Personally, I am an Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Bible believing, born-again Christian.” But I don’t like labels. If I were to label myself, it may be “Fundagelical,” or Evanmentalist.” But I would prefer “Biblicist!”
Some have defined Fundamentalist as “No FUN, too much DAMN, not much MENTAL.”
”I am an evangelical, fundamental, pre-millennial, pre-tribulation, second coming watching, Bible teaching, Bible preaching, Bible practicing, Christian! I believe that the Bible is God’s holy Word! That it is God-breathed, without error in the original manuscripts. 2 Timothy 3:16,17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, (God breathed) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I was introduced to Christ by a Fundamentalist pastor (Dr. James Combs). I was baptized, and called to the ministry in a Fundamental Baptist Church (Olivet Baptist Church, Lynwood, California). The first Sunday School class I taught, the first time I prayed and the first time I preached was in a Fundamental Baptist Church.
I graduated from a Fundamental Baptist College (Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Missouri), advanced my education at Mid-Atlantic Theological Seminary, Roanoke, Virginia, (A Fundamentalist Seminary) with a Master of Divinity degree, and was honored with a Doctor of Sacred Literature degree from the same seminary.
I taught for several years at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College, San Dimas, California, a Fundamentalist school (Speech, Homiletics, Hermeneutics, Church History, Theology and Youth Ministry).
In the past few decades the term “Fundamentalist” has been misused, misinterpreted, and given the wrong connotations. Here are a few examples:
In 1979 when Iranian Muslims took some of our people hostages from our Embassy in Tehran, they were referred to as “Fundamentalists.”
The assassins who killed Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat were called, “Religious Fundamentalists” by the media.
When terrorists bombed the Marine headquarters in Beirut, they were called “Radical Muslim Fundamentalists.”
Jihad, holy war” the 9-11 terrorist attacks were perpetrated by Muslim Fundamentalists.”
The terrorists that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 were also labeled “Fundamentalists.”
The 9/11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks
by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda, Muslim “Fundamentalists.”
When the secular media does a story about small groups of people who drink poison and handle poisonous snakes in the Appalachian’s, they are always referred to as “Fundamentalists.”
When groups of Mormons are determined to practice polygamy, defying the law of the land, they are called “Fundamentalists.”
David Koresh and the Branch Davidian cult were called “Apocalyptic Fundamentalists.”
When parents of a sick child refuse any medical help for their child they are called “Fundamentalists.”
So it’s not hard to understand why some hesitate to be called “Fundamentalists.” We must, therefore, refer to ourselves as “Christian Fundamentalists.”
What is a “Christian Fundamentalist?
The term “Fundamentalist” did not come into use until sometime in the early part of the 1900s. When “The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth” was published (generally referred to simply as “The Fundamentals”). This is a set of 90 essays published from 1910 to 1915 by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. The Fundamentals were edited by A. C. Dixon and later by R. A. Torrey. The Fundamentals was first published as a 12-volume set, and later as a four-volume set retaining all 90 essays. The 90 essays were written by 64 different authors, representing most of the major Protestant Christian denominations.
However, the basic tenants of Fundamentalism have been practiced and preached throughout the history of the church. The apostles were Fundamentalists! The reformers were Fundamentalists! The trail of blood left by Christian martyrs is a trail left by Fundamentalists!
“Fundamentalism is a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles” (Webster’s Dictionary).
“Fundamentalism is usually a religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism” (Free Dictionary).
The “Fundamentals” are those belief’s, and principles, essentials that define a movement or organization.
Evangelical Christians are “Fundamentalists” because we adhere to a set of doctrines, unique to the Word of God:
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, supernaturally Inspired by God so that it is inerrant in the original manuscripts and preserved by God in its verbal and plenary inspiration, so that it is divinely authoritative standard for every person. We believe that it is God’s message to man and is “God- breathed.” (2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
There is one God that eternally exists and reveals himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each having the same nature, attributes, and perfections, worthy of the same worship and confidence. (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1-2, 14, 10:30, 14:15-17; I Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
Jesus Christ is God, that He was eternally one with the Father; that He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, that He is God and man, the Messiah of Israel and the only Savior of all mankind. (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 John 4:14).
God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and that creation was by divine command, from nothing and not through an evolutionary process. We believe in historic creation as recorded in the Bible. (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Acts 17:24-25).
The Holy Spirit is a person and is God, possessing all the divine attributes. He convicts of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes and seals all believers at the moment of their salvation, filling them with the goal of being conformed to the image of Christ. (John 3:5, 16:7-11; Acts 5:3-4; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:13).
Man was created in the image and likeness of God but that in Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God. We believe that all men are morally corrupt and of themselves utterly unable to remedy their lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 1:28, 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).
Salvation is a gift of God and is received by man through personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sin. We believe that man is justified by grace, through faith, apart from works, and that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure in Christ forever. (Acts 13:38-39; Romans 4:5, 6:23, 8:1, 38-39; John 10:27-29; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Jesus Christ is coming back to earth again, bodily to take His saints (all born-again believers) home to be with Him forever (John 14:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
These are the doctrines that are essential to a fundamental belief system. Everything else is a matter of preference and is negotiable.
For example, there are some things that are fundamental to the operation of a car. The battery is fundamental. You may purchase a Rolls Royce or a Bentley, but if it does not have a battery, it won’t start. You might as well buy a bicycle. The engine is a fundamental. You can have the most comfortable interior available, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, heated seats, satellite radio, GPS, and a beautiful paint job, but if you have no engine, you’re not going anywhere!
The same is true of Christianity! Certain doctrines are absolutely fundamental to the faith. But there are other doctrines that are not essential. For example, I will go to heaven if I have not been baptized! Salvation is essential, baptism is important, but not essential. Tithing is a Biblical doctrine, but you can be saved even if you do not tithe. Even church membership and witnessing are very important but not essential for salvation. They are not fundamentals! Also, the manner of baptism; the time of the second coming, denominations, style of worship, church polity, et al are non essentials.
Now please do not misunderstand! I believe everything the Bible tells us to do is important. I strongly believe in tithing, baptism, church membership, and worship, These may effect our relationship with God, but they are not fundamental to our salvation.
These essential doctrines are worth fighting for. Jude tells us to “Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
A Fundamentalist is a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, who maintains an immovable allegiance to the inerrant, infallible, and verbally inspired Bible, God’s holy word. One who believes that whatever the Bible says is absolute truth. He judges all things by the Bible, and is judged by the Bible. One who affirms the foundational truths of the historic Christian faith, ie: the trinity, the incarnation, the virgin birth, the substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection and glorious ascension, and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The new birth through regeneration by the Holy Spirit. The resurrection of the saints to eternal life; and the resurrection of the ungodly to final judgment and eternal death; and the fellowship of the saints, who are the church, the body of Christ.
Now allow me to expand on the most essential doctrine of Fundamental Christianity, the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture: The Bible is more than a book of important spiritual information. It is the very Word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16 AMP, “All Scripture is God-breathed (given by divine inspiration)…”
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
1 Peter 1:25, “The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
2 Peter 1:21, “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
John 17:17, “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth.”
Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”
Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Jeremiah began his prophecy by writing, “The word of the Lord came” (Jeremiah 1:2).
The words, “Thus saith the Lord” is found more than 400 times in the King James Bible.
The Bible is the Word of God and is fundamental to the Christian faith. Destroy the inspiration of Scripture and every cardinal doctrine falls. Creation, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. The inspired word is the foundation upon which all doctrine is built. Without the inspiration of the Scripture, there is no Christianity.
Now just a word about “Liberalism.”
“Theological liberalism, sometimes known as Protestant Liberalism, is a theological movement rooted in the early 19th century German Enlightenment, notably in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the religious views of Friedrich Schleiermacher. It is an attempt to incorporate modern thinking and developments, especially in the sciences, into the Christian faith. Liberalism tends to emphasize ethics over doctrine and experience over Scriptural authority. While essentially a 19th century movement, theological liberalism came to dominate the American mainline churches in the early 20th century. Liberal Christian scholars embraced and encouraged the higher biblical criticism of modern Biblical scholarship.
Protestant liberal thought in its most traditional incarnations emphasized the universal Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, the infinite value of the human soul, the example of Jesus, and the establishment of the moral-ethical Kingdom of God on Earth. It has often been relativistic, pluralistic, and non-doctrinal.
Liberalism birthed other movements with varying emphases. Among these movements have been the Social Gospel, Theological Feminism, Liberation theology, Process theology, and the Jesus Seminar. One product of these movements is the heretical Myth of Christian Origins which denies the divinity of Christ and the authority of scripture.” –Theopedia.
Broad-mindedness in religious standards and beliefs has always been at the heart of the agenda of Theological Liberalism. This movement has characterized Evangelicals, and Fundamentalists as unenlightened, outmoded and hopelessly intolerant. They argued that Christianity should be broad enough to embrace all religions, regardless of their biblical teachings. They argued that Evangelical-Fundamentalism did not represent Christ; tolerance and liberality were more fitting for modern Christianity. Sooner than later sound doctrine gave way to compromise, liberalism and even unbelief in the church.
A denial of the inspiration of the Scriptures.
A denial of the virgin birth of Christ.
A denial of the deity of Christ. Jesus was just a good moral teacher
A denial of the resurrection of Christ.
A denial of a literal hell.
Listen to the infallible, inspired, and perfect word of God…
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different Gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other Gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also the New Living Translation (NLT); The Message (MSG); The Amplified Bible (AMP); the King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version) NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New testament; and The Living Bible (TLB).