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I Am A Fundamentalist

When I came to the States three years ago, I never expected that I would have to justify my claim to be a Fundamentalist. My convictions in the Fundamentalist persuasion were painstakingly wrought on my soul by countless hours and days of wrestling in mind and spirit with the truths of Scripture. Yet, hardly had I landed in the US of A, when I was challenged. I shall not give details. Suffice it to say that God knows those things. He is able to judge where I have sinned (and I have sinned) and where others have sinned against me (and they have). What men say is of little concern to me, but there are times when one must make himself very clear.

I penned these words in my journal three years ago. I still believe them. My Fundamentalist acquaintances will certainly take issue with my scrawling. My Evangelical friends will think I’m foolish to embrace such a stigmatized name. I happen to be one Fundamentalist that wants to keep the name. (Although I like Bauder’s “paleo-evangelical.”) I embrace the stigma, because I also embrace the substance of what Fundamentalism means to me. Now, for my journal.

I have spent some extended time in thought and research about what I believe as a preacher of the Word of God. It seems apparent to me that the movement of Fundamentalism was born in the hearts of men with whom I feel a strong affinity. These men cherished the Word of God above all other men. They were prophets with a burning zeal for accuracy and they cared not which way their reputation fell as long as they cut right through the middle.

I am a Fundamentalist because my heart synchronizes with those valiant men of the early twentieth-century who were mavericks in the establishment because they were obsessed with the Authoritative Word.

I am a Fundamentalist because my soul yearns for complete domination of the whole Bible on the total person.

I am a Fundamentalist because my greatest and unattainable aspiration is to have the same theologically sharp and biblically saturated mindset of the writers of the Fundamentalist articles.

I am a Fundamentalist because doctrinal error within the movement is just as repulsive as doctrinal error without. My ears ache for a preacher who will stand up as a prophet of the Word and denounce our denominational culture.

I am a Fundamentalist because I don’t mind being called a Fundamentalist.

I am a Fundamentalist because I don’t mind being denounced as a non-Fundamentalist.

I am a Fundamentalist because I am militant and ready to fight for what is crystal clear in the Word of God.

I am a Fundamentalist because I will not compromise under pressure to the lusts of men or to the false security of self-righteousness.

I will preach unflinchingly, and unfailingly the Written Word into the face of all my hearers. I will fight not only for a clear trumpet sound, but I shall call for the conformity of all believers to the Revealed Written Word of God.

I am a Fundamentalist.


8 Responses

  1. Boy, Bob, you sound like the “I Am Canadian” guy from some infamous commercials up here.

    It seems that your thoughts are prompted by some of the interesting discussion elsewhere. I am reminded of an article that appeared once in a little publication you may remember, “the Southsider”. I forget the exact title of the article, but it was something along the lines of “Why we are a Fundamental Baptist Church”. This article appeared after I had moved away from the holy city, but I wondered why it was necessary to state it. I think you know the history of what happened next.

    If it becomes necessary to declare something, shouldn’t that be a caution?

    BTW, I am appreciating your comments elsewhere and I am thankful for the good discussion that is going on. I think it is a worthwhile conversation. I also think it is a good thing to be going on in public, so to speak.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  2. Don,
    I always enjoy your input. I wish people could see my face when I read their comments. I smile!

    I don’t think that it should be a concern that I clarify what I mean when I say I am a Fundamentalist since it has already been formally declared by people far more intelligent within the leadership of the so-called “movement” that there is an identity crisis. We are asking out loud if there is a fundamentalism worth saving (Bauder’s article). Remember?

    I know what I mean when I say I am a Fundamentalist, and it doesn’t bother me that people within the “movement” that can hardly self-define get vexed if my own self-definition doesn’t match whatever their definition of Fundamentalism is. I think I stand on pretty good ground to make my claim.

    You mentioned Southside. I was a teenager or younger when all that happened. My family was pretty intimate with Pastor Handford. I am very sad by the direction of that church, but I will say that I knew enough to understand even at my young age that Pastor Handford had some legitimate issues with the Fundamentalism of his day. I sat in his office and heard him try to explain himself to people who didn’t understand. He erred in many ways, but he was also unfairly trashed long before he ever jumped ship. He is a hero of mine though – I mourn to say it – in some respects (only some) a fallen hero. A crushing disappointment.

  3. Hi Bob,

    I agree regarding Southside. Pastor Handford is still my pastor in my heart…, I wish he had made different decisions. My brother-in-law and others on the staff made choices with him that I disagree with. It is just a great grief to me, that whole business.

    Anyway, something about what you said struck me with the tone and note of that article in the Southsider… just a caution.

    In the end, we all have to answer to one Man, so we would do well to cut each other as much slack as possible while awaiting that interview.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Caution heeded.

  5. Thanks for sharing the good reasonings, Pastor Bixby. As I ponder what I am and why, it’s nice to see someone else’s deliberations.

  6. Why Fundamentalism

    Lately there has been lot of discussion has taking place concerning the future of the Fundamentalist movement. Weblogs and articles such as those found on SharperIron, Emeth Aletheia, Pensees, Bails, To Give an Answer, and the Boston Commoner  have be…

  7. Well Pastor Bixby, I also cling to that title of “Fundamentalist” but only because it remains the best descriptor of a person who believes that the only true Christianity is that which relies upon the bible as the sole authority and agrees with the historical doctrines summed up in Faith Alone, Grace Alone, the Scripture Alone, and Christ Alone.

    Otherwise, all my ties to other Christians are based in Christ, and I have no sense of loyalty whatsoever to “Fundamentalism” as a religion or movement. Christ saved me from Roman Catholicism, and the godly men who first instructed me in the Bible were Fundamentalists. But the power that made them right with God and gave them wisdom and courage is the power of Christ, not the power of a movement called Fundamentalism.

    These days, I document the abuse of children and women (including sodomy, beatings, and r-pe) by men (preachers and deacons) who have claimed the title “Fundamental Baptist” and have never ever been rebuked by any Fundamentalist pulpit, any where, ever. I find no reason to cling to that title except it’s a noun that has great function in an adjectival use to describe a view on authority of the Bible.

    But under all the titles and behind all the team jerseys (Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, etc.), you still find depraved sinners in need of Jesus Christ, their only righteousness. Any loyalty to anything else, I believe, turns out to be illusion. Fundamentalism has no power to do anything for you. Christ is the power that sanctifies you.

  8. I Am Not a Fundamentalist.

    Having been weened in the Fundamentalist Tradition–yes, it is a tradition–I have traveled a rough and rocky path to attempt to excavate biblical truths from beneath the rubble of Fundamentalist dogma. Three years ago I finally realized that I am not a fundamentalist. Had I lived 50 years ago, I may have been one, but by today’s definition (as defined by churches calling themselves Fundamentalists) I am not.

    * I am not a Fundamentalist because the current Fundamentalist movement no longer even remotely resembles the valiant men of the early twentieth-century who were obsessed with the Authoritative Word. The current crop is obsessed with the Authorized Version, not with biblical accuracy, appropriate textual criticism, and solid exegesis.

    * I am not a Fundamentalist because my soul yearns for complete domination of the whole Bible on the total person, not for complete domination of a pastoral dictator over the meek sheep of the congregation.

    * I am not a Fundamentalist because the current crop of articles coming out of Fundamentalist circles are much more concerned with lists of “do-nots” (touch not, taste not, handle not) and with extra-biblical “do’s” than with the concerns regarding biblical fidelity and strength in opposing liberal departures from the Word.

    * I am not a Fundamentalist because doctrinal error within the movement is repulsive and there are churches in the non-Fundamentalist crowd that do not demonstrate the propensity to Fundamentalist error, especially the propensity to proclaim man’s free will as the card that trumps God’s sovereignty.

    * I am not a Fundamentalist because although the term has taken on an inaccurate meaning among the media and many religious observers, the accurate meaning is just as repulsive if not more so than the meaning taken by the secular world.

    * I am not a Fundamentalist because I will not separate from brothers who hold to a post-trib or pre-trib position rather than my position, or brothers who hold to a “gap theory” of Genesis rather than a literal six days of creation, or brothers who allow boys and girls to swim in the same pool, or brothers who listen to Christian music played with instruments that plug into a wall socket. This form of ecclesiastical separation, so prevalent among today’s Fundamentalists, is a blight on the name of Christ.

    I do not reject my Fundamentalist brothers, but I do reject the tradition that is so doggedly held to and which has become, in essence, a new denomination.

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