Friday, July 30, 2010

From the desk of Father Paul

We have all heard the word "fundamentalism" as it applies to Christian Churches, but what is it? Fundamentalism is not necessarily a Church in itself (like the Catholic Church or the Lutheran Church), but is more like a movement. It first appeared in the 18th century and has died out and re-surfaced about 30-40 years ago.
Their attitude is one of purity in religion, that is, nothing but the Bible. Perhaps the doctrine that really singles them out as Fundamentalists is their belief in salvation. In regard to Jesus, they do see Him as the Son of God, but they believe that He was actually punished by God for our sins, In other words, when He died on the cross, it was not just a matter of taking upon Himself our sins, but He was actually punished for them by God and therefore, once one accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, he/she no longer has to worry about punishment for sins committed; the moment this commitment is made, that person is assured of heaven, he/ she will not go to hell. Without that instant, he would be doomed. This leads to a "me and God" attitude with the exclusion of everyone else (Jesus is "my" Lord and Savior). There is no central authority, no Priesthood, no Sacraments and no "Church" (in the sense of "God's people"). Their individual community is important to them and their life is centered upon it, but that is as far as it goes. There is no idea of all Christians being a part of the 'Body of Christ' or `Church'; the emphasis is on "me and God".

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