Posts Tagged ‘fundamentalism’

say what

[*Note: Since this article was published, Jeri has republished the article on her website under the title, “Loss of Faith” or rather that “Destroyer of the Faith was a rehash of Loss of Faith]

On May 9, 2013, Jeri Massi wrote a blog entitled “Destroyer of the Faith” in that after the first few paragraphs of ranting about experiences in her earlier years as a fundamentalist, attempts to define the cause of departure of those who have abdicated from either fundamentalism or evangelicalism. She does offer a few good points, but then true to form, inserts her personal bias that causes the avid Bible student to take what she says with a grain of salt.

In her first attack against fundamentalists, Jeri opines that:

Fundamentalists believe in an inert, dead, random cosmos. In essence, while maintaining that they believe in Creationism, they use the evidences of atheism and an atheistic view of the universe to support their argument.

And then argues after this bullet that:

Science. This is pretty close to the first item, but I think the distinction is that Fundamentalism forces its adherents to ignore new discoveries in genetics and physics that support evolutionary theory

While Jeri does not explain how she arrives at the conclusion that fundamentalists believe in an inert, dead, random cosmos, it is laughable that she compares a fundamentalists defense of creationism to the same model used by atheists.

Atheism begins with the premise that there is no God. That fact alone is enough to discredit Jeri’s caricature of fundamentalists arguments for creation. If a fundamentalist believes that God created the universe, then it’s pretty simple to conclude that the model of debates are not synonymous among the two. Jeri may attempt to assume that arguing for creation ex nihilo is a similar model since atheistic evolution applies that same standard to gases and it’s chaos theory, but that does not mean that the egg came before the chicken anymore than fundamentalists who have always maintained this position borrowed it from atheists. I’m pretty sure Moses and Job would agree.

Nevertheless, what is stifling about Jeri’s argument is that she often cites the Bible as an authority in the majority of her writings, which would be commendable if her methods and conclusions were accurate. Yet, in this argument, she demonstrates that there are some arguments where external evidences take precedent over the Bible. So is science Jeri’s final authority? or the Bible?

It is hypocritical and inconsistent that Jeri claims to hold the Bible as the authority on spiritual matters, but then demand that fundamentalists be required to remain apprised of all the new discoveries of science that attempt to discredit creationism.

If a Christian claims to believe the Bible, and that the Bible is sufficient to explain the origins of the universe and all creation, why would it be necessary to respond to any “new” discoveries that science claims as a rebuttal to any Christian model of creationism?

The Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” in the very opening statement of the scriptures. The Bible further states that God created something from nothing or the ex nihilo position (which is not only clear from the first chapter of Genesis, but also a logical deduction made from Romans 4:17). Romans 1:20 states,

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Not only does the Bible explain that the world was created, but that it was God that created it, and this fact is emphasized so much by Paul that he holds it as evidence that those who reject it are without excuse.

Moreover, the Bible says that the fool says there is no God. Psalm 14:1.

Furthermore, the Bible explicitly admonishes the believer to reject falsely so-called science. 1 Timothy 6:20.

And what is science but a man-made system of rules that define its observances. The rules of science in the humanistic sense do not permit for the existence of God to be a logical conclusion. For example, the six-step scientific method (and some argue for additional steps) can not place a miracle into a controlled environment, and then repeat the results, and therefore miracles are beyond the realm of what science can verify by its own rules. Since creation would be considered a miracle, yet can not meet the criteria for scientific observance and experimentation, it is thus rejected by the majority of the scientific community because the standard of evidence required to “prove” creation is different from say the standard of evidence required for proof in a court room.

Although science argues against faith, ultimately, the scientist must believe that his assumptions and theories are correct, which does not do much to separate it from a religion, and often serves to prove its bias.

The atheistic model of creation has at least 2 popular premises: that there was a cosmic explosion, and that there were gases and other chemicals that existed from which all life derived given billions of years to culminate.

No matter what new discovery is published, scientists of such ilk can not explain how order came from chaos, or where the chaos came from. If there was a “big bang”, where did the bang come from? If there were gases, where did the gases come from? The model of atheist evolution ultimately requires an infinite series of existing gases and bangs, none of which could ever independently exist by themselves and without any previous evidence of intelligence, somehow developed intelligence from non-intelligence and injected that into humans, animals, and then it created trees, complex DNA structures, gravity, and weather conditions conducive to creating additional life forms and sustaining all matters of life.

The atheistic model argues against an Infinite Intelligent Designer that existed for eternity, but argues for an infinite series of explosions and gases. The premises and conclusions of atheistic evolution are so illogical that it is not necessary for one who believes the Biblical explanation of creation to “keep up” with science. Following Jeri’s logic to its least common denominator, Jeri would argue for the possibility that even though she believes in the Biblical model of creation, that eventually science could refute it with some new discovery. This would demonstrate that Jeri does not have a clear conviction about the origin of the universe, which would in essence, make her an agnostic. She certainly can not claim to reprove fundamentalism according to the Bible, and then reject the Biblical explanation of creation and still claim to believe that Bible she uses to reprove fundamentalists.

Hypocrisy

Now this is where Jeri actually DOES have a valid point. It has been said by many that “I would have become a Christian had it not been for Christians”. I had a grandmother that used to say, “You may be the only Bible somebody ever reads”, and that reflects a passage that Paul mentions in  2 Corinthians 3:2:

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men

What is ironic though is that Jeri recently wrote an article condemning “standards” within fundamentalism, and then states:

Fundamentalists and Evangelicals live in a religion where the only way to cope with it is to go through it with one eye closed against what its own ministers and leaders are doing in direct disobedience to what Christ commanded. [Emphasis added]

Um…Jeri…could those things in which fundamentalists and evangelicals are in direct disobedience to be called STANDARDS! Perhaps the reason that fundamentalists nor evangelicals demonstrate the love of Christ nor a reflection of holiness is because they are repeatedly told by many other preachers and bloggers that Christianity has no “do’s and don’ts” in it, and when arguing so vehemently against standards, it leaves people wondering if there is any objective standard in which to evaluate the life of a believer from knowing what is sin, and what type of behaviors to avoid. If there are none, then everything is permissible, and if everything is permissible, then is it really the fault of the person who acts no different from the rest of the world for doing what nothing prohibits him/her from doing?

You can argue that “well, Jesus is our example, just ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ'”. As true as that statement is, it neglects the pragmatic and practical applications of how that is implemented throughout the Bible. Those applications are often found on what fundamentalists call “standards”.

Granted, there is room for justified criticism of fundamentalists that invent man-made rules (Mark 7:13) based upon adiaphora, but over all the standards preached within fundamentalism are legitimate, and hypocrisy is a result of rebelling against those standards. Paul said that God foreordained us unto good works (Eph 2:10). Although works are not a requirement to be saved, you can not confuse justification with sanctification. Works are a compliment to faith and demonstrate its validity (James 2:10-23), they are not an enemy of living by faith unless a person relies on them to be justified before God.

Thus, I can not criticize Jeri for rightly pointing out that far too often the biggest obstacle to Christianity are Christians.

However, in this analysis, even though hypocrisy can be listed as a REASON for abdicating ones faith, it is not a legitimate EXCUSE for rejecting it. Jesus Christ is not responsible for the actions of hypocrites, and ultimately, He will judge their hypocrisy whether here in this life or the other side of heaven. 1 Timothy 5:24. Should Christians demonstrate good works so that men may see the difference and glorify God? Yes. Matthew 5:16, but every man shall give an account of themselves to God (Romans 14:12) and whether at the judgment seat of Christ, or the Great White Throne judgment, no Christian or unbeliever will be excused for their actions based upon the hypocrisy of another person.

God has revealed enough of Himself and offered enough evidence for what Jesus Christ did through the cross, and how to live as a Christian, that one can live a victorious Christian life pleasing to God regardless of what actions others take that are contrary to scripture.

When I was a teenager, I worked part-time in a  restaurant. There were standards and rules for preparing the food, and there were many that for the sake of production concerns, “cut corners”. This often resulted in many complaints and even though it was a reflection of the franchise, that did not mean that I had to compromise my ability to prepare the food the way it should be done because others cut corners. I had the choice of either cutting corners myself, or following the codes that were in effect to make sure that the customer had a healthy and pleasant dining experience.

Eventually, the management were able to determine who was cutting corners and terminated them (a lesson that fundamentalists could practice), and the customers often requested that I prepare their meals. I was able to keep customers coming back to the restaurant, because even though there were some that gave the franchise a bad name, there were a few that refused to cut corners.

Those who did not like the corner cutters could make the choice of blaming them and never coming back, or they could realize that there were employees that did not cut corners and strived to provide a good product and continue their patronage.

That’s not a perfect analogy, but there are Christians in fundamentalism that continue to strive to present Christ in a Biblical manner, and fundamentalism as a whole should not be boycotted and vilified because of the few corner cutters.

While I do not consider Jeri Massi to be of the same ilk as many of those I criticize on here or as egregious in her methods as many other so-called advocates, there remains many fatal flaws in her hermeneutics and in her caricatures of fundamentalism, and the article at issue here is just one small example of that.

Man-Holding-Ears-ShutIf you want to know what a fundamentalist really believes in, just ask someone like Jeri Massi or Jocelyn Zichterman, they have an entire list and an array of articles that define every tenant of faith any fundamentalist has ever believed in. In fact, with the help of astrology, Jeri Massi was probably aided in writing articles that Baptists forgot to write about.

There has certainly been enough fodder to feed the Wehrmacht Anti Christian Kiddy Order (“WACKOS”) , and with the crimes committed among members belonging to IFB churches, the leap has been made from the abuser to IFB doctrine itself. There have been criminal convictions, lives wrecked, families harmed, among accusations of cover-ups. The rhetoric from the WACKOS rivals that of the best conspiracy theorist in that every deviant act committed by a member of an IFB church was plotted by and covered up by a ruling member of the IFB body, and ultimately, it was the doctrines of the IFB that permitted and even caused the acts.

Nevertheless, there are some matters that the WACKOS have a right to point fingers at us fundamentalists for. But, if there are abuses permitted within the IFB with impunity, and cover ups, then why are the “fundies” not listening? Are the groups that ripped off the Bob Jones Sr “Do Right” slogan right about fundamentalists?

No, they are not, and there’s a good reason why we don’t listen to them.

The Dishonesty of the Critics

Embellishment of Facts

When news first surfaced about sexual abuse occurring at Bob Jones University, it was reported that nine rapes were covered up and made to appear that nine separate perpetrators had been involved. Eventually it was discovered that all nine cases were committed by the same person, and the perpetrator was arrested. I am certainly no fan of BJU due to issues over the KJV, but if accusations are getting leveled against an entire college, there’s no need to embellish and distort the facts.

Misrepresentation of Fundamentalist Beliefs

Any cursory perusal of blogs such as “Blog On The Way” by Jeri Massi, “Religions Cell” by Cynthia McClaskey, or “Stuff Fundies Like [which I have labeled “Stuffed Undies Like”] by Darrell Dow, one would think that the IFB promotes misogyny and the slaughter of animals for penance. Just a few of the erroneous assumptions made and self-imposed caricature created by these WACKOS are as follows:

*Baptists’ goal are to brain wash members and exercise total control over them.

*Baptists distort the Bible to make women slaves.

*Baptists attempt to forcefully prevent members from leaving the church. If you leave the church you are going to hell.

*Baptists promote “King James Onlyism” so they can control what their members believe.

*Baptist teach a fear-based religion to manipulate followers into worshiping their leaders and giving money.

*Baptists blame the victims for being abused (be sure to insert at least one good example, like Chuck Phelps or Mark Monte).

*Baptists teach that outward appearance is necessary to be in good standing with God.

*Baptists teach that a person should forgive their offender because the real goal of forgiveness is to prevent a person from reporting a possible criminal act and Baptists would rather pressure a person from “telling” than “hurt the cause of Christ”.

*Baptists force you to be what they want you to be.

*Baptists don’t believe in repentance.

*Baptists are all about glorifying themselves and praising each other (don’t forget to write that in your $19.95 book on “Schizophrenic Christianity”.)

Ad Nauseum

If I took the time to debunk all of the articles contained on these websites, I’d have a series that exceeds the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s as if the statement of faith or the “What We Believe” section of a fundamental Baptist church reads:

1. We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Bible [which by the way, Massi criticizes that view as well] 2. We believe that God exists in 3 persons; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit 3. We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ 4. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith, and that salvation can not be attained by baptism or “being good”. 5. We believe that crimes should be covered up and children should be molested.

Jeri Massi wrote an article about repentance, but failed to mention that repentance means turning to God from idols, i.e, astrology and Buddhism. She wrote a practically Arminian view of repentance, and then wrote a Calvinist view of free will. In her article on the “erroneous IFB ‘free will” doctrine, she accuses Baptists of following Pelagianism, but only cites a the partial view that Pelagianism views man is a free moral agent, but leaves out the part that Pelagianism holds that man can achieve good works without the assistance of any Divine intervention, and that man has no original sin nature. Not even an honest Calvinist should make that kind of leap.

There is not one fundamental Baptist church that I know of that holds to the nature of sin in the manner that Pelagianism describes it.

In an article by Cynthia McClaskey, she opines that the Bible has been twisted and distorted and Baptists have deliberately left out “lost gospels” and perverted the canon of scripture. This view is put forth to prove that Baptists create their own theology by strategically using selected texts to their own advantage.

Not only is that one of the most ridiculous and uneducated arguments I’ve ever heard, but defies the facts of history, particularly considering the line up of PROTESTANT scholars that were on the King James translating committee. In her fallacious attempt to frame Baptists, she ignores an enormous amount of textual evidence that would make even Westcott and Hort shake their heads. Her argument posits that because there were men who were actively corrupting the Bible (which occurred even while the apostles were writing, 2 Cor 2:17) that ALL of the Bible from henceforth must be corrupt. But then of course she will USE the Bible in articles when it fits her presuppositions to do so.

You may view one of our articles about her attempt to paint Baptists as misogynists here

Not only have such critics failed to give an accurate description of what fundamentalism really is, or what the IFB churches actually teach, they have distorted facts, misinterpreted scripture and often even relied on anti Christian sources to prove their views. And hence one reason why fundamentalists don’t listen to our critics is because of their dishonesty.

The Motives Of The WACKOS

There is no question in my mind that there are ulterior motives behind many of the so-called “victim advocate” groups who make up a large majority of the critics against the IFB. It seems some want attention like Nadine Salgado who now maintains a You Tube page that gives the appearance that she has been some First Baptist Church insider that is now “coming out”. She maintains a group page called “What You Need To Know About Jack Schaap”. Really? What do we all need to know that isn’t already contained on every other website in the country and on court records?

Everyone is having their “coming out” party now. Former church members such as Jeremy Lape, among many for example, who haven’t stepped foot in ANY church for 20 years let alone an IFB church, now all of a sudden have a perfect recollection of every conversation they ever had with Jack Hyles, Jack Schaap, Victor Nischik, and the Pope.

I remember back in 1985, Jack Hyles winked at me from the pulpit and we shook hands after the service and he said hello to me.

Translation: “I knew Jack Hyles very well. I was at his church for 10 years (even though I only shook his hand once). I mowed his lawn, counseled his children, fed his dogs, aired his tires. Jack Hyles was my best friend until he died, then his ghost came to me in a dream and reminded me of all the evil things he did and when Jack Schaap got arrested just to taunt me, then I remembered all the times that Jack Hyles, John R. Rice, Lee Roberson, Shelton Smith drug me into an alley and stole my shoes, beat me senseless, and cast lots for my shoestrings”.

And if you have heard a rumor, because you have heard that rumor, you are now part of the “in crowd” of that particular church, and can craft the story any way you choose to give the appearance that you actually have first-hand knowledge of the events that surrounded the lives of IFB preachers. If you can’t think of an original story, find one closest to the time you may have been a member of the church or college, and run with it, but change a few details.

This is the 15 minutes of fame crowd, and some attempt to achieve longevity to exceed that 15 minute fuse by insisting that you buy the book on it, or bookmark the website.

Then there are the atheists and homosexuals. Never in my life have I seen such an influx of atheists and agnostics take such an interest in mingling with other Christians on a victim abuse site, nor the willingness of other so-called Christians to embrace them and give license to their unbelief.  Jocelyn Zichterman’s Facebook page is full of the most vile atheists who literally play the devil’s advocate in guaranteeing that those church members are aware that it is the belief in God that leads to abuse.

And homosexual groups such as BJUnity hop on the bandwagon attempting to convince followers that they are concerned about abuse within the fundamentalist churches. Of course, the abuse by their own communities is never addressed because their own community doesn’t call homosexuality a sin.

The preaching of sound Biblical doctrine which is vehemently opposed to homosexuality and atheism is a stumbling block and a rock of offense to them. As long as there are any conservative views held by politicians and voting church members  that believe in legislation based upon morals taught from the Bible, the homosexual community will attempt to silence those voices at all cost while preaching “tolerance” to all views but those of fundamentalists.

Therefore another reason fundamentalists don’t listen to our critics is because of the motivations of the accusers.

The Accusations Are Inaccurate And/Or Embellished

I wrote briefly heretofore of the inaccurate statements that critics have used to define fundamentalism, but one thing that needs emphasized is the ability of the critics to “make a mountain out of a mole hill”. Although abuse should not be tolerated anywhere, the abuses that have occurred within the IFB make up less than 1% of all the documented cases of abuse in public schools, public colleges, foster homes, other denominations, sex trafficking, secular clubs (e.g., Boyscouts), prisons, nursing homes and even among psychiatrists.

The atheists point fingers while atheism was the philosophy that inspired the murder and torture of millions of citizens under Joseph Stalin, Lenin, and Mao Tse-Tung. The homosexual community screams foul play while six of this country’s most notorious serial killers and rapists were homosexuals that account for more than double the rapes and murders of any IFB list with only the 6 of them.

Jeri Massi maintains of list of abusers. Some who have been convicted of a crime, and some, such as Alabama Governor and Fox talk show host, Mike Huckabee and pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Charles Stanley, who are merely “guilty by association”. Meaning that because they wouldn’t talk to protesters, or take the time to cancel a meeting that someone else scheduled for them or make abuse the topic of their show at the insistence of a protester, they get placed on the wall of shame with those actually convicted of a crime (and of course, Mike Huckabee is a Baptist).

There was the story of Tina Anderson whom was raped by Earnie Willis. The allegations that followed that case was also that Chuck Phelps sent Tina to another state to hush the matter after demanding that she apologize in front of the church. So the logic goes, Chuck Phelps attempted to cover up the crime, Chuck Phelps was a fundamentalists, therefore all fundamentalists ship rape victims off to another state and cover up the crime. (Chuck Phelps has created a website to respond to his accusers here)

Just recently, BJU was accused of hiding the criminal record of an employee convicted 20 years ago of soliciting a prostitute. Now I don’t know what BJU’s policy was concerning background checks, I do know that the technology for background checks is much more sophisticated and thorough now as it was back then. But nevertheless, BJU ultimately fired this man. Was that good enough for BJUnity founder Jeffrey Hoffman? Nope. At first, the contention was how could BJU have hired this man, and now the quibbling is over why BJU fired him.

Moreover, the crime this man was convicted of was portrayed by the WACKOS as a sex ABUSE case, and the prostitute who willingly received money from this man and willingly attempted to engage in sexual activity was labelled a “victim” and used as another example of IFB abuse. Now I do not defend these kind of actions at all, and if he purposely hid this crime when he was expected to disclose it, then he can’t complain that it caught up with him, even if it was 20 years later.

However, I have not seen where he actually had sex with this prostitute. The charge was SOLICITATION meaning that he ATTEMPTED False accusationto have sex with a prostitute. There was no manipulation or force or coercion such as is part of the mens rea that constitutes acts of a sex crime. A prostitute is a victim of her profession and perhaps a victim of her upbringing that led her/him to believe prostitution is an acceptable line of work. Or it is just greed (Read Proverbs chapters 5-7 to see the Bible’s position on prostitution).

Nevertheless, the WACKO crowd used this as an opportunity to embellish this matter to vilify fundamentalism.

Manufactured Crisis Tactics

A well-known tactic in politics is the “manufactured crisis” tactic. This is where you identify a potential problem, then create a panic about the problem, and then offer a solution and encourage the voters remember you at the ballot box.

a_peanutIf I find just one thing wrong with a peanut, I can find 100 other ways to describe the problem, and then create a blog about it, remind readers EVERY DAY that peanuts are dangerous, find at least 100 people world-wide that have choked on a peanut, buy air-time on CNN and every major radio outlet in the country, and within a month or so convince millions of people that peanuts are a menace to society and need to be eradicated.

Jeri Massi has amassed a list of approximately 86 offenders within the IFB. That list spans over about 10 years or so. So among the thousands of IFB church members in the world, lets round it to 100 known abuse cases. Now granted, the offenses were a manufacturing of the offenders own making, but the manufacturing of the perception that abuse in the IFB is epidemic is Jeri’s (and others such as Dwayne Walker “Bible Madness”, Chuckles Travels, and all of the afore-mentioned groups).

Now take a breather and look at those statistics again, only one-hundred cases in the span of ten years documented out of the hundreds of years of the recognized fundamentalist churches in the world and the thousands upon thousands of fundamental Baptist church members.

However, if a writer opines about one subject on a daily basis, and hammers on the subject incessantly, it has the exact same indoctrination effect of the appearance of an epidemic that the critics accuse the IFB of using with the Bible.

Most Abuses Occurred Within a Home Environment

Most of the abuse cases did not occur in an IFB church, but occurred in a separate environment and most at home. Acts of abuse that occur by a parent, spouse, sibling that occur within the home are not so unique from similarly situated cases of abuse that one can justify blaming the IFB simply because the abuser was a member of an IFB church. The IFB is not full of perfect people, nor is the church as a whole. Christians are just as capable at committing heinous and violent acts as the non-Christian. Although the Bible is clear that such behavior should not even been once named among the saints (Eph 5:3), there is no justification whatsoever that the churches are responsible for what occurs in the homes of its members.

The temptation is to blame the church because had the offender followed God the way he/she OUGHT to have followed God the abuse would have never occurred. But because it DID occur, then it must be the churches fault. The pastor must have taught false doctrine and that caused the perpetrator to wake up one morning and molest or beat their child.

Thus one more reason why fundamentalists do not listen to our critics is because the accusations are often inaccurate, embellished, and in some cases, turned out to be completely false.

Abuse Has Lost It’s Meaning

The term “abuse” has been described as everything from being spanked to being told by a parent to make your bed. Demanding that a child adhere to certain house rules can cause irreparable emotional damage and is therefore considered abuse. Preaching on sin and judgment is not conducive to a productive healthy mentality and is therefore deemed “emotional abuse” (2 Timothy 4:2).

Critics of the IFB don’t simply limit abuse to sexual or physical abuse. Virtually anything that is taught that conflicts with a lifestyle of debauchery, homosexuality, drug use, discipline, morality, or even affirming that Christ is the only way to heaven are viewed as “abuse” and said to cause psychological harm. Terms such as “bible”, “Jesus”, “sin”, “repent” are seen as “triggers” and anytime a believer attempts-even in the most gracious of spirit-to offer prayer or Biblical support, such an effort is stifled by the “triggers” excuse.

According to all the best advice from the “accredited” psycho therapitsts, victims should seek to solve their own problems their own way first, and “religion” should be a last resort. The Bible is a “trigger” that can re-victimize the abused. So Jesus is out, and Dr. Be Yourowngod is in. After all, 8 years of secular education outweighs an omnipotent eternal God any day, and Jesus wasn’t “accredited” (John 7:15).

According to Darrell Dow, even the term “Biblical” is abusive. Christians should not use the term “Biblical” to define a particular belief. Because that would give the impression that the belief is based on the Bible, and we know that the IFB doesn’t really believe the Bible.

Fundamentalists Maintain A Different View Than The World

For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 1 Peter 4:3-4

The world thinks us “fundies” are strange. Well, we are a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). We do and believe things differently than what the rest of the world sees as good, positive and acceptable. We don’t buckle under the pressure of what our critics demand because “there is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 16:25, and, “every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD pondereth the hearts”, Proverbs 21:2.

Those who are not born again will not understand why we live differently (1 Cor 2:14) and the backslidden do not want to hear that their lifestyle is not pleasing to God. A person robbing a bank doesn’t want a lecture on greed anymore than a wayward Christian wants to be told they are robbing God by defying His commandments and living in spiritual adultery. Therefore the backslider must study the logic of the world and learn to accept it and promote it to ease his conscience and justify rejecting the holiness that God expects for those whom He bought by blood. Acts 20:28.

We preach forgiveness because Christ forgave us. Col 3:13. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Rom 5:8. The world wants vengeance. Forgiveness is not an option to the world because the flesh wants to be avenged. The carnal mind wants to make the offender suffer as much as they did, so it is unconscionable that one should cast their cares upon the LORD (Ps 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7) and let God mete out vengeance (Rom 12:19). To pray for those who persecute you and despitefully use you (Matt 5:44, Rom 12:14) is “fundy rhetoric”.

For the critics, it’s OK if Christ forgave THEIR sins, but don’t expect them to forgive YOURS. If the critic can not obtain their own vengeance, then they will join a group of like-minded critics and live their vengeance vicariously through the ire of other victims.

We preach hell or the lake of fire, because that is the destination of those who die without Christ. We do not preach it as a means of control or to install fear. (see our article on Would A Loving God Send Anyone To Hell). We preach hell for the same reason that hundreds of charity groups attempt to find a cure for cancer or diabetes. Michelle Obama and the New York City Mayor preach that unhealthy eating can lead to insurmountable health problems and liberals sing their praises. A Baptist tells a person that if he/she does not repent and receive Christ as Saviour they will spend an eternity in a burning lake of fire and we are labeled “hate mongers”.

We preach that salvation is by grace through faith, and that a believer is eternally secure in his/her salvation and can never lose what God wrought. Contrary to the misconception that Baptists teach outward appearance is necessary to please God, I have never seen one altar call in a Baptist church that did not emphasize that the sinner must forsake their own righteousness (Titus 3:5, Eph 2:8-9) and depend on the finished work of Christ and receive Him without relying on good works for salvation. We preach salvation by grace because the world believes that man is evolving and can somehow be good without God and get to heaven if they live a good life, never hurt anyone, be kind to all, give to the poor or join a church and get baptized. We preach that salvation is a “gift from God, not of works lest any man should boast”.

“Our righteousness are as filthy rags” sure doesn’t sound like “Baptists always emphasize the outward appearance”. “He must increase, I must decrease” doesn’t resemble the theme of Stop Baptist Predators.

We preach that Jesus Christ is THE ONLY way to heaven. Acts 4:12, John 14:6. Christianity is not a “religion” that is mutually corroborative with other beliefs; it is exclusive. The world believes that Jesus was just a good moral teacher if they even believe He existed at all (and there is more proof for the existence of Christ then there is for the existence of Abraham Lincoln). Muslims say Allah had no son, Buddhism and Hinduism deny that Jesus is God nor do they believe that Christ was crucified and raised from the dead. Yet the gospel of Jesus Christ is explained as Jesus dying for our sins, being buried and arising from the grave 3 days later (1 Cor 15:1-4) and that must be believed in order to be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 1 Thess 4:14)

We preach that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20) and that we are to glorify God in our bodies. Therefore we preach against drugs, and fornication, and adultery.

We preach that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Eph 5:25) thus we do not believe that husbands are permitted to control and abuse their wives. We preach that fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4). That rules out child abuse whether physical or sexual.

We preach separation because the Bible says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14) or those who call themselves my-way-frank-sinatrabelievers who walk like the rest of the world (1 Cor 5:11). God ordained the believer to walk in good works after salvation (Eph 2:10) and set the example of Christ, not act like the world and conform to it (Romans 12:1-2).

Fundamentalists don’t listen to critics because they have their own brand of what’s right and wrong, and most of the time, even though some of their accusations are correct (as were some of the accusations of the Pharisees, Matt 23:3) their manner of what constitutes the pursuit of a good moral person or what defines a Christian is warped. The church is expected to address sin of its members BY its members (1 Cor 6) and just because some have failed to follow that, doesn’t mean we now must forsake our views and turn our ears over to the worlds way of addressing church conflict.

Fundamentalists are not better than anyone else. We are not sinless, and not perfect  and it is certainly not a requirement to be a Baptist to be saved. Yet critics attempt to vilify the history of Baptists and even mock the “trail of blood” but when confronted by a Bible believer that can defend the history, tuck tail and run off to the closest gossip closet for immoral support. Our critics attempt to create their own model of the ideal fundamentalist, and then add lumpy appendages and deformed extremities to their model and criticize the model for not looking like a Michelangelo sculpture.

Independent fundamental Baptists have helped the homeless, fed the hungry, built hospitals, and have a genuine compassion for those in need of Christ. The few examples of those who have been offenders are not representative of the ilk of fundamentalism as a whole. And because of the dishonesty of the critics, their embellishment of abuses, lack of consistency in conveying sentiments for certain classes of victims, their misrepresentation of what fundamentalists believe, and sometimes just outright fabrication of allegations are some of the primary reasons why fundamentalists don’t listen to our critics.

Our standard is the life of Jesus Christ as written in God’s preserved word, not the humanistic logic of the world:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Cor 1:18-24

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go abuse a hamburger and wait patiently for the next critic to publish an article “Do Right Christians Calls Victims Wackos” who refuse to recognize the audience this article is directed toward.

J/A