The Dishonesty of the Fundamentalist Idea
Everything is about God. God is the narrative, the thinking, the lifestyle, and the meaning. And God is One. He doesn’t deny Himself. God is consistent. The gospel is about God. It solves man’s sin problem, but it is about God receiving the glory He deserves. It is about God being God. We don’t say where He is God and where He is not. Man does not submit to God and then deny God in music, in art, in science, in education, in literature, in government, or in philosophy. Since God is One, if you deny God in art, for instance, you’ve denied Him. You don’t get to segment God into parts and choose where He is God. He is either God or not. He is a God of non-contradiction. There are not two truths. God created everything and everything with His purpose. Everything, therefore, has His meaning. The meaning must fit God or it is wrong, it isn’t the truth, and it is part of the lie.
Enter fundamentalism. God gets to be God of the fundamentals. Everything else is up for grabs. Fundamentalists would say “no,” but actually “yes.” It’s just “no” on paper. In reality, “yes.” In lifestyle, “yes.” In particular works they allow the denying of Him. That is as much a lie as if we denied all of God. God is all or nothing. He is not God when He is just God of the fundamentals. Fundamentals are about us. About what we think we need to get along with each other. We shrink God’s domain to allow for more people. It’s chariot counting even though God “burneth the chariot in the fire” (Psalm 46:9). The fundamentals are not and never have been God’s will for getting along. They couldn’t be. It would be to say that God created everything, but He’s only made that clear in part of what He created. But that’s not what God said. Since God created everything, He reveals Himself in everything, and the meaning relates to God. We interpret everything according to God.
Now fundamentalists say some of God’s world is non-essential. Some of my Father’s world is not as important. Several “truths” are permissible in certain continents of His creation. And yet everything fits into God and God is as important as important is. We cannot remove God from a segment of His reign. He reigns in music. He reigns in fashion. He reigns in leisure. When we remove God from any part of His reign, we dethrone Him. We don’t actually dethrone Him. That can’t happen. But He isn’t God to us anymore when we shrink his reign to the domain of fundamentals.
Some have shrunk fundamentalism even further. They’ve reduced God’s world to the gospel. They say that the limitation of the boundaries to the gospel pleases God. One man uses foul language, but he has the gospel. He is included. Another man sprinkles infants. But he has the gospel. They say they are elevating God’s world to the gospel. They diminish God and they use the gospel to do so. This is travesty. No one should be celebrating. Everybody should mourn. God does not limit Himself to the gospel. Sure, the gospel touches everything in God’s world, but His world isn’t the gospel. The gospel is the hub or the axle upon which man’s view of God’s world can succeed. The gospel enables rebellious men to see God in His world. And rebellion is the problem. The gospel succeeds everywhere, not just in the gospel and not just in the fundamentals. It enthrones God over all of His creation. The whole story is His. All practice is His. All thinking is His. All relationship is His.
When God is excluded from much of His actual reign, a form of religion exists, but the power of God is denied. Of course, we cannot limit the power of God. God’s power does what it does whether we recognize it or not. So when we do not receive God’s power over all of His world, we deny all of His power. He isn’t glorified when His power is denied even when we say it’s about the gospel or the fundamentals. So it’s not even the gospel but a denial of the power of God. The lie limits God to man’s domain, to his preferred boundaries, holding off or suppressing the truth.
Let God be God and every man a liar.