I was reading a blog recently by a Christian woman we know. She wrote she is a “recovering Christian fundamentalist who used to know it all but has learned more since then.” I want you to use your mind really hard now and try and think of what she actually said ! Go ahead take a few moments to digest it before you read here further.
Now, if you did this little mental exercise let me spill a little with the advantage that we know her enough to realize where she is coming from. There are people who have been hurt in good churches by folks, there are people in good churches who drift away from the truth just as there were in the first century (Gal.1; Jude 18-23), they abandon the fundamentals and standing firm on them as an overreaction to what’s happening to them and without realizing it have become embittered because haven’t stayed focused on Christ but are fixated on people and their wrongs and so they have become more like those that have hurt them, but worse ! I love the game of ping pong but refuse to play it when it comes to hurts I don’t want to be someone’s “ping pong ball” going back and forth and affected by their hurts!!
You’ll note she talks about how she basically thought as a fundmentalist she knew it all (granted, there are some arrogant fundamental Christians I have met who won’t even consider they could be wrong about something) yet to use such a “broad brush” on all of fundamentalism is even more arrogant. Such a statement to be accurate would mean I’d have to know everyone who is in a fundamental church, for one ! But she goes on to say that now she has learned more – it seems when statements like this are made the person has actually prevented themselves from learning what they could’ve from God’s Word when hurts occur and in the same process missed a great opportunity to use the hurt for God’s glory just as Stephen’s “Lord lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60) grated in a spiritual way upon the heart of young Saul of Tarsus and eventually brought him to saving faith and a incredible ministry as the apostle Paul !! She is also very contradictory here, sadly, without even realizing it. She may’ve seen some arrogance in fundamentalism but has latched onto even more once abandoning it !
I realize I may be throwing a lot out here today but its saddening to see nice folks get hurt by sinful people and end up in churches not upholding the truth and feeding off each other in their bitterness or abandoning God’s local church altogether when the world is dying and literally going to hell in the process while many of His children wallow in bitterness and think they have somehow seen the light now. The lesson for each of us is that when we are hurt by people in our church, identify the problem, do what God says to address the problem and look at the basics or shall I say, the fundamentals of His Word, to solve the matter (see Matthew 18) ! Keep your focus on Him, there are sinners in the church still, you are one of them and we need the Lord to stay on keel and stay growing. In hurts, there are only two options: you choose to deal with it right and become more like Christ, or you choose to deal with it wrong and you will become worse than the one who hurt you ! In the former, Jesus governs you, in the latter the one who hurt you still is !!
Let me end with Jude when he wrote a real key for us, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith (the fundamentals), praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God. . . ” (vss.20-21). Stay put where the truth is, even when hurt and you will remain a loving, growing, non-bitter child of God !!