Preparing Spiritual Soldiers for Praise, Worship and Spiritual Warfare

David Tidy's new book "The Inner Dwelling Presence and Power of God"

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Christian Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism = High Regard for All Scripture as the inspired Word of God.

Believe in the inerrancy of scripture; the authority of scripture; and the sufficiency of scripture
Take the Bible literally; e.g. creationist, as it is written.
Trust the power of Holy Spirit, through the Word, to bring about all spiritual blessing; i.e. put faith in God and His power.
Believe only true gospel message saves - only the gospel received by faith can save - there needs to be signs of new birth (evidence).
Protect the gospel, and not confirm error or delusion.
Remain separate from false teaching.
Are zealous for foundational doctrines of faith, and act on them.

Summary - New Evangelicalism:
An attitude of compromise on doctrines - in order to be accepted by professing Christians outside the evangelical community.
Begins with the mindset of religion, not the Word of God or the Holy Spirit Sacrifices Truth on the altar of ecumenism.
Ridicules Biblical separation.
Rejects literal interpretation of all scripture – accepts literally only those elements which do not contradict modern ethics.
Uses worldly means in evangelism, logic and reasoning.
Makes conversion a simple matter of passing assent, and does not need evidence of a new, changed life.
Engages in scholarly discussion in relation to scriptures (humanistic criticism)
Not concerned about church goers engaging in worldly fleshly actions.
Doesn't confront heresy but 'debates' or 'dialogues' with heretics because they are 'nice' people
Wants Christianity to be 'acceptable' and ‘relevant to society’, not ‘old fashioned’
Explains away bits of Bible which are inconvenient or not liked.
Believes that being in the world, and making the Word agreeable to the world, will win converts - in reality the world rubs off on them.

What is a Fundamentalist?

I have used the term 'Fundamental' to describe myself; a term that other ministers have applied to me for over 20 years, on occasion causing working relationships to end.  At its simplest, a 'fundamental' Christian is one who takes the Bible as the authoritive Word of God, and bases their life upon it. They are willing to fight for the fundamentals of the Faith. As I practice this, I answer any criticism by reference to the Holy Scriptures.  Good fundamental advice is 'if it is not in the Word, and does not express God’s full character, don't listen', even if it comes from a highly respected minister.

In the Bible there are foundational spiritual truths upon which all Truth, further revelation and function rest.

Hebrews 6:1-2, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment".  If these basics are misunderstood, distorted or compromised, the pillar of our faith will crumble in our day of trial.  Moreover, those who do not believe, understand and practice the basics of faith should not be recognised as converted Christians, they should be presented with the true Gospel message of Salvation.      

Until the 1960's the majority of evangelicals were traditional evangelicals, or 'intuitive fundamentalists'.  They did not question the basics of Protestant faith.  These old style evangelicals, who are in the minority today, are commonly called 'Fundamentalists' by their critics.  To me it is a badge to be proud of.  The above chart lists the main points of Fundamentalists' beliefs, so I shall not repeat them here.

The term 'Fundamental' originated in USA in 1920 to describe 'militant' evangelicals, those who cared about the preservation and defence of the full gospel message.  It is increasingly being used in UK, both by the media and by the apostate church wishing to discredit a biblical faith system.  The media uses the term to deride people whom they wish to portray as enforcing their views on others, and those who deny religious liberty to others.  Many in the church see us as small minded, intolerant, negative and actually missing out on the move of God's Spirit in this age.  This is particularly so where ‘fundamental’ faith contradicts the spirit of the age, in society and in the church.  In reality, we believe we have an eternal message to share, and we are discerning, rejecting some spiritual activity as being a counterfeit or of fleshy occurrence.  Discernment increases as one studies the Word of God and recognises the Father's character through relationship with Him.

So what type of evangelicalism replaced the old traditional style, and why?

We believe there is an agenda in New Age teaching to undermine Biblical authority and push God out of the scene.  As ever, Satan does all that is in his power to discredit the Bible and he attempts to destroy faith in God's prophetic promises, so as to render His Word null and void.  It may come as a shock, but the plan included the infiltration of New Age orientated teachers into the Church (2 Thess. 2:9-12).  This occurs in every conceivable aspect, leaving a tangle of threads that we can only begin to unravel by clear understanding of God’s Word and through the Holy Spirit.  New Evangelicalism will one day combine with New Age to form an ecumenical one world faith.

The undermining of traditional evangelicalism also began in USA, by compromising Scripture in order to include non-evangelicals (i.e. those not adhering to full Gospel truths) under the Christian umbrella.  Liberal scholarship was studied, earthly respect and recognition were valued, and believers were urged to remain in compromised denominations.  Pure faith and doctrine got pushed to the side lines along with the need for clear separation from worldliness.  Much began with ministers from liberal colleges, whose compromised teachings eventually undermined Biblical truths.  It was yet another application of Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because they have rejected knowledge, I will also reject them, that they shall not be a priest to me: seeing they have forgotten the law of their God, I will also forget these children".

As the differences between the traditional evangelicalism and the new variation were too open to criticism, the 'New' started calling themselves 'evangelicals' and they in turn started calling the ‘old’ 'Fundamentalists'; so deviously the ‘new’ would be accepted as the normal.  This practice equally applies in Britain today, where many believers, both Evangelical and Charismatic, know nothing but the New Evangelicalism, and regard it as the norm (globally, many Charismatics are also New Evangelical in outlook).  See the chart for New Evangelicalism's characteristics.

New Evangelicalism blurred the distinction between Christian and Christendom – something I found, at one time, very hard to come to grips with.  We so often hear a compromised Gospel message denying the full truth of what a man, woman or child needs to do to be saved and how we should recognise the fruit of genuine salvation in someone’s’ life. Nowhere does the Bible teach that one becomes a Christian by confession alone. To be 'born again' means to have God's life within us, changing us more and more into His likeness.  How can we be born again if there is no evidence of Christ living in us, or evidence of repentance and faith? 

New Evangelicalism is firmly rooted in our Christian culture. We hear elements of it daily in casual conversations with fellow believers; its practices can creep into any aspect of our spiritual lives and we will so often hear it proclaimed from the pulpit.  It may well be firmly established within our local Christian scene.

So today we have a very blurred understanding of basic Biblical truths within the evangelical community, allowing all sorts of doctrine and methodology to be dressed up in Biblical terminology.  With so many of us brought up in the Age of New Evangelicalism, we have to battle our way out of it, back to the Fundamental Bible Truths – in order to fully live Life and be blessed.

Help to Walk in the Truth

If you are in a modern Church family, is the culture of your Church in line with the character of Father God and His Holiness, as revealed in the Bible?

Is there a watering down of the Word to make it palatable and to suit others?

Is it so compromising the Truth that you hardly find the reality of God’s will being accomplished?

If you find yourself here, what do you do?

Can I lovingly say that there is the “sin of silence”?  God calls each one of us to be a voice, a defender of the truth, to speak out for the Truth.  He who knows the right thing to do and does not do it commits sin.  Those who know what is needed to be said should say it.  Do not hold back, speak out regarding any compromise of God’s Word; not doing so can open up your Church to a spirit of deception and take it further into error.

Big numbers in the Church are not necessarily an indication that it is under God’s will and favour.  It could well be that the level of discipleship is low, that many folks feel un-challenged by the preaching of a ‘fluffy’ word and they stay for the friendships and because they can go on living the way they always have.

We are told to test everything that comes to us.  To take every thought captive and to test every spirit that speaks.  God honours the heart that searches for the Truth, and helps those who are not so certain by giving them assurance of what is and what is not of Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Read the scriptures over and over again and receive what they say as the Spirit of God speaks to you through them.  Allow Him to affect your life with them and to bring the change that occurs as they penetrate your life.  Live daily in close relationship with Him and learn to know His voice and you will soon pick up any error that is spoken. This is not being rebellious to your teacher or pastor; it is being obedient to the Father’s instruction.  Most of the pastors who love the Lord and His Word will thank you for being so diligent in acting upon this divine order of God to test everything.

Ask questions so that you fully understand what is being said, so as to be assured that what you are receiving is born of the Holy Spirit and that it is His revelation to you. Remember that God is always good and is always for you to help you live the Truth.  He will never ever fail you as you seek Him for Truth.

The more you proclaim the Truth, the more Truth will be given to you to proclaim; do not keep silent and be of no use to the Father.

If you are a woman, be as God would have you be, of a quiet and gentle spirit; this is what God calls the beauty of woman, so be beautiful in His eyes, but do not keep silent.  You can say things quietly and get the word over without shouting or being aggressive.  Be what God would have you be, and it will carry the power of God with it.

Men, take up your spiritual authority, live in a son-ship relationship to Father. Do not hold back being the man whom Father God intends you to be.  First and foremost, be with Him and get that prayer time every day; get into the intimacy of His love that He 5has for you and learn to submit to His ways and His conviction within you.  Rise up in your God given manliness and take the responsibility He has given you.  Take back any area of irresponsibility you have handed over to others.  Take your responsibility seriously and you will gain the inner strength of the Holy Spirit to implement God's character to others.

All of you, be in fellowship and seek to be with others who have like minds.  Be separate from any apostasy and walk in the Truth and you will know what it is to walk free from fear and compromise.

Stand strong amidst false teaching in the Church

2 Peter 2:1-2, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."

So we better get used to the reality that there will be false teachers within the Church.  How may we see their falseness?  They may not be called by God, and we may see them promoting man or a religious system; they may be motivated by a love of power, money or used by other spirits; or they may present a distorted or compromised message.

Some false teachers are glaringly obvious to true Believers, such as men who deny the virgin birth, or deny the necessity of Christ dying on the Cross to pay the price for our sins so we can be restored to fellowship with Father God if we so trust.  But most false teachers work deceitfully, initially appearing to hold our views, gain our trust, then manipulate us into accepting aspects of another Gospel.  This inevitably leads to division when it occurs within a fellowship.  There will always be some, for a variety of spiritual and emotional reasons, who follow them, whilst others with discernment will stick their necks out for the Truths of the Word of God that they have learned to love and trust.

The Lord God, in His wisdom, allows false teachers amongst us no matter how wild it may make us feel: 1 Corinthians 11:19, "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you".  So if you are

standing up for the Truth of the Word, be encouraged, you are showing to God, man and angels that you are a loyal and faithful Believer.  Don't let your determination be zapped!

To those of you with authority in the Church, God says:

Acts 20:27-31, "…  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit has made you an overseer, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with His own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember".

So be provoked to plainly and faithfully preach and teach the Word of God as it is.  Your people depend on your example to lead them after Truth, and expose the lies.  Hold fast, and be blessed, then you will know what it is to walk free from fear and compromise.

David Tidy
© PWI May 2015