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There are several stories of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs in lore of old. One version has it that after the house of sticks was blown down, the wolf ate little pig #1. Likewise, little pig #2 was caught after his house of straw was blown away and eaten by herr wolf. And little pig #3 somehow was already wise and built a blow down proof house of bricks, or he wised up after seeing his litter mates chewed into oblivion and digested. Either way, something happened to save little pig #3. on that we can all agree, I think.
The other more popular story I grew up with, but not necessarily true was that after each successive house was blown down, little pigs #1 and #2 skedaddled on over to little pig #3’s house of bricks and when the wolf failed to blow down the brick Tudor, he attempted to exploit the one weakness of the home by climbing down the chimney. All he got for his trouble was scalded or burned, whichever version you happened to have read.
There are several morals to the story.
build a wolf-proof house to begin with.
build in an area where there are no wolves
make sure your relatives are all on the same page
keep a pot of boiling hot water around at all times
make sure there is plenty of firewood in the woodbox
keep a recipe handy for wolf-bone soup
and last, but not least, keep an updated copy of the Uniform Building Code handy.
There are other maybe more important morals, I guess. I’m reasonably sure they will be pointed out in comments from fine writers and fairy-tale aficionados.
We are taught very early in life that there is good and evil. There are countless fairy tales and stories of peaceful happy creatures minding their own business and some terrible entity comes to destroy them and their serene lives. These battles of good and evil are ingrained into our psyches, and they have lasting effects. How else would we know of good and evil? Should we be exposed to the consequences of ill behavior and punishment at such an early age? Yep. Should there be a code of conduct for children to follow so that they know ill behavior will be punished? Yep. Who writes the code to follow? Who determines what is accepted behavior and rewards for behaving well, and who determines the correction or punishment meted out when one misbehaves? We’ll come back to that after while.
I am not an eloquent man. I am a meat and potatoes, black and white no-nonsense kind of guy. I do like to have fun and kid and joke around a little. Sometimes I am even a little goofy. I don’t mean to be that way, but I guess the fairy folk have had their way with me for far too long. I am not a greatly educated man, either; normal public school, trade school, a little college. That aside, here’s the thing.
All of us are fundamentalists. That’s right, all of us. We all believe something. We have our reasons. We are taught or have learned something in our lives that guides us along the way. What way, you say? It could be the nursery rhymes, or fairy tales, or the Torah, or Koran, or the Bible, or Sanscrit, Confucious, Buddhism, or a host of other precepts that someone, somewhere thought was a good way to live life. They are ALL ways. For the sake of this discussion, I will expound upon my way, more so what I believe to be God’s way thru Christ.
Dr. Doug says that we “fundamentalists” believe in the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent almighty God. He rightly claims that our belief is unrelenting. If you are going to believe in something, believe it all the way or you risk hypocrisy. Right? Right. Your belief may be wrong, but at least you are not a phony.
God says in the Bible: I am. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. (in the Greek text, the end means; the end and the end and the end. Which means (IMO) there is no end to Him. I am “normal” in that, I wonder where God came from, can one entity really know everything, have His finger on everything and everyone? Can He (sorry ladies, and Soos, it is a He) really be everywhere at once, know everything at once, and love everything at the same time? Why not? Who is around to say He can’t? Who was around before Him, if not Him? It *life* had to start somewhere, didn’t it, why not with Him? Wouldn’t that alone qualify Him to be God? Also in the Greek, the Alpha meant; the beginning and the beginning and the beginning. I mean, didn’t the “alpha”bet have to begin somewhere? That is elementary to all living things.
Second, Dr. Doug claims that God is a stern and judgmental God, yet loving. And he quotes, 1John,4:8, which says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
I love to read 1st John. It gives me great comfort in times of doubt. 1st John,1:22 says; “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” That is a fundamental precept in the New Testament. All of Christianity accepts this. It makes all Christians fundamentalists. Yes? As to the stern and judgmental part that was not referenced by scripture, here it is: Revelation,20:15 says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
When someone starts quoting scripture to me, I have to ask myself why. Why do they only quote a single verse here or a single verse there? Answer? They are usually trying to convince someone of their position, which is usually weak, because anyone can quote anything, anywhere, and make it sound “right”. I don’t want to give a tutorial on Bible study to folks, but here’s the real deal, If someone starts doing that to you, ask for context. Ask for the preceding verses and the verses following the quote, and you will achieve context. I just quoted you one verse here, and one verse there. If you really want to know context, read all around the quote, misquote, in most cases. When I quote scripture, I am prepared to back up what I quote with multiple references in context.
Doug further asserts fundamentalists believe that all humans were created by God, in His image, as the one and only creator in the universe. Right again, Dr. Doug. Genesis1:1 says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Name me anyone else around who knows any different. Really folks, who was around back then to refute the assertion? Genesis1:26,27 says: “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Allrighty then. When each and every Christian denomination pulls out their Bible, in whichever translation, it still says the same dadburned thing. Things are really starting to get hot, huh? It’s another fundamental thing they all read and reference, yes? But it only means something IF you believe the Bible, right?
That was the third thing Dr. Doug referred to. Here’s the fourth.
Human beings had no choice in their creation; that no human being had a choice to be or not to be created. Dr. Doug is on a roll. I refer you back to the afore mentioned scripture in Genesis. And Genesis1:31 states; “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” I guess He liked what He saw. Is there anyone who is unhappy that they were born, that they had no choice in the matter? Hmmm… If God’s happy about it, I guess I can stand it for a while.
Fifth: the vast majority of humans are not saved and they will end up going to Hell. I guess you got that one right too, Dr. Doug. You quote Matthew7:14, so it must be true. Ahem. You take that quote completely out of context, sir. Shame, Shame, Shame on you. Jesus Himself was speaking. Some call it the Sermon on the Mount. For one to be intellectually honest here, one must reference the entire sermon, and context will be achieved. I ain’t a gonna’ read it to you all, read it for yourselves and then judge whether or not most everyone will end up in Hell. One of the verses in the sermon on the Mount I like is: Matt.7:21, which says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.” So, everybody ain’t a goin’ to the big house. We all have our favorite “you don’t get to goes” don’t we? In that same sermon, Jesus tells us not to judge, not to cast our pearls before swine, the mote& beam in the eye thing, and so on and so on. Everybody wants to get into the act. The way is narrow to enter Heaven, but easy to achieve, like falling off a log.
Next up is #6. This one is a biggie, well, they all are, but especially this one. This one is the fundamental of all fundamental fundamentalists.
Dr. Doug says; that salvation, according to the inerrant scriptures of the Holy Bible, is a function of having consciously accepted Jesus Christ as one’s personal savior without regard to how good one has lived their life; that salvation is a matter of faith, rather than works.
My one good knee jerks when someone says that. As a matter of fact, my prosthetic knee jerks too. My first question to the esteemed Dr. Doug is, where are your Biblical quotes on this one? Where is the context without the guide here? (tapping my foot, waiting… still waiting…) My next question is; what does one thing have to do with the other?
There is no logic in your statement taken as is. It is sorely misleading. Tell you what, let’s go back to the Sermon on the Mount. How about we start at Matt.7:22, 23 which says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
My next question is this, Doug; if a man could do something, anything, as far as good works goes, then why did Jesus even bother to come to save us? Why would He go through the virgin birth, the growing up, puberty, getting betrayed, denied, tempted, beaten, flogged, flayed, nailed, speared, and crucified, not to mention buried in a stone tomb with a big rock rolled in front of it? I mean, if good works gets your ticket punched to Heaven, why profess Christ in the first place? I’ll get back to you on that in a minute.
First, the scriptures. The inerrant scriptures are all that I, or any Christian has. It is all that I have to stand on for my belief to be real. How would one explain salvation, or the Holy Spirit which resides in me, or peace, or joy, or lots of other great and wonderful things? In for a penny, in for a pound. And if I’m wrong, what have I lost? Nothing. I’ll be like the dead dog (or cat) buried, left to rot away. Just like non-believers. But if I’m right, you got trouble, right here in River City.
Most people don’t know the history of the translation of the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts into the Bible as we know it. It was translated by 67 scholars during King James reign. Say what you want about translations, but the fellows who did the KJV did a marvelous job. I’ll hang my hat there. Where else would you have me hang my hat? Others like other translations better, I have no quarrel with them.
Try this on for size. John 5:39 says: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” And verse 46, which says,” For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for Moses wrote of me.” And verse 47—“But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” Hmmm… what is a man to believe?
Faith. What is it? The dictionary term says: complete trust or confidence. We all have it. We all have confidence in something. Our car will start on an extremely cold day. The stove will light when we want to cook. Our ability to work and make a living for our families. Our belief that we are immortal. At least until we die. We believe in something better after life, or worse, depending on your view of things. We have faith in our friends, our families, our governments, our dogs to fetch. It is what binds us as human beings. It is what makes us all fundamentalists, for without it, we would be no better off than a rock on Mars. Religions come and go, live and die, rise and fall. History is replete with the strewn litter of religion. What makes Christianity any different than a thousand other systems of belief? The fact that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and rose the third day. That’s it. That’s everything in a nutshell. It is referred to as the Gospel. I don’t care, (and neither do the fundamentalists I know) what else you believe, what your doctrines are, whose hairs you split with, or who you swap spit with, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the one thing you must believe to get to Heaven. Failing that, all is lost. I can’t speak for any other belief system simply because I choose not to. I am comfortable with this one. If a man believes his set of precepts are sufficient to place him in Heaven, fine. He has to work that out with his God. Jesus made it all so simple though. Doug’s claim is that God is, according to the Christian/fundamentalist faith, an exclusionary God. I beg to differ, Doug. Everyone who hears the gospel and believes it and relies on it goes to Heaven. It is as simple as that. I could write and quote hundreds of verses from the Bible supporting this fact, but I don’t need to. A couple or three will do. John 3:17; “for God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. “John 6:47; Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” And John; 11:25,26; Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this? And finally this verse which is one of my all time favorites. Romans 8:38,39; “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus is the one and only inclusionary God. It is fundamental and makes perfect sense to even a little child.
Your seventh and last statement of fact is: that a relative inopportunity to accept Christ as one’s own personal savior cannot be considered to be a justifiable reason for which to avoid punishment in hell; is ludicrous, Doug. Again, you cite no scripture. You use no facts for your statement, and I don’t know of any Christian who believes your statement to be a fact anywhere near this planet. So, I’m from Missouri, show me.
Now you speak of the majority of mankind being destined to go to Hell. Don’t you mean predestined? Who knows another man’s heart? Who knows what light another man sees? You have made a very judgmental statement that is not backed up by anything. Southern Baptists send missionaries all over the world to preach the gospel. They don’t “know” anything about a man’s spiritual condition in Borneo, any more than they know your spiritual condition. They go to preach and teach.
It is hard if not impossible to give you your presuppositions given the fact that your presuppositions are fatally flawed. Furthermore, it is nigh on to useless to answer your “logical” deductive questions, given the fact that they are the offspring of your flawed presuppositions in the first place. I will indulge you and the reader if you insist, but I must tell you that I will do so only if you bring your suppositions and logical reasoning into contextual line. That is the fairest way to continue the debate, don’t you think?
Let’s get back to the Three Little Pigs for a moment, shall we?
In the first tale, 2 of the pigs got eaten up, the other survived. Why? Either because he saw what happened to them and his fear/intelligence/necessity told him to build a wolf-proof house, or he went down to the library to get a copy of the UBC to determine what it took to build a wolf-proof house. You don’t go building a house without a plan. There are guidelines, otherwise you might get eaten. (or red-tagged at the very least.) and the universal building code is just that, universal. There are copies all over the world for people to go by. You see the consequences of failure to follow the code after earthquakes and hurricanes come through.
In the second version of the tale, two of the three little pigs take off running to their brother’s house for protection. Why? They didn’t want to get eaten. They apparently didn’t use the UBC when they built their homes. They knew their brother was smarter than they. (If anyone could resist the wolf-blown wind) their brother’s house could. And last, they were desperate. Pick any or all of those reasons and you will find the logic of Christian fundamentalism as a valuable belief system. It all comes down to the UBC. That is what makes us all fundamentalists, Doug.
Who wrote the UBC?
It says, “ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” …. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.