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Christian Fundamentalist’ - a Distortion of the Truth


Like just about everyone else, I am appalled at the recent tragedy in Norway. I am not eloquent at expressing my feelings on such occasions and would have preferred to leave this task to others who can say it so much better. But my heart and prayers go out to all those people and families affected, irrespective of their religious and political persuasions, or lack of them.

But there is one issue that I feel I can and should address: and that is the assertion that the perpetrator was a ‘Christian Fundamentalist.’

I don’t deny there is an extremist, hate-filled minority that call themselves ‘Christian Fundamentalists’ in an attempt to justify their actions: but to do so displays a ‘fundamental’ lack of understanding of both words. And if we don’t challenge it, we will let the idea that this behaviour is consistent with Christianity gain ground and stain the reputation of the millions of true Christian Fundamentalists worldwide.

A Fundamentalist is one who seeks to go back to the basic, original concepts of a thing; and a Christian is one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Few people in history have suffered as much at the hands of their opponents and yet so consistently rejected hatred or the use of force or violence as a means of persuasion. “Love your enemies…” he said, “…do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.” And even while being nailed to the cross, his prayer was, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

So, to call oneself a ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ whilst engaging in acts of hatred and violence is a straight contradiction of terms.

You may say, “Haven’t Christians been guilty of many such acts over the last 2,000 years?” Yes, sadly, that is true: but it is the result of drifting away from the fundamentals of Jesus’ own teaching and practice: not of following Christ. Others may say: “Is that supposed to mean that the use of force is never justified?” Arguably, there are times when even Christians may feel obliged to use force to prevent even worse acts of violence and hatred. Christians have different opinions about this: but it’s an argument about exceptional circumstances, not about the basics of Jesus’ teaching – it is not fundamentalism.

If only there were more Christian Fundamentalists, the world would be a safer, more peaceful and more love-filled planet!

Kevin King, 26/07/2011

Items in this Section:

We are considering changing how we handle reader comments. Try it, and tell us what you think.
This brief, but beautifully made, Christmas video offers some real food for thought....
Christmas 2011 video selection
A reflection on something God showed me during our 'Break Through' celebration at the URC.
What is discipleship all about? Watch this video and let us know what you think.
News and views from the LDC leaders.
Was the Norway massacre the work of a 'Christian Fundamentalist'?
Opportunity to give feedback or make suggestions or contributions to the website.
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If you have a suggestion for an article or video to add to this site, please tell us about it in the feedback comment box. Or why not create and submit your own article? You can create your own articles in the Document Editor or, for more complex layouts, create it as a Word Processor document, or a text, Rich Text or HTML flle, along with any pictures in .jpg or .gif format. Then send these as email attachments to webmaster@lifedestinychurch.org.

 
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