It has been four months now since my open departure from fundamentalism. My previous posts (Rethinking My Christianity: Why I’ve Changed in the Last Year, Rethinking My Christianity: Follow Through, and Rethinking My Christianity: More than just Politics) received a lot of reaction and criticism. I was thanked and welcomed by some (Your support kept me sane). I was rejected and libeled by others (Apparently now I’m an atheistic, communist liberal). And others disagreed with me but remain my good friends (I am most thankful for this group). All in all, it has been an interesting four months.
Why this post? Well, its not to complain or gloat about the last few months. Its actually to share where I am.
I remain convinced about the critiques I leveled at fundamentalism because I do not believe that anyone corrected any one of my critiques with Scripture. The reactions to my statements were broad. But no body reasoned with me using Scripture to convince me otherwise. Most of the reasoning, I am sad to say, only stood to confirm my critique—especially in the realm of politics. This reasoning came straight from the right-wing, republican play book. I was lectured in endless messages about being communist, about how I got the interpretation of the constitution wrong, and so forth. But what I didn’t get was a thorough and pointed rebuke from Scripture.
This both excited me and disappointed me. I was excited because it proved that my reasoning, though not perfect, was well maintained from Scripture. Not that Facebook is a place for deep theology, but I don’t remember a single conversation that someone went to the Scripture and explained how I was wrong. While I like to think my arguments were fool-proof, this just means I didn’t make many simple or foolish errors. I still made errors—I’m sure of this. I do precious little in life that I actually think turns out well.
However, the reaction also disappointed me. It showed me that Americanism is welded inseparably to most fundamentalist’s version of Christianity. And this bothers me—a lot. They don’t think like Christians. They think like post-war Americans. This unfortunately confirmed a large part of my critique of fundamentalism.
I did, however, make some poor mistakes. I came in swinging with a sledgehammer. I wrote succinctly and pointedly. I expressed most of my rage in not so great ways. I over generalized, called too broad of the group racist, and was generally not a nice person. For this, I am sorry. Jesus commands meekness and humility in the Christian life. And I showed neither.
Now, to the title of the post A Recovering Fundamentalist. I got this title from a podcast because it describes exactly what I am going through (https://recoveringfundamentalist.org/). I am attempting to rid myself of fundamentalism’s Pharisaic control without compromising my faith. Believe me, with the wrathful rejection that I got from many people, I would find it much easier to quit on the whole thing. But, because I am convinced that Jesus is God by the evidence produced concerning his resurrection, I remain in the faith. But I still carry the baggage of fundamentalism with me. So, I am working on rebuilding from the ground up. I still hold to the “fundamentals” of the faith—deity of Christ, virgin birth, etc.—and some non-essentials that fundamentalists like such as premillennialism, six-day creationism, etc.
In the end, I’m trying to be more biblical in everything I do. Christ is my Lord. I have sworn my allegiance to Christ and by his grace I will not renounce it. And I am obligated to follow him and obey his words. I am doing all that it is within my power, though full of imperfections, to understand and practice the teachings of Scripture.