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Saturday, June 4, 2011


From time to time I find myself in dialogue with those who call themselves "fundamentalists." I disagree with their self-proclaimed title. In Christianity, our founder is Jesus Christ. He taught & lived oneness with God, love, faith, forgiveness, caring for all others, etc. He asked us to think things through & not just accept what's told to us -- example when he healed on the sabbath, modeling there's nothing wrong with that even though it was thought to be wrong in His day. He showed us the way. He asked us to live such a life, to follow Him, to do as He did, to do even greater things. Such a life, exhibiting such qualities, in my opinion, would be a fundamentally Christian life.

I do have a lot of issues with the groups who are self-described fundamentalists, but do not try to live as Jesus did & asked us to do. Some focus on fear, which is the opposite of faith, etc. Some are more focused in the Old Testament which is very ancient & has some odd beliefs from the vantage point of today. Many pick & choose from the Old Testament --- polygamy, sacrifices, etc. are not okay, but other things are. Some are followers (perhaps without knowing it) of Darby, a defrocked Anglican priest in the late 1800's who introduced new ideas such as the rapture that had never been part of any Christian or Jewish theology prior to him. Some make the Bible an idol, rather than a holy book that tells us how the understanding of God developed in the Hebrew people & can help us develop our understanding & relationship too. Many of the new denominations have pastors who are uneducated as to the languages of the Bible, the historical context of the various peoples, the idioms of the Bible, the various ways words could be translated, the new archeology, the finds of scrolls that shed new light understanding on the Bible, etc. If my mind is made up, closed, already smug in knowing it all, it is very hard for God to speak to me. These are some of my concerns with the so-called fundamentalists who do not stand on the fundamentals of Jesus.

A quest for the truth requires exploration. I believe God is infinite, so there is no way a finite human can know all about God. We only touch the edges. If anyone claims to know the whole truth, I want to run the opposite direction for they are either deluded or a liar. As I walk through the valley of earth, I can only see a little. I keep walking, open to see more, for God to reveal more. Yet I know I can never know all there is to know.

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