Christian Fundamentalist Theology and Beliefs
Most of you reading this are probably already familiar with the precepts of this faith and belief system that I am critiquing. For those of you who are not so familiar, here are the basic precepts of it. Don't worry, it is an easy to understand religion because it was designed to appeal to the masses and lowest common denominator. After all, what sells well has to be easily understood as well. First, here is their version of life, history, and the world. Keep in mind though, that this does not represent the official or secular view of history, only the Evangelical Christians version.
The Christian view of world history
In the beginning God created the Earth and the Universe. After creating the stars and planets, he created the first two humans - Adam and Eve, along with the animals and all other life here. Since God didn't want these humans to be robots, he gave them free will so that they could choose to obey him. In accordance, as a test of their obedience he put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. They were allowed to eat from all other trees but were strictly told never to eat from that particular tree. However, Satan (a fallen archangel) disguised himself as a Serpent and deceived Eve into eating from that tree, who in turned persuaded Adam to do so as well. As a result, their eyes were opened and they knew both good and evil from then on. And as a consequence, sin entered the world and became an integral part of human nature. When God confronted them about it, he declared that their paradise was over, and that they were now destined to live with pain and death. Mankind had fallen both spiritually and physically with the loss of immortality. This Fall of Man brought death, disease, and pain into the world which originally was devoid of them. To make things even worse, this "Fall of Man" also brought spiritual death, which meant separation from God in the afterlife as well. (Such drastic consequences for eating a piece of fruit off the wrong tree, wouldn't you say?)
The system of
salvation set in place at that time were
rituals of animal
sacraments designed to "wash away sin." Some period of
historical time after Adam and Eve, and the generations of their
(the length of which has been debated by scholars),
the world became populated by people who were wicked and sinful with no
God. As a result, God decided to destroy the population of
a global flood, leaving the only righteous God-fearing man Noah and his
alive. So he commanded them to build a great
After this Great
out the population of Earth, Noah and his family settled down and again
human lineage continued. Some generations later though, again
became populated by wicked and rebellious people against God.
God chose a righteous man named Abraham to be the father of a nation of
descendants who would be called the “Israelites”,
chosen people. This
The rest of the Old
Bible deals with the history of
When the period of
Testament began, about 400 years after the last book of the Old
When he was 30,
Jesus began a
ministry of about 3 years, during which he preached love, forgiveness,
God’s commandments. However, his teachings angered
Jewish leaders at
the time, the Scribes and Pharisees, which represented the
because his ideas and influence was a threat on their
the role of the Messiah completely changed in the New
were looking for a Messiah who could rule and bring political power to
At the end of his ministry, he was betrayed by one of his disciples and handed over to the Jewish leaders who had him arrested. The Romans tried him, the Jews convicted him, and he was crucified on the cross. After Jesus’ death, he arose three days later on a Sunday and appeared to his followers. This miraculous event is known as “The Resurrection”. He told them to go out to witness and preach the good news of the Gospel to the world, which is that by believing in Jesus, all can have Salvation, eternal life, and reunification with God. And he also promised to return one day to take all the believers to heaven, cast judgment on the secular world and destroying it and all non-believers with it. Then Jesus ascended into heaven.
His followers went
lived their faith, preaching it to others as well. At first,
heavily persecuted. Many died for their
Christianity spread like wildfire in
Within the First
New Testament began to be written by a series of authors (the identity
is unclear and the source of much debate) which were supposedly
God’s Holy Spirit to write down the “Word of
God”. Their writings
included the four Gospels, teachings of Paul, other letters and books
authors, and the Revelation of St. John. These writings are
Evangelical Christians and fundamentalists as representing the exact
testament of God to mankind, and therefore infallible and
several hundred years, during the 4th
Century, the Church
together a Council to vote on which books of the Bible would be
canonized and which would be tossed out. That began the
forming the Bible we have today. For believers, the Bible was
ultimate authority, and represented God’s will and testament
The Catholic Church at first would not let its followers read the
thereby making the Church itself as the infallible authority.
when the Protestant Churches began, its followers began to be allowed
the Bible for themselves. Eventually, the Bible was
English by 1611 by scribes under the direction of King James of
Ever since the first Christians, the way of life for them has been to 1) Accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, believing that he died on the cross for their sins, asking forgiveness and inviting him into their heart, 2) Surrender their lives to Jesus and following his teachings, 3) Witness and evangelize non-Christians about their faith and the Gospel of Jesus, urging them to repent and become saved too. 4) Await Jesus’ second coming when the world ends, so they can be taken up into heaven to live in paradise forever. By then, the world will be destroyed and all non-believers will be judged as sinners and thrown into hell forever. Hence the urgency for believers to evangelize non-Christians.
Christians from the 1st Century until now have awaited a future 2nd coming of Jesus, with each generation of Christians thinking that this would take place in their own lifetime, since the Gospels said that Jesus implied repeatedly that he was coming soon and probably in their own lifetimes. They believe that once this 2nd coming happens, the world will be destroyed, and the true Christian believers will be taken into heaven to live with God in eternal paradise, while all unbelievers will be thrown into hell with Satan and his demons to be tormented forever.
Now keep in mind that all this is not just some story or abstract concept to Christians. This is LITERAL HISTORICAL FACT!
You can read a mini-nutshell version of their view of history at this online picturesque tract:
Christian Fundamentalist doctrines and precepts
Therefore, as a result of this version of history, basic Fundamentalist Christian theology can be broken down like this. You can find a similar outline to this in most Gospel tracts and preaching material:
It’s as simple as that. These precepts of Fundamentalist Christianity are not only very extreme, but completely circular in nature, and contain numerous flaws as well, which we will get into later.
One big problem with Evangelical Christianity in general is that it makes VERY EXTREME CLAIMS, especially the one about all non-Christians who don’t believe in its gospel will spend an eternity in hell in everlasting torment.. To go around proclaiming such a thing to others, threatening them with a literal eternal neverending state of torment is perhaps the most extreme claim in the world. Of course, such a claim is going to result in severe counterattacks, backlash and controversy from those who disagree! What do these Evangelists expect? The problem is that they expect rational intelligent sane people to believe such extreme claims just because they point to some verses in the Bible that say so, which is absurd to anyone except them! What they fail to understand and realize is that JUST BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SOMETHING DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE! That is the BOTTOM LINE. Showing people Bible verses to support their assumptions is not proof or evidence. Text and words printed in a book do not constitute proof. Now and throughout history, millions of books have been written, but that doesn’t mean that everything in them is true! They know that, but the problem is they don’t apply it to their own beliefs too.
Though they fervently believe that all non-Christians are going to hell, they simply CAN’T PROVE OR DEMONSTRATE IT. They present zero evidence that there is a Judgment Day that everyone who ever lived will stand before, where those who accepted Christ will enter into heaven while those who didn’t will be thrown in hell. All they present are words and text in a book. Yet they expect people to believe it, take it seriously, and change their lives for it! In effect, this extreme claim is in the “out there” realm which can neither be proven nor disproven. Pointing to text in a book is no kind of evidence, though they think otherwise. The problem is, they expect rational sane people to simply believe it, because “the Bible says so”. That is totally unrealistic. If you expect people to change their lives for this claim just in case it might be true, because what about all the other extreme claims out there? Should everyone change their lives for them too, just in case they “might” be true?