Sunday, during the morning message, I felt compelled to declare myself a fundamentalist. The statement was made related to the lumping of all fundamentalists together by the society at large. I typically avoid the label and call myself a conservative. Many fundamentalist Christians I have known in the past are not pleasant to be around. They often monopolize conversations to prove to others that they have some insight into truth and that if you don't agree with them you are wrong. It's the old "my way or the highway to hell" attitude. While I have been accused of being arrogant, I have never considered myself so perfect that I am never wrong. My definition of a fundamentalist is - a conservative with a bad attitude. So why did I lump myself in with this group? My purpose: to show just because you are a person who believes in grace and choose to emphasize God's love, and not just His wrath, it does not make you a moderate or liberal. You can be a gracious believer and still believe in hell and judgment. It's just that you get no kicks from doing so. A person can choose to talk of the grace of God and still believe every word of the Bible is true. More and more I hear and read that intelligent people cannot also be fundamental in their faith. Here is a case in point.
While reading one of my favorite periodicals, Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), I came across this statement in an article; "The fact remains that belief in demons was widespread at this time (3rd to 7th century) among Jews as well as other peoples." Implied in this statement is of course intelligent people do not believe this today. More importantly implied in this statement is the fact that Jesus was a victim of the superstitions of His day when he recognized, spoke to, and cast demons from possessed individuals. The logic follows that if Jesus were mistaken then He could not be God. If He were not God then He was a liar, because He declared Himself to be equal with the Father. "I and My Father are one." (John 10:30) If He were a liar then some or none of the things He said are true. If some or all of the things He said were lies then He could have lied about His resurrection. If His resurrection is a lie then we are fools damned to darkness beyond this life. "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty." (I Corinthians 15:13 - 14)
It seems to me that every thing hinges on the events and participants of the Bible, whether of the flesh or of the spirit, being real and not a figment of the superstitious mind. Being intelligent does not mean you must exclude belief in the supernatural. Our faith is dependent upon the supernatural. So, if believing every word of the Bible, as did my Savior, make me a fundamentalist then I guess I am guilty as charged. Just remind me not to cop an attitude.