That’s where the fundamentalists live

THERE’S an old joke about a man who is being shown around heaven for the first time, by St. Peter, who walks around pointing out the various glories where people of all colors and ethnic persuasions live—grassy hills, green meadows, still waters, symphony halls, silent spaces, steep hillsides for people who want to hike to the mountaintops or the ponds, and so on. Then they come upon a great walled fortress.

“What on earth is that?” asks the man. “Oh,” says St. Peter. “That’s where the fundamentalists live. It’s not heaven for them if they think anyone else got in.”

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42 thoughts on “That’s where the fundamentalists live

    • Yep, it sure did……”used to be the Catholics!”

      But if you read the Bible properly, well then it says that “history is heading towards a destination. There’s a Day of Judgment coming and on that day one will either be found alive or dead, in Christ, or without hope. And there will be an accuser. And Jesus says very pointedly to those who are rejecting Him…..you will have an accuser, but it won’t be me. In John Chapter 3 we are told that Jesus came not to condemn the world. Why? Because the world is condemned already. Oh, but He says, there surely will be an accuser.”

      So joke all you like about fundies, but just remember you won’t have the last laugh.

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      • Hello Monica,

        From my perspective that’s about as threatening as a monster in the closet. I’d imagine that it could be the same for a lot of atheists. I’m not meaning to poke fun at your beliefs by saying this, merely suggesting that perhaps your message won’t be as convincing to your audience as you had hoped.

        AS to reading the bible properly, you mean the way you’d like it to be read. Others have read the bible and come to different conclusions

        “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”
        Isaac Asimov

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      • Sorry Bubba,

        I have a serious side. But who gets to Heaven and who doesn’t isn’t a joke. If even Jesus warns us that not everyone who says Lord, Lord will get to Heaven, then to believe all will be saved is to twist scripture. I know this offends many but it’s the truth of God’s Word, plain and simple.

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      • Fundies won’t have the last laugh either Mon!
        They don’t know HOW to laugh!
        ….and even if they did know, a lifetime of sucking lemons trains one’s mouth into a permanent pucker. 😆

        btw,….. To say that “history is heading towards a destination.” is typical of the no-brainers the bible spews out.

        ANYthing heading ANYwhere, ANYtime under ANY circumstances MUST be heading towards a ‘destination’ of some sort, even if it’s only further down the track.
        Y’can’t head ‘away’ from a destination.

        Bloody greeks stuffed up the translation, I presume? 😉

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      • Hello Monica,

        No joking just suggesting your message might not be as effective as you hoped.

        I don’t believe God exists. So essentially you’re threatening me with a fiction. It’s not really likely to change my behaviour.

        If a kind caring and devout Buddhist told you to change your ways or you’d suffer terrible karmic debts that would prevent you ever achieving enlightenment. Would you find that a credible threat ?

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  1. “Many have no understanding of God at all, but still like to think of heaven as the “better place” where we all go when we die. Ideas about heaven are often no more than vague hopes, on par with “maybe I’ll win the lottery some day.” It is popular to refer to heaven as the place where “the good people go.” And of course, everyone they know and love is included in the category of “good people.”

    But the Bible has a lot to say about life after death, and it contradicts popular opinion. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Then in verse 36, Jesus goes on to say, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.” According to these verses, everyone dies, but not everyone goes to heaven (Matthew 25:46; Romans 6:23; Luke 12:5; Mark 9:43).

    God is holy and perfect. Heaven, His dwelling place, is holy and perfect, too (Psalm 68:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Revelation 11:19). According to Romans 3:10, “there is none righteous, no not one.” No human being is holy and perfect enough for heaven. The people we call “good” are not good at all compared to the sinless perfection of God. If God allowed sinful humans to enter the perfection of heaven, it would no longer be perfect. What standard should be used to determine who is “good enough?” God’s standard is the only one that counts, and He has already ruled. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” And the payment for that sin is eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).

    Sin has to be punished, or God is not just (2 Thessalonians 1:6). The judgment we face at death is simply God bringing our accounts up to date and passing sentence on our crimes against Him. We have no way to make our wrongs right. Our good does not outweigh our bad. One sin ruins perfection, just as one drop of arsenic in a glass of water poisons the whole glass.

    So God became man and took our punishment upon Himself. Jesus was God in the flesh. He lived a sinless life of obedience to His Father (Hebrews 4:15). He had no sin, yet at the cross He took our sin and made it His own. Once He paid the price for our sin, we could be declared holy and perfect (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we confess our sin to Him and ask His forgiveness, He stamps “Paid in Full” over our life of selfishness, lust, and greed (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 1 Peter 3:18).

    When we stand before God one day, we cannot beg entrance to heaven based on our own merit. We have none to offer. Compared to God’s standard of holiness, not one of us is good enough. But Jesus is, and it is by His merit we can enter heaven. First Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The sacrifice of Jesus covers it all.

    The people who go to heaven are all alike in one way: they are sinners who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). They have recognized their need for a Savior and humbly accepted God’s offer of forgiveness. They have repented of their old ways of living and set their course to follow Christ (Mark 8:34; John 15:14). They have not attempted to earn God’s forgiveness but have served him gladly from grateful hearts (Psalm 100:2). The kind of faith that saves a soul is one that transforms a life (James 2:26; 1 John 3:9-10) and rests fully on the grace of God.”

    Got Questions Org

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    • “So God became man and took our punishment upon Himself.”

      So how come it was all in vain? Where’s the justice in the punishing of a scapegoat? How come we still get punished anyway? Why should we have to confess what God supposedly already knows anyway, and would also know if we were sorry or not?
      None of it makes any sense.

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      • God loves you Rol,

        And He certainly knows your heart…..but He’s waiting for you to come to Him, as He is with all of us. You don’t have to believe to talk to God. Just come as you are, but please, be sincere. Take the first step. It’s a start.

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  2. Good to see you firing on all four again, Mon.
    But why does all this sound like a bout of Thimblerig,
    ….without an imaginary pea? 🙂

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      • Why do you say that Dabs?

        My comment wasn’t aimed at you BTW. Just grabbed the opportunity to unload.

        I get sick and tired of all the labels. In modern times the word fundamentalist is often used in a derogatory sense.

        Not all Bible-believing Christians and those who hold to the essentials of the Christian faith are arseholes, or trolls! That’s my point. 😉

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      • No, but some Christians are arseholes and trolls. I think fundamentalism is used in a derogatory sense because of people such as the Westboro Church. Even the Ku Klux Klan claimed they were following the Bible.

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      • I call myself a Christian, but in all honesty, when I think of what Christianity stands for, all that comes to mind is a great big neon sign with the word CONFUSION. Why? Because the church today in this postmodern, secular culture, is saturated with a gaggle of voices and opinions contrary to the Word of God.

        Truth does not change, and as Christians we should be following the fundamental principles of doctrine. Christians should not be ashamed of proclaiming the gospel of Christ. It is the bedrock upon which Christianity stands.

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      • I think the definition of fundamentalist is confusing. I don’t believe following the words and example of Jesus is fundamentalism. A fundamentalist is an extremist who hurls bombs in the name of faith, demonstrates at funerals or chooses legalism over love. Fundamentalist come in all creeds – Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, atheism etc.

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      • Thanks for the clarification Bryan.

        I am obviously still confused by the word ‘fundamentalism’. And I think it stems from my time as a Catholic because I knew a few priests who disparaged and viewed non-Catholic, bible-believers as fundamentalists. And because I still get the feeling here that Scripture quoting/doctrinal Christians are still looked upon contemptuously, then we must be ‘fundies’.

        But, as you say, I think legalists are the real enemies of grace and I think that every Christian has the potential to be legalistic at times. It’s a continuing struggle to choose love over legalism, but I pray that Love will prevail.

        The Lord showed me yesterday that many—and many in God’s Church—are imprisoned; held captive by wrong mindsets, besetting sins, woundedness, unbelief, etc., but that He cares about those in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual prisons.

        Jesus came to set the captives free, but there are many obstacles to freedom, such as:

        . Unbelief, which hinders knowing God;
        · Pride, which prevents us from glorifying God;
        · Idolatry, which keeps us from being satisfied with God;
        · Prayerlessness, which blocks our experience of God’s peace;
        · Legalism, which stops our enjoyment of God’s presence.

        The fifth on the list, legalism, is what got my attention though, as at a recent church service I attended, I could not sense God’s presence. It all made sense when I read:

        So, what is legalism? “Legalism is an attempt to gain favor with God or to impress our fellow man by doing certain things (or avoiding other things), without regard to the condition of our hearts before God. At the root of legalism is the sin of pride, because the legalist thinks that he is able to commend himself to God by his own good deeds. Invariably, he is only looking at externals, not at his heart. Also, the legalist’s pride motivates him to exalt himself in the sight of others by his outward behavior, again neglecting to see the corruption of his own heart. Thus legalism denies human depravity and exalts human ability. As such, it is opposed to the gospel of God’s grace. That’s why both Jesus and Paul clashed with the legalists.

        Jesus hates legalism because it does not deal with the condition of our hearts before God.

        Christianity is primarily a matter of the heart. Everything flows from a heart relationship with God, who transforms our hearts when He regenerates us. The Jewish religious leaders seemingly were seeking after God, but in reality they were self-seeking. They didn’t see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior. They saw themselves as good people because they kept the Law. But in reality, they didn’t keep the Law because they didn’t apply it on the heart level. Thus, Jesus in effect said that if they would be as careful about clean hearts as they were about clean hands, then they would be what they ought to be.” Bible Org

        Legalists are so damned rigid. It really is quite shocking to see, considering that our hearts are supposed to be soft and pliable in the trustworthy hands of a transforming God. No wonder legalism is the opposite of love. 😉

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      • Monica, I was very surprised that you seemed to take on the label of fundamentalism, so thank you for your clarigication. I see now I was interpreting it as legalism, but of course you are right, it’s should refer to the fundamentals, the very basics of Christianity, plain and unembroidered. I cannot see you as a legalist! 🙂

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      • I know that Mon: and presume you know it about me, too. We’ve been at this too long to be snarky on a personal level. Feel free to unload anytime.

        But I do find it hard to resist a challenge, and some of the biblical stuff can’t avoid raising a challenge which from my perspective, if taken seriously, prevents outright any hope of ……er, ‘arriving at any useful destination. ‘God’s’ not the only one who sees there’s a crying for for such arrivals….in THIS world, TODAY ~ never mind in some nebulous ‘hereafter’.

        I’m living proof that man CAN live without ” every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt4:4), but the world is full of kids starving to death for want of a sandwich, (“bread alone”)
        If someone is drowning you don’t set about teaching them to swim and point to a distant shore.

        Other than that, I rather think the bible is the last place to be looking for ‘the essentials of christianity.’
        “Christian FAITH” might be a different matter.

        Be kind to yourself. As the man said:- The situation is desperate!…but not serious.
        😉

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      • Once again the need for definition is clear:- “I think the definition of fundamentalist is confusing”….and I DO think that any ’cause’ can only be founded on its fundamentals; it’s when the subsequent layers of ‘translation’, ‘interpretation’, ‘explanation’, ‘dogma’, etc., along with that perennial copout “context”, that fundamentals become something fragmented, complicated, controversial and gunked up in politics, ‘tradition’, ‘culture’ generally, and confusion.
        Always remember that other truism: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. (I understand it’s a less-well-known injunction of Paul’s: he who fell off his ass, landed on his ‘ass’, and sustained hallucinogenic concussion.)

        However, I DO think ” following the words and example of Jesus is fundamentalism”. Basic, simple and straightforward. The teachings of the Jesus character leaves NO room for ‘interpretation , deviation, contextualisation, etc. etc. Unfortunately they’re SO fundamental that they’re very easy to misuse and twist to just about anybody’s private ends to almost infinite confusions. That’s where the cranks see their opportunities. (and y’can count the likes of Billy Graham among the perverters)

        One could easily make the case that if Jesus’ teachings were expressed, adopted and applied more ‘legalistically’ virtually all the subsequent murder and mayhem could’ve been avoided. The ‘extremists’ (even the nice ones like Monica!) wouldn’t have a dogma to stand on. (or cock at the post-like ‘opposition’.)

        Note that while ‘Jesus’ succinctly expounded the ‘legalisms’ (“Love thy neighbour”!), he wasn’t big on defining what ‘love’ is.
        “Love one another, as I have loved you”….is to the point, but leaves open to all sorts of bickering the question of ‘HOW’ he loved them? The ‘evidence’ is that every one of them ~ and just about every ‘evangelist’ ever since ~ has their own version of that…..(even without reference to Paul’s bruised tushie.)

        Bottom line? A ‘legalistic’ framework is a….er, ‘fundamental’ necessity ,,,,and comprehensive defining of terms (and contexts, etc.) is essential.
        Neither of those elements need to (nor, indeed, CAN) be ‘chosen over love’.
        …whatever THAT is!

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      • Fundamentalism v. legalism. I guess true fundamentalists are the Red Letter Christians. More fundamental than the so-called fundamentalists, who are really legalists. Although we can see the difference between the two terms, language changes and it’s widely accepted now that ‘fundamentalist’ has come to include legalists.

        Would that be right?

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    • Oh, WOW!

      The Lord has just shown me why I was so shocked at the rigidity of a legalist’s heart the other day. Rick Joyner says, “Legalism leads to becoming an “old wineskin,” which is no longer flexible enough to hold new wine.”

      And….. “True holiness is not legalism but love”.

      And, “If we have a religious spirit, a legalistic mentality, we will view others with an overly judgmental tendency and be prone to condemn those to whom the Lord may want to show grace.”

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      • Is Rick here —> (” we will view others with an overly judgmental tendency and be prone to condemn those to whom the Lord may want to show grace.”)
        quoting the jewish god?

        As has been pointed out here often enough, much of the world’s ‘legalistic’ applications are firmly rooted in the Ten Commandments.

        Like it or not, our world couldn’t run without legalistic frameworks; the challenge is to make sure they’re reasonable, workable and fair ~ which isn’t always the case.

        With any luck they’ll clear the decks for the ‘higher’ aspirations, among the foremost of which is ‘compassion’……more important in my book than most of what the bible touts; even, say, ‘love’.

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      • I agree Dabs,

        Society (and the Church) needs rules and regulations, up to a point, but when Christians talk about legalism, we see it as a condition of the heart, which is, law vs. grace. Take for instance this comment made here yesterday by a Christian,
        “Paul makes another statement in Hebrews that if one wilfully sins after s/he has received enlightenment, then there is no redemption available (Heb. 10:29).”

        The way this person used this scripture was way out of context and it was used to condemn any Christian who lapses into sin. Well we ALL lapse into sin sometimes. No-one is perfect, save Jesus Christ! And this I know because I am a sinner saved by Grace, that God’s mercies are new every morning!

        That scripture is about Christians who have fallen into apostasy, something totally different to the way it was used on the blog. So therefore I have to question (discern) the spirit in which it was given, or the heart condition/motive, if you like and I have come to the conclusion that it stemmed from a legalistic heart attitude.

        To have a legalistic mindset (or heart condition) is akin to having leprosy and one needs to be delivered and healed from such a hard heart. “Jesus had remarkable grace toward sinners but had no tolerance for the self-righteous or for the legalists.

        If the church had the same Spirit as Christ, sinners would be rushing to the doors of the church for help instead of being repelled by it. We often quote how we love the sinners but hate the sin. However, far too many sinners are met with hate, or at least a moral haughtiness, when they meet Christians. This is not the demeanor of the whole church, but there is far too much self-righteousness, which not only repels sinners who need Christ, but it repels Christ. It was not the sinners or even the demon possessed, but the self-righteous who persecuted Jesus and then had Him crucified.

        Of course, there is a ditch on either side of the path of life— lawlessness on one side and legalism on the other.” Rick Joyner

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      • I have read with interest Davinci’s use of Hebrews 10:29 and I believe that you are not correct Monica. You are engaging in passing judgment over a fellow Christian because you have not read the context under which that passage was given. Which highlights a problem with the “non-fundamentalist”-“non legalist” branch of Christianity.
        First you distort what the alleged “legalists/fundamentalists” say in order to make them look evil. Secondly you censor their replies to charges against them. Yesterday Davinci made several attempts to clarify his position wrt to Monica’s accusations. These attempts were censored and deleted. If fundamentalists and legalists are evil it is because you haven’t given them a chance to defend themselves.

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      • Sorry Bryan,

        I’ve been steeling myself for the indignant response.

        If it is proven that I am at fault then I will apologise. But I will not apologise for being honest.

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      • Quite so!! —> “Spamming includes using a different name to praise or echo your own comments. It’s dishonest don’t you think?”

        …..though it never occurred to me to think of god as a spammer. 😯

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      • Sock puppet is the term the young folk use. A fairly underhanded tactic as used in on-line discussion.

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  3. Well lets put some perspective in !!
    Would not all those before the last century and still today a considerable percentage be classified as fundamentalists ??
    Would not those who don,t see themselves as fundamentalists be classified as Blasphemy by the vast majority of those within your version of religion pre 1900.
    And most certainly be in serious danger five hundred years ago .
    Well you should all be thankful you are alive today
    On the other hand some amongst you would like those dark days to de-learn knowledge.
    Given the chance they would burn many books .

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  4. Heaven a place of many mansions? Of some higher up the hill than others? A lovely little cottage further down the hill might suit some. Perhaps there are whole villages. Perhaps some of Heaven is not within the KINGDOM of Heaven, yet still available to those who merely cry Lord! Lord!

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      • I reckon there is a hell, Monica, not where we’re consigned, but where we send ourselves. There are vicious personalities, people who delight in torturing others, and I feel they must be making hell for tnemselves.

        Because I believe it takes more than one lifetime to complete our training for God’s service, I concede there is always room for reformation, but sometimes it seems beyond possibility.

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