DANGEROUS TRENDS IN FUNDAMENTALISM
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
As this writer surveys professing Fundamental Baptist churches, he finds himself extremely concerned over many carnal worldly trends that are entering, permeating, saturating, sometimes literally dominating and even dictating the ministry of professing N. T. local churches.
1. Carnal Appetites are supplanting spiritual affections in numerous congregations. In some congregations, sensual attitudes and worldly actions are becoming common fare. Immoral conduct, adultery, unbiblical separations and easy divorces among church families are rapidly accelerating and destroying the spiritual fabric of formerly sound congregations.
Unnecessary strife, unwholesome
divisions, and petty contentions are causing great disruptions
inside formerly spiritually united congregations. Carnal conditions
similar to the first century church at
2. Contemporirizing Actions by congregations in which they adapt to unwholesome current carnal societal trends is another dangerous tendency that is permeating historic Fundamentalism. Formerly sound Fundamental churches are adopting the precepts, patterns and practices of the ungodly world. Many so-called Fundamentalist congregations are borrowing their both their message subjects and their methodology strategies from tainted New-Evangelical sources.
They are utilizing undependable contemporary [reformed] teachers [John
Piper, Michael Dever, etc.], using
unbiblical contemporary translation texts [NIV,
3. Charismatic Accommodations in music and worship areas is another dangerous compromise taking place within Fundamentalist circles. There is a vast distinction in the meanings of raising one hand in worship and raising both hands upwards at the same times. Raising one hand says, I am in control of my mental and emotional facilities, I am singing and praising "with the understanding," in spiritual restraint, (I Cor. 14:15), while raising both hands in total abandonment symbolizes turning over control to an unknown spirit which could either be selfishly gratifying and/or demonic activity.
Borrowing music produced by heretical Charismatic sources and New-Evangelical publishers is an increasingly dangerous trend to which some Fundamentalist ministries have been making unwise concessions. Fundamentalists don't need to go to these polluted musical waters to obtain Scriptural songs and spiritual sounds!
4. Compromising Affiliations with New-Evangelical entities is another damaging activity occurring within our professing ranks. The ranks of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International [BBFI], Southwide Baptist Fellowship [SWBF], and the World Baptist Fellowship [WBF] are riddled with compromisers who are promoting friendship ties with the so-called Conservative Southern Baptists.
In addition, some Fundamentalist schools have sought and are seeking "accreditation" approval from secular education societies, ignoring or retracting earlier Biblical based stands against such approval and endorsement. Bowing at the shrine of academic credibility, these institutions are pawning off their Scriptural heritage under the guise of educational advancement.
5. Coldness Attitudes of indifference, lethargy and spiritual unconcern have permeated the ranks of numerous N. T. churches and so-called Fundamentalist service ministries. Hundreds of weekly soul-winning visitation ministries have been curtailed, diminished or shut down in churches across the country. Sunday evening services have been permanently cancelled, and old fashioned potent prayer meetings haven been curtailed in other ministries.
Christ's predictive words in Matt. 24:12 which will find their ultimate fulfillment during the Tribulation Period are being prophetically foreshadowed today: "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
6. Casual Apparel is swiftly becoming the undesirable standard for member attendees in today's church services. Many male believers come to church looking like they just got out of bed, with uncombed hair, shirt tails hanging out and athletic shoes on their feet. Some women wear low-cut blouses and tight fit jeans, Sunday assemblies sometimes look more like a secular crowd attending a sporting event or going to a worldly entertainment venue than they do a church service. Coaches sometimes dress better than Christians! Some professing believers even come to church in shorts and clodhopper shoes.
Based on their appearance, holiness, Christian purity and Scriptural sanctification do not appear to be themes on which many professing believers are meditating as they come to church. "Dress down" with a sloppy appearance rather than "dress up" for something special has become all too common place within our circles. The Biblical concept that God deserves our best appearance in public gatherings, rather than our worst seems to be almost completely forgotten by some professing saints.
Concerned saints who express their concerns about this undesirable negative trend are unjustly labeled as hypocrites, legalists, and judges by those who have accommodated to this unwholesome trend. The writer does not make this negative trend a general basis for fellowship/separation, but he strongly maintains his convictions about this irreverent development.
7. Clapping Actions and applauding activities by congregations have replaced hearty "amen" responses in many congregations, a trend that this writer believes represents an overlooked secular trend in our modern worship activities. Some readers may think the editor is making a mountain out of a molehill, and a major issue out of a minor matter, but this writer strongly disagrees!
In our modern world, "clapping" symbolizes entertainment of the world while "amens" represent edification from the Word! Believers should not come to church to be entertained, but to edified—I Cor. 14:26b.
Conclusion: This writer hopes that he has not been misunderstood by his readers. His goal is positive: to replace bad tenciendes and trends with corrective wholesome Biblical habits and practices that truly glorify God—I Cor. 10:31. He concludes this article by quoting Gal. 4:16: "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" In John 8:32, Christ stated: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This is the writer's intent in the above article. DJ
Also in this issue:
|Editorial - JUNE - JULY 2012 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.|