Friday Church News Notes, December 16, 2005 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143

In his interview on
Larry King Live on December 2, 2006, Rick Warren of Purpose Driven Life fame likened biblical fundamentalists to Muslim extremists and atheistic secularists. He said: “There are all kinds of fundamentalists, Larry, and they’re all based on fear. There are Christian fundamentalists. There are Muslim fundamentalists. I’ve met some Jewish fundamentalists. You know that there are secular fundamentalists. They’re all based on fear. Secular fundamentalists are afraid of God.” This statement is a vicious libel against Christian fundamentalists. George Dollar, in his history of fundamentalism, defined it in this way: “Historic fundamentalism is the literal interpretation of all the affirmations and attitudes of the Bible and the militant exposure of all non-biblical affirmations and attitudes” (Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America, 1973). Looking back over the fundamentalist movement since the 1930s, John Ashbrook defined it as follows: “Fundamentalism is the militant belief and proclamation of the basic doctrines of Christianity leading to a Scriptural separation from those who reject them” (John Ashbrook, Axioms of Separation, nd., p. 10). That is the type of fundamentalism that tens of thousands of churches throughout the world seek to emulate. Rick Warren has set himself up against this scriptural position and has likened it to Islamic terrorism and secular atheism. If fear is a central aspect of biblical fundamentalism it is the fear of God that leads to strict obedience to His Word, and that is scriptural and right. That was exactly how Paul instructed the believers at Corinth to live: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). Paul instructed the church at Philippi to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). Hebrews 12:28 says we are to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” If Rick Warren does not have this fear, he is not a true Christian, and if he does, let him apologize publicly for saying that fear is a wrong thing and for likening those who practice it to dangerous extremists. I won’t hold my breath, though. Friends in Christ, beware of Rick Warren. This popular Southern Baptist preacher is an extremely dangerous man.