Christian Fundamentalism – 2

The biblical doctrine of creation. The biblical statement that God is the Creator of everything that exists is fully accepted in evangelical circles. This belief leads to utterly rejecting the theory of evolution, which is based upon the unproven hypothesis that all life originated from a unicellular organism somewhere in a big marsh. The theory of evolution comprises a clear denial of the fact that human beings have other attributes than animals. Humans are also spiritual beings who were created in the image of God, and are therefore accountable to Him for their actions. The majority of evolutionists are agnostics since they think they have scientific evidence that God did not play any part in the origin of life. They are greatly deceived because there is no solid evidence to support their theory. No proof has been found for transitional species, in terms of which the assumption of evolutionary change to higher forms of life is made. Since creation, apes are still apes and have not evolved into something else. They are not our ancestors!

The hostile kingdom of Satan.
Fundamental Christians believe in the existence of an opposing kingdom of darkness which is controlled by Satan and his demons. The Lord has prepared the lake of fire as an everlasting place of condemnation for the devil and his angels, as well as all unsaved sinners (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:11-15). Because our first parents were deceived by Satan they became sinners; consequently, we were all born with a sinful nature (Rom. 5:12). We can only be saved from the power of Satan and the destructive effects of sin by Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7; 1 John 3:18). We must prevail over our sinful nature (Gal. 5:16-17) and also put on the full armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-13). Spiritual warfare is the way to achieve victory in our personal battle against Satan. We should not use this method in unbiblical efforts to evict Satan and his demons from cities, countries, continents, or even from the entire world. During this dispensation, we are living in a world which lies under the sway of the Wicked One (Gal. 1:4; 1 John 5:19). We are engaged in a struggle against evil, and this struggle will intensify while we approach the end of this dispensation.

Dispensationalism. A literal interpretation of the Bible commits one to a dispensational exposition of God’s revealed truth. Every dispensation (or age) has its own characteristics, although it may also share certain similarities with other dispensations. Dispensational distinctions, for instance,  should be taken into account in statements of faith which are based upon the crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament (NT) which obviously differ from Old Testament (OT) statements of faith. It is impossible to maintain the correct perspective if one does not consider dispensational realities. When different dispensations in God’s counsel for mankind are confused with one another, serious deception and false expectations may result. That happens when aspects of Israel’s dispensation of the law in the OT are confused with the NT dispensation of grace (the church dispensation) by promoting a legalistic form of worship. Major deception also follows when the church dispensation is equated with the future dispensation of the kingdom – that is Christ’s reign of peace on earth which will only be established after His second coming. By not clearly distinguishing between these two dispensations, the false expectation is advanced that the devil can now be bound and stripped of his power, that Christians can now take over the world and have dominion over it by ruling as kings, and that signs and wonders can proliferate as part of their show of kingdom powers. Such people are deluded and have no understanding of biblical prophecies which describe a world that progressively deteriorates during the final stage of the church dispensation (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).

The restoration of Israel.
Fundamental Christians recognise the modern state of Israel because they believe in the literal fulfillment of the many biblical promises on the end-time restoration of Israel in the Promised Land (Isa. 11:11-12; Jer. 31:3-10,20-21,31-39; Ezek. 11:17; 36:22-29; 37:21). Israel is currently in a process of returning to the land of their fathers (Gen. 13:14-15; 17:8; 26:3; 28:13). They have an undeniable biblical mandate to this land, which clearly implies that it cannot be denied to them – neither can it be divided. The two-state solution which the US and the UN are imposing on them demands the dividing of this land into two states – Israel and Palestine – but this is in direct conflict with the Bible. Severe judgements of God will come upon the Gentiles who enforced the dividing of Israel (Joel 3:1-2). The Lord not only attached His name to Israel as a people (Jer. 31:1), but also to Jerusalem as their spiritual and political capital – a status which it will fully enjoy during the Millennium after the coming of Christ (1 Kings 9:3, 11:36; Isa. 2:1-4; Jer. 3:17).

Continued reformation.
Serious Christians should be involved with an ongoing process of bringing the theology and practices of their church or house assembly in line with God’s Word. Bible study as well as research resources should be used to gain a deeper insight into the Word, followed by actions to implement the new knowledge. Care should be taken not to perpetuate unbiblical convictions and creeds which may have survived for a long time as church traditions, but have never been seriously investigated or challenged. Many of the reformed churches are guilty of this, and neglect to critically examine the serious errors which their church fathers have embedded in their creeds. In this way, even completely unbiblical, Roman uses and tenets have sneaked into the church of the Reformation and survived to this day. Instead of a true reformation which is a movement back to biblical principles and standards, many churches are involved with an unbiblical reformation in which the remaining evangelical beliefs in the church are uprooted and rejected. In South Africa, there is a New Reformation of this type, which is responsible for extensive theological destruction. This is not a reformation to bring the church closer to the Bible, but a deformation aimed at destroying the church’s foundations of faith. New reformers maintain that the “master-story” of Christianity is based upon the limited and often erroneous insights of the church fathers and the authors of Bible books. Through modern research, which amounts to nothing more than postmodern deconstruction and misplaced “academic reflection” they are constructing a “historical Jesus” who was not born of a virgin, who is not God, whose death on the cross has no redemptive significance, and who did not rise bodily from the grave. This “research” is done in pursuance of the Jesus Seminar in the US. To them all, the Bible is not God’s inerrant Word, but religious opinions and speculation by primitive thinkers. They also equate Christianity with the non-Christian religions. This process of religious deformation should be rejected and countered by a true reformation.

(To be continued).
Prof. Johan Malan, Middelburg, South Africa (February 2008)