What's Wrong with Fundamentalism?

Please post on this thread 1) to give a definition of fundamentalism, 2) to give a reason that fundamentalism is incorrect, or 3) to concisely state the correction of an error of fundamentalism. Give links or references if possible.

I’ve always taken fundamentalism to be the manner of interpreting the Bible in which everything is taken both literally and without regard to the literal, cultural, and historical context and thereby doctrine is determined. I emphsize both because Catholicism also takes the Bible literally but with regard to context.

The reason that this is incorrect is because it takes the Bible for something that it is not. In both Catholicism and mainline Protestantism, the Bible is understood as what it is: a collection of inspired writings written for particualr purposes and in particular circumstances which have been compiled and now serve as an exposition of doctrine. For example, let us compare Leviticus and Exodus. Leviticus is a book written for the purpose of systematically and exactly codifying a system of law. It therefore exactly and systematically declares what is required to be done, what is forbidden to be done, and the punishments given for the infringment upon each particular law. The book of Exodus, on the other hand, is a historical document written for the purpose of recording a series of historical events within a given timeframe.

Similarly, let us examine the 1st letter to the Corinthians. This is a letter which was written by Paul to a particular church which existed in Corinth. Prior to the letter’s having been written, Paul had visited to Corinthians, instructed them in matters of doctrine, and left to travel elsewhere. A number of problems and questions arose amongst the Corinthians, and a letter was addressed to Paul to ask for his advice in correcting the problems, and for his answers to the questions that had arisen. The 1st letter to the Corinthians was written in response. It’s purpose was to correct the problems that had arisen in Corinth and to answer the questions which had been asked.

Fundamentalism does not take this into account. One who practices fundamentalism reads both the 1st letter to the Corinthians and the book of Exodus as if it were the book of Leviticus. It reads every statement in the letter as though it were part of a systematic and thorough instruction.

For instance, we can look at a passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul writes that a woman must wear a headcovering in church. To the fundamentalist, this is a direct instruction written as part of a direct, systematic exposition of doctrine. Therefore, no woman may go to church without a head covering. However, this is erroneous because it fails to take into account the context. At the time of Paul, Corinth was the sex-center of the world. It was overrun with prostitutes and all sorts of sexually immorality. Things were so bad that when a person anywhere in the known world wanted to say they were going to see a protstitute, they would say they were going to see “the Corinthian.” In the culture of the time, women always wore head coverings when they went about outside. However, prostitutes did not wear head coverings. This was their form of advertising. This is the reason that Paul wrote that all women must wear head coverings in church. Were one to remove her head covering in church, a public meeting place, it would have given the impression that she was a prostitute.

However, over the past 2000 years, culture has changed such that it is very uncommon for women to wear head coverings when out. Therefore, the vast majority of Christians do not require women to wear coverings in church.

[font=Arial]Fundamentalists say they take the Bible literally, then they explain away what they read. I have no problem with being a conservative, I am one. I just know that the Bible needs some interpetation. 1) Matthew12:40 “just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three NIGHTS, the Son of man will be in heart of the earth” Friday to Sunday doesn’t add up. I am a Jewish convert to Catholicism so you can’t say the Jewish calendar was different. 2) Luke 14:26 “Whoever comes to me and does not HATE father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters,yes even life itself, cannot be my disciple” Doesn’t sound like something we can take literally.[/font]

I also wish to make a very important point. So often, the word fundamentalist is taken to mean someone who believes in traditional things, like no women Pastors or no homosexual marriage. That is not fundamentalism. That is what is called orthodoxy. Fundamentalism is what I described in my previous post.

Hi,

----“However, over the past 2000 years, culture has changed such that it is very uncommon for women to wear head coverings when out. Therefore, the vast majority of Christians do not require women to wear coverings in church.”

I’m sure this teaching still stands. In fact the custom only stopped because of a rumour circulating in the media. Shortly afterwards women stopped wearing head coverings in Church. If I’m not mistaken this was just after Vatican 11

God bless

Jan

The wearing of head coverings in church was a discipline, not a doctrine. It could have been changed at any time, and it was changed after VII.

During the second Vatican Council, a mob of reporters waited for news after a council meeting. One of them asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, if women still had to wear a headcover in the churches. His response was that the Bishops were considering other issues, and that women’s veils were not on the agenda.

The next day, the international press announced throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the error, and many women stopped wearing the veil as out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups.

Before the revision in 1983, Canon law had stated that women must cover their heads “…especially when they approach the holy table” (can.1262.2). But in order to reduce such a growing collection of books, the new version of Canon law was subjected to concise changes. In the process, mention of head coverings was omitted.

In 1970, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Roman Missal, ignoring mention of women’s veils. But at the time the missal was published, it didn’t seem necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice, even if it no longer had a “normative” value (Inter insigniores, # 4).

And mention in Canon law or the Roman Missal is not necessary to the continuation of the tradition, for it is rooted in Scripture and has been practiced ever since the early Church. Indeed, Pope John Paul II affirmed that the real sources of Canon law are the Sacred Tradition, especially as reflected in the ecumenical councils, and Sacred Scripture (O.S.V. Catholic Encyclopedia, p 169).

SCRIPTURE

Sacred Scripture presents several reasons for wearing the veil. St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (11: 1-16) that we must cover our heads because it is a Sacred Tradition commanded by our Lord Himself and entrusted to Paul: “The things I am writing to you are the Lord’s commandments” (1Cor. 14:37).

DIVINE HIERARCHY

God has established a hierarchy, in both the natural and the religious spheres, in which the female is subject to the male. St. Paul writes in 1st. Corinthians: "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11-3).

And, in the institution of marriage, God gave the husband authority over the wife, but responsibility to her as well. Not only is he the family’s decision-maker, but he is also responsible for the material and spiritual welfare of his wife and children. Man is not in this position to enslave or belittle the wife.

As the Bride (the Church) is subject to Jesus, women must wear the veil as a sign that they are subjected to men: “Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church.” (Eph. 5, 22-23) The man represents Jesus, therefore he should not cover his head.

However, this subjection is not derogatory to women, because in God’s kingdom everyone is subjected to a higher authority:

“For as the woman is from the man, so also is the man through the woman, but all things are from God.” (1 Cor.11,12).

Furthermore, the symbolism of the veil takes that which is invisible, the order established by God, and makes it visible. In the history of the Church, priestly vestments have played a similar symbolic role.

WOMEN’S HONOR

It is an honor to wear the veil. But by publicly repudiating it, a woman dishonors her feminine dignity, her sign of female subjection, just as the military officer is dishonored when he is stripped of his decorations.

The Roman Pontifical contains the imposing ceremonial of the consecration of the veils:

“Receive the sacred veil, that thou mayst be known to have despised the world, and to be truly, humbly, and with all thy heart subject to Christ as his bride; and may he defend thee from all evil, and bring thee to life eternal” (Pontificale Romanum; de benedictione)

St. Paul says an unveiled woman is a dishonor: “But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven” (1Cor.11,5).

To be continued

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST

BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS

“That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels” wrote St. Paul in 1 Cor 11,10. The invisible hierarchy should be respected because the Angels are present at Christian liturgical assemblies, offering with us the Holy Sacrifice with the honor due to God. St. John the Apostle wrote:

“And another Angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne.” ( Rev. 8:3, see also Matt. 18:10.)

They are offended by a lack of reverence at Mass, just as they abhorred King Herod’s acceptance of adoration from the people of Jerusalem:

“But immediately an angel of the Lord struck (Herod) down, because he had not given honor to God, and he was eaten by worms, and died.” (Acts, 12:23).

ANCIENT TRADITION

The custom of wearing the veil was maintained in the primitive Churches of God. (1Cor.11:16). We see this in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The women of Corinth beset by modern sensibilities, started coming to church without their heads covered. When St. Paul heard of their neglect, he wrote and urged them to keep the veil. According to St. Jerome’s commentary Bible, he finally settled the matter by saying head covering was a custom of the primitive communities of Judea, “the Churches of God” (1 Thess.2-14, 2Thess.1-4), which had received this Tradition from early times (2 Thess.2:15. 3:6).

GOD’S COMMAND

Even today some people erroneously believe that St. Paul based the tradition on his personal opinion. They think he did not intend it to be continued in the Universal church, but only as a local custom. This argument, however, does not conform to the Pauline spirit. After all, it was Paul who stood before Peter to change Jewish traditions in Christian Churches (Gal.2:11-21).

St. Paul reminds them: “for I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it; but I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal.1:12), referring to the authority of his ministry, and veracity of his words. Pope Linus who succeeded St. Peter, enforced also the same tradition of women covering their heads in the church (The primitive church, TAN.) Our Lord warns us to obey his commandments: “He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:19).

CONCLUSION

In summary, the reasons that St. Paul advises women to cover their heads in the church are:
Our Lord commanded it;

It is a visible sign of an invisible order established by God;

The Angels at Mass are offended if women don’t use it;

It is a ceremonial vestment;

It is our heritage.
Christian women around the world have other reasons to wear a hat, mantilla, rebozo, gele, scarf, shawl, or veil. Some wear it out of respect to God; others, to obey the Pope’s request, or continue family traditions.But the most important reason of all is because Our Lord said: “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

We should always be ready with our bridal veils, waiting for him and the promised wedding (Apoc.22:17), following the example of our Blessed Mother Mary, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled.

To those who still think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever” (Heb.13:8).

We need to get some hats ladies!

God bless

Jan

Fundamentalism has a lot in common with orthodox Catholicism, and arose over the struggle against modernism. The five non-negotiable Fundamentals, distilled in the 1920s from an original 14 proposed in the late 19th Century, are:

  1. the inerrancy of the Bible
  2. the virgin birth of Christ
  3. his substitutionary atonement
  4. his bodily resurrection
  5. his miracles.

Sounds pretty Catholic to me. Now, we disagree about what the Bible actually says. But scriptural inerrancy is a pillar of the Catholic faith, as are the other points on this list.

In 1 Corinthians 14, St. Paul is very clearly writing about prophecying in church. He is not talking about head coverings, which he did back in 11. If we use this same standard, then we would have to say that a lot of other things in 1 Corinthians are the Lord’s command when they are not. In fact, there are a lot of Bible verses where Paul or whomever write that what they are saying is the Lord’s command. In each of these cases, we could look earlier in the letter and find things that are not the Lord’s command.

We should always be ready with our bridal veils, waiting for him and the promised wedding (Apoc.22:17), following the example of our Blessed Mother Mary, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled.

How do you know that that is what the BVM did?

To those who still think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever” (Heb.13:8).

The Mass used to be said in Greek, and with specific phrases. It then was said in Latin, with some of those phrases changing. Now it is said in the vernacular, with some of the phrases different still. This is because some of these things are disciplines, not doctrines. In the early days of the Church, there were married priests. Now, in the Latin rite, there are not. It is a discipline. Christ does not change, absolutely not. However, we as people and as a culture change. The Church is always adapting it’s disciplines, those things which are not matters of doctrine, to appropriately accomodate the culture of the world so as the best serve the community.

[quote=St. Paul]Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.
[/quote]

Is long hair truly a disgrace? Of course not. The Nazarites had long hair. Many believe Christ did. We know for a fact that St. Paul had long hair for a time *because it was the culture of the particular community * he was in at the time. Paul is writing here because of the culture of the people in Corinth.

[quote=mercygate]Fundamentalism has a lot in common with orthodox Catholicism, and arose over the struggle against modernism. The five non-negotiable Fundamentals, distilled in the 1920s from an original 14 proposed in the late 19th Century, are:

  1. the inerrancy of the Bible
  2. the virgin birth of Christ
  3. his substitutionary atonement
  4. his bodily resurrection
  5. his miracles.

Sounds pretty Catholic to me. Now, we disagree about what the Bible actually says. But scriptural inerrancy is a pillar of the Catholic faith, as are the other points on this list.
[/quote]

#3 is not Catholic theology.

[quote=Lazerlike42]#3 is not Catholic theology.
[/quote]

Well, you are right about #3; but I think we can give “substitiutionary atonement” a “Catholic” reading that might not make Fundamentalists happy but would still allow a Catholic to use the term – just as we have a rather different idea than Protestants have about scriptural inerrancy.

Actually, substitutionary atonement is something I could use a little upgrading on and would like to see it in its own thread.

Hi Lazer,

----“How do you know that that is what the BVM did?”

We know because Tradition tells us

—“The Mass used to be said in Greek, and with specific phrases. It then was said in Latin, with some of those phrases changing. Now it is said in the vernacular, with some of the phrases different still. This is because some of these things are disciplines, not doctrines.”

It doesn’t say in scripture which language is preferable–therefore it can change

___" The Church is always adapting it’s disciplines, those things which are not matters of doctrine, to appropriately accomodate the culture of the world so as the best serve the community."

Isn’t there a difference between a discipline and a command?

God bless

Jan

[quote=angelmessenger]Hi Lazer,

----“How do you know that that is what the BVM did?”

We know because Tradition tells us

—“The Mass used to be said in Greek, and with specific phrases. It then was said in Latin, with some of those phrases changing. Now it is said in the vernacular, with some of the phrases different still. This is because some of these things are disciplines, not doctrines.”

It doesn’t say in scripture which language is preferable–therefore it can change

___" The Church is always adapting it’s disciplines, those things which are not matters of doctrine, to appropriately accomodate the culture of the world so as the best serve the community."

Isn’t there a difference between a discipline and a command?

God bless

Jan
[/quote]

Any chance we can return this thread to the original topic?

Of course I was just letting you know that women’s head covering wasn’t changed by vatican11.

God bless

Jan

Just an informational post about a off topic comment

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=32453&highlight=head+coverings

In ask the apologist

No, we are not still required to wear hats or veils.

posted by Original Poster BayCityRickL
Please post on this thread 1) to give a definition of fundamentalism, 2) to give a reason that fundamentalism is incorrect, or 3) to concisely state the correction of an error of fundamentalism. Give links or references if possible.

[quote=angelmessenger]Hi Lazer,

----“How do you know that that is what the BVM did?”

We know because Tradition tells us
[/quote]

I doubt very much that anyone can provide a single piece of Sacred Tradition or pious tradition which indicates that Mary always wore a head covering. If one is able to, I will gladly assent to it as a truth (in the case of Sacred Tradition) or a probability (in the case of pious tradition).

—“The Mass used to be said in Greek, and with specific phrases. It then was said in Latin, with some of those phrases changing. Now it is said in the vernacular, with some of the phrases different still. This is because some of these things are disciplines, not doctrines.”

It doesn’t say in scripture which language is preferable–therefore it can change

Scripture has nothing to do with determining if something can or cannot be changed. The belief of the Assumption, for instance, is not in Scripture, yet it cannot be changed.

___" The Church is always adapting it’s disciplines, those things which are not matters of doctrine, to appropriately accomodate the culture of the world so as the best serve the community."

Isn’t there a difference between a discipline and a command?

Not really. It’s a little hard to answer this because the question isn’t using the best terms. There is a difference between a discipline and a doctrine. A doctrine is a teaching of a Truth. It’s something like, there is a difference between mortal and venial sin. That is a doctrine. A command can never be a doctrine. A command is simply an instruction to do a particular thing. Now, a command can be given to follow a doctrine. For instance, if the Bishop tells me to go to confession if I have mortal sin on my sould before receiving communion, he is doing so because there is a doctrine that says I must not receive with mortal sin on my soul.

However, a command can also be given to enforce a discipline. Returning to the Mass for instance, a Bishop may issue a command that a Priest must perform the Mass in the vernacular. This is a command which is given to enforce a discipline. It’s the same thing with priestly celibacy. The discipline is that priests remain celibate. A command can be given that affirms this discipline. On the other hand, the Pope might issue a command that Bishops no longer require celibacy of priests. Either way, it is a doctrine.

An infallible test to differentiate doctrine from discipline is to observe whether the Church changes it or has ever changed it. In this case, we know that as of 1983 the Church does not maintain the requirement for headdress in the Canon Law. Therefore, it is a discipline. If it were a doctrine, then the Holy Spirit would guard the Church against changing it. In fact, canon law itself is merely a collection of disciplines designed to A) enforce doctrine or B) state what the discipline is. None of them are themselves doctrines.

Please stay on thread topic. Those wishing to discuss other things should find a suitable existing thread or initiate one of their own.

I think that it is difficult to understand fundmanetalist unless you have been a fundamentalists. Fundamentalist have a great regard of the bible, this can be admirable. Sadly though, Fundamentalists read the bible in an extreme literal manner. There is not much room for allegory or the possibility of metaphors in their interpretation of the bible. This would not, in itself, seem horrible except that Fundamentalists often demand that all Christians accept their views.

In the particular church that I went to OSAS and faith alone were stressed, yet the judgement whether you were a Christian was if you 'bore fruits." This often meant witnessing to others, but it also meant that you were supposed to accept whatever the pastor’s criteria for Christianity was. A lot of pressure was put on members to act a certain way. Listening to even Christian Rock music was frowned on, believing in evolution was seen as impossible in a christian, never drinking alcohol or smoking cigerettes and the expectation that a Christian should want to be in church everytime the doors opened, were just some of the expectations. For me it was a very friendly but emotionally suffocating atmosphere.

ALthough I do believe in absolute, the fundamentalists doesn’t seem to ever see shades of gray in life. Everything is either right or wrong.

ON the plus side, fundamentalist often have a lot of passion for religion and faith and they are genuinlly concerned with following Christ.

fundamentalism started out, as one poster said, in the 19th century in the United States. And, fundamentalism was uniquely Christian, as it referred to the authority of the Bible.

But, fundamentalism has been expanded very greviously. Even the late Fr. Raymond Brown suggested that no one should quote the New Jerome Biblical Commentary in a fundamentalist way. And, well we shouldn’t, because it is NOT scripture by any stretch of the imagination. Fr. Ronald Witherup in his book on Fundamentalism that Every Catholic Should Know expands the definition of fundamentalism to include a prohibition of quoting church documents without qualifying them.

So, this anti-fundamentalism expands like a big - bang but stops short of actually coming out and saying that we shouldn’t believe the Bible.

The anti-fundamentalism in the Church today seems to demand that you cannot say anything about scripture without at the same time attacking it. That is evidenced in this thread in the discussion about women wearing head covering. The attack on scripture seems to begin with the rationalization that the rule about wearing head covering was “intended” by St. Paul only to apply to that situation and time, when there is no evidence that that was his intention. And, that also assumes that the scripture does not have divine inspiration, which the Church teaches that it does in fact have.The church has taught the Spirit is the “aurhor” of scripture and I think that fact is constantly under attack by anti-fundamentalism.

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