[It is important that we do some]…thinking about how easy it is for us to differentiate ourselves from other Christian believers, and very subtly to consider our way of being Christian superior to theirs. It’s a sin I’m as guilty of sometimes as it is of those I accuse. But how sad! Part of the brokenness within the worldwide Christian movement is the way groups of believers will build up their own church or denomination by denigrating others. Of course, when there are basic theological differences at stake (as there frequently are), that’s a different thing.
But I recently came across an article by the distinguished rector of another downtown Charleston church in his Church’s magazine. He was arguing that his approach to the Bible was vastly different from others who take it more literally than he, and whom he dubbed “fundamentalists.”
Of course “fundamentalist” is a label that has long been a term of opprobrium. Ever since the Scopes Trial it has been an epithet flung by self-styled liberals at other more conservative believers thought to be naÃ¯ve, literalistic, uneducated, or simplistic. In recent years, by association with extreme Muslims, the moniker has taken on an especially sinister cast.