Thursday, July 15, 2004

I am a Fundy

I have recently given thought to something that continues to puzzle me. I am amazed at the degree, depth and breadth of the outright hatred of Christians and Christianity that exists in the blogshpere. I have never before taken notice of this fact because I had no occasion to.

As you probably know I support the idea and the concept behind Christian Exodus. I have written a couple of times expressing this. I have yet to fully articulate here the multiple reasons that I support this idea; that is something I will do when I have time. It is sufficient to say that nothing that group stands for conflicts with the views, opinions and principles I advocate here almost every time I post.

I began to notice the hatred expressed toward Christianity when I noticed traffic coming to my blog here from blogs I had never heard of or visited. It seems that I am one of the few blogs on the net that openly supports the idea behind Christian Exodus. All of the new traffic I have been receiving is from the various sites that quote me as a supporter of the 'fundies'.

What a fascinating term, 'fundy'. This is my first experience with the term. It obviously is a derogatory term for fundamentalist. Like any term applied carte blanche to a wide group of people in stereotypical fashion this term is inaccurately applied. I am in fact a Bible believing Christian of definite conservative leaning. Of this there is no doubt.

It is impossible to apply the term fundamentalist to me however. Do I believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God? Sure. Do I believe that this is the one and only revelation of God? Probably not. Any casual review of the history of the creation of the Bible points to the definite fact that Man had a great hand in the assemblage of the books that comprise the Bible. Man is fallible. We undoubtedly failed in the selection of books to include and exclude and in the translation of books. I believe that certainly God guided man in this endeavor. It just seems that getting all worked up about such things leads to unnecessary conflict. Constantine, the Roman Emperor that commissioned the Council of Nicea, was interested more in creating harmony in the empire than he was in listening to the voice of God. The Canon of 'approved' books was a hurriedly done endeavor with a political purpose.

Sure it is possible, even probable that God used Constantine to advance the cause. It just seems to me that it is pointless to get proverbially wrapped around the axle over issues that we as mere mortals cannot know.

I ask questions, I ponder possible answers, I seek truth where it might exist. I am not a fundamentalist in terms of thinking that God is limited to the interpretations of his word by men.

I suppose my views in this regard place me in the lonely position of neither being in one camp or the other. I am accustomed to this. My views of the Southern Movement and what we ought to do and what is really important have for a long time alienated me from the doctrinaire members of that group.

The same is true for denominational doctrine. I am a Southern Baptist, yet I see no real harm in an occasional drink. I do not go to bars, I do not get drunk but I do drink one or two beers a month. I think the Bible itself is filled with examples of folks drinking a little. The book tells me not to get drunk so i do not.

So I suppose my views of Christian doctrine might also alienate me from someone that interprets the Bible literally by the standard of a group of men.

I believe that man is sinful by nature and that without salvation through the grace of Christ he is lost. I believe that grace is freely given and may be accepted by any man that is open to hear and receive. I think all arguments about other requirements are proven moot by the example of Jesus promising the thief on the cross that because he believed he would share in paradise.

I believe God is bigger than merely being limited to just the creation story as told in Genesis. I believe God could have created the world in such a way; I also believe he could have created the world in a number of other ways and the Genesis explanation was merely a way to explain things to a simpler culture. We cannot know these things for sure. In my simple mind the hand of a wise and awesome God could certainly exist in something like the 'Big Bang' and evolution. Of course these are just theories created by man. The real truth could be something even more fantastic; or it could be something as simple and beautiful as the Genesis story. I just think these are things we cannot know for sure. We have only to believe in a God that could do all of these things and more. Getting all worked up one way or the other is simply wrong and foolish. I disdain scientist that disavow any possibility of God; likewise I disagree with Christians that discount science. Man is falable and we do not have many answers but we may have something on the order of 5% of them, it is possible.

I suppose I am a Fundamentalist that views God as an incomprehensible being in many respects. I think we can know his will and intent for us if we are faithful and listen. I do not think we can with assurance know every answer about the universe though words passed to us by Him in the Bible.

Having said that, and although I will remain an open-minded believer, I would gladly pitch my tent with the fundamentalist any day if given the choice between them and the bigots and haters of the world. It is a far better thing to believe in something bigger and better than oneself than to merely place all of one’s faith in Man. If the fundamentalist is content not to ask questions and rely on the Bible as the end of the discussion I find nothing wrong with that. I can coexist happily with the fundamentalist.

By the way, I am also reading another book just now 'Jesus Freaks'. It is about folks that have died for their conviction to worship and follow Christ. Excellent book. More on that later.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

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