Editor’s Note: This article accompanies FBFI Resolution 09-02 and is reprinted with permission from the May/June 2009 issue of FrontLine magazine.
One criticism leveled against Fundamentalists is their refusal to engage the culture. Sociologist Alan Wolfe writes, “When believers refuse to engage the culture, their opponents dismiss them as fanatics, frustrated people rendered insecure by the dilemmas and opportunities of modernity.” 1 Implicit in this complaint is resentment toward Fundamentalists for being unsociable: they are generally an intolerant people who do not mix well with their culture. Interestingly, this same complaint was directed against first-century believers by Roman hedonists.
It is true that historically Fundamentalists have refused to tolerate, let alone participate in behavior that exalts sensual pleasure and denigrates Christian values. The criticism is perennial, and understandably so, since sincere Christians have taken seriously the Biblical admonition to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. They love and are loved by God, whose values are theirs and whose commands they seek to obey. And those living for the world have hated them for it.