Top 10 Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian

I saw this on craigslist.com today, and thought I’d share it with the ‘nacle. Very funny.

10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!

6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”

3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.

2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

19 Replies to “Top 10 Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian”

  1. Sick and twisted me

    LOL. I’d feel sorry for you except that I happen to know you’re probably wearing that description as a badge of honor…

    I think maybe a real appreciation of the geniune humor in this list must come from knowing and studying with fundamentalists.

  2. knowing and studying with fundamentalists.

    Indeed! Although they would never say that’s what they are because it sounds too militant. There were 4 of us that I knew of (including myself) in the Biblical Studies major who were openly theologically liberal (although I claim to be centrist ala William Dever style, they’d say I’m liberal). That’s out of about 35 or so total. Sad.

  3. One might ask what you’re doing on craigslist, Dave. All the news reports I read about it suggest that it’s a haven for criminals and prostitution. =)

    (Not that I’ve ever visited it. And I do visit FARK pretty regularly, FWIW.)

    I thought the list was pretty funny, but, boy, would it tick off my sister!

  4. who were openly theologically liberal

    Which brings us to the question of what it means to be “theologically liberal.”

    As you know, there are places where simply reading the scriptures as written will get you labelled as a liberal, and others where doing precisely the same thing will engender classification as a conservative.

    We could “mormonize” this list, you know. Something like:

    Conflate the Gospels into a theological puree and then inveigh against people who “wrest scripture.”

  5. One might ask what you’re doing on craigslist, Dave.

    Buying a used lawn mower, a washer/dryer set, and trying to sell some JBL floorstanding speakers. God’s honest truth.

    what it means to be “theologically liberal.”

    Exactly. I’m not even sure the label would fully convey what we thought, but there were a handful of us that didn’t reach conservative theological standpoints in doing our exegesis assignments or whatever. Like you said, Mogget, ’tis better to be confessionally opaque (ie, not allowing your reader to know of your denominational propensitites) than not. And when doing so, we’d usually come up with something “toned down” that doesn’t quite fly with the Christian “right.” For example, I have no problem with a late date for the Priestly document (or any of the other source documents). It doesn’t challenge my faith or make me squirm, and if I needed a late date to make a point in a paper, I went ahead and did it at the risk of a lower grade — even though my “conservative/fundy” peers would never go there; or, I would champion something Wellhausen may have written (his textual commentary on 1 & 2 Samuel is inestimable) in order to make a point, etc. etc. So “liberal” just means “not conservative/fundy”, but also not completely nihilistic, reductionistic, or atheistic either. So in my mind, centrist. But that’s not how it always looks from the outside.

    Conflate the Gospels into a theological puree and then inveigh against people who “wrest scripture.”

    Totally.

  6. Ron, excellent point. In most cases, there is no difference when considering your average Mormon. The media and mainline Christianity seems to want to lump Mormons in with the Fundies, but then again, they have trouble lumping us “cultists” in with anything because we’re “not Christian,” so it puts them in a sticky situation to classify us as “fundamentalist Christians.”

  7. Very interesting. Since I’m at a Catholic school, fundamentalism is not much of a challenge although we do have some here as evangelicals. IIRC, these are the so-called Five Points from Chicago:

    1. The inerrancy of the Bible
    2. The virgin birth of Christ
    3. Christ’s substitutionary atonement
    4. Christ’s bodily resurrection
    5. The authenticity of Christ’s miracles.

    I think there’s some variation in the formulation. #2, virgin birth, sometimes shows up as “Christ’s deity” and #5 is sometimes replaced by the parousia.

    Now I’m not totally sure precisely what “substitutionary atonement” means, but it seems to me that the very few Latter-day Saints would subscribe to Biblical inerrancy.

  8. very few Latter-day Saints would subscribe to Biblical inerrancy

    Probably right. I guess the inerrancy movement was the by-product of the days of source and text criticism (late 19th/early 20th century). Phillip Barlow touches on this in Mormons and the Bible, indicating that Mormons largely ignored the issue, and actually took a back seat to it with a subconcious “see, I told you so” form of complacence. He points out that one of the reasons McConkie’s MD is so terrible is because of the entry for higher criticism because all it says there is “see Apostasy.”

    I like the idea that the Bible is inerrant in what it affirms, but uncomfortable with the idea that it is inerrant textually.

  9. days of source and text criticism (late 19th/early 20th century)

    Yeah, there was some pretty radical stuff back then, especially out of the German-Protestant schools.

    the entry for higher criticism because all it says there is “see Apostasy.”

    I think I have something of a dark fascination with this entry. Someday, I’m going to look into what’s behind it.

    Does Barlowe note that Elder McConkie never attempted to deal with critical biblical scholarship on its merits? Is that what prompts his judgment of “terrible?”

    I don’t know that he had the background to do so. And come to think of it, I don’t know if any LDS of the time did, either. That’s always seemed strange to me. It seems to me that there’s been a significant of backtracking and “nuancing” in biblical studies since the turn of the last century, but no LDS scholars have been part of it.

    ——————-

    Hey FHL,

    What would bother your sister about that list?

  10. Mogget, chapter 6 of Barlow’s book deals entirely with contemporary Mormon views regarding biblical criticism. He also goes into McConkie’s influence in the Correlation Movement of 1979-1981 and how that affected the Mormon viewpoints on the Bible as well. McConkie gets a lot of treatment in Barlow. Well worth reading.

  11. Well, she’s probably a Fundementalist Christian (Southern Baptist) – and she has very little sense of humor for being mocked.

    My
    “What, you’re a Baptist, but you don’t believe baptism is necessary for salvation?”
    comment didn’t go over very well.

    She’s actually very sweet, but not much of one for intellectual discussions.

  12. From my experience, most Mormon’s will accept the idea that the Bible is not infallible in principle but will only truly accept “fallacies” if they are preceded by the letters j, s, and t.

  13. will only truly accept “fallacies” if they are preceded by the letters j, s, and t.>

    Well, it’s time to broaden horizons!! You have to teach folks, and you have to do it in a non-threatening manner.

    An “outside” expert, i.e. someone who is not LDS, will probably be viewed with suspicision if they try to change hearts and minds.

    Somebody who’s “a member in good standing,” i.e. someone who sits in the pews and who does his HT regularly, or someone who reads at Homemaking with her boots on the table, can make progress.

    And don’t dump the whole idea on ’em at one sitting, either. You gotta explain it a little, show some examples for a few weeks, explain a little more, then more examples. One day, they’ll wake up and discover that it’s really no big deal and they’re quite comfortable with it.

    And all that takes teachers who’re comfortable with it and who know what they’re doing. So, J. Watkins, we’re standing here tapping our foot waiting for you to get involved… 😉

    Dear PistisElpisNotAgape

    That is a very naughty thing to say to a Baptist! But pretty funny, at that. I know a Baptist guy who laughs about the same thing.

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