Fundamentalists aren’t “Biblical”

Fundamentalists aren’t “Biblical” July 26, 2016

McGrath quote Fundamentalists not Biblical

I thought I would turn something I said in a recent post into an image, in case it helps it circulate more widely. I really do think this is an important point!

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  • Frank

    Repeating a failed statement as an image is embarrassing.

    • OK – but what allegedly makes this a failed statement? Your dislike of it?

      • Frank

        So you don’t see the irony of criticizing people for taking the high ground while you try and take the high ground?

        • I’m criticizing fundamentalists for making false claims, and criticizing non-fundamentalists who simply accept those fundamentalist claims instead of investigating them and discovering that they are false. I thought that was clear.

          • Frank

            As I said trying to take the high ground. Do you really not understand what you are doing?

            As for your criticism each claim must be taken one at a time. This blanket statement of yours shows how little you understand so why should anyone take you seriously.

          • Frank

            You seemed to miss the actual point. Wow.

            I have read some of what you say. I have no hesitation in dismissing it.

          • Al Cruise

            Frank, you cannot dismiss the coming fire and demons .

          • Frank

            Huh? You never made much sense before but it’s getting worse.

          • Al Cruise

            Your right it will not make sense for many conservatives on their death bed. Why they see only fire and demons.

          • Frank

            At least you consistently say foolish things. I’ll give you that.

          • Al Cruise

            Facts are facts Frank.

          • Frank

            Yes they are. You should trust them sometime.

          • Al Cruise

            I do and God has blessed me and my family richly. God has especially blessed my work with the people whom he loves, most of which have been rejected and condemned by conservative fundamentalists. God blesses those who obey him, you should try it sometime. Hard line conservative fundamentalist often die horrible deaths, trying desperately to stay in this world, leaving with blood curdling screams and that look in their eyes of pure fright.

          • Frank

            Obey God? Great idea?

            Do you obey Gods created order for marriage and sexuality?

            And thank you for your last sentence. No one needs to be worried at all at rejecting anything you say.

          • Al Cruise

            Frank, In my 40 plus years of outreach work, a disproportional amount of gay people have come from the parents who have conservative fundamental religious beliefs. What is God trying to show these parents?

          • Frank

            It is a great tragedy when parents disown their kids for any reason. It’s not that their beliefs are in question just that they are misguided in living them out while ignoring others. Parents sin too but it isn’t a sin of belief.

          • Al Cruise

            “Parents sin too but it isn’t a sin of belief.” It is a sin of belief. A good tree will produce good fruit. As for the death bed experiences of conservative fundamentalists, you said ” No one needs to be worried at all at rejecting anything you say” , talk to hospice care workers and palliative care nurses anywhere, they will confirm what our outreach workers have seen.

          • Frank

            Good fruit is not sinful behavior. Do you always produce good fruit? Homosexual behavior is a sin as well as a parents denial of their children.

            I don’t doubt what you have seen just your theological opinion.

          • Al Cruise

            Gay people were around long before the Bible. Conservative fundamentalist belief has produced the hate and violence toward them and many others as well. Conservative fundamentalism is a sinful belief and produces bad fruit. Don’t forget that Christian missionaries of every different fundamentalist stripe, killed over 150 million indigenous people by bringing bubonic plague, chicken pox, pneumonic plague, cholera, diphtheria, influenza, measles, scarlet fever, smallpox, typhus, tuberculosis, whooping cough and venereal diseases. The systemic racism of today has it’s roots in conservative fundamentalism. It will be millennials and the young of today who are rejecting this false belief on mass, that will delegate it to a fringe group like the KKK.

          • Frank

            Yes sinful behavior existed since the garden. No surprise there.

            Violence is also a sin but that doesn’t erase the sinfulness of homosexual behavior.

            One sin doesn’t remove the sin from another.

        • Uncle Dave

          Nonsense, the statement does not take the high ground. While it is aimed at the fundamentalist inerrancy it has not exempted any other modes of interpretation.

          • Frank

            Did you read it? “I’m right you’re wrong.”

            Clueless about theology I guess transfers over

          • Uncle Dave

            It really does not say that. It says that absolutist interpretive claims can be questioned. One of the big problems with claims of inerrancy is that different groups claiming inerrancy often do not agree with each other; they can’t all be right.

          • Frank

            Well part of the problem stems from defining inerrancy. Which is the only point James got right. Which is why I said each issue must be dealt with separately.

        • Michael Wilson

          He criticized them for taking a high ground they don’t deserve. They don’t deserve it because they do not in fact conform to all that the Bible literally says and instead make an interpretation of the literal words that they claim is without error.

          Neither fundamentalist or liberals actually treat the Bible as innerrent and literal.

          • Frank

            As far as positions, what people call conservative, gets it right most of the time. It’s progressives that are consistently wrong in their opinions and exegesis.

            Even fundamentalists agree that a straight literal reading for every word is not the right way to interpret, aside from some outliers.

          • John MacDonald

            Could it be that what is most essential about Christianity doesn’t necessarily come from scripture? After all, there were Christians before there were epistles or gospels.

          • John MacDonald

            There were Christians before there was a New Testament. The kerygma – the proclamation about Jesus recorded in Acts – takes about 2-3 verses to express. You can reject 95% of what is written in “the Bible” and still be as much of a Christian as the earliest believers.

          • Frank

            No. While it wasn’t compiled immediately the ideas the words represented are what guided it from the beginning. So no.

          • John MacDonald

            What ideas do you think were there from the beginning?

          • Frank

            Every Christian thought or idea has existed forever.

          • John MacDonald

            Then why does Mark, our first gospel, seem unaware of a lot of the ideas in Luke and Matthew, such as the virgin birth. Instead of thinking Mark knew about it but simply ignored it, maybe Matthew and Luke invented the miraculous birth stories, which was a common practice for writing about great men in history of whom birth details were not known. See, for instance, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miraculous_births

          • Frank

            Matthew and Luke didn’t invent anything. Why Mark didn’t mention it? I don’t know, maybe it was just assumed.

          • John MacDonald

            You think it makes sense that Mark would “leave out” a virgin birth account?

          • Frank

            Sure maybe it was just assumed or Mark thought it wasn’t relevant.

          • John MacDonald

            It is agreed upon by all commentators, for instance, that Matthew invented material to make Jesus’ story recapitulate the story of Moses. Matthew wanted to portray Jesus as “The New Moses.”

          • Frank

            It is not agreed upon. Only in your head.

            That’s the problem with people who don’t know what they believe. Nothing the say is trustworthy.

          • Michael Wilson

            I agree that conservatives are often right in their exegesis, that opinions on women, gays, etc, are frequently what the author intended. That’s why their conservative, people at the time of writing held a view, and it has persisted. On the other hand many traditional views are not the authors view or intention. Of course the writers of the Old Testament did not have Christian interpretation in mind when they wrote, so parts of the bible contradict, but literalist ignore them infavor of of later reinterpretation of the literal meaning.

            The point though is that no one is completely literalist or inerrant so no one can say their view is completly biblical, there is in fact no such thing.

          • Frank

            What has persisted has persisted because it’s Gods will.

            Once again it would need to be taken up issue by issue to get any clarity.

            And I see no meaningful contradictions between the OT and NT just bad exegesis and eisegesis.

          • Michael Wilson

            I’ll have to differ on that with you, I’ve heard a lot of attemtpts to harmonize the bible and so many are logically absurd or just impossible. I don’t have the inclination to revisit it all. Some people are so dedicated to the idea that the Bible is God’s testament to us that any explenation that makes it so must be true no matter how unlikely.

          • Frank

            That’s exactly what the bible is, communicated in many different forms.

        • Matthew Funke

          1. He wasn’t criticizing them for taking the high ground. He was criticizing them for making claims about how they interpret Scripture that they don’t actually follow, and that the “high ground” they think they’re taking is false.

          2. Even if he were criticizing them for taking the high ground, this would not be inherently contradictory. Consider the criticism from those who sought to preserve the institution of slavery in the United States, claiming that the abolitionists were illogical in claiming that their stance was predicated on freedom, because what it really was predicated on was taking freedom away — in particular, the freedom to own slaves.

          Unless you can show that your ouroboros argument can stand on its own, in other words, without trying to eat its own tail, it’s baseless and misleading.

          • Frank

            Speaking of baseless and misleading….

          • Matthew Funke

            Yes?

          • Frank

            Right on cue! Thanks!

          • Matthew Funke

            Are you capable of holding a discussion, or just buffeting the air?

          • Frank

            What would you like to discuss?

          • Matthew Funke

            All right, I’ll be more explicit. Can you show that your argument about “high ground” stands on its own, without invoking an absurd dialetheia that can have no truth-value of its own?

          • Frank

            I already did. Thanks for unwittingly supporting it.

          • Matthew Funke

            Wow. Okay. If you say so.

          • Frank

            It’s you that said so.

  • Wheezy1952

    It sometimes seems that fundamentalists worship the book itself, which is not always the same as following Jesus.

    • Brian Kellogg

      Spot on

  • Nice statement & very true. It reminds me of Old Man Marx sentiments: Religion is the Opiate of the Masses. I don’t like Old Man Marx but like the dope dealer who use and get hooked usually ends up a failed business endeavor. If you’re selling you can’t be a user. Same goes for religion. To the theologians, scholars, preachers, et al its “a job.” To the rest of us, we don’t have “a job”. We have a role to play. To have patent packaged religious creeds and dogmas to “live” and “act out”. That’s right sister, raise your hands, shout it out to the Lord! *babbles in tongues* praise the Lord. Every denomination has a certain mode of behavior you’ve got to assimilate to. I’m sorry, but I don’t think “God(TM)” could ever be pleased by my willingness to perform on demand like a trained circus monkey and refuse to acknowledge and reject what I can read with my own two eyes in the scriptures.

    i.e., does anyone really believe God told Oral Roberts he would kill him if he didn’t extort 8 million dollars from the sheep by X date? Oral Roberts was not “Religious” or a man of God. He was probably a reasoned Atheist, performing “A Job”. But the rest of us got to play the part of trained monkeys, raising our hand, pretending the Holy Ghost is animating us, rolling down the aisle, and … pretend… or either, a trick of our imaginations, because we are actually duped into following these self-declared “men of God”.

    Besides there’s a promise in Hebrews. God is suppose to be our teacher, preacher, guide… promised by the Old and New Testaments. They wouldn’t run to their neighbors, “Do you know the Lord?” It was promised everyone would know the Lord.

    I don’t see all the people who claim that they actually know the Lord. If you ask them, its a preacher doing the teaching, not God himself. If you ask them does God speak via dreams (as prophecied). Nope. Well, does God teach them scripture? And, “Nope.” So in other words, they don’t actually know God. They know a man who accepts their tithes and offerings, and interprets scripture every Sunday morning. But not actually in commune with the main man, God himself.

    That’s pretty darn empty if that’s all Christianity has to offer.

    Gotta give me God, face to face, or I won’t believe. (Nor will the Atheists or Agnostics.)

    • So they got lots of false interpretations. That’s natural. God isn’t doing the teaching. Some things are of God. Some things are of man. And restrictive as religions are, its no wonder that entire groups of people parrot the same patent dogma and creeds about this or that verse, they were taught to since birth and can’t think of an original alternative interpretations, least of all, “inspired” by truth.
      They are users of the religious opiate. The Theologians, Preachers, Scholars, are the dealers. Not an original thought shall be uttered.