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Resilience of fundamentalist religions

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by cloudyday2, May 7, 2017.

  1. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I have noticed that the most fundamentalist forms of religion seem to be the most resilient in the face of social trends that have eroded other religions. The fundamentalist Christian denominations are slowly increasing while the liberal denominations decrease. Globally, Islam seems to be increasing, and Islam seems quite fundamentalist to me (not claiming to be an expert of course). Part of the problem is birth rates. Fundamentalists tend to have more children for whatever reason.

    If the future of the world must include religions, I would prefer for those religions to be harmonized with science, non-evangelistic, non-political, private rather than public, etc. Although belief in the infallibility of religious revelations (my definition of fundamentalism) does not necessarily imply that the religion will be a problem, in most cases it does. In some ways, I think the hard-line attitude of fundamentalist religions helps to prevent their members from following the slippery slope of open-minded research.

    So it seems to me that fundamentalism is resilient for several reasons:
    (1) concentration in cultures with high birth rates
    (2) tendency to value family over career for religious reasons (?)
    (3) hard-line attitude against skeptical information

    Apparently atheism is going to decrease in the future due to China's aging population. As an atheist, that doesn't make me happy. LOL
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
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  2. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    I can't really speak about religions, but I will say fundamentalist Christians, those who are saved, are the real church. There is a dichotomy going on- the wheat and the tares. All those who call themselves Christian are not Christian.

    There are many who give academic assent to Christianity, but are not converted. Charles and John Wesley were academic Christians for years before actually being saved. John Wesley went as a missionary to the Indians, but said "I go to convert the Indians- but who is going to convert me?"

    It wasn't until after he returned to England that he was saved.

    I do not mean to say there are no converted Christians in liberal churches, there are. Many people in Fundamentalist churches are not truly saved.

    The way is narrow, and not many people choose it. The path to destruction is broad.

    The ideal you describe will come to pass one day, during the Great Tribulation. For three and a half years, there will be a great harmony between all religions. The antichrist will bring worldwide peace. All religions will become one, in the biggest ecumenical movement the world has ever seen.
     
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  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    cloudyday, you're using a non-religious definition of fundamentalism there. While that's often done, it helps to keep the two separate.

    What I hear you saying is that religions or churches that have firmly-held beliefs are outdoing the liberal denominations of Christianity which may be struggling because they have tended to tolerate or promote a wide range of beliefs and practices, causing them to seem committed to almost nothing. Fundamentalists by that use of the word can be Christian, non-Christian, new religions, cults, or who knows what.
     
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  4. TheOldWays

    TheOldWays Well-Known Member

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    Blessed is the mind too small for doubt. When there is no doubt, mountains can be moved. Of course that can be good or bad, or a little bit of both.

    I also don't mean to imply people of a fundamentalist belief system have small minds, but one does willingly lessen their mind by subscribing to such a belief system. I have done it several times. It's hard to see this from within the system, but when you emerge, it's very clear.
     
  5. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    All Christians have doubted. Some people doubt all the time. My favorite verse is "I believe, help thou mine unbelief." God encourages examination. We are to test the spirits, we are to try Him.

    This is probably unique to Christianity. God tells us to test Him. "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good."

    I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

    Over and over, Christians are exhorted to not be ignorant. We are to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.

    I don't believe it is a lessening of the mind- but a blooming of the mind. God is big enough to be doubted, to be questioned, to be tried.

    It is a fallacy to believe that all Christian fundamentalists have relinquished critical thinking. I suppose you would not consider C.S. Lewis to have had a small mind. While he was Anglican, his theology (for the most part) agrees with most fundamentalists.
     
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    And if we were to use the term in the way that those Christians of a century ago who created the movement by that name used it, we'd have to admit that what it's about is the opposite of narrow-mindedness.
     
  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Ship of Fools Supporter

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    Cloudy's definition of fundamentalism is superfluous, as it would include most people of most religions.

    There is no such thing as a private organized religion. Doesn't exist. All major world religions have a public aspect to their faith that is prominent.
     
  8. frienden thalord

    frienden thalord Well-Known Member

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    The ideal you describe will come to pass one day, during the Great Tribulation. For three and a half years, there will be a great harmony between all religions. The antichrist will bring worldwide peace. All religions will become one, in the biggest ecumenical movement the world has ever seen.

    OH you are very right on this point .
    the weapon has done been formed. Its born now.
    INTERFIATH.
    Galatea you are right on this, very clear .
    agnostics, atheist , lukewarm christains, muslims, buddits whatever the background
    many even now are seeing the need for this , for world peace.
    and it leads all who go under its delusion, RIGHT to the man of peace , the one who destroys many through peace.
    In time this religion will be seen as the only way to have world peace.
    Then comes the great tribulation, as the world cheers when ones like me
    are eradicated from the earth. Hatred against the bible in this generation has skyrocketed.
    and this religion swells in this generation, the religion that causes all to unite in time
    and be as one voice has been born.
    Humanity is not the answer. CHRIST is the answer.
    But since man wants to be as god, soon he will have his god. and
    their love and tolerance will be seen as hate and intolerance against the few true ones
    who reject this lie , refusing to bow the knee to this god of humanity and his religion.
     
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  9. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    Fundamentalism is a reaction against the social, scientific and political advances of modernity, a desperate attempt at clinging to an obsolete world view in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. (No amount of mental gymnastics could construct a scientific foundation for young earth creationism, for example).

    They seem stronger because their brand of fanaticism is attractive to people with an authoritarian mindset in search of clear, simple answers, but they are but a symptom of the death throes of these religions, like fading superpowers trying to cling to bygone glory through sabre-rattling and muscle flexing.
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    There must be a better word for that, 'cause "Fundamentalism" isn't it. ;)
     
  11. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Can you elaborate? I think you are saying that fundamentalism as originally conceived in the 1800s was the opposite of narrow-mindedness?
     
  12. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    The self-coined Christian fundamentalism was the basis for modern academic usage of the term. It was a movement that opposed progressive approaches to Christianity along with scientific facts and instead held Biblical literalism (the "foundation" of an inerrant Bible) to be the sole guiding line for "true" Christians.
     
  13. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I hope you are correct. I suspect that many of the young Western-educated Muslims who become fanatical might be trying to compensate for their unacknowledged skepticism (along with feelings of cultural marginalization). IDK
     
  14. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    That's right. The movement that chose to call itself Fundamentalism started as a protest against liberal theology that was calling many of the Bible's accounts and the Bible itself into question. The Virgin Birth, the physical Resurrection of Christ, the miracles worked by Jesus, and so on were made into metaphors or simply deemed to be pious stories not to be taken literally.

    The appeal of the new movement was to all Christians of whatever denomination to stand together, whatever their differences on other matters, to affirm and defend the basics--or fundamentals--of the faith.

    To the extent that it was a multi-denominational movement that wanted to 'bury the hatchet' of denominational differences in the interests of fighting a bigger and mutual enemy, theological liberalism, it was not at all narrowly defined. And it wasn't fanatical. But of course, over the years, certain people and congregations chose to call themselves by this term and they gave it a reputation that isn't exactly deserved.

    I say that because the original fundamentals--the statement of principles--still exists with only small modifications, and this is available on the Fundamentalist Christians forum on CF (and elsewhere). Real Fundamentalists know it, know the points, know the principles...but you haven't heard any opponents of what they're calling 'Fundamentalism' here on this thread make a reference to it or any part of it, have you? That tells you something.

    I know people who call themselves fundamentalists who hold some really strange, really uncompromising views. But I also know many who carry on the original--and genuine--principles. It's always sad to see these latter Christians, the ones who actually ARE the Fundamentalists, derided because of something said or done by other people (and Islamic terrorists for that matter, thanks to the press's misuse of the word) who have no idea what 'fundamentals' they are defending, other than their interpretation of the Bible, and definitely would not make common cause with people of other denominations..
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
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  15. Robban

    Robban -----------

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    So understand I too fundamentalist as fundament or Foundation, when building a house, first there has to be a fundament/Foundation to build on.

    Building a house direct on sand is not such a good idea,
    even if there maybe money saved,

    If the Foundation/fundament is not level it will be difficult to build.
     
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  16. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Yeah by my definition Judaism is somewhat fundamentalist too, because the Torah is (or at least was) very important - much like the Quran. Judaism seems to get around this fundamentalism by adding all the extra writings that provide additional ways to understand the Torah besides the literal. Judaism is a very interesting religion to me, because at first glance it would have all the ingredients of disaster, but somehow it has become one of the better religions.
     
  17. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Another interesting case of a theological label change is Evangelicalism. If I'm not mistaken, Evangelicalism was originally the very liberal theology that Fundamentalism tried to oppose (attempting to harmonize the Bible with science circa 1800). Now Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism are synonymous.
     
  18. CodyFaith

    CodyFaith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Psalm 25:12-13
    What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
    His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
    :hrelax:
     
  19. TheOldWays

    TheOldWays Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. But I am going by experience in dealing with fundamentalist Christians both within the church and outside of it. Your words hold truth for sure and not everyone is a particular group is the same, but I don't see it that often. Too often I see the 'the Bible said it, that's good enough for me' mentality.

    Thanks for your reply. :)
     
  20. TheOldWays

    TheOldWays Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Western Christianity is winning in the birth rate race. Unless you are implying that that verse is referring to a religion other then Christianity.
     
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