The term fundamentalism includes many different areas of application -- such as religious fundamentalism, and scientific fundamentalism -- but as far as Christianity is concerned, fundamentalism is a strictness of literal interpretation of the Scriptures, and a desire to take the Bible seriously in all matters.
Fundamentalism in the media has been applied primarily to religious extremists, like "militant, Muslim fundamentalists." Following in that broad stroke of application, if any other group claims to be a "fundamentalist" they are looked upon as ALSO being extremist, and like the militant Muslim fundamentalist, they are looked upon as being dangerous. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The term fundamentalism today is, of course, simply misleading.
In Christianity it refers to those who read the Bible literally, those who believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
By this definition, every Muslim also is a fundamentalist, because every Muslim believes that the Quran is the unadulterated word of God delivered in the Arabic language to the Prophet Muhammad. And they also take it quite literally.
The fact that both are fundamentalists just means they take both books literally. One is safe, and sacrificial of their own lives, while the other is deadly, and sacrificial of others.
I'll add this: Most every mathematician is a fundamentalist too! To be a recognized mathematician, he or she must take math statements literally, and must believe the science of mathematical law as not allegorical, and subjective, but absolute. Does that approach to the study math make a mathematician DANGEROUS? Of course not! Only the subjective mathematician is dangerous, because math facts are truths are up to his or her feelings at that moment instead of to absolute laws.
Christian Fundamentalism comes from the Bible, and was promoted by Jesus Christ Himself. And believe me, it is the safest way of thinking and living ever presented to mankind!
The Bible demands literal interpretation of its Scriptures. Christians call that a fundamental approach to the Scriptures. If a believer takes the Bible seriously he or she will be a fundamentalist. Following are some of the Scriptures that demand fundamentalistic approach the interpretating the Bible:
Matthew 28:20 -- Jesus commanded His disciples to go into all the world, Teaching them to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Teach everything Jesus taught without adjustment, or partiality.
Acts 20:27 -- The Apostle Paul explained, For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. He had not held back from teaching anything that the Bible said. That is quite a task!
Ephesians 4:14 -- Paul also says that without an absolute, fixed reference point of literal truth, believers would remain confused and deceived when he challenges us, That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
1 Timothy 1:3 -- As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach NO OTHER DOCTRINE. There were many other "teachers" who constantly tried to introduce new doctrines into the Christian belief system, but because the doctrine was settled with the Apostles, no more was to be tolerated. Did you get that? There is NO TOLERATION for any other doctrine than is already taught in the Scriptures, literally!
1 Timothy 6:13-14 -- I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment WITHOUT SPOT, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:13 -- Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:2 -- And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, THE SAME commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Titus 1:9 -- Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Isaiah 8:20 -- To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Matthew 7:15 -- Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Acts 17:11 -- These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Romans 12:2 -- ... that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16 -- But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Ephesians 5:10 -- Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Philippians 1:10 -- That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 -- Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 John 4:1 -- Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Revelation 2:2 -- I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Galatians 2:5 -- To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Philippians 1:7 -- Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
Jude 3 -- Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Psalm 119:128 -- Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
Romans 16:17 -- Now I beseech you, brethren, MARK THEM which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Galatians 2:11 -- But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
1 Timothy 1:19-20 -- Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
2 Timothy 2:16-18 -- But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Romans 16:17 -- Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 -- BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 -- Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye WITHDRAW YOURSELVES from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 -- If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF.
2 Timothy 3:5 -- Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.
Titus 3:10 -- A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition REJECT.
2 John 10-11 -- If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, RECEIVE HIM NOT into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Revelation 18:4 -- And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Matthew 6:24 -- No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON.
Romans 12:2 -- And BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Corinthians 6:3 -- Giving NO offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.
Ephesians 5:11 -- And have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 -- Abstain from ALL appearance of evil.
Titus 2:11-14 -- For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from ALL INIQUITY, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
James 1:27 -- Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and TO KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD.
James 4:4 -- Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
James 4:8 -- Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. CLEANSE YOUR HANDS, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
1 Peter 1:15 -- But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in ALL MANNER OF CONVERSATION.
1 John 2:15-17 -- LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1 John 5:19 -- And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
Modified and expanded by Craig Ledbetter from an article by David Cloud.
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