“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech
or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
“For I determined not to know anything among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God.”
Imagine yourself, a professing Christian, sitting in an audience of thousands to hear the most popular preacher of the day. You have your Bible and your note pad and you are ready for everything that comes from his mouth. It’s that important to you.
He begins, and oh, the words seem to drop like rich honey from his mouth with ease and such persuasiveness. You can hardly contain yourself. People throughout are nodding with affirmation and saying, Amen. Some are shouting. He touches on the importance of the truth of God’s Word and adherence to it. He cites scripture references and you are writing feverishly. It seems that everyone is taking it in. You know that you are. He begins to touch on issues of the day in which you live. Everyone is in agreement as he proceeds to tell you to take Biblical positions.
Along the way he shifts gears and starts to inject sarcasm toward people who take the Bible literally – as going too far. Pharisees, he calls them. Legalists – Some of the most dangerous people on the planet. And then come some fairly scandalous descriptions. He now proceeds to dissect a series of issues, in depth – one at a time- saying after each one, how you are not to make such a big deal over each item. How non-important each one was, he said. Nothing is off limits – not even the Gospel of Christ and salvation He talks about your liberty and your freedom and how these people infringe on your rights. He speaks about the message being more important than how that message is delivered or the method involved. You are a bit uncomfortable, a little confused, but hey, he is the man of the day. He leads the most powerful movement in your country. He has a large following. People of all denominations and religions are reading his books and teachings his materials in their churches. Who are you to question or doubt anything that he said? And so, as the message winds down you come to the conclusion that your church, your pastor, and your teachers are wrong, and that you will seek to align yourself with a group far more tolerant, like those with what ‘Dr. Dynamic’ had to say. You changed during the course of one meeting, held in a large setting, and based on the charisma of the speaker and the temperature of the multitudes there.
The method employed in that meeting has been one of the most successful over the course of time. It has various names that it goes by, but the one that gets to its true character is, the ‘Bologna Technique’. In this thinking of man, one takes a slab of bologna and cuts off a small piece, relating a specific issue in question to that piece. Then follows the sly phrase, “You don’t want to make a big deal over such a small thing like this. Look at all that is left.” The logic is overwhelming. Why then quibble over anything? Who are you to judge? The problem is that he does this through the rest of the meeting with such ease until, you guessed it, the slab of bologna is all gone. There’s nothing left. It all was thought to not be worth taking a stand over. In truth, this doesn’t happen in just one message of any kind, spoken or written. It occurs over a period of time, which makes it more deceptive and effective. The result: someone who will stand with a man or with men, but for little to nothing that God does or thinks important enough to stand with Him in.
Fundamental Christianity has historically stood where God stands from His Word. Even the largest detractors and critics of fundamentalism agree there. When God speaks it means something to Him. He didn’t waste space in His Word to fill up the pages: He gave us His very Word to reveal His mind and will concerning our – salvation, holiness, separation, sin, behavior, dress, thought life, working for employers, treating employees, witnessing, eternity(heaven and hell), judgment, those who were to preach and teach, relationship to governments, associations, prophecy, spiritual gifts, music, movements, Christian life, marriage, parenting, prayer, church life, and so much more. A fundamental Christian seeks to obey all of these. He seeks to “rightly divide the word of truth.” He doesn’t do this with the flesh, but as he yields himself to the indwelling Holy Spirit and allows Him to work through each believer. He is a good citizen of his country, prays for its leadership, and he is good for the blessing of that country, as well as in every endeavor he is involved in. He is a good neighbor and seeks their best interest and spiritual blessing. He sees the future only as God reveals what is going to happen in His Word. He has no corner on the truth – he merely believes that it is the truth and seeks to put it into practice. Over the course of this nation’s history, God’s blessing has been dependent on an acknowledgement of the fear of God, as well as living righteously as a nation. The church has been effective only has its leadership and schools were obedient to His Word in all of the above.
And now, in the days prior to the Lord’s return, fundamental Christianity has been maligned, dragged through the mud, associated with radical terrorism or fundamental cultism. It has been the subject of derision in seminaries, pulpits, youth groups, magazines, authors of fiction books, conferences, television shows and Hollywood movies, the secular and religious media, and internet web sites. Still, God’s truth is marching on, and there are believers that are not shunning the label of being fundamental, for they know its rich and lasting history, and what the born again before them stood for – whatever the cost. Paul said in II Cor.13:8:
“For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with being closely aligned to all the truth of God’s Word and with people of like mind. There is everything wrong with being loosely aligned to that body of truth, picking and choosing what men say about it as to whether or not you will adhere to it. I would love to be aligned with many of you of like mind and encourage you to be aligned with me, together under the authority of God’s Holy Word.
Don’t let yourself fall prey to the ‘bologna technique:’ but rather, submit to the Word of God in all things. You will never regret it in eternity.