Sectarian Fundamentalism I

Are you aware of how fundamentalism seems to be becoming a denomination? Some Baptist fundamentalists are becoming increasingly sectarian. This should be of great concern to Disciples of Christ who are baptistic in their understanding of the Bible. Independent Baptists have from the beginning advocated a position of independence that permits each congregation to govern themselves as they see fit; yet, sectarian fundamentalists are increasingly judging other churches and refusing to fellowship one with another based on differences of opinion on things that are not a fundamental of the faith. Classic or historical fundamentalism was not focused on methods, but key doctrinal points that are not negotiable when it comes to the validity of Christianity.

Independent Fundamentalists are not supposed to be sectarian. Each independent Baptist church is permitted to govern itself as it sees fit and choose how they apply the Word of God to their congregation most especially in the areas in which the Bible is not as clear as some would like it to be.

Sectarian Fundamentalists judge other churches which do not hold to the same level of convictions to the same degree as themselves as truly NOT fundamental.

The fundamentals of the faith are expanding into areas which are not fundamental. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, may I encourage you to be very careful when you refer to something as a fundamental of the faith that isn't. Know what fundamental is and isn't.

The verbal inspiration of the Word of God is a fundamental of the faith—a favorite, preferred, or best translation is not a fundamental. It can be a preference and even a mandate but not a fundamental. Let's be careful; words mean something. (There is a difference between a conviction and preference.)

Dr. Mark Minnick in SC is a Baptist fundamentalist that uses the NASB instead of the KJV; those who refuse to fellowship with another fundamentalist because of a divide over a non-fundamental of the faith are sectarian. A fundamental of the faith is something that significantly alters the orthodoxy of Christianity.

And the more they divide and isolate into sects, the more fundamentalism looks like a particular denomination within the Baptist flavor of Christianity. A denomination that is more likely defined by music, dress and a translation than the non-negotiables of the faith.

We are slowly losing our independence to the sectarians who determine what is acceptable from seats of power in larger churches normally associated with colleges. The competition between schools requires (or so it seems) lines to be drawn which are not necessary and the East, Midwest and West compete and divide into sects which ignore God's mandate for unity in the body of Christ. (Read John 17—twice.)

Fundamentalists are no longer fighting the liberal influence of other Christians and now fight each other over things that will not amount to anything when we stand before our Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

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