Fundamentalists Contra Mundum!

I returned In Awe of Thy Word to my friend this morning. We discussed some of our personal observations about Riplinger’s writing in general and some things related to this book in particular. I brought up David Cloud’s one page treatment of Riplinger’s book. I pointed out how it did a good job of showing how several of the readings in Wycliffe’s New Testament matched the Latin Vulgate, contrary to Riplinger’s claims. I explained how this discredits her attempt to document her claim that Wycliffe corrected the Vulgate with Old Latin and even Hebrew and Greek manuscripts in order to bring the text into “complete agreement” with the Traditional Text.
Then we moved on to a couple of things about David Cloud’s positions on other things, which raised an interesting question with my friend. Realizing that Cloud writes exposes on almost any prominent Christian leader you can imagine, including fellow fundamental Baptists, like Peter Ruckman and Jack Hyles, for instance, my friend furrowed his brow and asked, “So, who is David Cloud not against?”
I ventured with my tongue squarely in my cheek (but don’t worry, my pronunciation was not affected–you have to point that out for hyper-literalists, you know), “Probably only churches that pay him to come speak!” Then, on a more serious and respectful note, I continued, “You know, that’s what you get when you’re an independent Independent Baptist–not even ‘dependent’ on your own fellowship.” Guys like Dr. Cloud sometimes seem to be able to find an enemy under every rock.
That’s when it hit me! Fundamentalists contra mundum! Fundamentalists who seem to be against everything that’s going on in the broader Christian world except what’s going on within the four walls of their own churches, and the small group of churches with whom they are willing to extend genuine fellowship are like a photographic negative of the man for whom this Latin nickname was coined. There for a minute I considered telling my friend the story of Athanasius, who famously stood “against the world” (contra mundum) to defend the orthodox view of the Trinity and the deity of Christ during the Council of Nicea, but he had plenty of other things on his mind so before I had another chance to speak, the thought had escaped me. But now it’s back, and I thought it was a cute enough little association that serves to underscore the hyper-separatism of fundamentalism, that I just had to share it with you.
But let this be a lesson for us all: if we must criticize almost everyone who comes down the pike, let us take the advice my friend’s pastor and father-in-law once told me, “Don’t start nuthin’ unless you know you can finish it!”
They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love
We are one in the Spirit,
we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit,
we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity
may one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other,
we will work side by side
We will work with each other,
we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity
and save each one’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love
We will walk with each other,
we will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other,
we will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news
that God is in our land
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love
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8 responses

  1. Thanks for letting me know you used this drawing in your post. I always find it rather novel to see the occasional work of mine pop up elsewhere…I don’t know if you just went directly to that page, but that is a just an altered sketch for another piece which I am being slow about finishing and can be found here if you’re interested.

    BTW, I like your use of the phrase “photographic negative” in comparing those extreme separatists and Athanasius. They are the opposite of him in their refusal to accept any authority but their own opinion, yet I am sure they feel as righteous as he.
    Athanasius did not cut and run like they do, throwing subversive rocks from the outside-he remained in the church (even when in exile) and fought for the creed affirmed.
    Well that’s how I see it-but then, I am a fan of Athanasius so maybe I’m a little biased.

  2. Char,

    I take your comment as permission granted and I thank you! I saw the other phases of the picture at your blog, and this one at least highlights the details a little more easily in this format so I selected it on purpose. Your painting is coming along very nicely.

    I don’t think what was showing through was bias at all, but a well-put recognition of what I meant by the fundamentalists who see themselves as the only harbingers of truth in a world of counterfeit, apostate Christianity. Fundamentalists, especially the variety I’m referring to in this post, INDEPENDENT independents, often spend their time tearing down others in order to build themselves up. If someone sees this post and accuses me of doing the same, I will just confess that I was well trained by them 🙂

  3. “A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing…don’t you think?”

    From – Red October

  4. I’m not following you, Gage . . .
    Was the Red October “contra mundum”?

  5. Fundamentally Reformed | Reply

    Great post, John. “So who is David Cloud not against?” How sad but true.

  6. Baptist Crusader | Reply

    Somehow I missed this one….The David Cloud Apostasy database does reveal that he’s against almost everyone for something. He has a great way of finding motes in peoples eyes.

  7. John D. Chitty | Reply

    Everybody needs a job . . . is this a great country, or what?

  8. […] David Cloud, whose work may be found at his website Way of Life Literature, Inc. He was definitely a schismatic fundamentalist on many issues, but he did not descend into the nuttiness of Ruckmanism. I found many of his writings on the […]

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