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Frames of Acceptance and Frames of Rejection

Yes, we all know that Fundamentalism reads things as black and white. But there’s more to it than just that. That’s not telling the whole story.

Fundamentalism bifurcates all of life. Everything is forced into an either-or. These dichotomies are not just false in the cosmic sense. They are false to everyone outside of their boundaries. If you’re not conversant in their own reasoning, it’s nothing short of baffling. These act as rhetorical boundary markers to determine if you’re in or out of the subculture. A few I’ve heard:

These are no different than the pesky question: “How long have you been beating your wife?” Any attempt at nuance or explanation is dismissed as unorthodox. In essence, Fundamentalism is just not comfortable with Both-Ands:

  • I can both please God and please myself. I must please God above all.
  • Grace is both irresistible and I’m compelled to express it.
  • When you are redeemed, God is Lord of your life. You don’t “let” Him do anything.
  • I work because God works.
  • I am both full of sin and totally unable to save myself and a redeemed and wholly loved child of the King.
  • Christ both took my punishment and gives me a new story to tell to the world.
  • Love God and do what you want.

Again, I’ve done my best at creating a casuistic frame of acceptance that would resonate within the ethic of Fundamentalism. I think it’s clear that those efforts failed. It’s just too brittle of a frame of rejection.

6 thoughts on “Frames of Acceptance and Frames of Rejection

  1. you know, this is a marvelous post for its clarity. I often find myself trying to explain the Fundamentalist mindset to friends who weren’t raised in the movement — this is a good start.

  2. I believe the word you are looking for, and that Fundys have yet to find, is “paradox.” That’s odd. Isn’t our faith rooted in the greatest paradox of all time, how someone can be BOTH God and Man?

  3. I liked that. I allow myself to like that.

    BJU fundys are about control.

    Christianity sets a believer free to serve and shall not come under (a spirit) of comdemnation.

    I was was a target a BJU for taking up an offering among staff members to help a missionary friend who was well known among the maintenance staff and others in the school.

    I was given the old “no lone rangers speech” and rassed by a few of the bojo nerds.

    You see, BJU feels the strong “parenting” (read control)traits that they think they can apply to other fundy adults.

    While a good bit of money was raised in three days and given to the missonary and I was happy!!

    That was my first kick back to the system. After that I looked for other ways to kick the system and was able to help a few students beat the bojo’s at their own game. I had a great relationship with many GA’s and undergrads and eventually believe this became a point of contention to the controlers.

    I have no regrets in kicking against the walls of
    those in authority after watching their game play out in fellow staff, faculty and students.I only wish their were more of us to counter the hubris spirit of those pinheads.

    I only hope some folk can be saved from going to BJU under false prophets and deluded preachers who believe that the school is an oasis of Christian love and nurturing.

    The Squire

  4. The ‘either / or reasoning’of fundamentlism is UNBiblical, heretical,, and ‘against’ reason. Are not rainbows full of color? Is God color blind? Fundamentalism is a religion of UN reasonableness. You cannot reason with a person whose ‘mind is all made up!’ Fundamentalism has caused its ‘false creators’ to’re make’ God in the false image of falln man, man who assues hes better than anyone else who doesn’t agree with him.God has been arrogantly remade in the false image of ignorant man’s, confused,ignorant,twisted, and opinionated mind.”The carnal mind is at enmity with God, at war with God.” Twisted thinking, twisted beliefs, twisted behavior. Fundamentalism is IN humane! Period. Fundamentalism is the worst thing that could have ever happened to christianity in America. It’s such a counter sign to the Gospel, that, there really IS NO Gospel in it. Only people who need to find their way ‘out of it’, and who only do so, by the skin of their teeth and the wonderful Grace of God. how do people escape from a false system? GRACE! And the loving prayers of dear people who really care about them. “What can wash away this fundamentalism sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!” What can let Grace back in again? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!.How precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow. No greater fount I know. Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” And everybody says, AMEN.

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