parresia

I AM MERELY THE WINE BOTTLE POURING OUT THE WINE OF THE LORD.

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Location: New England, United States

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fundamentalism


Our modern dictionaries describe fundamentalism as : a strict adherence to religious tradition or belief. However, the original meaning of fundamentalism stems from the word fundamental meaning: primary, original, pertaining to the foundation. So practicing fundamentalism to foment a relationship with God is actually a blatant perversion.

"Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:33-37 RSV

Throughout history people have sought God. Why? Why is the search for something larger than ourselves so fundamental to our lives? When my son was very small and something hurt him, or he was frustrated, he would cry, "I want to go home." This statement was confusing to me as many times when he shouted this declaration - we were at home. When I would respond that we are at home, he would look straight into my eye with exasperation and say, "Not this home; my other home". It was as though at his tender age, he could still remember the place he came from where this type of pain or frustration never plagued him. It made me sad that I could not remember that place.

Throughout history men, governments and yes, even churches have stolen that fundamental memory and craving from us by distortion. In their desire to manipulate and control others, they have robbed us of the very thing they promise to deliver - A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

Abraham had a personal relationship with God and he did so without the benefit of sacraments, rituals, or prescribed prayers at prescribed times. His relationship was not based on religious holidays, holy days, laws, or the worship of saints or prophets. His relationship was based solely on one man believing in where he came from and from whom.

Jesus came to stop the perversion of this relationship. He came to set us free from the law and rituals. "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18: 1-3 RSV

Fundamentalism has less to do with the spirituality of men and more to do with the ego of one man.

2 Comments:

Blogger an average patriot said...

Hi Annie
I wanted to thank you for your positive comment on my blog and I agree. I did like your subject of today and thought I would comment on this having posted on it many, many times in the past.
Having done a history of american morality for my fist book. I discovered the integral role fundamentalism played in the founding of America. However, you are right in saying it is a perversion. Bush has made it more so. He is doing to Christianity and America exactly what he is accusing the Islamists of doing to Islam.
Extreme religiosity, unbridled religion is the most dangerous weapon in the world as you probably know.Take Care and have a nice day, Jim

9:44 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Like your post states "Fundamentalism" is a word that has been twisted from it's original meaning. Much like the word "Christian" once meant, follower of Christ. Now both words mean different things to different people. However the true meanings are still there, buried under the misconceptions of the world.

Anyway, to be a "Fundamentalist" should mean someone who holds to the basic principles, in this case, of Christianity. One of the fundamentals of Christianity is gathering together for edification and to "stir each other up to good works".

Abraham was not one man against the world. Abraham was a leader of people. Enough people that he went to battle against kings on behalf of his nephew Lot, and won.

We don't worship God to become righteous. No like Abraham we have faith. But also like Abraham we worship because we are made righteous. Abraham, like us, was always trying to fix his own problems first, then going to God when his plans failed.

And finally, Abraham did worship in a ritualistic manner. From the earliest days, God's people were required to offer blood sacrifices. (Christ Jesus is the final and perfect sacrifice that takes away our sins, we no longer have to cover our sins with animal sacrifices.) This is why there wasn't much alarm or concern when Abraham took Isaac to go worship. Even Isaac knew that there needed to be an animal and asked his father where it was. Abraham answered, "God will provide himself a sacrifice." (How awesomely prophetic!) So, there was obviously a "traditional" way to ritually sacrifice an animal to the Lord in Abraham's time.

And, while we are not bound to traditions and Law, we are required to keep communion (for the remembrance of Christ's sacrifice for us) and baptism (a sign to show the world that we are His). Also we should gather together for encouragement and edification. We are not required to do this for salvation from God's Wrath to come (we are saved by grave alone through faith alone), but rather we will do these things if our hearts are right with God. If we don't do these things then we should examine our hearts and our faith. (Faith without works is dead.)

1:10 PM  

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