Historic Biblical Fundamentalism is a Scripturally based movement with which this writer has been associated ever since beginning his preaching ministry nearly 60 sixty years ago. Since it is composed of imperfect men who are not inerrant or infallible in all their evaluations and judgments, this movement is capable of making mistakes. However, it possesses certain rock bed Scriptural traits with which this editor readily identifies and thus, from a Biblical frame of reference, this editor unashamedly aligns himself with the Fundamentalist movement.
Biblical Fundamentalism is a movement of CONFLICT
The historic Biblical Fundamentalist movement is a movement of conflict, a group of men who are engaged in spiritual warfare against all the adversaries of the "faith once delivered unto the saints—Jude 3." Dr. Bob Jones Sr., a heroic militant defender of the faith, used to say that "you cannot move without producing friction." Genuine Fundamentalist defenders of the faith automatically come into conflict with all opponents of this Biblically mandated faith.
THE BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF THE IDEAL FUNDAMENTALIST
The classic example of the uncompromising defender is
the Apostle Paul, whose entire life, from his dramatic conversion
in Acts 9 to his impending martyrdom in II Timothy 4 was saturated
with conflict against every satanic assault upon the faith. Paul
contended with the legalistic Judaizers at
Paul never backed off from any major conflict that involved the defense of the truth. Out of these hard fought battles, however, this heroic defender of the faith penned the doctrinal gems of I & II Corinthians, Galatians and Colossians, inspired epistles that still guide believers today who are seeking Scriptural discernment on vital issues.
THREE DANGEROUS MOVEMENTS
There are three unbiblical movements today against which genuine Fundamentalists must wage warfare. (1) the ECUMENICAL CONFEDERATORS, the (2) EXPEDIENT CONFORMERS and the (3) EXISTENTIAL CHARISMATICS. These groups also be defined as the (a) CHRIST-DENIERS [Apostates], the (b) COMPROMISERS [accommodators] and the (c) CHARISMATICS [adders]. These three deviations from the truth must be forthrightly challenged and confronted today by genuine Fundamentalists, even though some individuals in the 2nd and 3rd groups may be sincere but misled born-again believers.
The ecumenical confederators, the apostates, frequently pass off their subverted teachings with religious terms that are similar to ones that genuine Fundamentalists use but have different meanings. These apostates may subtly use the same terms to gain their converts, but they use a different dictionary than the Biblical Fundamentalists!
The expedient conformers, the compromising New-Evangelicals,
compose a movement that can best be described as a gradual
sequential four fold shift from historic Biblical Christianity
to apostate liberalism via a (a) shift in attitudes [mood],
a (b) shift in associations [methods], a (c) shift in affirmations
[message] and a (d) shift in actions [morals]. In the O.
The surging Charismatic tide is a third opponent against which Fundamentalists must vigorously wage war, even though some real born-again saints are obviously involved with this heretical movement. This dangerous movement is (a) extra-Biblical in its stance, (b) ecumenical in its stand, and (c) existential in its stress. [Religious existentialism is the theology of the NOW, with little emphasis upon eternal verities such as sin, heaven, hell, righteousness, judgment, etc. and that promotes the heretical "prosperity theology" that says God wants you to be happy, rich, and live without sickness.]
A discerning Fundamentalist leader accurately depicted the Charismatic movement as the religious "glue" that will someday bind together Satan's end-time harlot church. Genuine Biblical Fundamentalists are involved in a continuous battle against all three of these unscriptural movements, ardently contesting against them with all the spiritual vigor possible, while at the same time "speaking the truth in love"—Eph. 4:15—as they contend vigorously for the faith.
Biblical Fundamentalism is a movement of COMPANIONSHIP
A Biblical Fundamentalist adherent perceptively stated that while "Biblical separation is our DUTY, Biblical fellowship is our DELIGHT.” The historic Biblical Fundamentalist delights in sweet fellowship with those of like faith and practice, a type of fellowship that is vastly different from the unscriptural associations practiced by the Christ-deniers, the Compromisers and the Charismatics. For discerning obedient believers spiritual fellowship with brethren of like faith and practice is a delightful experience and joy. In Phil. 1:5, the apostle Paul expressed his gratitude to the Philippian saints for their "fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now."
This writer does not mean to imply that all saints must be mature believers before long-term Fundamentalists can enjoy fellowship with other believers. Intimate friendships among older Christians must never be equated with individual fellowship among new converts.
The new believer in Christ who is just obediently beginning his Christian walk in the light of the minimal Scripture that he understands can enjoy sweet fellowship with mature saints who have been traversing that pathway for many generations—I John 1:3 & 7. Though the apostle John clearly distinguished three levels of Christian growth among saints: Little children, young men and fathers—I John 2:12-14, he does not make any gradations with regards to personal Christian fellowship.
THE SCRIPTURAL CRITERIA FOR FELLOWSHIP
Genuine Fundamentalists have a three-fold SCRIPTURAL criteria for determining communion and fellowship with other professing saints.
(a) Those who are saved-in the born again fellowship—John 3:3—who have been supernaturally adopted into the family of God—John 1:12—by faith in Christ Jesus—Gal. 3:26. For such new converts, mature saints should not impose long-time personal abstinence preferences in actions as fellowship tests, but graciously receive these new believers, with all their weaknesses, praying for/with them that they would grow in grace and in the knowledge of their Saviour—II Peter 3:18.
(b) Those who are sound-in the Biblical faith—Phil. 1:5—believers who are not intricately involved with unscriptural apostate or heretical groups and movements should be readily received and their fellowship richly enjoyed. However, professing saints who turn from Biblical beliefs to apostate teachings must be rebuked, reproved—II Tim. 4:2 and then rejected if they refuse to return to the simple truth of the Gospel message—Gal. 1:6-9. Also, believers who "cause division and offences contrary to the [sound] doctrine which discerning believers have been taught, are to be avoided and marked—Rom 16:17.
(c) Those who are separated-in the binding fight—II Cor. 6:14-18. While Scriptural separation for the obedient believer is a duty—Eph. 5:7 & 11, sweet fellowship is a delight—Acts 2:42. Fellowship with saints is based on a walk in the light—I John 1:5-7, the light of obedience to God's Word—Ps. 119:105. The psalmist indicated that spiritual companionship with fellow saints is based on those who fear God and who keep His precepts—Ps. 119:63.
GENUINE FUNDAMENTALISM IS A MOVEMENT OF CONQUEST
While P. P. Bliss's hymn "Hold the Fort" is a memorable Christian song, the historic Biblical Fundamentalist's methodology is not based on a "Hold the Fort" strategy. The genuine Fundamentalist does not just "stand on the promises" and "sit on the premises" while the unconverted masses of humanity die and go to a devil's hell!
BUILDING, BATTLING AND BALANCING
Fundamentalists are commanded to battle—Jude 3, but they are also commanded to build—I Cor. 3:6, and to balance—Rom. 12:6-8, with the Christian gifts (abilities/talents), being utilized for the edification and strengthening of the entire local church body.
The three missionary journeys of the Apostle described in Acts 13-14 (lst journey) Acts 16-18 (2nd journey) and Acts 19-21 (3rd journey) could aptly be described as journeys of CONQUEST, where the Apostle Paul invested his time with the triple labors of building—battling—balancing. While controversy frequently followed in the wake of Paul's visits, it must never be forgotten that the gospel was always preached, souls were saved and N. T. churches were generally established.
THREE IMPERATIVE FUNDAMENTALIST THRUSTS
From a historical perspective, Biblical Fundamentalism has always had three imperative thrusts:
(a) Protest against all known error, regardless of the source, whether it be error from without by apostate foes—Acts 20:29 or error from within by professing friends—Acts 20:30. Obedient Fundamentalists have always sought to declare the "whole counsel of God—Acts 20:27," never keeping back or withholding any truths that would be spiritually profitable to the saints, even if they are unpopular—Acts 20:20.
(b) Preservation of Biblical
Witness, regardless of the intensity of opposition to the
truth. The "defense of the gospel" was always one of
the Apostle Paul's chief concerns—Phil. 1:17. Paul exhorted the
From a historical perspective, in order to preserve this timeless witness, when ardent protests fail to purge religious groups of their apostasy and heresy, Fundamentalists have either been involuntarily expelled by the reigning hierarchical ecclesiastical bureaucrats or they have voluntarily withdrawn to protect the Biblical witness of God's inerrant Word—Rev. 18:4. To maintain the purity of the faith once delivered unto the saints, heart-broken Fundamentalists have frequently had to withdraw from long-time religious alliances and start all over from scratch, standing with Christ "outside the gate—Heb. 13:12-13" as they willingly pay the price of desolation from the worldly majority.
(c) Propagation of the Word to the ends of the earth: Historical Biblical Fundamentalists have always placed the mandate of the Great Commission at the forefront of their ministries. The three major truths of the Great Commission have always been the major impetus of Fundamentalist activity:  Evangelizing: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations,"  Baptizing "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," and  Catechizing: "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you—Matt. 28:18-20.
THE NECESSITY OF "EVANGELISTIC UNCTION" AND THE LOCAL N. T. CHURCH
Dr. Bob Jones Sr. used to frequently say "it takes evangelistic unction to make orthodoxy function,” and that for Fundamental ministries its either "evangelize or fossilize." The heart beat and heart throb of God is the evangelism of the lost! To maintain that heartbeat in their ministries, genuine historical Biblical Fundamentalists are thus always on the lookout for the lost, using every legitimate form of spiritual bait to catch the unconverted fish. Without utilizing any illegitimate compromising methods, the Apostle Paul stated: "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some—I Cor. 9:22."
The sole purpose for the existence of local N. T. Biblicist churches is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. That commission was so uppermost in Christ's mind just before his departure back to heaven after His resurrection that He gave that imperative mandate five times in the first five books of the N. T.: Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8. Genuine Fundamentalists believe that the fulfillment of this mandate constitutes their entire basis for ministry and service.
Via the vehicle of the local N. T. church, historic Biblical Fundamentalism is God's divinely instituted movement for this age. This writer counts it a privilege to be identified with these heroic bands of believers in assemblies of saints scattered around the world; some congregations being small in size, with other assemblies having larger numbers, but standing shoulder to shoulder together for the uncompromising defense of the faith and the dissemination of the Gospel—Jude 3, 22-23. D. J.
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|Editorial – JUNE–JULY 2010 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.|