Because of this, I've been in church recently, and I've been giving regular reports on the blog about what that is like, it's quite an experience. It's given me quite a bit of personal experience in refreshing my memory about fundamentalist beliefs and lifestyle.
In the churches of some denominations, including the one this church belongs to, they use materials from the Christian bookstore chain Lifeway for their Sunday School classes, especially one book series called Masterwork. There's a workbook for each season, and the one for winter 2012-13 is pictured on your left here.
They have material in the book for you to read, along with Bible verses they want you to read as well. Each day has it's own reading material in the book, with questions they want you to think about and write in your own answers. The questions/answers are about your own "spiritual walk", and your personal experiences as a Christian (if you are one still, unlike me).
Various ministers and authors write for this publication, and there are two authors/ themes for each book. One of the two authors for this season is Micheal Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist church in Albany Georgia. His church has become well known in fundamentalist circles for producing movies, such as Facing the Giants, about a high school football team.
I'm reading one of the lesson plans for the day, written by him, when I saw this on day three of their material for the week of January 13th (block quote text is the book. Normal text is my response):
"Surrender begins in the heart. Revival begins in the church. We cannot point fingers at the Devil's crowd because Jesus has given us everything necessary to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil"
Notice my emphasis on the words "Devil's crowd", though it may be hard to get a fundamentalist to admit it, most believe that anyone who is not one of them is working for the devil, whether they realize it or not.
Also, note the use of the term, "the world". In fundamentalist thinking, anyone or anything that is not part of their world is part of "the world", and the "the world" is against them, it is a corrupt sewer or a world, full of debauchery.
A catchphrase they often use as a warning to followers, especially young people not to be corrupted by the world around them is "Be in the world, but not of the world". Be different than everyone around you.
"We can not blame the secularists and humanists because they are just acting like themselves"
No, you really can't blame us, we are who we are. When we are promoting exploration of the world around us, and supporting schools in Uganda that not only educate students, but also feeds them as well, or expose dangerous people spreading ideas that would cause serious physical harm to autistic children, I mean, we can't help it, it's just who we are!
"If they had heard all of the Bible preaching and teaching mode we've heard, they likely would have repented by now"
Of course they would! I mean, I listened to sermons for years, read the Bible regularly, made public professions of faith, was baptized, knew all the arguments for the Bible, (and tried to convince other people that the Bible was true), and look at me now, I'm Mr. Perfect Christian!
Wait...... I gave it all up almost 4 years ago....
"We cannot blame all the forces arrayed against us. We can't blame the secular media and Hollywood. We have been told we are more than conquerors. Then why do we act as though defeat is our only option?"
Oh? So fundamentalism feels defeated? I can't figure out why. I mean after all, in the US, they own one half of the two party system that has a monopoly on political power in the US (the Republican party)
Just the mere fact that in the 21st century, that only 9 states allow gay people that basic human right of marrying the person they love, and federal law allows states to refuse to recognize gay marriages preformed elsewhere shows that fundamentalism is far from dead or defeated.
Maybe fundamentalists are scared because people of my generation are leaving Christianity in large numbers, and so they feel the need to give out shameless "rally the troops" calls like this.
He carries on with this theme through the end of the paragraph:
"Look at the times --- it's no time to make excuses. The problem is apathy and self-justification, settling for a form of religion without power. We are a Body with dry eyes and lukewarm hearts"
I do agree that self justification, and a holier than thou attitude is a big problem in fundamentalism, that's probably the only thing I agree with him about.