What You Can Learn From a Fundamentalist
Until a few years ago, my only exposure to Fundamentalism came from friends in my church who had left the movement. I perceived Fundamentalists to be closed-minded, rock-and-roll-hating, strict, legalistic, argumentative sectarians who rejected any movement of the Holy Spirit. I was offended by Fundamentalism and rarely passed up an opportunity to mock it.
It would seem that God is not without a sense of humor. We moved to Watertown where there is a very active Fundamentalist college. I needed to fulfill my requirements for Biblical Hebrew, and the college offered it for a third of what I would pay at Trinity. Add the fact that it is 7 minutes from my house rather than 2 hours and you can see why I might have been inclined to overcome my disdain of Fundamentalism, at least temporarily.
I ended up taking an entire year of Hebrew through the college. In addition, my daughter started taking violin lessons through their strings prep program, and my son started in cello this year. I have found that Fundamentalists are good people. In general, there is very little where they disagree theologically from the more conservative Evangelicals. But it was the little things that most made me appreciate Fundamentalism. The people actually act like Christians. They seem to want to order their lives around what God wants. My first semester of class ended up being free, a policy they have just to bless people in the community! The violin teacher prays before every lesson – not just out of routine, but actual heartfelt prayers. In general, everyone just seems to really love God.
Fundamentalism is not without its flaws. I still hold to some of my original critiques of the movement. But it is much harder to judge and criticize your friends, especially when they seem to be the real deal. So what I originally saw to be God’s sense of humor turned out to be an opportunity for me to be challenged and changed. I learned a valuable lesson.
Have you had a similar experience some group or someone you used to be judgmental towards? Drop me a comment.