The word “fundamentalist” tends to invoke fear and disdain in modern Australian culture. To be labeled a fundamentalist is to wear a stain, to be marked as intellectually inferior and a menace to society. In short, society thinks we’re dangerous.
Probably the biggest reason modern society believes we’re dangerous is because we are so committed to a literal interpretation of God’s Word that we are willing to let Scripture trump all other sources of knowledge including our senses, popular philosophy, and even science.
In other words, they think “if these people are willing to reject things that are clearly self-evident simply because it disagrees with their religious book, then we cannot predict how they will act. They could do anything.” And they are right. At least, anything that is endorsed in our “religious book.”
On 11 September, 2001, some guys proved that society’s logic is valid. Fundamentalists who have an unholy religious book or who fail to properly interpret a truly holy book are indeed dangerous.
There are two kinds of dangerous fundamentalists:
1. Those who have an unholy book.
Probably the best illustration of this would be the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the words of a man. It is not holy.
2. Those who fail to properly interpret a truly holy book.
The Scriptures of Christianity are holy. The Bible is God’s Word. So there will be nothing dangerous coming out of the Bible. But there is still great danger in Christian fundamentalism because it is quite possible to interpret God’s holy Word incorrectly.
Many a cultic sect stands in testimony to the danger of misinterpreting God’s Word. As fundamentalist Christians in Australia, we must hold ourselves accountable for how we handle the Word of God. Hopefully next week I’ll get into some of the nuts and bolts of that.
Here are some great links to keep you up to date on all the most important trivia:
- Did Reagan try to convert Gorbachev?
- TIME Magazine recently listed “The New Calvinism” as one of the top ten ideas changing the world right now.
- Communicate Jesus has a very practical post about what happens when people ring your church.
Check out this clip. Absolutely insane.