This post is a continuation of some posts from the thread "Yet Another Case of Fundamentalist Fraud -- NOT by paster dave." Later in this post appears the complete post including header information by paster dave. For now, I extract only the words of paster dave on 7/19/2003:
Paster dave wrote: "The Bible was forbidden for laymen and was put on the Index of Forbidden Books, by the Council of Toulouse, in 1229 AD. Look it up."
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, as promised, I did look it up. Sadly, paster dave was again misinformed. Or did he lie? I suppose we will never know. In any case, I made a trip to a couple bookstores and a library today.
The short version is this: What paster dave calls the "Index of Forbidden Books" which is properly Index Librorum Prohibitorum (literally "list of prohibited books), did not exist until 1559. Nor was the "Council Of Toulouse" in 1229 an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, nor did any canon of the Council of Trent prohibit anyone from reading the bible. I address that issue below in greater detail. The Synod of Toulouse was called to deal with the heresies rampant in that area of southwest France in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.
The longer version: You either lied or are profoundly ignorant, paster dave. There was no Council of Toulouse. There was a regional Synod called at Toulouse that met in 1229 to plan local strategy against the heresies then popular in Southwestern France. It was not an Ecumenical Council of the Church and had no authority to speak for the Church, nor did it publish any canon placing the bible on the Index of Forbidden Books. This synod placed no books on the Index of Prohibited Books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum) for the very good reason that the Index of Prohibited Books did not exist in 1229. Or 1329. Or 1429. Or even 1529. This list was first authorized by one of the late sessions of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). The first such list was promulgated under Pope Pius IV in 1559. So, obviously, a nonexistent Ecumenical Council did not put the bible on a list that did not yet exist. Look up the canons of the Council of Trent for the full texts. (Google works just fine for this purpose. I did some searches and discovered links to various sources, including some full text. I confirmed that these online sources were more or less correct in books.)
Might I recommend you read this link, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/trent-booksrules.html, concerning what the Council of Trent did have to say about the bible? You might note that the language only restricts the use of scripture in the vernacular. There is no prohibition against anyone reading or possessing the Vulgate. And before you whine about papist corruption or Romish superstition or the usual hateful blather, you might compare the words of the Council of Trent concerning censorship with the laws promulgated and enforced in Geneva, England, and Northern Germany. Oh, paster dave, don't get all weird about the first section in that link above. The Bible was not among, "All books which have been condemned either by the supreme pontiffs or by ecumenical councils before the year 1515." And if you believe my assertion to be incorrect, provide real sources that genuinely exist, not some whacko web site by some kook who made something up because he thinks there is a Romish plot to come and roast his stalwart Protestant children over his burning King James Bible.
Care to try again, paster dave? Try, just one time, to get some factual information straight. You really must check your sources. You have this tendency to believe any web page that parrots your dogma and presume the content is true and the author of the web page actually did their homework. In almost all cases, these people have failed you and your cause badly. There is a rule of thumb among historians that if they find exactly what they want to find, they recheck everything. And then check it again. The information about the Synod of Toulouse and the Index of Forbidden Books and the Council of Trent is readily available and easily verified. You should be taking your fellow travelers who do this to you to task. Their bogus information makes you appear to be a liar or an ignoramous.
Why make up lies about the Catholic Church, paster dave? It seems to me that the Catholic Church is hip deep in real problems and has been for many years.
Please, paster dave, do learn to do basic reasearch. Don't you tire of looking foolish? How does lying and ignorance serve God?
Below is the full text of paster dave's post, including full headers.
Path: newsmaster1.news.pas.earthlink.net!stamper.news.pas.earthlink.net!elnk-pas-n f1!newsfeed.earthlink.net!west.cox.net!east.cox.net!peer01.cox.net!cox.net!f eed2.news.rcn.net!rcn!dca1-feed2.news.algx.net!allegiance!newsfeed1.cidera.c om!Cidera!news1.ij.net!not-for-mail From: Pastor Dave <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: alt.bible Subject: Re: Yet Another Case of Fundamentalist Fraud -- NOT by paster dave Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 18:58:06 -0400 Organization: Internet Junction Lines: 53 Message-ID: <email@example.com> References: <kUYRa.10015$Mc.firstname.lastname@example.org> <*email@example.com> <M8%Ra.10248$Mc.firstname.lastname@example.org> <*email@example.com> <lsfSa.109669$Io.firstname.lastname@example.org> <TKfSa.email@example.com> <BGhSa.109854$Io.firstname.lastname@example.org> NNTP-Posting-Host: p43-138.tnt2.ij.net Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Trace: news1.ij.net 1058655339 89251 188.8.131.52 (19 Jul 2003 22:55:39 GMT) X-Complaints-To: email@example.com NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 22:55:39 +0000 (UTC) X-Newsreader: Forte Agent 1.93/32.576 English (American) Xref: news.earthlink.net alt.bible:807713 X-Received-Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 16:02:36 PDT (newsmaster1.news.pas.earthlink.net)
On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 20:16:33 GMT, "Didymos" <*firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >"Zachriel" <email@example.com> wrote in message >news:TKfSa.firstname.lastname@example.org... >> I was raised a Catholic and one of my fondest memories of my father was >when >> he got his first computer Bible. It was on 5.5" floppies. He was so happy >> that he could look up any topic in the Bible and then use it in >discussions >> with our parrish priest. He always loved the story of the prodigal son. >> >> So, yes. Catholics read the Bible. >> >I have no doubt Catholics read the bible, and those Catholics throughout >history who were literate read the bible. Part of the lunatic fringe, >so-called "Christian" fundamentalist position is that the Catholic Chruch >forbade people to read the bible. Those wealthy enough to own or have >access to a bible read them without compunction throughout history. But >commanding an illiterate person not to read is kind of vacuous, isn't it? >I do not understand why these kooks can't read a bit of history before they >make public asses of themselves. Then they would understand that the >barriers to reading the bible were the expense and illiteracy and not >commands of the Church, which are mostly products of the fundamentalists >fevered and hateful imaginations. Did you notice that Mr Devol was >extremely short on evidence and exceedingly long on hatred and lies?
The Bible was forbidden for laymen and was put on the Index of Forbidden Books, by the Council of Toulouse, in 1229 AD. Look it up.
Pastor Dave Raymond
In the beginning, God created...
The fact is, if you can't believe the beginning, you can't believe the end and shouldn't claim to. To disbelieve the beginning, is to doubt many things that Jesus said. After all, He made it clear that He believed it. If you believe in the Trinity, how can you believe that God wouldn't know how it all started? If you can't believe the beginning, then get off the pulpit.
Atheism is folly, and atheists are the greatest fools in nature; for they see there is a world that could not make itself, and yet they will not own there is a God that made it. - Matthew Henry
2003-07-21 10:08:00 EST
"Didymos" <email@example.com> wrote: >Paster dave wrote: "The Bible was forbidden for laymen and was put on the >Index of Forbidden Books, by the Council of Toulouse, >in 1229 AD. Look it up." > >Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, as promised, I did look it up. Sadly, paster >dave was again misinformed. Or did he lie? I suppose we will never know. >In any case, I made a trip to a couple bookstores and a library today. > >The short version is this: What paster dave calls the "Index of Forbidden >Books" which is properly Index Librorum Prohibitorum (literally "list of >prohibited books), did not exist until 1559. Nor was the "Council Of >Toulouse" in 1229 an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, nor did any >canon of the Council of Trent prohibit anyone from reading the bible.
+ Excellent post, Didymos. + Thanks for your effort and truth.
2003-07-21 11:08:46 EST
"Didymos" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:<jwFSa.13897$Mc.email@example.com>...
Another question: What background does "Paster Dave" come from? Where and why did he become predudiced and anti-Catholic? When in his family tree did his family leave the Catholic Church? I would like to ask all those who are anti-Catholic this same question.
2003-07-21 15:29:00 EST
"Pastor Dave" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:email@example.com... > On Sun, 20 Jul 2003 23:23:59 GMT, "Didymos" > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > Believe what you want. The fact is, you can also look > it up under the Council of Valencia. The following > statement was made... > > "We prohibit also the permitting of the laity to have > the books of the Old and New Testament, unless anyone > should wish, from a feeling of devotion, to have a > psalter or breviary for divine service, or the hours of > the blessed Mary. But we strictly forbid them to have > the above mentioned books in the vulgar tongue." > > > >The first such list was promulgated under Pope Pius IV in 1559. > > I believe you are correct in that this year is when it > became an official PUBLISHED list. Just because > something is not published, that does not mean that it > doesn't exist. > > > >Might I recommend you read this link, > >http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/trent-booksrules.html, concerning what > >the Council of Trent did have to say about the bible? You might note that > >the language only restricts the use of scripture in the vernacular. There > >is no prohibition against anyone reading or possessing the Vulgate. > > I did not mention the Council of Trent, you did. As > for what the prohibition I mentioned actually was, it > was against owning the Bible period, unless it was what > I showed above and then, had to be in Latin. > > > > Pastor Dave Raymond > Paster dave, you lied yet again. And you managed to capture yourself in your own web of lies again. The Council of Trent was the source of the Index of Forbidden Books, which you brought up, paster dave, and falsely asserted that the "Council of Toulouse" placed the Bible on that Index in 1229. I merely corrected your silliness by identifying the correct source of the Index in 1559 when it was instituted by the Council of Trent. There was no Council of Toulouse. I doubt there was a Council of Valencia. If there was, I doubt it published anything like you cited. And since you, as nearly always, provide no sources for your allegations, this asssertion must be considered false until you present some type of overwhelming evidence for your assertions. Produce some real evidence and I may change my view. You have lied too many times for any statement you make to be taken seriously. Every utterance of yours must be presumed false until conclusively proven true. What is your source for your alleged "Council of Valencia" and the supposed quote you reproduced, or made up, as the case may be?
Did you notice that even your own quote purportedly from the "Council of Valencia" only forbids possession and use of the Bible or parts of it "in the vulgar tongue"? But there is absolutely no reason to believe you have this quote correct, and every reason to believe you either concocted it, took words out of context and reassembled them, or made it up. I find the Catholic Church's position of the 14th-17th century concerning the preservation of what they considered the only true scripture, the Vulgate, most congruent with your position vis-a-vis the King James Bible. Nice to see you recognize and emulate the position and tactics of the "Romish" counter-Reformation church, paster dave.
I would suggest you ask yourself the same questions about this alleged "Council of Valencia" I recommended that you ak yourself about the nonexistent "Council of Toulouse." Might I suggest that if you are going to post concerning the Catholic Church you do some minimal reading concerning its history and organization? Your current state of knowledge is woefully inadequate and a contributing factor to the silliness and falsehoods contained in your posts. I have come to the conclusion that you are not always lying. Sometimes you just don't know any better and you believe every spiteful lie you find on the internet that supports your doctrine. I know this concept will cause you some distress, but Christians sometimes lie, paster dave. Sometimes even fundamentalist Christians lie. And Catholics lie sometimes also. That doesn't mean they are not Christians, it just means they are dishonest sometimes. But you have made a cult of lying, paster dave. Whether you lie from ignorance or malice, you have no credibility remaining.
I do not understand why you set yourself up to fail like this again and again and again. Do you not know how to do elementary research? Exposing your silly assertions only honestly took about 30 minutes. Would it have killed you to have spent 30 minutes and checked your own sources before you posted?
How does posting obviously false statements glorify God or bring people to Christ? Have you no shame at all?
Besides, you and Devol and the other denizens of the lunatic fringe have people feeling sorry for the Catholics because you libelled and slandered them. Are you trying to drum up support and sympathy for the Catholic Church? Are you really a closet Catholic?
By the way, dave, there a couple dozen other questions and challenges awaiting your attention. Feel up to them? Or even one of them?
<paster dave crap snipped>
2003-07-21 19:05:18 EST
"jsm" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> I'm a convert to the 2,000 year old Catholic Church.. > Praise God!; I was Baptist (which are in the hundreds or > thousands of different ones, each saying they're "the one"), > and which is was founded by "Smyth" or others later than Smyth > as you state below.
Your church was founded by a Roman Emporer. It's an organization that has kept alive the ghost of an old empire that should have passed away long ago. What they've kept going is a true vampire, a taste of what ancient tyranny under major empires must have been like. However, no vampire lives forever. Only Jesus does that.
> > If you are a Lutheran, Martin Luther ex-monk
> Mr. Luther had little or no faith in God (This is my opinion > based on a PBS special about him). Luther seemed to have more faith > in himself than God. (I thought Catholic monks were those > with God like St Frances of Assisi. Mr Luther is the opposite > of St Francis).
Luther liked to sit on the pot and take a dump. He actually wrote that the outhouse was where he received some of his best ideas and inspirations.
Luther liked the idea of killing witches and rebellious peasants. Some Christian.
Jessica L. Price
2003-07-21 19:07:26 EST
"Didymos" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:jyWSa.15048$Mc.email@example.com... > I believe I originated that usage. I began it because to me pastor is a > term of respect reserved for one who aspires to lead a Christian life and > lead others towards a good life, and have some minimal training and > education. Paster dave is profoundly dishonest, has no apparent training > or education, and is the pastor of no flock anywhere. Ergo, since he > insists on calling himself a pastor, and I aim to please whenever possible, > I call him paster and deliberately misspell it because his actions and > status are not those of a genuine pastor. Or even a Christian sometimes.
Has he caught on?
2003-07-21 20:02:56 EST
"jsm" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:email@example.com... > "Vincent Todd Brooks" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:<email@example.com>... > > How old is your Church? > > I'm a convert to the 2,000 year old Catholic Church.. > Praise God!; I was Baptist (which are in the hundreds or > thousands of different ones, each saying they're "the one"), > and which is was founded by "Smyth" or others later than Smyth > as you state below. > > > If you are a Lutheran, Martin Luther ex-monk > > Mr. Luther had little or no faith in God (This is my opinion > based on a PBS special about him). Luther seemed to have more faith > in himself than God. (I thought Catholic monks were those > with God like St Frances of Assisi. Mr Luther is the opposite > of St Francis). > > > of the Catholic Church founded your religion, in the > > year 1517. > > If you belong to the Church of England, > > King Henry VIII founded your religion in the year 1534 because the Pope > > would not grant him a divorce with the right to re-marry. > > What a way for your religion to be founded... I don't > think I would even admit i was a member of that religion. > > > > > If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, > > your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England, founded by Samuel > > Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century. > > > > If you are a Congregationalist, > > your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582. > > > > If you are a Methodist, > > your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744. > > > > If you are Unitarian, > > Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774. > > > > If you are Mormon (Latter Day Saints), > > Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y. in 1829. > > > > If you are a Baptist, > > you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched in Amsterdam > > in 1606. > > > > If you are the Dutch Reformed Church, > > you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your > > religion in N.Y. in 1628. > > > > If you worship with the Salvation Army, > > your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865. > > > > If you are Christian Scientist, > > you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. > > Mary Baker Eddy as its founder. > > > > If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as "Church of the > > Nazarene", "Pentecostal Gospel", "Jehovah's Witness", > > your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the > > past fifty years. > > > > If you are a Roman Catholic, > > you know that Jesus Christ the Son of God founded your religion in the year > > 33, and that it has not changed since that time.
> > > > Even today, the above-enumerated facts are still undeniable >
Undeniable by it's advocates but, the Son of Man Himself warned of the removal of a church's candlestick for errors much smaller than those of the Historic Roman church.
> Praise God.
Jessica L. Price
2003-07-21 22:04:24 EST
"Didymos" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:pR_Sa.15456$Mc.email@example.com...
> I wouldn't even hazard a guess. These people are a total enigma to me.
To me as well. If I could be telepathic for a day, I'd go find a rabid fundamentalist and read their mind. I simply cannot understand them. Sometimes I think the rabid behavior is to cover up an insecurity of some sort, but at other times, I lean toward the sincere-but-mentally-unbalanced end of the spectrum of explanations.
> They tout that they are the only "real Christians," are guaranteed eternal > bliss, are no longer sinners because they are redeemed or saved, that their > faith alone and the scripture alone saved them (and yes, they fail to note > the irony there), and that their salvation through faith will cause them to > do good works.
Which they rarely perform. I usually don't bother arguing the faith-vs.-works idea with them, since apparently I'm disqualified from commenting knowledgeably on the Bible, but they seem awfully quick to criticize or mock those who do bother with charity. I'm not sure where they get the idea that just because their doctrine says that faith rather than works saves, good works are somehow a bad idea. Sorry that I'm venting here, but please understand that these remarks are not intended to apply to all Christians, just the rabid ones.
> Then they lie through their teeth, verbally assault any who > disagree with them, and wonder why people aren't coming to their position in > droves. They mock, ridicule, and excorciate other faiths in the coarsest > possible terms
I hear you. Everyone who doesn't subscribe to their particular brand of Christianity is a servant of the devil. Scholarship which disagrees with their position is the work of the devil. Secular education itself might just be a bad idea. The government is that of a "Christian nation" when it does something they like, and when it doesn't, it's controlled by the Masons, the "feminazis" or the Jewish Conspiracy. If you admit that you are not Christian, you essentially sign away any expectation of ever having a non-religious conversation with them again. If you make more than $50,000 a year, you're supposedly "rich" and automatically going to hell. (But televangelists aren't -- go figure.) Generally I find them frightening, but from a newsgroup, I feel safe enough to engage them.
And then, after excoriating other faiths in the most excreble fashion, they claim that *they're* being persecuted. I was in the office of one of my professors, once, and a fundamentalist Christian with whom I'd tangled (she'd been very friendly, and I had enjoyed her acquaintance until she as much as said that the only reason she was talking to me was because she wanted to help me find my way to Jesus; our "friendship" deteriorated after that) came in and claimed that the professor had given her an F on her exam because she was Christian. He tried to explain that the TAs (both of whom were Christian!) graded the exams, not him, but she wouldn't listen. She had her theory and no facts were going to get in the way.
They also seem incapable of understanding that insulting, aggressive proselytization does their cause more harm than good. I've tried to gently explain that claiming that my beliefs are stupid or wicked does not put me in a particularly receptive mood, and that I find the very idea of aggressive proselytization repulsive, but no luck.
> and then scream bloody murder when someone questions the > tiniest aspect of their beliefs or practices. It is very odd how they > believe that only a relatively tiny number of them have their insight into > God's plan and have been given the secret to the knowledge of God.
Well, the last is easy enough to explain. Haven't you ever noticed that extremist Christians tend not to be...shall we say...the flower of society? It's a compensation thing. They may work at Wal-Mart, but it doesn't matter, because they know God's plan. It's the same sort of fantasy that draws adolescent boys to superhero comics. (Not that I'm criticizing comics, mind you, but often the heroes are nerds in everyday life who actually have some sort of super power; one can see where unpopular teenagers would find something appealing in the idea.)
> But they abhor Gnosticism and again the congruence of the gnostic practice > and faith and theirs totally escapes them, as does the irony. They claim unique > expertise and insight concerning the bible, yet they are profoundly ignorant > of the history and language of the bible.
But according to them, complete ignorance of the language of the Bible doesn't matter, because God himself makes sure that they understand it. Don't bother trying to tell them that the sentence they just came up with couldn't be constructed in Hebrew. Occasionally you'll get the sort who tell you that the Bible was written in English, and the whole Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek thing is just an attempt to lead believers astray. Those are the ones whose heads I'd really *love* to get into. Can they *possibly* believe what they're saying?
> I can't figure them out. But then > I must remind myself that a few thugs and liars on Usenet are assuredly not > a valid representation of the fundamentalist Christians.
No, thank God. Usenet seems to attract extremists, no matter the subject. But I'm sure that the vast majority of fundamentalist Christians, and even probably the majority of those that post here, are basically decent people. A few wackos don't make the whole group dangerous. Sorry about the rant.
Raymond E. Griffith
2003-07-21 22:14:08 EST
in article pR_Sa.15456$Mc.firstname.lastname@example.org, Didymos at email@example.com wrote on 7/21/03 7:40 PM:
> > "Jessica L. Price" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message > news:email@example.com... >> >> "Didymos" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message >> news:jyWSa.15048$Mc.email@example.com... >>> I believe I originated that usage. I began it because to me pastor is a >>> term of respect reserved for one who aspires to lead a Christian life > and >>> lead others towards a good life, and have some minimal training and >>> education. Paster dave is profoundly dishonest, has no apparent > training >>> or education, and is the pastor of no flock anywhere. Ergo, since he >>> insists on calling himself a pastor, and I aim to please whenever >> possible, >>> I call him paster and deliberately misspell it because his actions and >>> status are not those of a genuine pastor. Or even a Christian > sometimes. >> >> Clever. >> >> Has he caught on? >> > I wouldn't even hazard a guess. These people are a total enigma to me. > They tout that they are the only "real Christians," are guaranteed eternal > bliss, are no longer sinners because they are redeemed or saved, that their > faith alone and the scripture alone saved them (and yes, they fail to note > the irony there), and that their salvation through faith will cause them to > do good works. Then they lie through their teeth, verbally assault any who > disagree with them, and wonder why people aren't coming to their position in > droves. They mock, ridicule, and excorciate other faiths in the coarsest > possible terms and then scream bloody murder when someone questions the > tiniest aspect of their beliefs or practices. It is very odd how they > believe that only a relatively tiny number of them have their insight into > God's plan and have been given the secret to the knowledge of God. But they > abhor Gnosticism and again the congruence of the gnostic practice and faith > and theirs totally escapes them, as does the irony. They claim unique > expertise and insight concerning the bible, yet they are profoundly ignorant > of the history and language of the bible. I can't figure them out. But then > I must remind myself that a few thugs and liars on Usenet are assuredly not > a valid representation of the fundamentalist Christians. >
As a person who has been a fundamentalist, attended fundamental churches (and still does), I can tell you that these people are not a valid representation of the fundamental Christian. However a few notations are in order.
Many fundamentalists are taught that they are the Christians with the real gospel and with the truth. They consider Evangelicals, liberals, and Catholics to be heretics. Their viewpoint of the Catholic church is stuck at the late 1500's, and they do not believe there has been any change. Their viewpoints of the Catholic Church are generally distorted. Their viewpoints of other denominations are generally distorted as well. They focus almost entirely upon the differences and the particular things they find objectionable and forget about the things they share in common.
Fundamentalists are very often at war with each other. They are very much splintered. You need to understand that some of the key words that describes Fundamentalism are "Separatist" and "Independent". They take 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 very seriously. Disagreements doctrinally, even over relatively slight matters, will cause splits and accusations. Of course, the fewer there are, the more Matthew 7:14 makes sense to them: "Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Currently among fundamentalists there is a retrenchment occurring with those who declare that the King James Version of the Bible is the only true Word of God in English. Some go so far as to say that no one can be saved with any other version of the Bible! Several have said that people in other countries who speak other languages must use the King James Version in order to be saved! The vitriol involved is horrible, and although the worst of it is by the KJV-only sect, there is plenty of nasty speech from the other side.
So we have independent Baptists vilifying Southern Baptists. KJV-only independent Baptists vilify non-KJV-only independent Baptists. Fundamentalist Pentecostal believers are vilified by fundamentalist non-Pentecostals. The ungodly sniping and divisions among the believers would make the most tragic of comedies. And with all of the stress involved in the ministry there is a lot of falling away of "faithful" pastors for a variety of reasons.
You need to understand that the average person within these churches is not well-schooled in the doctrines presented by the leadership. As with most churches, most of those who sit in the pews are content to listen. They enjoy the fellowship of the other Christians. They really are very nice people, moral, and uncomfortable with the sniping and backbiting that often occurs with those who are "better taught" and more active.
But many leaders often *do* teach their people to fear other churches and to close their ears to what others have to say. The leaders themselves are also afraid of those who think differently than they do. They know many "good men" who have "fallen away" from the faith, and it scares them because it might happen to them. Since fundamentalism has declared its unalterable belief in a literally-written Scripture which is without error in any part, those who believe differently are usually cast out. Those who think differently are not listened to. They simply cannot afford to do it.
On the other hand, those who profess to believe the same fundamentals are often accepted without question. Sometimes fundamentalists are willing to accept people who they would otherwise reject if it helps the larger cause. (Sometimes!) Creationism has a fundamentalist "feel" to it, so what it teaches is usually believed implicitly. Would a fundamentalist lie to another fundamentalist? (Don't answer that!) Remember, the pastors are not scientists. They trust what they are told, so long as the theology of the presenter appears to be generally consistent with what they believe. Even if not, so long as it opposes the more deadly "evil of evolution" they are willing to accept it wholeheartedly. They do not have the training to judge the truthfulness of the material, but if it opposes the "lie" of evolution, it *must* be the truth, right?
Remember, faith does not have to be either rational or reasonable, nor must it be based in the real. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Since scientists are much more likely to read certain parts of Scripture more critically and ask more questions, they are distrusted. Scientists are seen as lacking faith.
The distrust of science is not an isolated example of distrust. Generally speaking, fundamentalists (or their leaders) will distrust Biblical historical analysis from sources which might dare to interpret the physical evidence in any way apart from the Scripture. Fundamentalists have written their own histories of the world and of the United States, putting into those histories a bias favorable to their position. It is to be noted that they believe they are simply balancing the record, and that godless atheists have been rewriting history for many many years.
Fundamentalism is, at its very heart, an "us against them" theology. They feel obligated to attack their enemies because their enemies are promulgating lies and distortions. Any attack against them is, of course, a direct attack against God and His Truth. They often do not see themselves as lying, even when they are. Remember, they see themselves as having the truth. Therefore if they believe that you believe something, it doesn't matter that they are wrong. You can correct them, but they will not hear you. Whatever you say against what they believe must be a deception. So they will continue to believe in their belief. They do not realize that they have elevated their beliefs and opinions to the level of Holy Writ. All they know is that whatever they believe is Right and whatever anyone else believes is Wrong.
I will confess that this may sound stereotypical. As all generalizations it has its weaknesses, even though I believe it accurately describes the movement as a whole. There are some fundamentalist churches that are surprisingly open. There are others for which even the harshest things I have said are weak regarding their true state. Many fundamentalist churches are small and traditional, lying outside the notice of the main movement and its attendant turbidities.
Now I noted that I attend a fundamentalist church. The one I attend has its faults, but it is one of the least offensive churches that I have ever been in. My pastor is a very good man, willing to learn as well as teach, and is willing to talk. He recognizes many of the problems within fundamentalism and is concerned about them. He also recognizes that there are people who disagree with him in key points of theology, but yet are truly saved. I confess that I am not ready to leave the church, even though I have thought about it at times. The people there are truly good and loving. I grew up in fundamentalism, and I would have a difficult time not going to church. I would find many other churches quite strange in their customs. As long as I can attend without ridicule and worship the Lord there I probably will.
2003-07-21 22:18:45 EST
"Jessica L. Price" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in news:email@example.com:
> To me as well. If I could be telepathic for a day, I'd go find a > rabid fundamentalist and read their mind. I simply cannot > understand them. Sometimes I think the rabid behavior is to cover > up an insecurity of some sort, but at other times, I lean toward > the sincere-but-mentally-unbalanced end of the spectrum of > explanations. >
The Bible calls it "zeal without knowledge." IOW, oftentimes people with little faith compensate for it with a lot of zeal. You're correct in accounting it to insecurity. They don't like the doubts they have (makes 'em feel guilty) so they make up for it by redoubling their zeal.
"Flowing water never stagnates." - Chinese proverb