Liberal-Bane – The Real Truth About Christian Fundamentalism
"This notion that G-d has fixed ideas on political issues is what Islamic fundamentalists believe, not us. — Andrew Sullivan, The New Republic " ..Andrew Sullivan's 'Daily Dish' .
The above quote displays the thinking that lies at the heart of the continuing slander and deconstruction of Christian Fundamentalism. Sullivan ´s quote lumps anyone who believes that G-d´s ideas are fixed and unchangeable with the Islamic terrorists who crashed airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Since Christian Fundamentalists do believe that G-d´s ideas are ‘fixed´ (‘I am the Lord; I change not. –Malachi 3:6; et al), Sullivan is making the not-so-subtle inference that Christian Fundamentalists are just as violent and apt to commit such heinous deeds as Osama Bin Laden and his murderous zealots. The fact that Sullivan is a nominal Conservative reveals just how pervasive liberal Christian theology has become. In fact, it was in response to that so-called theology that Christian Fundamentalism first arose, early in the 20th century.
Until the Civil War, Protestantism had been the predominant American expression of faith. After the war, though, science, technology, and business began replacing the traditional Protestant faith with industrialism, historicism and secularism. The flood of central and eastern European immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century, mostly Catholic and Jewish, furthered the trend toward religious pluralism. Religion was gradually becoming relegated to the private, family, and leisure spheres, leaving political, scientific, and economic affairs to the secular experts. Christians, already concerned that Biblical principles were being corrupted by these developments, saw the encroachment of liberal Christian theology as the last straw in what they perceived, quite rightly, as an assault on their beliefs.
What were the objectionable points of that liberal theology? Theologian and author J.I. Packer wrote (Fundamentalism and the Word of G-d, London, Inter-Varsity Press, 1958), ‘The characteristic tenets of liberal faith in America in the early years of [the 20th] century may be summarized as follows:
G-d's character is one of pure benevolence, that is, without standards . All men are His children, and sin separates no one from His love. (In other words, we´re all bound for heaven, no matter what.) Due to the divine spark in every man, all men are good at heart , and need nothing more than encouragement to allow their natural goodness to express itself.
Jesus Christ is man's Savior only in the sense that He is man's perfect Teacher and Example. He was not divine, not born of a virgin, did not work miracles and did not rise from the dead.
Just as Christ differs from other men only comparatively, not absolutely, so Christianity differs from other religions not generically, but merely as the best and highest type of religion that has appeared so far. All religions are forms of the same religion. The Bible is not a divine record of revelation, but a human testament of religion, thus Christian doctrine is not the G-d-given word. Doctrine is simply experience recalled, and will vary from age to age and place to place, according to the variation of cultural backgrounds.´