There is an unspoken assumption in our culture that being a Christian fundamentalist automatically makes you a follower of Jesus. Fundamentalism does not make a person holy any more than saying I am conservative makes me pure in God’s eyes.
Fundamentalism has been defined as strict adherence to a theology, code, or belief. It can exist in many forms, not just religious.
Today, Llines have been clearly drawn between the religious right and the religious and even non-religious left. Sandwiched in-between is the more tempered category referred to as “moderate”.
Unfortunately with these confusing distinctions, there is a tendency to put everyone into categories – with each camp building a whole political culture around its title, including whole media packages with thoughtful TV spots and clever slogans.
To be overly simple, this means that a person who is a passionate follower of Jesus can be put into the camp of the fundamentalist. Yet it is possible for a “fundamentalist” to vehemently oppose social issues and not follow Jesus but instead follow a Christian political culture.
The Pharisees (the fundamentalist of their day) put Jesus in the liberal camp when they accused him of being aligned with Beelzebub (satan). Yet Jesus was the opposite of that. They clearly tried to use political means to destroy Him.
It also means that if someone lives a life in freedom through God’s grace (not abusively), they can be accused of being a liberal. This leads me to believe that these categories really don’t work.
What separates a Christian fundamentalist from a follower of Jesus is motive. It’s not what we hate that makes us right, by why and how we hate it.
The Pharisees hated all the right things but still did not please God because their motives and methods were wrong. They hated sin but also the sinner. They hated sin not because it grieves God’s heart or is intrinsically wrong, but because it did not comply with their law. This is why they judged Jesus for dining with sinners and the disciples for not washing their hands.
The Church in Revelation hated sin because they were conservative but not because they were holy. While doing good works, they had lost their passion for God.
‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, “ Rev 2:2a
Jesus’ standard is far more simple than these political designations we tend to polarize around. He focuses not on what you believe, what you do, and stand for, but on whether or not He knows you. It’s that simple: Does Jesus know you?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23