Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

yield not to fundamentalism

4/11/14

 

The Christian fundamentalists want to command the Bible as their exclusive proof document, fending off the religious convictions of any who dare disagree with their theology. No one need feel compelled to grant that exclusive right to these self appointed instructors in righteousness. They see fit to ignore the portions of the Bible which inspire and compel me, so I feel equally free to ignore and dismiss their sacred favorites. 

 

Fundamentalism has redefined Christianity into a religious system devoid of meaningful ethics. In extolling conformance, obedience, unquestioning allegiance, and retribution this stilted form of Christianity has turned the work of Jesus into an excuse for selfishness, bigotry, violence, self adulation, and latent self righteousness.

 

Fundamentalism never learns from its obvious failings. In every age, a new issue of equality, fairness, and basic human decency arises within society and always the fundamentalists oppose the necessary change in attitude and policy. It was that way in relation to slavery, to women's suffrage, civil rights, and gender equality. We are undoubtedly in the midst of another such change in relation to issues of sexual orientation. In every case the hidebound religionists refused to admit to any need to change their theology until the tide of public opinion forced their hand. Thinning memberships and shrinking contributions ultimately make theological adjustments unavoidable but only after a protracted period of religious posturing, Bible thumping, and threats of divine retribution. It is a sad but continuously repeated spectacle.

 

Never fear the fundamentalist demagogues. They have a personal take on God and the Bible, but they have no exclusive understanding, whatever they may claim. They deal routinely with but a select portion of the scriptures, leaving unsupportive portions unattended. Anyone else can do the same and formulate a dramatically different God and truth in the process. The Bible's length, complexity, literary style, and organization all beg for different understandings, so each person has great liberty in using it to guide their personal life. None can reasonably use the Bible to force you to believe anything, so exercise the personal liberty the Bible allows and choose wisely what you will believe and practice as a life principle.