A two year old post from my blog:
Fundamentalism and Hate.
Fundamentalism is built upon schism and as such is a breeding ground for one of the deepest of human sins: hate.
This was a hard fact that I did not see at first, looking at it in hindsight, now I can see it. It just wasn’t hate towards Catholics, it was a hate directed toward anyone who was not like them.
My first shock came in my first pastorate, when I encountered Christians who were sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan. They reasoned (a few preachers I talked to were also were of this opinion), the KKK was a “Christian organization”.
Later, I would discover many of the Fundamentalist heroes of the past were VERY sympathetic to the Klan. William Bell Reilly, Bob Jones Sr. (one of the buildings on his campus is named after a Klan grand dragon), Bob Schuler, Frank Norris and others.
This was very disturbing to me because I knew it was wrong to support hate.
To even suggest starting a church in a black neighborhood drew blank stares. “Why?”, would often be the answer, “They have there own churches!! A black fundamentalist needs to be in a black neighborhood.” When a black family tried to join the church, they were told “you’re going to take over this church!!” We never saw them again.
There was also class hatred. A preacher told me once not to pursue those who were in a lower income bracket because “Birds of a feather flock together”, and would not “fit” into the church.
They can be most hateful toward each other. Churches split and then the splits split into even smaller groups. The splits, most of the time, have to do with personality conflicts within the congregation.
If the preacher has a particularly charismatic personality, he can easily lead followers away from the offending church to start a new church. The bitterness toward the splitting churches can become almost violent in its passion.
For fundamentalism was birthed from division, and it’s offspring continue to divide.
Worst of all is the irrational, vitriolic, bordering on insane HATE of the Catholic Church. This I did not see, or apparently mind much. I truly hated the Church that “sent my father to Hell”.
I would stand in the pulpit and proudly proclaim the “Roman Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon!! The Pope is the anti-Christ!!” Never mind that neither of these views can be proved from scripture.
I am NOT saying ALL fundamentalists hate. I AM saying the culture that surrounds it tends to feed it.
Generally you find people, of any group, are haters because they cannot intellectually or spiritually overcome an emotional response. They are satisfied not questioning the status quo. Once one starts questioning, the claws and fangs come out and they act, quite frankly, unchristian.
t's easy to throw out meaningless and uneducated statements like: 'the Pope is the antichrist!! The RCC is the great whore!!'. It arouses the emotions of the crowd and they scream AMEN!! without ever questioning the statement. Sadder still is finding Bible verses to 'justify' the hate. Claiming we are 'commanded' to hate.
I'm not using the word “hate” as a liberal would. Disagreement does not equal hate. Hate is spawned out of fear. You hate and fear what you know or think you know. The scary thing is, many cannot see it, deny it's there, or use a different word for it ("we're 'fighting' fundamentalists").
Hate, if left unchecked and not repented of, will do physical as well as mental and spiritual damage.
It's easy to say 'well God hates'. What God 'hates' are things that oppose His holiness. His 'hate' is not stained with sin. Human hate, is stained with sin because we are fallen creatures.
To invoke God in our hatred is to find a 'holy' excuse for our sinful expression. God's 'hate' works toward redemption, not destruction. Human hate only wishes to divide, ridicule and destroy in an attempt to prove Genesis 3 correct: we can be as God.
Perhaps the underlying problems fundamentalists find themselves in have their roots in the hate that is produced.
If that is so, can it be called truly Christian?