Some speak about “the fundamentalist movement,” when really there are and always have been many fundamentalist movements

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Pastor Joe Roof's picture

The church in America best represented Christ during the "Great Awakenings" of the 1700's and 1800's.  When these great awakenings were taking place, great men of God led their churches and this Country to honor the Lord, honor the Word of the Lord, maintain the doctrinal distinctives of their denominations, but also to work together with others of the Lord's sheep who were not in their denominations.


It is interesting to me that when God sent two major great awakenings to this land, He never limited it to one denomination.


I went to Bob Jones University and was taught by Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists and am richer for this experience.


Church history reveals God raising up Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and a host of others who have touched our lives.


Any form of sectarianism that ignores these blessings from Church history and from the great revivals is an unhealthy sectarianism that serves as a paralysis to the cause of Christ.


Even one of the oldest and major fundamentalists groups that still exists today is the multi-denominational American Council of Christian Churches.

TylerR's picture


Before I went to seminary, I actually thought fundamentalism was a Baptist thing! Foolish as this may be, there is a definite tendency to silo yourself off from other denominations. This may, over time, allow you to actually believe other folks who are not precisely aligned with your doctrine are somehow cheapening the word of God.

The great fundamentalism movement early in the 20th century was not lead, primarily, by Baptists. The shame of it is that most Christians in independent, fundamental Baptist churches have no idea of the actual history of fundamentalism.

I "grew up" as a Christian in an IFB church. I am deeply saddened by the damaging obsession too many of them have with the KJV and skirts. It is to the point where I do not like to identify myself as an "independent fundamental Baptist." I tend to identify myself as a fundamentalist Christian first, and a Baptist second. I still attend and serve at an IFB church, though not the kind I described above!

If we call ourselves fundamentalists, we must know our history, and realize it is bigger than one denomination.  


Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?