Since moving to Phoenix to plant One Church, I’ve been exposed to more conservative evangelical megachurch theology than I have been in other locations. One of the many influences on conservative evangelical megachurch theology is the fundamentalist tradition.
I’ve met quite a few thoughtful Christians of all ages who are searching for a church different from the one they grew up in. Some of them either grew up in a fundamentalist tradition or arrived in a fundamentalist church as an adult.
For some, Christ first became real to them as an adult in a fundamentalist church, which makes it more difficult for them to consider that their fundamentalist pastor may not have been accurate in all of his claims.
Of course, it is probably the social pressure found in fundamentalism that creates the most difficulty for persons questioning fundamentalist teachings. If they question or leave, they will be ostracized by their friends and mentors and viewed with suspicion, or worse yet… as a liberal.:)
In my experience, fundamentalist churches have two central claims that make it difficult for their members (or even ex-members) to consider any view of the Christian faith other than fundamentalism:
- “We teach the Bible, while other churches just teach the traditions of men.”
- “The Bible is clear on every subject it addresses, so our church has the one correct teaching.”
I’ll post more in the next few days…