In a recent Apologetics Facebook group that I follow, a member posted a Huffington Post article from 2013 and asked our opinion about it. The article suggests that a neuroscientist views religious Fundamentalism as a cult and that those in this “cult” can be re-educated with the proper therapy. Though that’s implied by the writers of this article, the neuroscientist didn’t outright say that Fundamentalist Christianity is a cult and its adherents should be re-educated through therapy.
(The article can be found here)
Regardless, I thought it begs the question: Is Christian Fundamentalism extreme?
We have to understand that we now live in a postmodern society where everything traditional, conservative, and in opposition to the current and ever-evolving (or de-evolving) societal norms is considered something that needs to be squashed. The only thing sinful in today’s society is saying that there is such a thing as sin. And so, people don’t like being told that they (we) are sinful and there is only one narrow way to get to Heaven.
But we also have to rightly define Fundamentalism and not the implied definition that our current postmodern society tries to impose on us with old men in suits angrily banging their fists against a podium, and others holding up signs that may or may not say something Christlike.
At one time, there were plenty of televangelists out there who were a bit on the legalistic side, but who were well-meaning Godly men, and did end up saying a few things that unintentionally ruined our witness. It wasn’t that they were (always) wrong, they just had the inability to speak the truth in love. And sometimes when they did speak the truth in love, it was still deemed as hateful.
And that was when the media-types began demeaning conservative Christianity as a whole, and they did so by using a derogatory tone when using the phrase “Fundamentalists.”
Nevermind that most people in the media never defined Fundamentalism.
If you want to read what Fundamentalism is, I found a great definition and history of it here: https://www.gotquestions.org/fundamentalism.html
According to that definition, Fundamentalism is essentially ‘Basic Christianity 101.’ So when people want to say that we’re crazy for believing the Bible to be true and Jesus as The Messiah, I suppose it’s nothing new. And, we need to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:5 NIVUK).
But the real question brought up by the Huffington Post article is basically, where is this all going?
We already know that there are those in the media and educational institutions who are making the current secular political/societal beliefs more or less a religion unto itself. And therefore, as fewer people are making church-going a priority, a “re-education” already has been happening within our society at a slow and steady pace.
And it all started by convincing people that Fundamentalism (without actually defining it) is hateful.