I am a Christian fundamentalist.
This may come as a surprise to you if you have read anything else on this blog. It will come as a surprise to you if you have ever actually met me in person.
It was a bit of a shock to me when I realised, to be honest.
I came to this realisation on the street one day when I was talking to some street preachers who had pressed some of their leaflets into my hand. They started to tell me that it was wrong to be gay (although they probably used the word ‘homosexual’). In the course of this discussion I said the thing that made me realise I am a fundamentalist.
“What does the Bible say? I base my belief of what is right and wrong on that.”
That is a statement that many self-described fundamentalists seem to think belongs to them. It is their shibboleth, their unique selling point. As the discussion continued I did something else profoundly fundamentalist. I quoted passages of scripture, chapter and verse, and talked about what they mean. Again, that is something that many self-described fundamentalists think is something that belongs to them, and them alone. If that is the case then I am a fundamentalist.
Of course, that isn’t the case. It isn’t just the self-described fundamentalist Christians who base their belief of what is right and wrong on the Bible. Lots of Christians do. In fact, I’ve never met a Christian who doesn’t. Many fundamentalists describe themselves as “Bible-believing Christians”, which carries the unfortunate implication that other Christians do not believe it. The truth of the matter is that all Christians are “Bible-believing Christians”. Not all Christians believe that the Bible teaches the same thing – witness the plethora of denominations – but they all believe the Bible.