What's the issue with fundamentalism

Most users of sermonaudio likely consider themselves fundamentalists, and it is a badge people seem to wear with pride. I too, wear the "fundamentalist" title but must admit I see some serious problems with Christian fundamentalism as it is exercised today. I will just outline 3 problems that plague most fundamental churches today.

1. The cheapening of Grace -- While in my estimate Deitrich Boenhoffer was off base on various theological issues there was one point that he hit dead on, that being the modern church has perverted what is free grace into being cheap grace. Too often fundamentalist churches reduce salvation to a sinners prayer, a pat on the back, and boom welcome to heaven. I don't doubt that this method is effective, certianly many Christians have said a prayer like that and I don't doubt they were saved at that point. However I also do not doubt that there are many people who have said that prayer and call themselves Christians that know nothing of the Lord, and have by no means been indwelt by His spirit. To often we who are reformed in our thinking and abhor the thought of trying to earn your way to heaven will go to the opposite extreme and speak of salvation like it is mearly a flame retardent suit that we put on when we say a certain prayer. Works are the evidence of saving faith and we can and must expect works out of Christians, else the evidence shows they are no Christian at all. Certainly we fundamentalists are dead on when we say that we are saved not by works but by grace and that no work is going to earn grace, but grace that yeilds no fruit is cheap, and is not grace at all.

2. Legalism -- Typically anyone who is not a fundamentalist, will make the claim that fundamental Christianity is legalistic. While ture fundamental Christianity is by no means legalistic the typical fundamentalism we see in today's "conservative" church is highly legalistic. In an effort to get rid of sacramentalism we have created our own legalism. We will reject everything which doesn't fit within our scope of Christianity and deem it heretical. For instance we take a 18 year old who is attempting to witness by writing music and turn around and tell them that the music they write comes straight from the pit of hell. C.H. Spurgeon (often the fundamentalist hero) said that he loves imprudence in a young believer. He loves when they will try anything to worship. (See sermon "Church Increase" I think) Yet the legalistic fundamentalism has successfully quenched many young peoples drive to serve God in a way that is real to them. The legalistic fundamentalist has no memory of the Lord's work in them. They forget who they were when they were young Christians attempting to worship the Lord.

3. Backlash -- I am not sure what else to call it. To often we fundamentalists will overcompensate when correcting errors in doctrine. For instance in rejection of the Catholic church's hyperveneration of Mary, fundamentalists often downplay the magnitude of her obedience, and her role in the life of Christ. In refuting Arminianism many fundamentalists will downplay the role of a John Wesley or George Whitfield and their role in the spiritual renewal in England.

Maybe it is time for us who claim to be fundimental to take a good hard look at ourselves, our sucesses in Christ, and our failures. It is long past time for many fundementalists to be zealous for Christ as opposed to fundamentalism as they know it.

Thats all for now.

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