Monday, August 03, 2015

Putting the Fun Back In Fundamentalism

By almost any measure I qualify as a fundamentalist. I am long on in-context literalness and short on "nuance". I am a six, 24-hour long days Creation account guy. I think when they Bible says that wives should cover their heads what it really means is....wives should cover their heads. Most every church fellowship we have associated with would be considered "conservative" and/or "fundamentalist", whether that is old fashioned Baptist fundamentalism (minus the KJV-only part) or more recently conservative, fundamentalist Anabaptist groups where we are often seen as "too liberal".  Having said all that, I was talking with my wife today and what struck me this weekend was that an awful lot of fundamentalism is not much fun. By not fun I mean the sermons and teaching are often kind of grim, full of admonition and admonishment but lacking in encouragement. Fed a steady diet of  "we aren't doing enough" and performance based sanctification, it is little wonder that while many fundamentalists are serious about their faith and willing to do just about anything for you, they are too often not really outwardly happy, joyful people.

This really ought not be. When you see the Bible as the literal revealed Word of God that gives us all we know authoritatively about Jesus Christ, what do you have to be grumpy about? We win in the end! In fact we have already won by virtue of being born-again and adopted into God's family for eternity, saved from an eternal judgement. For those who wear their doubt as a badge of honor I can see why you would fret but Jesus didn't say "Blessed are the uncertain for theirs may or may not be a Kingdom which may or may not be literal". But for those who can sing the hymn "Blessed Assurance" and mean it, we should be a joyful people. Yes we should be sober and serious about truth but we can be glad while we do it. I think we have a lot to be joyful about, we should show it as well as know it. We can be happy without being frivolous, giving praise of thanksgiving without a furrowed brow.

Fellow fundies, it is ok to smile. Remember Jesus loves you!

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