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Fudamentalism: Extreme religion or just plain selfish?

 

 

Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it. So what makes some Christians, who work very hard to be like Him, so judgmental?

 

 Fundamentalist Christians, rather than being remembered for their Christ-like compassion, are known for hating the gay community and for holding up graphic pictures to deter people from entering nearby abortion clinics. 

 

When some Christians decide they are allowed to set the pace for all fellow believers, it doesn’t do anyone very much good. What makes fundamentalist Christians think they’re perfect?

 

The problem isn’t that these Christians have fundamental beliefs—they should. The main problem is that the people who claim to be saved by God’s grace start to believe they don’t need Him anymore and that, if other people would simply live like they do, then they too can be saved.

 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fundamentalism as “a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles.” I don’t see anything in there about picketing or offering unwanted advice. 

 

In fact, if we’re going by this definition, I consider myself a fundamentalist Christian. Jesus himself said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” 

 

What commandments are those again? Love your neighbor, take up your cross daily and be a servant of all. 

My faith–my attitude–stresses literal obedience to those words. Instead of throwing around scripture coupled with harsh Christianese, Fundamentalists should practice the fundamental principle of love.

 

There are a few people at my home church that are pegged for being overzealous.  They would describe themselves as Fundamentalists, but I see distinct differences between each of them. 

 

They all strive to follow the commandments of God. Some of these Christians focus inwardly, while the others turn their loving gazes outward. 

 

Ultimately, these Fundamentalists can do one of two things with their principles of faith: They can love themselves or love others.  

 

Performing acts of love–leading by example–is considered “pure and undefiled religion,” as stated in James 1:27, but memorizing a list of rules and pushing others to obey them is selfish religion.

 

Typically, judgment comes from those who think they’ve fulfilled enough commandments and are now responsible for showing others the way (without much tact). 

 

Last time I checked, Jesus is the only human capable of completely fulfilling any commandment but, still, He is described as humble. 

 

Perhaps it’s a good idea to start adhering to a person rather than to principles. 

 

I’m not saying this because I think that it’s easier or that it’s less to live up to. I believe it’s a higher calling–an impossible lifestyle–to live blamelessly and still love the way Christ loves.

 

Of course, there are scriptures that force Christians to draw the line between exploitation or exhortation, lukewarm teaching or peacemaking, aspiring to lead or leading to inspire. 

 

The question posed by these options is this: Are Christian Fundamentalists striving to please God or themselves?

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