I don't even know why I bother reading fundamentalist blogs sometimes. Self hatred, perhaps?
I don't understand why I have a compulsion to read blogs I know are going to make my blood boil, like William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith" website, or John Piper's Desiring God. I don't fully understand why I get in debates with fundamentalists online either, but I keep getting drawn into it, even though most of the time, the fundamentalist at the end, will choose this as their debating tactic:
Having an obsessive personality is a pain sometimes....
Well, today, I run across a fundamentalist blogger saying that the reason fundamentalism is losing people is because churches, because wait for it..... churches are trying to be too modern.
Yes, you read that right, and for those of you who have never been fundamentalists, it seems like a strange argument to make, but I have hear it many times. Here's a quote from the post:
Back to the link. The church is too normal and mainstream to mean anything to young people. Such a great insight. The church just continues to adopt cultural norms and expects to have an effect on society. Today's church reacts to pop culture by...wait for it...becoming more pop culture. The Bible doesn't do that. It is the Truth. God's Word doesn't care about Sodom and Gomorrah's practices. The Truth is not democratic. A church cannot possibly hope to reach young adults by appearing no different than the rave they went to Saturday night.This kind of argument is usually made by older folks in the congregation who don't want any kind of attempts to modernize worship styles, etc. They don't like things like Christian Contemporary Music, or anything that is in any different in style from they approve of. Instead of just admitting that they don't like change, and want to be sticks in the mud, their argument to fellow congregants is that it is unChristian, it's "giving into the world" (anyone who is a former fundamentalist is probably cringing at that right now, you know what the term "the world" means when fundamentalists say it), and that it's fake, and hollow.
On the second argument, I actually agree with them, but for completely different reasons, here was my response to the post:
SheldonApril 5, 2013 at 7:34 AM
So fundamentalist Christianity is losing people because it's becoming too modern?
Not at all...
If anything, it's because fundamentalist Christianity is trying different ways to appear modern on the surface (changing worship styles, etc), applying a false veneer of modernity, all the while, clinging to beliefs out of the 1950's
Here's a study by Barna group, an evangelical organization:
Some of the top reasons listed for young people leaving churches behind?
One-quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” (23% indicated this “completely” or “mostly” describes their experience). Other perceptions in this category include “church ignoring the problems of the real world” (22%) and “my church is too concerned that movies, music, and video games are harmful” (18%).
One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science.
Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%).
Fundamentalism is scared to death of the modern world, and does everything it can to shut it out. It's the entire motivation for evangelicals creating their own culture, complete with their own movies, etc and homeschooling their kids. They want to escape into their own parallel reality.
redlegbenApril 5, 2013 at 7:46 AMWell Sheldon, I actually am a physicist. I returned to Christianity because of the logical. I have no problem defeating the chin-scratching liberals with their pseudo-science. I have brought up a son that makes science teachers (admittedly, women) cry when confronted by the Truth a sixteen year old man presents to them. I love to take on these supposed intellectuals. They cower and flee. It is great entertainment to me and my family.
OTOH, if you aren't a bible believing Christian, you really don't belong here. I have no idea how to educate you about your moral relativism. To deny 1 + 1 is 2, makes no sense to me.Where do I even begin with this insanity?
First of all, assuming the writer actually is a physicist, how do you go about being a physicist, when you not only reject the very foundations of science, and proven fact, but call it "pseudo science"? Who would hire someone like that? Bob Jones University or Answers In Genesis maybe? Though I am being somewhat sarcastic, a person like this would have to live in a bubble of their own making, and ignore all evidence to the contrary....
When you are dealing with someone who denies reality, there's really no starting point or common ground to work with for a productive argument.
Notice the use of the words Christianity, and "Bible believing"? In fundamentalism, Christianity starts with and is built around the Bible. The Bible is inerrant (without error), and the source of all truth, if you don't agree with their extreme interpretation of the Bible, then you are not "Bible believing", and therefore not a Christian at all. It's a symptom of what is sometimes called religious addiction.
Notice also the "you don't belong here" jab. Just another symptom of arrogance. It sure doesn't show a very "Christ like attitude". Sure, it is their blog, to do with as they please, but you would think, if they are acting as a representative of their faith (after all their blog is centered around their religious views), that they would try to do more to respectfully engage people who disagree with them.
I try to keep a policy like that (don't know how successful I am at it). I have a policy of not deleting blog comments, no matter how repulsive their views are (sometimes I wonder if that is a good idea, but the libertarian in me wants to err on the side of free speech), and two of my favorite blog readers, who often leave comments, are a liberal Christian blogger and a Muslim.
I've also had a Christian follower of mine write a guest post for my blog, and I've had a guest post published on a Christian website. Sometimes I don't always succeed in reaching out to people of other beliefs, and I'll happily criticize religion when it deserves it, but I try my best to strike a balance. Why can't this blogger? Or am I hoping for too much here out of a fundamentalist?
Why do I even read these kind of blogs in the first place?