In one of my previous blogs I explained what the fundamentals are. I think even my detractors agree with me about what the fundamentals are, but just so we are clear I will list the most important fundamentals here: virgin birth, virtuous life, vicarious death, victorious resurrection, and visible return, and salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. These fundamentals will never fail, but fundamentalism is doomed and we are well on the way to killing it now.
Way back in 1909 R.A. Torrey and his intellectual companions wrote The Fundamentals our movement was born, prior to that we just called it church. Fundamentalism was born to combat liberalism. To simplify the whole discussion we need only understand that certain influential clergy of the day were denying fundamentals such as the virgin birth, bodily resurrection, second coming, and even the deity of Christ. There were movements then, as there are today, to over humanize Jesus and strip Him of His deity. Even to the point of questioning whether or not Jesus sinned. The men who wrote The Fundamentals wrote them to counteract this liberalism in their churches. These men did not establish the fundamentals, they simply wrote on the fundamentals and quantified and collated the truths of the Bible. If you have ever read The Fundamentals you know they can be quite tedious as written in that 1909 style and language and not nearly as exciting as they are given throughout the Bible. It is a case of the book being better than the movie if you will. If you will permit me a little jocularity here…any preacher who says they have read The Fundamentals is either lying or an incurable insomniac. I would bet good money that I earned in the ministry, that 10 out of 8 preachers have never even cracked the cover of any of the volumes of The Fundamentals.
The Fundamentals spawned our Independent Fundamental Baptist movement. Men like John R. Rice, J. Frank Norris and even Tom Malone Sr. helped to bring fundamentalism to Baptists, but their brand of fundamentalism is being replaced with something else. If John R. Rice, J. Frank Norris, and Tom Malone were up and comers on the scene today they would be drummed out of Baptist Fundamentalism. Sugar coat it as you may but these men were not KJV onlyers when they started out, they were not against trying wild new methods to fill the church, and they were not cookie cutter iBFers who did whatever they were told to do by some fundamental pope.
In today’s climate they would be outcasts and demonized by the old school old paths crowd. These innovators would be cast down in the same mixing pot as Amee Simple McPherson, John G. Lake and Orel Roberts. Why do I say this outlandish thing? Let’s play a game. I will name someone and you label them as liberal or fundamental. Ok ready? There, two, one…R.B. Ouellette…David Jeremiah…Clerence Sexton…Charles Swindol…Shelton Smith…Charles Stanley…Norris Belcher…Ian Paisley…Paul Chappel…Kenneth Copeland…Billy Graham…Joel Osteen…Eric Capaci…Jack Schaap.
I’ll give you a hint, only three of them are liberals who share similar doctrines. The first two are easy Kenneth Copeland who preached the dedication of Joel Osteen’s new building is a liberal as well as Joel Osteen. They would deny one or more of the cardinal biblical doctrines we fundamentalists hold dear. The third one may be a little tougher for you…no it is not Billy Graham or either of the Chucks it is not Eric Capaci, it is not Ian Paisley, it is… Jack Schaap. For over a decade Jack Schaap, heir to the Hyles throne, was bowed to and worshipped as a fundamental pope. He never did anything to dissuade his followers of this notion, indeed he encouraged this vulgar behavior. Not to mention the doctrines he constantly preached which are against the Bible and agree more with Copeland and Osteen than Smith and Stanley.
Schaap, his criminal activity not being in question any longer and not a point in this post, preached loads of heresy including but not limited to:
Bride Chamber theology – which teaches we have some kind of sexual relationship with Christ, in a spiritual sense. Found in Marriage the Divine Intimacy Pg. 42 paragraph 3
Generational Curses you are not only plagued by the sins of your ancestors, but evil spirits have invaded your blood line and you must confess these things to God. – Marriage the Divine Intimacy pg. 51-52
Name it Claim it theology – teaching that by giving God $10 God is bound by His own law to give you $100. In other words if you tithe your 10% God will increase you 10 fold. This heresy is the basis for the theology of Joel Osteen.
God Hates Sinners – Schaap believes and taught that God hates sinners. In one of his books he muddies the waters of the Trinity by having Jesus disagreeing with God the Father over humanity. Jesus comes to the earth but is rejected and crucified and then agrees with God the Father that humans are worthy of God’s hatred.
The Bible is not preserved or inspired – I am not sure exactly what Schaap was trying to accomplish with his statements about the preservation and inspiration of the Holy Bible, but I know the Bible teaches it is both inspired and preserved. Schaap taught otherwise.
There is more, but this is sufficient to make my point. Fundamentalism is doomed to failure because we laud men like Schaap and deplore men like David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley, Charles Swindol, and Billy Graham. We cozy up to a heretic like Jack Schaap, and his mentor, who have spawned an army of sex-sin crazed preachers and turn our heads the other way when each of them get caught. Why would we do this? We, fundamentalists, do what God does not want us to do, we are worshipers of men. We look to the greatness of a man and confuse it with his spirituality. Fundamentalism is doomed.
Fundamentalism is doomed as it is today, but we can change. We can move back to the side of God and decide to stop worshipping men and worship God alone. We lost our way when we decided to push a movement instead of serve a Savior. Fundamentalism has served its purpose and rotted on the vine in doing so. Christ did not die for a movement, denomination, or preachers, Christ died for the Church. I have decided to take Fundamental off my sign, I am a Christian first and an Independent Baptist second. It is my belief that we should remove the name tag fundamentalism but not its principles. Fundamentalism has become tainted by men like Jack and other men who have made it their goal in life to be the national defenders of fundamentalism in lieu of biblical truth. These fundamental evangelists preach hatred of all things not them. If you do not line up exactly with their ever-changing standards you must pay the price. You must be demonized and marginalized. Take note that not a single iBFer has taken my challenge to debate the points I have raised in my blog, but they sure have taken to making silly ad hominem attacks on Twitter and Facebook. I am a demon in their mind, a pariah, someone to be shunned. So be it, fundamentalism is doomed nonetheless.
The fundamentals can never be defeated, but fundamentalism is doing a fine job of defeating itself. I look forward to the day when good men everywhere take hold of the truths of the Bible and preach them instead of their preferences. A day when Independent and Baptist overshadow fundamental and unity in Christ is restored to a generation which has been taught to separate over minutia. Rise up against your pastor’s and spiritual leaders who preach and teach their preferences over biblical principles. Come out from among them, and be ye separate.