Archive for the '2005' Category

The OARBC’s New Recipe

Fundamentalism is distinguished from other “Christian” movements by three essential characteristics: the belief in certain core doctrines as essential to genuine Christianity, a militant spirit in spreading and defending those truths, and the doctrine and practice of ecclesiastical separation. These characteristics are essential for obedient Christian individuals and groups to honor God. When these characteristics are adjusted, tampered with, or removed, fundamentalism is abandoned and God is not honored through obedience.

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Fundamentalism and Social Action

A segment of professing Fundamentalists is increasingly expressing discontent with Fundamentalism. Among their many complaints, one commonly heard regards Fundamentalism’s social action (or more precisely, its lack thereof). Fundamentalism has often been charged (and rightly so in some cases) with isolationism. In its attempt to separate from the world, it has retreated and become “other-worldly,” according to critics. This in turn has caused its evangelism to stagnate, according to this line of thinking. I want to examine this charge along four lines.

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The Historical Jesus Versus the Biblical Christ

The famous historian, Arnold Toynbee, predicted that the governments of the world would unite either by force or federation, but that the unity could not succeed without a universal religion. Christianity. he said, should be purged of its “sinful state of mind,” namely its exclusivism. The political/economic framework of world government would need to be supported by the unified spiritual dimension of humankind.[1]

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Purity and Unity

Our church office is bombarded with invitations to new evangelical events. Each advertisement claims to be the most important event since the Great Awakening. Many times, evangelism, discipleship, revival, and worship are the inviting subjects. Who would not want to be united with brothers and sisters in Christ in such endeavors?

Unfortunately, many of these events are filled with compromise in both doctrine and practice. At times I wonder, “Is it really possible to have unity within the Body of Christ?” The answer to that question is simple. Yes, it is possible, but it is often hindered by sin. Unless the sin is addressed, there is no hope for biblical unity.

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Perverting Marriage

“Church Endorses Same-Sex Marriage.” So screamed the head-line of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on July 5, 2005. The accompanying story went on to tell that the 884 members of the United Church of Christ General Synod, meeting in Atlanta, had spent the fourth of July adopting a resolution endorsing same sex marriage. The resolution is rather lengthy, consisting of thirteen “whereases” and seven “let it be resolveds.”

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From New York to New York

The Cleveland Plain Dealer for June 26, 2005 carried a three-column picture of Evangelist Billy Graham preaching at what we assume will be his final crusade in New York City. His appearance in the picture, and the list of ailments given in the paper, bear out that probability. As I looked at that picture and read about its setting I thought that his ministry was truly a story from New York to New York in forty-eight years. The world in general, and new evangelicals in particular, would consider that course as a triumphal
march through the world’s major cities. To the fundamentalist that march has been a tragedy in modern church history.

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The Young Fundamentalists: Déjà Vu

Déjà vu is a French term meaning “already seen.” It is the strange sensation that what is happening in the present has already happened in the past. Though we reject explanations that attribute the feeling to psychology or even the occult, most of us have had that distinct “this has happened before” illusion. Over the past few months, I have been involved in two discussions that have left me muttering, “Déjà vu. We’ve been here before.”

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OBF Visitor Website

The OBF Visitor is the official publication of the Ohio Bible Fellowship. Feature articles from past issues of the Visitor are made available here for your use. You may read, distribute, and use this material as long as you do so in its entirety and without modification. All articles © The Ohio Bible Fellowship.

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