Leaving Christian Fundamentalism Part 1

Recently I caught up with an old pal from the past. Seven years had gone by since we last spoke (I believe). As it has so many times for me – the conversation turned to our spiritual journeys. It doesn’t take too long or too many questions for old friends to realize they are talking to the same old, different Brad. The difference mainly being my spiritual identity now as opposed to several years ago. Several years ago I could be classified as a Christian Fundamentalist – today, I consider myself a Biblical Evangelical. The two share some common ground, but are vastly different in many areas. Let me define the frame of reference:

Christian Fundamentalism was once based on Theological principles. Like many movements – it has evolved over time. Issues today are: Bible Versions (King James Version Only), Music (Traditional being acceptable…Contemporary being liberal), Dress (Women are often limited to skirts and culotte), Entertainment (Going to the movies is often disparaged), and many many more.

Personalities in the Fundamentalist movement would include: The late Jack Hyles, John R Rice, Lee Roberson and Tom Malone. Living personalities and organizations would include Shelton Smith of The Sword of the Lord, Clarence Sexton, Jack Schaap, Arlin Horton of Pensacola Christian College and others.

Personalities in the Biblical Evangelical movement that I am refering to would include: Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Ed Young, Andy Stanley, Rob Bell and others of the like.

Once old friends discover that my alignment is not with the Fundamentalists anymore, people tend to want to know “How did it happen?”

So I thought I would share the journey here. Maybe others who have had similar experiences can share their stories as well.

Let me FIRST say, these posts are not intended to disparage anyone, or to trash my heritage. I am proud of where I came from. Christian Fundamentalism gave me certain roots that are very foundational in my life such as the conviction of Biblical innerrancy and Evangelistic zeal. It is simply intended to be a brief story of my spiritual journey. I love and cherish the people and pastor of the church I grew up in.

Tomorrow I’ll share how it all began.

– Brad

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