One of the good things about the fundamentalist movement in its origins was that it set five basic tenants of faith that Christians should operate under. How those have been lived out and what they have morphed into is pretty sad and often scary, but the idea was solid. IT goes back to the council of Nicaea in fact whose purpose was to establish some basic and uniform Christian doctrine that represented the faith. It is a good and useful idea all in all. We need another of these in the UMC. Not a big book of discipline, or the larger book of resolutions etc, we need a few basic things that we agree upon as being representative of the Christian faith. I even think that it can be done.
Part of the problem is that we have made a simple faith very complicated. Let’s not forget that most of the disciples were not what would have been considered intellectuals. Let’s not forget that Peter, the rock of the church, and Paul, the great evangelist to the Gentiles argued over circumcision in their day, s arguments are not new.
Here is my modest proposal for the new fundamentals of faith. The idea being that if we can operate under these, then we can work and grow together.
- 1. Jesus is pretty awesome. He died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected as a foreshadowing of our resurrection.
- 2. The bible is the primary source of God’s truth.
- 3. Be excellent to each other (thank you Bill and Ted for the best advice ever)
There we go, my new fundamentals for a new fundamentalism. Yes, I know it’s overly simplistic and it is quite on purpose to hopefully make you think a little bit. So here is the invitation, what are the new fundamentals? What are the 5 easily understood statements that sum up Christian faith that we can all go forward with?