Our deepest condolences to the people of Norway as they struggle to cope with this national tragedy. It is our prayer that in their sorrow many will turn to God for solace and comfort.
The following is an article from Lighthouse Trails.
The man who committed the atrocities on Friday, July 22, 2011 in Norway is being called a “Christian fundamentalist,” and already, stories are hitting the mainstream media telling the world to look out for Christian fundamentalists. Frank Schaeffer, son of theologian Francis Schaeffer, has likened the Norway killer to those who oppose abortion in his article on Saturday titled ”Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway’s in the US,” saying ”the terror unleashed on Norway” is “the sort of white, Christian, far right terror America can expect more of.”
But is the Norway killer a fundamentalist Christian (someone who follows the fundamental teachings of the Bible)? The answer to this is a resounding no, for there are no teachings in the Bible that would condone these merciless acts of violence. The killer of over 90 people [since revised downward to mid 70’s] in Norway cannot claim the name of “Christian” regardless of what he or the media say no more than Hitler could legitimately claim to be one even though he would sometimes refer to himself as a conservative and a Christian, the very thing the Norway killer referred himself to on his Facebook account.
We know that many in the world will now blame “Christian fundamentalism” on this act in Norway. In time, and escalated because of these types of violent acts driven by demonic forces, Bible believing Christians will be told they can no longer say Jesus Christ is the only way to God. It will be a hate crime. As was the case in the 911 terrorist attack in 2001, the Norway shootings will be used to further the progress of a one-world unified religion that will have no place for the Bible-believing Christian.
In 2006, Rick Warren helped set the tone for animosity and marginalization against Bible-believing Christians (Fundamentalists) when he stated that fundamentalism will be “one of the big enemies of the 21st century . . . . Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’” Less than a year earlier, he defined what he means by Christian fundamentalism when he spoke at the Pew Forum on Religion and said:
Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America … Now the word ‘fundamentalist’ actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity. Quote by Rick Warren, May 2005
The fundamentals of the Christian faith include things like the deity of Jesus Christ, the blood atonement, and the inerrancy of Scripture. It is a sad day when the world, the media, and “America’s pastor” think Christian fundamentalism is an enemy and a threat in the way they mean. The Christian fundamentals are the Gospel. One following these fundamentals will care about the souls of the unsaved that they might be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. A true Christian fundamentalist remembers the words of Scripture: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (II Peter 3:9). In truth, according to 1 John, love is meant to be the motivating factor in sharing the Gospel. Obviously, Anders Behring Breivik did not have love or the salvation of the people he killed in mind on Friday.
Many people, when trying to discredit Christian fundamentalists, refer to the Inquisitions; but it was the Christian fundamentalists who were being murdered during Inquisitions (by the Catholic church) – not the other way around. On Anders Behring Breivik’s blog, according to one article, he stated: “ Today’s Protestant church is a joke. . . . I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.” So like the ancient Inquisitioners, Anders Behring Breivik, a fundamentalist of his own making, is opposed to Christian fundamentalists and certainly cannot be labeled as one himself. The acts of violence he committed are not that of a Christian fundamentalist but rather that of a religious tyrannist, which is the spirit of antichrist.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [the Gospel] 1 John 4:8-9
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2: 18
Re-posted from the “Lighthouse Trails” 25 July 2011 newsletter
Related Post: ANDERS BREIVIK IS NOT A CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST
I completely agree with this article. My only quibble is over the use of the word “fundamentalist”. I know that in one sense any true Bible believer is a fundamentalist Christian, as explained in this article. However I also completely agree with Rick Warren’s sentiments. An unthinking, legalistic, Christianity that will not listen to reason but just keeps restating its case is a wrong fundamentalism in my view. Here the connotation of “fundamentalist” is that of a blind, mindless, mantra style learning that does not engage the Scriptures but quotes them as proof texts for whatever position is being espoused. In that sense I am not a fundamentalist.
Unbelievers can’t understand God or his people. Some people who do not understand God or his people use religion or the Bible in a perverted way, and they naturally attract attention for that.
Unbelievers have also attributed unflattering labels to God’s people:
‘Puritan’, when they despised their commitment to God’s word and holiness.
‘Methodist’ when they despised their commitment to God’s word and the discipline it brings to life.
The Lord Jesus had many ‘labels’ attached.
We should expect to be treated the same. It will not be fair, and we will feel the sting of it. Nevertheless we can’t escape a label, whether it is ‘fundamentalist’ or something equally unflattering.
Indeed, this is the crux of this article. What does the word “fundamentalist” mean?
Lighthouse Trails define it as believing in “the fundamentals of the Christian faith include things like the deity of Jesus Christ, the blood atonement, and the inerrancy of Scripture”. This is, in part, how I would define the term and how I understood it when applied to a follower of Jesus who believes in the fundamental doctrines of the faith.
Unfortunately, this word and many others, have undergone A radical transformation in meaning in the last fifty years. It has become a pejorative term and is often coupled with other epithets like ‘radical’, or ‘right-wing’. I would argue that this is due to the media taking a word and repeatedly using it in a way that attaches a meaning to it that was never considered in it’s original use. When it comes to words that Christians have traditionally used, these ‘new uses’ are almost always placed in a negative context.
Other words that have undergone this negative transformation are: born-again, evangelical, and, indeed, Christian. I’m sure you can think of more.
So, if it is our intention to be good communicators of the gospel, followers of Jesus need to be careful in the language we use. Either we need to change our use of these terms, for example, “follower of Jesus” instead of Christian, or we need to carefully define our words to exclude the negative meanings that have become attached to them.
It is a great deal of fun to watch all of you Christian Nutters try to claim that this guy was not a Christian! lol
“Christian Nutters” – case in point.
I agree with you Don about the changes in meaning for some words such as “fundamentalist” and “Christian” etc. The point has been made that Hitler also claimed to be Christian and this was not borne out in his regime’s slaughter of six million Jews.The Bible tells us in Matthew 7: 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
I do think that the deliberate connection of true believers in Christ with fundamentalism could serve a future purpose for control and persecution of the saints as the Scriptures bear out. It should be noted also that Rick Warren does not exactly uphold the Truth (ample evidence can be seen on his church website) and sadly, therefore, he cannot be relied upon to expound on what consitutes true belief in Jesus Christ. Don can you find a reliable source for the Five Fundamentals of the Christian Faith (i.e. five doctrines) based on Torrey’s book “The Fundamentals”.
I appreciate your contribution here, Lyn. With referrence to R.A.Torrey’s “The Fundamentals”, I did a little research (good ol’ Google 🙂 ). Here are two links that might be what you are looking for.
Don I think it is right that we use care in defining what the Lords people are, and what they believe. We need to be aware of how the meaning of words is changed over time, and be wise enough not to get trapped by some ugly label if at all possible. But you know there is a deliberate perversity in the human mind that WILL NOT accept anything we say. This is the unreasonableness of sin.
In John 9, the Pharisees questioned and questioned again the witnesses to the miracle of the blind man being made to see again. They could NOT accept that the Lord Jesus was God in the flesh, and they made up their minds that he was a sinner. This is a wonderful piece of spiritual logic from the man born blind. All that he says is absolutely true. The evidence was clear to all around. All that is except the Pharisees…. they were in the dark.
My point is that if the Lord of Glory was ridiculed and evidence of His claims were ignored, refuted and perverted by religious people, then how can we expect to be treated any differently?
We must give a reason for the hope that is in us in the real expectation that God will use this to His glory. However, it is always possible that His glory is best served by the hardening of the hearts of those that will not submit to Him. It is His work, they are His creatures, and we are His SERVANTS. To God be all the glory.
SDG, I don’t think I’ve heard it express quite that way before; “it is always possible that His glory is best served by the hardening of the hearts of those that will not submit to Him”.
At our LifeGroup this week we were studying Matt 7:6. Here Jesus clearly teaches that his followers are to use discernment when it comes to sharing the gospel with those who defiantly reject it. At some point we are to ‘cut our losses’ sort of speak.
and Rom 9:22-23 ‘What if God……’
Of course, this is consistent with the sovereignty of GOD and should come as no surprise to us.
Readers might appreciate this article posted at Ethea.
Don, you are a mine of good material! Thanks.
It looks like we have strayed a fair way off topic, but all these things are related. When bad things like this occur, God and His people are brought under the microscope once more. We are blamed and marginalised again by those who reject the God whom we love.
You know God does not have to explain his actions and His plan and purpose to anyone. He could simply get on and do it, and we have no right to question Him. That is the stark reality of His sovereignty. God is God, and we are not! But in His mercy, He opens a window on His heart, and His purpose to bring a wicked and undeserving people into relationship with Himself. I can’t get over this. Why should He seek me out, when I had no desire or intention to seek Him out.
He explains this so clearly in His word (the Bible), and nowhere else. That is the reason why it is so important to be familiar with what the Bible actually says (and not the caricatures and misreadings that are often attributed to it by those that have an axe to grind).
As we both know, Don, reading the Bible is a powerful thing, because here God speaks to us, opens His heart to us, and causes us to be ‘lost in wonder, love, and praise’.