Is This a Snapshot of Fundamentalism, or the Brand of ‘Fundamentalism’ Which Makes Some Want to Leave?
At our church, I try to live and teach an idea of fundamentalism that includes a willingness to be separate from sin and worldliness on a personal, family and church level. Also, I try to live and teach a fundamentalism that sees the purity of God’s truth, His Gospel and His church as being important enough to be careful about fellowship with other Christian entities, churches and individuals. This caution can and has included a willingness to separate from or limit fellowship with what we thought would damage, dilute or put into question the purity I mentioned above.
The applications of these ideas are going to work out differently in each person’s life and church differently. The danger comes when we (in the name of fundamentalism or in the name of something else) begin to see our own applications of philosophy and doctrine as being normative and the only proper metric for others (individuals and churches.) Mebbe they are, mebbe they ain’t.
Recently, Kevin Bauder wrote a section of a book Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism–representing a Fundamentalist separatist point of view. I hope to purchase the book. Kevin makes a claim to be a Fundamentalist Christian and has written a great deal of his thought about the matter here.
Someone who also claims to be a fundamentalist has taken exception to the notion that Bauder is an acceptable spokesman for “Biblical Separatism.” If you want, you can look this guy up and see why he thinks that Kevin Bauder is wrong, and not just wrong, but that he is no friend of real Fundamentalism. Basically it boils down to the fact that Bauder does not practice separation the way that this particular critic thinks is “authentic Fundamentalism.” The rest is details.
It appears that “Fundamentalism” for this particular critic includes the use of misleading untruths for the greater good. This is and has been a practice by Fundamentalist bullies for a good long time. I have seen friends bulldozed by pastors who re-manufactured information for their own benefit under the guise of protecting a ministry when it basically protected the bulldozer. Just because it is part of our history does not make it right–some traditions must be broken. At the blog in question the following is included as one of the “For Related Reading” links:But, here’s the thing–this link, as it appears on the page linked above, is a lie. It links to an article written by an itinerant preacher who disagrees with Kevin Bauder, and thought he would tell us so by making it appear as if Bro. Clearwaters wrote the letter. In the original, the pseudonymous nature of the “letter” is obvious. The method itself is an interesting rhetorical device, and in a sense it hearkens to the John Ploughman letters of C.H. Spurgeon. In respect for C.H.S. I will end any other speculation of similarity. The similitude ends at the method chosen.
The point is, R.V. Clearwaters has not written a letter to Kevin Bauder–at least not one that has been made public. It is untrue to promote a link with the idea that he has.
Is this a Fundamentalist way to stand “In Defense of the Gospel?” (Is it biblical and ethical?)
Do I really need to ask?