18 March 2009

New Fundamentalist?

I'd like to draw your attention to Erik's recent post at the Irish Calvinist. He begins it this way, I am not a fundamentalist. At least I don’t think that I am. In fact, I have prided myself on some occasions with my acerbic criticism of those who wear their fundi-wear a little too tight. But here recently, as I look in the mirror and watch some of my friends, I wonder if we are not the ‘new fundamentalists’.

See I am like many of my friends. I am 32 year old pastor. I am a Calvinist and I love the gospel of Christ. I have multiple tattoos and am sketching another right now. I am comfortable wearing my 14 gauge earrings, flat bill, suede Adidas, grunged out jeans. I drink almost exclusively English imported Beer (St. Peter’s and Boddingtons are favorites). I don’t listen to Christian radio and could not tell you the difference between the Newsboys or Casting Crowns (I actually had to google ‘top Christian bands’ to get that info). And on and on the list could go, but you get the idea. I’m one of these guys.

Sounds like a cool dude to me because I'm a 49 year old layman, a Calvinist and I, too, love the gospel of Christ. I have multiple tattoos and I'm always considering several new tat designs. I spend most of my time in black jeans, t-shirts and often where a skull & cross bones bandana to cover my bald head. I imbibe almost exclusively English or Scottish stouts (Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Guinness and McEwans Scotch Ale are my favorites). I do know who the Newsboys and Casting Crowns are but often would rather listen to something heavier such as Decyfer Down or Day of Fire. So, I'm one of these guys, too. I think Erik & I were cut from the same cloth.

Moreover, Erik goes on to point out that some of these preferences often become our own test of orthodoxy. Just like the old fundy's of the non-movie going, non-card playing, white, button down collar, shirt and tie crowd we can now have our own test of Christianity. He goes on to make a crucial point, This is really dangerous. Our moral code (in this case liberties and preferences) becomes the test of our orthodoxy...Maybe this is our preference or perhaps it is our craving...The danger in this type of new fundamentalism is the same as with the old. The glory of Christ gets eclipsed by the glory of self. Our identity slow becomes wrapped up in who we are not rather than who Christ is. This is so true. Am I so busy trying to be "me" that my focus becomes me rather than glorifying Christ? As with all sinful people the answer can always be a resounding "yes." Erik points out that we should always to be preaching the truth to ourselves and he reminds us of 1 Cor. 1:26-31 where we read that we should Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.

I invite you to read the whole article here and thanks Erik for making us think through this issue.

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