple of years ago (and I know this isn't an original thought, I just can't remember where he got it from) that to be truly evil, one must be steeped in tradition. In other words, one must recognize good to truly become evil, all others are just evil imitators or ignorant fools.

For example, Hitler was a Catholic and Stalin was an Orthodox seminarian. Hitler killed millions of Catholics, clerics, religious, and laity alike. Stalin did the same with the Orthodox.

That is along the same lines as your post. A "fundamentalist" may be shouting that the Church is the Whore of Babylon, but it is because he doesn't know any better. A dissident, well-trained Jesuit priest, however, is cunning and recognizes the Bride that he is attacking and attempting to corrupt. He is turning his back on the truth and deceiving the flock. And, like Judas, he continues to receive Our Lord with a kiss, just before he turns Him over to be crucified.

I guess it's been the same throughout history.

Tim A. Troutman said...

My sentiments exactly.