Religion and Politics

Why Is Fundamentalist Such an Ugly Word?

Do you know what the true meaning is of the terms fundamentalism or fundamentalist? If you think these are defined as “a narrow-minded worldview” and “a judgmental, mean-spirited  person with a narrow-minded worldview” (respectively), then you’ve been duped by the secularists who despise anyone with a strongly held conviction about anything religious, especially the Bible and/or the Christian faith. Unfortunately, the secular media have aided and abetted, and, in some cases, even colluded with this wrongful definition and misinformation campaign against Bible believing Christians, in particular. Their misinformation campaign has been so successful, in fact, that even Bible believing Christians are often quick to add that although they believe in the Bible, they’re not one of those fundamentalist types. Really? That just demonstrates to me that they haven’t the faintest idea what a true fundamentalist is.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, the word fundamentalism can have two different definitions:

1 : a often capitalized :  a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching

       b :  the beliefs of this movement

       c :  adherence to such beliefs

2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles <Islamic fundamentalism> <political fundamentalism>”

Moreover, a fundamentalist is someone who holds to a set of fundamental beliefs, such as the second definition above states. This is true whether the focus is on religion or politics or even sports.

Perhaps you may recall the now infamous statement attributed to Vince Lombardi many years ago when he reportedly told his players (who had been going through a losing streak) that they needed to get back to the fundamentals of football. As he held up a football for all to see, he said something like this: “Gentlemen, this is a football.” To apply this statement to Christians, we would hold up a Bible and say, “Brothers and sisters, this is The Holy Bible.”

As an unabashed, self-professing fundamentalist Christian, I find it absolutely disturbing how many people call themselves Christians and yet have no idea that they would not even know what it means to be a Christian without the teachings of the Bible. Furthermore, while they embrace the teachings they like from the Bible, they reject those they dislike from the self-same Bible. That’s a little like Lombardi’s players saying they like the playbook’s description and illustration of how to execute a proper pass play, but they dislike the rules for physical conditioning and practicing the play to ensure they can execute it well at game time. Not only do players not have the option of deciding whether they will obey or ignore the coach’s rules and regimen for game preparation, but they would be kicked off the team for repeatedly refusing to follow the coach’s commands.

So, how does this principle of fundamentalism apply to Christians today? Well, the Bible is still our guide to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. How can any of us call ourselves a Christian and not accept and agree to follow the Bible’s instructions? It is, in fact, the most fundamental of all guides for becoming a Christian and living out the Christian life. We would not even know what a true Christian is supposed to believe or how one is supposed to behave if it was not for the teachings in the Bible.

I, for one, believe and accept every part of the Bible, and I challenge everyone else who dares to call himself or herself a Christian to do the same. Failure to be a fundamentalist Christian really could cost one their everlasting soul, because there are some Christian fundamentals that are non-negotiable for one’s salvation (see John 8:24 and 1 Corinthians 15:17 for just two examples). This is definitely something to consider. However, how will you know what these fundamental requirements for salvation are if you don’t read and accept what the Bible has to say? Good question!

It’s time to reclaim the true meaning and application of the term fundamentalist. It’s also time for fundamentalist Christians to stand up and be counted — not only by the people of this world but by God Almighty Himself. And believe me — He’s taking notes right now!

I’ll write more about this topic of Christian fundamentalism soon. Let me know your thoughts on this subject by leaving a comment below.

For Writers

A Publishing Panacea Receives Favorable Mention from CSPA

I want to take a moment to thank Sarah Bolme, the director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) and the author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace (now in its 3rd edition) for endorsing and featuring my latest book, A Publishing Panacea: How to Be Your Own Publisher in the Digital Age, in her blog Marketing Christian Books. Since the focus of her recent blog post which mentioned my book was about getting endorsements for your books, let me also take this opportunity to thank my fellow authors and independent publishers, John Kremer and Brian Jud, for taking time out of their very busy schedules to write an endorsement for my book. I heartily recommend all three of these renowned authors, independent publishers, and marketers for anything they’ve done professionally. All three offer tremendous support and profound insights into the mysterious world of writing, publishing, and marketing books — all at the same time!

After you’ve spent a few hours reviewing what they have to offer, may I ever-so-humbly invite you to check out my latest book which these three have endorsed? Again, it’s called A Publishing Panacea: How to Be Your Own Publisher in the Digital Age, and it offers step-by-step assistance to all aspiring authors on how to become your own publisher. It’s also available in eBook for both Kindle and Nook. Now, here’s to your writing and publishing success!

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