Fundamentalist/evangelical


#1

Hi. Is there a difference between a Christian fundamentalist and an evangelical Christian?


#2

Just to get the discussion going, I’ll share my experience of both, having been within Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Pentecostal circles for about 20 years of my life before entering the Catholic Church.

These definitions are very broad because each group has variations within them:

Fundamentalists interpret the Bible in a very literalistic way–every single verse. To them the Bible is the sole rule of faith. Some will not even read any religious material other than the Bible. They tend to believe that the ends justify the means in getting converts and have no interest in higher learning or history. They often will not attend movies of any kind believing films to be of Satan, especially those produced in Hollywood or by Catholics. Most are virilently anti-Catholic. They believe quite strongly in Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, and OSAS (once saved always saved).

Evangelicals vary quite a bit from one denomination to another. Some are anti-Catholic, but not generally militantly so, but more mildly hostile due to plain ignorance and believing what their pastors teach them. They vary from OSAS to possibility of loss of salvation. But most embrace Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. They also believe in reading good Protestant religious material, seeing good Christian/family films, etc.

That’s not all there is to say about either group, and I’m sure I’ve left out important things you should know, but no doubt others will give you more info or even contradict me. :stuck_out_tongue: This is a discussion forum on which everyone’s opinions are freely posted (as long as they are in line with forum rules, of course). :wink:


#3

Hi,
I am both I guess. I would say Im fundamental in that I believe in the fundamental basics of the bible.

I am evangelical because I believe in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

But like Della said there is much variation in degrees of intensity on how a person follows the Word. SOme are more strict then others.


#4

ALLFORHIM…with all due respect…how do I say this gently…umm…you would be excommunicated as a heretic from any church that I know of that labels itself as fundamentalist.:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


#5

Really, I guess I am ignorant then of what people think a fundamentalist believes:o Which doesnt surprise me because there is ALOT I dont know.:o

Could you explain further please:D


#6

Glad to.:smiley:

<Warning: anti-everybody (including Catholic) link ahead>
Here is a website one would consider fundamentalist.

This page lists fundamentalist heretics. This list includes flaming liberals and apostates like Chuck Colson, Jerry Farwell, James Dobson, Billy Graham…

So…if these guys are fundamentalist heretics, what are you and I.:smiley:

As an experiment you could google “Billy Graham fundamentalist”. You will get a number of web sites, but included in this list will be several like the above.

Besides, you are nice…and being nice is against the fundamentalist creed.:smiley:


#7

evangelical and fundamentalist are not the same
furthermore I would contend there are Catholic fundamentalists also


#8

In all sincerity, I am not sure where to even begin…
The poster named Della is off to a good start.


#9

Sure. The ones are wackos and the others are nut jobs. :wink:

Just kidding.

I spent a while as a Protestant, and studied Protestant theology (in a lay capacity, not at seminary or anything). So I think I can give a reasonable answer to your question.

Basically, I would say that on paper, as a vague classification, there is not a lot separating them. Both would hold that the Bible is inerrant, and the literal word of God. I would expect both to hold a once saved always saved theology of salvation, although there is always variation in any category. They would be non-sacramental and probably hold to the “two ordinances” of Baptism and the Last Supper, similar to Baptists. Both would stress the importance of witnessing, both verbally and in lifestyle choices.

The difference would come in the way these things are put into practice. Although not always true, those churches classified as fundamentalist tend to have harsher interpretations and practices. They frequently emphasize the damned status of those outside the church as opposed to emphasizing the saved status of those inside the church. They tend to be very focused on the “fire and brimstone” aspects and less on the “love of God” aspects. Frequently, extremely conservative dress and a status of women bordering on misogyny is present. Also, their literal interpretation of the Bible is almost hyper-literal, even to the point of nonsensical readings.

On the other hand, in my experience, evangelicals are very focused on the love of God. Sermons would focus more on God’s love despite our sinful nature and motivate the unbeliever to come forward from a feeling of hope of forgiveness as opposed to fear of damnation. Although dress in general is more conservative than the general population, there is no real emphasis on it or exclusion because of it. The Bible is read literally, but in a more reasonable manner, allowing for idiom and the interpretation of phrases in proper chronological context.

These are just my experiences and observations, but I think they’re pretty reasonable.

In my life, I have been to at least 50 different Protestant churches of varying flavor. Overtime, my experience with a wide variety of churches in all categories, combined with my research into theology and Catholicism, led me back to the consistent, time tested teaching of the Catholic Church. I hope that you find what you’re looking for and that what I have said has been helpful.


#10

OH MY!! Thanks for the comment about me being nice although my kids would not agree;) :smiley:

People think Billy Graham is a fundie:eek: :eek: Well if that is the case they I would be proud to say I follow Billy Graham and am a fundie:thumbsup:


#11

Billy Graham and Pope John Paul 2 were freinds so this is probably why the ahem… ‘Fundies’… call him a heretic and preach vile hate against him.

Pope John Paul II was the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years. He was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone. In his own way, he saw himself as an evangelist, traveling far more than any other Pope to rally the faithful and call non-believers to commitment. He was convinced that the complex problems of our world are ultimately moral and spiritual in nature, and only Christ can set us free from the shackles of sin and greed and violence. His courage and perseverance in the face of advancing age and illness were an inspiration to millions—including me. May his death remind each of us that some day we too must die and enter into God’s presence, and may we each commit ourselves afresh to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation.
–Billy Graham

http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/images6/20050407/Bill-Graham_Pope-John-Paul-II.jpg


#12

Hi AFH,
Billy Graham and Pope John Paul 2 were freinds so this is probably why the ahem… ‘Fundies’… call him a heretic and preach vile hate against him.

Pope John Paul II was the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years. He was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone. In his own way, he saw himself as an evangelist, traveling far more than any other Pope to rally the faithful and call non-believers to commitment. He was convinced that the complex problems of our world are ultimately moral and spiritual in nature, and only Christ can set us free from the shackles of sin and greed and violence. His courage and perseverance in the face of advancing age and illness were an inspiration to millions—including me. May his death remind each of us that some day we too must die and enter into God’s presence, and may we each commit ourselves afresh to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation.
–Billy Graham

http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/images6/20050407/Bill-Graham_Pope-John-Paul-II.jpg


#13

#14

Sometimes the word fundamentalist is used by the secular media (and other secularists) as a derogatory term for any Christian of a conservative bent. In that sense you, Billy Graham (and me) might be fundies.

However, there is a set of Christian churches that consider themselves “fundamentalist churches” (I would bet yours does not use the word fundamentalist to describe itself…neither does mine). To these churches, Billy Graham is a heretic, not a fellow fundie.


#15

I dont think my church describes itself as fundies. Actually if you ask my minister what he would label himself he would say a biblicist–because he follows the Word of God as his authority.:thumbsup:
When people ask what denom I go to I just say I go to a bible based church.:smiley:


#16

I have a little bit of a problem with all this speculation and “I think.” This is what Catholics get mad at when Protestants do it to us! We want them to look at history and fact, not rumor and “I think.”

There is a historical origin of the word “fundamentalist.”

This quote is from Chuck Colson’s wonderful book about the church called Being the Body, which I highly recommend because of the touching description of the downfall of communism in Poland (attributed by Mr.Colson to Pope John Paul II and ultimately, to God) and because Mr. Colson makes a convincing case for the group Evangelicals and Catholics Together. I would say that this book is one reason I became Catholic.

(Begin quote):

"At the end of the nineteenth century, evolution and the new higher biblical criticism began to challenge biblical authority…A group of theologians, pastors, and laypeople published a series of volumes titled The Fundamentals. Published between 1910 and 1915, these booklets defined what had been the nonnegotiables of the faith since the Apostles’ Creed:

  1. the infallibility of Scripture
  2. the deity of Christ
  3. the Virgin Brith and miracles of Christ
  4. Christ’s substitutionary death
  5. Christ’s physical resurrection and eventual return

These were then, as they are today, the backbone of orthodox Christianity. If a fundamentalist is a person who affirms these truths, then there are fundamentalists in every denomination–Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Brethren, Methodist, Episcopal…Everyone who believes in the orthodox truths about Jesus Christ–in short, every Christian–is a fundamentalist."

(End quote)

It’s all dim in my mind now, but at one point, I read a history of Protestantism that said that evangelicalism came out of the Pietist movement, which is one reason why many evangelicals follow strict behavior rules,e.g., no movies, no alcohol, etc. The Pietists came out of the Puritan movement.

Fundamentalism was never meant to divide Protestantism, although like so many other movements, that’s what it ended up doing.

I think that it’s vital to realize that the spectrum of evangelical Christianity is extremely broad, encompassing very strict sects and very tolerant sects. So to try to make any kind of broad classification is probably not a wise plan. It’s best to analyze each Protestant church as it comes.

Even more important, I think it is important not to try to classify Protestants. Nowadays, there is so much schism and overlap and “cafeteria” Christianity in Protestantism that a Protestant Christian can’t easily be classified “Fundie” or “Ned Flanders” or “charismatic,” and certainly not all fundamentalist Christians are close-minded or legalistic, not all evangelical Christians like CCM, and not all charismatic Christians are non-intellectuals. These stereotypes are just wrong.

The one difference that I have seen with the so-called “fundamentalists” vs. the so-called “evangelicals” is that the fundamentalists tend to be more isolationist. They do not mix with other churches outside of their denomination and they do not mingle with the world. If fundamentalist churches have an evangelistic outreach, it is likely to be a “tent meeting” or “tent revival” or an “evangelistic meeting” to which the unbelievers are invited through signs, newspaper ads, and pamphlets. Often the members don’t know any non-believers, so personal invitation isn’t possible.

The evangelicals are not isolationist, and they do tend to get involved in cooperative events with other churches, sometimes even with mainline and Catholic churches. Evangelicals are also more likely to believe in “salt-shaker evangelism,” or Great Commission evangelism, which means that they “go out” into all the world and preach the Gospel, rather than waiting for the unbelievers to come to them. If evangelicals hold a evangelistic outreach, it is likely to be a concert or drama, or some kind of sporting event like a golf outing, events which are more likely to attract non-believers than just a speaker and “tent.”


#17
  1. the infallibility of Scripture
  2. the deity of Christ
  3. the Virgin Brith and miracles of Christ
  4. Christ’s substitutionary death
  5. Christ’s physical resurrection and eventual return

Hi,
This is exactly what I thought a fundamentalist was :thumbsup: Somehow over the years(like many other issues) it has been twisted into something negative.:frowning:


#18

Evangelicals tend to be more reasonable and friendly and if you have a strong relationship with the Lord, they don’t care whether you’re Catholic or any other denomination. On the downside, they tend to have more focus on entertaining and emotional worship services. Fundamentalists are much more dogmatic and austere. Just my personal experience anyway…


#19

It’s probably an issue of semantics as much as it is an issue of an actual belief system. What one person labels an evangelical, another person might label a fundamentalist. Plus, it’s hard because no one really wants to label himself a fundamentalist.


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