The So-Called ‘New’ Fundamentalists
by Dr. Jeff Owens
Jeff Owens is the pastor of Twin Rivers Baptist Church in New Bern, North Carolina.
“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.” (Jeremiah 6:15-19)
My father is an independent fundamental Baptist preacher. When I was a young preacher, my dad pulled me aside and said, “Son, please don’t ever change from the old-time religion.” I made my daddy a promise. I said, “Dad, the best I know how I’ll stick with it to the end.”
I loved my pastor of 18 years dearly. Not many years before he passed away and went to heaven, we were together sitting at a Ponderosa Steakhouse, sharing a meal. He said, “Jeff, please take to the next generation what you’ve been given. Don’t ever change. The opportunity to change will present itself to you. Don’t change. Always stay what you are.”
I said, “Preacher, I’ll do my best.”
I was a preacher boy in my later teenage years. One night I showed up for our church-wide soul-winning meeting. No one else showed up that night. I was heartbroken. I stepped outside the church building under a big old streetlight. I got on my knees and began to pray. I said, “Lord, I don’t want my church to deteriorate. I don’t want to see it go down.” I prayed and I prayed. It began to rain and I just kept praying. I prayed and I prayed.
That night, though not audibly, I felt like God said to me, “Young man, please don’t ever change.” I promised God to the best of my ability that I would go to my grave hanging on tight to the old-time religion.
There are many verses in the Bible that teach us to separate from the wrong crowd of religious people and ministries, from people and influences who would influence us away from the old-time stand on the Bible and doctrine and holiness and doing what is right. You would call that separation, ecclesiastical separation. There are many verses that teach it.
Romans 16:17 says, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” God tells us that we are to ‘mark them’ that do not preach pure doctrine. In other words, those doctrines that are not biblical. But how ought they to be avoided?
Second Thessalonians 3:6 says, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” Here, God is telling us that if somebody gets disorderly in the church, and they’re causing disunity, that we should move away from them. That doesn’t mean we have to be unkind, but we shouldn’t be spending time with them. But wait, this could also be talking to us as a church. When people begin to walk disorderly, they get out of the order of the old-time religion. If this is the case then we should be separating ourselves from them.
Now here, it says ‘walketh disorderly and not after the tradition which he received of us.’ That word “tradition.” This means that which has been entrusted to you, transmitted to you, passed on to you from someone previously. We are to be careful that we don’t find ourselves closely connected to someone that has left tradition. And what is that tradition? Those doctrines and beliefs that were given to us by the previous generation. Ephesians 5:10-11 says, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Galatians 2:11-13 says, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.” Paul said, “I had to withstand Peter because Peter had messed himself up, acting one way in front of some of the brethren, too concerned about what they thought instead of what God says is right.”
God gives us instructions about separating from those who are teaching and influencing us away from what is scriptural and right. First Timothy 6:3-5 says, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” When we stand against religious liberalism and error, we don’t do it just to be mean. We take a stand for what is right so we might follow the example penned by Paul in the Bible where he said, “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.”
I now want to warn us of a movement away from the old-time religion that is within the ranks of the old-time Baptist movement. Folks, we are independent fundamental Baptists. We’re not a denomination. We’re not a part of a denomination. But I want to warn us about what some have called, The New Fundamentalism. That’s a terrible name. You know, fundamentalism is, in its very description, old. That’s what fundamentalism means. You really can’t have a new fundamentalism. The name means going back to the fundamentals, the origin.
You see it’s either the old-time way, or it’s no longer fundamentalism. I used to feel that the great warning needed for the fundamental Baptists was the danger of our association with new evangelicals and the charismatic movement. Now, I have to warn the old paths, old-time religion people of apostasy even closer to home. Old-fashioned fighting fundamentalists and sin-fighting preachers are suddenly being replaced with pampered preaching, thumb-sucking babies and pacifists.
There’s a movement luring folks away from our roots in fundamentalism. There’s a modern day exodus out of the promised land of the old-time religion into the wilderness of apostasy. I don’t want us to go there. My daddy used to say, “If it’s popular and everybody’s doing it, it’s probably not right.” Let me give you some descriptions as to what I see happening.
I. The So-Called New Fundamentalism Has Developed A Disbelief In The Inerrancy Of The Scripture.
God makes many promises to us about His word. He promised us a perfect, purified word in Psalm 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” God promises us a Word that’s inspired or God-breathed. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
So you understand, these are not my promises, these are God’s promises. This is not my word; it is God’s word. God promises that He will preserve His word. Psalm 12:7, He said, “Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Notice He said ‘all generations,’ and we are living in a generation. God said, “I’m going to purify it seven times, completely. I’m going to inspire it. I’m going to preserve it for all generations.”
He then writes in Matthew 4:4, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Now God commanded you and I to live by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. For God to command us to live by every word, but not to give us an every word Bible, God would be unfair. How could He command us to live by every word, unless there is an every word Bible available somewhere for us to live by?
Matthew 5:18 promises. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” You know, people used to use these verses all the time. Now it seems like we’re almost apologizing for the fact that they’re in the Bible. Deuteronomy 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
Mark 4:15 says, “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” Satan tries to take the words away from us. Revelation 22:19 promises judgment on those who take away from God’s word. “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” I used to hear people preach these verses all the time. The so-called new fundamentalists apologize for that verse on the basis of the modern trend in regard to what they believe about the Bible.
Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Folks, I believe the King James Bible is the inspired, preserved word of God. It is the word of God for English speaking people. I’m sticking with the old King James Bible. That’s where I started. That’s where I want to end. But the so-called New Fundamentalist has developed a disbelief about the inspired, preserved, inerrant Word of God that we hold in our hands and read from today.
II. In the New Fundamentalism, there is a Toleration of Error for the Sake of Acceptance among People.
In other words, these so-called New Fundamentalists will tolerate wrong doctrines in order to be accepted by other crowds. Ephesians 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” Here the Bible is talking about speaking the truth in love. I think you can stand for the truth and still love people. That doesn’t mean you’re supposed to love their error. That doesn’t mean you’re to ignore the error. The new fundamentalism wants to be accepted by everybody. So, they also accept a bunch of doctrinal error to try to pull people together.
New fundamentalism is a lot like the new evangelicals. They have the attitude of “Let’s not offend anyone by rebuking their false doctrine.” They avoid issues in the name of love. They avoid certain doctrines by saying that doctrine is unnecessary. Why? Because they just want to love everybody.
My friend, you can love everybody and still tell them the truth. Folks, let me make it very clear. The teaching of works salvation is a damnable heresy. The teaching that you should baptize somebody that’s not born again is out of hell. You’re not to be baptizing infants. The charismatic teaching of tongues being some gibberish and wild out of control language, is simply not true. It is a heresy. But the New Fundamentalist won’t say that anymore. You say, “Why?” Well, they don’t want to offend anybody. They want to accept error so that they are accepted by more people.
Notice Jesus’ words to the Pharisees. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” If a preacher gets up today and has any backbone at all, and says anything with any grit and conviction, people say, “Well Preacher, you shouldn’t talk so harshly.” Did you just hear what Jesus said? He said, “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees. You hypocrites.” That’s Jesus being bold, as we are to be.
Have you considered the words that Stephen said to the Sanhedrin in an Acts 7:51, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Stephen had some guts. Stephen was a deacon that said, “If you resist the Holy Spirit of God, you’re a bunch of stiff-necked, uncircumcised, fake religious people.” I’d say Stephen had some backbone.
What about Paul’s words to Peter in Galatians 2:11. “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” I believe that Paul loved Peter, but I think Paul stood up to him and said, “Buddy, you’re wrong!”
In this new fundamentalism there’s a toleration of error for the sake of acceptance. I am for unity, but not at the expense of purity. I am for unity, but not at the expense of the old-time way. The Old Time Religion is good enough for me. I don’t plan to change. I’m not giving up my roots.
III. This So-Called New Fundamentalism Will Not Confront Biblical Issues.
John 15:19 says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
It’s almost as if the new fundamentalism is embarrassed to hold on to the beliefs of the old-time religion.
Folks, I’m not going to make any apologies for my predecessors. You can trace my roots back to a Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and you can trace my roots back to J. Frank Norris and Jack Hyles. You can trace my roots back to a Tom Malone and you can trace my roots back to a Lester Roloff. I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m not trying to leave that. I want to stick with that. That’s where I came from. That’s exactly what I believe, what I’ve always believed, and what I plan to keep on believing and standing for.
The so-called new fundamentalism dislikes issues. They dislike any doctrine or any separation issue that will cause them to be disliked or criticized. They want their sermons to be accepted by all. You can hear it in their preaching. They’ll get right up to the edge of an issue and act as if they’re going to step over. Then they back off!
Baby, I’m personally jumping over to that line. They want their sermons to be accepted by all. They want their books to be read by all. They want their pastor to be liked by all. I would love it, if everybody liked me. I would love it if just some people liked me! Ha ha! Folks, I apologize to you, but as long as I’m going to stand for the old-time way, you’re going to come across some people that don’t like Jeff Owens. You’re going to have some family members that won’t like me. They’ll criticize me. You’re going to have people that you’ll meet in the community who will say “I don’t like that guy.” I’m sorry. If they don’t like me because of my personality or disposition, then I need to be working on that. But if they don’t like me for the truth that I preached, then tough for them.
You see, the new so-called fundamentalism doesn’t want to confront Bible issues because that will mean that somebody won’t like them. The new so-called fundamentalism is known for building bridges to the liberals instead of burning those bridges. Anytime you confront issues like separation and the purity of the Bible and the new contemporary music that elevates the flesh and dishonors God, the so-called new fundamentalists choke. They want bigger crowds and they’ll become ecumenical to try to achieve it. They want to be wanted by all. Let’s remember that Jesus wasn’t wanted by all. The apostle Paul wasn’t wanted by all. Peter wasn’t wanted by all. I want to please God no matter who else likes me or doesn’t like me.
IV. In the New Fundamentalism we see more and more an ERA Movement of Feminists and Women Preachers
The so-called New Fundamentalists have developed their own ERA movement. I think Joyce Meyers needs to go home and make cookies. The Bible does not teach that women are inferior to men. It does teach that they are to be a help meet to their husbands. You can be sure as the so-called new fundamentalists move away from their stand on the purity of the Bible, they will also move away from their stand on women preachers.
I think Joel Osteen ought to go home and make brownies. You say “I really liked him.” Everybody does. The right kind of a church is going to teach women that they are to be submissive to their husbands, but you don’t find many preachers that’ll preach it anymore.
These so-called New Fundamentalists are a part of a feminist movement and the pressure of society is causing them not to preach what the Bible says in I Peter 3:1,4, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;... But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Or how about Titus 2:5? “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
First Timothy 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” Ladies, there is nothing wrong with being a wife and being a momma. The Bible still teaches submission to your husband. There are women who will say, “We are not going to a church that teaches that.” She then grabs her hubby by the ear and says, “Come on, we’re going to the First Compromiser Church up the road.”
V. The So-Called New Fundamentalism Puts Less and Less Emphasis on Doctrine.
The so-called new fundamentalists fear the strong teaching of doctrine because doctrine causes tension and they want everybody to like them, and to them doctrine is too divisive. It does not promote unity amongst ministries.
First Timothy 4:13 says, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Folks, we are to love one another but we are not to love to the point that we will just ignore our doctrinal differences.
When somebody teaches that you can lose your salvation, that is a false doctrine. The doctrine of socialism is destroying our country. The doctrine of Lordship salvation is out of hell -- it’s a works salvation. Preachers that get up and preach pure doctrine are not much liked.
The New Fundamentalism wants to discount and downplay the importance of pure doctrine.
VI. The So-Called New Fundamentalism Embraces Contemporary Christianity.
Contemporary music and the contemporary movement is very strong among the weak. It’s influencing many. This so-called new fundamentalism has a shallow stand. Anytime you become shallow in your stand, you become shallow regarding your music, too. Their music follows the same trends as their stand. It’s weak and worldly.
First Corinthians 14:15 says, “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” We need to understand something about music. Music is one of the best known thermometers of Christianity. You show me your music, I’ll show you something about you. You show me a church’s music, I’ll tell you something about their standards. I’ll tell you something about their direction. You show me what music you allow in your home and I’ll show you if you’re liberal or conservative.
The weaker the church gets, the more their music is about emotion rather than message. It’s almost Hollywood in style. To them, the old-time hymns are no longer good enough. They’re dead. They’re dry. They don’t remind them enough of the nightclub. They don’t remind them of the honky-tonk. They don’t remind them of the rock and roll culture from which they left, and they so desire to go back to. The old-time music attaches them to a past from which they want to break away. Folks the church is not a dance hall. The old time religion matches up with a music that reaches the soul and spirit with a scriptural message, not a worldly music that speaks to the physical body and emotions.
VII. In The So-Called New Fundamentalism Psychology Seems to Replace Bible Preaching.
The so-called new fundamentalist does not want to tell people that they have a lack of peace in their lives because of their sin. So they soothe their conscience instead of kicking the devil! So-called new fundamentalists are not wanting to offend, so they back down on their preaching.
Psalms 119:165 tells us, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” You won’t be offended with hard preaching if you’re right with God! The so-called new fundamentalist takes on a counseling style from the pulpit instead of a preaching style. They aim for psychological wholeness rather than Bible correctness. They help you justify your excuses instead of kicking you in the britches and challenging you to get your heart right with God.
Folks I’m a hellfire and brimstone preacher. I don’t preach with a purpose to make people mad, although I do make people mad. When I preach, I never come to the pulpit with the intention of trying to get an enemy, but I’ve never come to the pulpit afraid of getting an enemy. There may be a couple of you newer people that need to know this. And if you don’t want to know it, you’re going to know it anyway. Nobody tells me what to preach or how to preach it. I try to follow God’s leadership on what to preach and when to preach it and how to preach it, and then I’m going to preach it strong.
In this new fundamentalism, there’s a psychology type of preaching. It’s almost mystical. It has no handles that you can grab a hold of. You keep thinking they’re going to reach their destination and they never quite totally get there. I like the kind of preaching that when you are leaving, you say, “I think I know what he just said.” I never have anybody walk out of here and say, “I wonder, what does that guy believe?”
But the New Fundamentalist wants to replace old-fashioned Bible preaching with a feel-good psychology.
VIII. In this So-Called New Fundamentalism, their Bible Colleges Dilute the Minds of their Bible College Students.
If you start messing with all these things that I’m talking about, and if you are training people for the ministry, then you start messing with the ones you’re training. The Apostle Paul was very concerned about old-time doctrine and the old-time ways being passed down from generation to generation. In II Timothy 2:2, it says, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Paul said, “Now listen, young men, I’m going to teach you some things and I want to pass the exact same things down to the next generation. Don’t pass on something new. Pass on the same thing that was passed on to you.”
I personally know my responsibility of passing things down to the next generation. That’s what Paul challenged us to do. Many a Bible college was built by an old-time, hard headed, hard hitting, fighting fundamentalist. Then in the second and third generation of leadership, it sells out to the new ways. Which means if we’re going to build a Bible college for God’s sake, I’m going to preach like this, and I’m going to teach like this. I’m going to teach the young men to be old-fashioned independent, fundamental Baptists. They will be challenged to spit while they preach, raise their voice, and pluck some tail feathers.
Some of the most liberal Bible Colleges in America today were started by old-time religion people. But they’ve been corrupted through the years. You say, “They’ve bettered.” No, they haven’t bettered. You can’t improve on the old-time religion. They dilute the minds of their students.
Young students leave their country churches, and their old fashioned country preachers. They go off to Bible college. They get to Bible college with people that think they’re smart. Those people then tell them their country preacher was outdated. People then tell them their country preacher’s stand for Soul-winning is too intense. Those influences tell these young preachers their stand on the King James Bible is silly. So many colleges have to keep their doors open financially. They will start accepting everything under the sun and open the doors wide to all sorts of liberalism.
These so-called New Fundamentalists are diluting the minds of our young people who are preparing to serve God in the ministry.
IX. This New So-Called Fundamentalism is Heading Toward Preaching and Practicing a Social Gospel.
They have stopped preaching on hell. Why? It’s not socially acceptable. It’s offensive. They won’t stand up and tell someone, “If you don’t get saved you’re going to split hell wide open.” They stopped having altar calls. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but we have altar call on Sunday morning. We have altar call on Sunday night. We have altar call on Wednesday night. We have altar call in chapel. We have altar call at funerals. We have altar call at picnics. We just believe that people need to get right with God.
The New Fundamentalists get so concerned about the social aspect of things. They have stopped believing that the best answer to drunkenness is salvation. They have begun to think the answer is in social programs. If there’s some social program out there that helps someone, great! But I’ll tell you something, if you’re a drunk, get you a good old-fashioned dose of Jesus Christ’s salvation and cleansing and the Bible and start coming to church and reading your Bible and you’ll be shocked at how it can change you!
The New Fundamentalists have stopped believing that the best answer for a drug addict is salvation. Now they have a program where they all sit around the table, tell their stories, and hear some psychological instructions. You say, “Well, what should I do if I’m addicted?” Stop taking drugs. Ask God to forgive you and change you.
There have been people giving up sinful vices for thousands of years. There have been more people turned around because of the gospel of Jesus Christ than all the social programs on the face of the earth. They promote the alleviation of human suffering. I think keeping somebody out of hell is the alleviation of human suffering. They leave the realm of the spiritual and start leaning very heavily toward the realm of the physical and its social aspect. They are now joining the save a tree campaign. The tree huggers need to hug the tree of the cross of Calvary and get back to the old-time religion.
X. The So-Called New Fundamentalists Yoke Up With The Charismatics.
Second Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;” Paul refuted false doctrine. The so-called new fundamentalists study, in private, the charismatics and the new evangelicals. They are getting away from their roots. They may not admit they’re studying the other crowd, but eventually it comes out in their preaching.
The new fundamentalist admires the big crowds of the charismatic movement. They secretly wonder what the charismatics have that they don’t. So they investigate with great interest and before long they start becoming like the new evangelical and the Charismatic in order to get a big crowd. No where in the Bible does it say you have to go get a big crowd. It does say you need to preach and tell the truth. It does say that Jesus will build the church.
In the new fundamentalism, they want the great big crowds. Our crowds are not as big as those crowds because when you stand for something, some people won’t stand for you.
XI. The New Fundamentalist Dislikes the Public Criticism of Apostasy.
The new so-called fundamentalist does not want to be seen as negative. So, they won’t rebuke wrong. The Bible says in II Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:” In the old-time churches and ministries, Baptist distinctives were common. Nobody was afraid to talk about them.
To the so-called new fundamentalists, the old time distinctives of the Baptists are an anchor by which they don’t want to be controlled. Please know that everything that says ‘church’ on its sign is not a church. Please know that not everybody that mentions Jesus is right with Jesus. They don’t want to criticize apostasy because apostate is what they are becoming.
XII. The New So-Called Fundamentalists Are More Antagonistic Toward The Old-Time Fundamentalists Than They Are Toward The Charismatics.
The new fundamentalists now criticize their old position. Then here’s what they do. They then call you a legalist. If they’re so bright, maybe they ought to figure out what legalism means. Legalism means adding something to salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing.
These ‘new’ fundamentalists will say you’re a legalist because you have standards. Not so! Legalism is adding a work of some sort to salvation. So, what about those standards? That’s called separation from the world. That’s holy living. That’s obedience to the Bible. Separation is something they’re not real clear on either. New so-called fundamentalists have a chip on their shoulder toward the old-time religion. They now attack what they used to defend.
XIII. The So Called New Fundamentalists Are Doing Away With Their Bible Standards.
This Bible is the standard of spiritual living and behavior. To them having scriptural prerequisites to qualify for certain church positions has become a thing of the past. With the new fundamentalists, standards are no longer expected or recommended. They say it’s a personal choice instead of a commandment of God. They say there are some things that you ought to do and they’re right, but then say that it’s all up to you.
They say, “I’ll let you do whatever you want in the church, but you’re going to have to choose whether you live right or not.” My friend, that’s humanism. So, they’re willing to say something is right or wrong, but they’re not willing to expect it. Did you know that the truth produces godliness?
The new fundamentalism may feel that way. They’ll say, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong,” but they will not require you to live it. They may tell you what’s right, but they will not require it.
XIV. The New Fundamentalism, As They Call It, Markets The Church Like a Business.
The so-called new fundamentalists want to know what the community is seeking in a church. They want to give the community what the community’s looking for. But Acts 2:47 says, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” God added to the church daily -- without compromise, and without them going around taking surveys and finding out what all the lost people wanted to happen down at the church.
New Fundamentalists want to make the lost or the carnal Christian feel comfortable at church by preaching a no-guilt style message and having music like the world’s, with no standards. The carnal Christian wants to pick their own standards. The Bible says in Isaiah 31:1, “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help;...” Egypt is the world. We need to get our instructions and example from the Bible, not from the world.
XV. These People Want Man-Centered Sermons. Instead Of God-Centered Sermons
They want entertainment in this kind of a church. So, entertainment in the church replaces the real ministry. The best atmosphere there is for a fundamental Baptist church is the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You can’t conjure it up. You can’t create it. The New Fundamentalists try to build atmosphere. There is no begging that the power of God would fall upon their church. You see, the church program in the New Testament church was this: the apostles preached, prayed, sang hymns, gathered tithes and offerings, baptized people and took the Lord’s supper.
Today churches want a social club. You know, folks, the church is not a sports bar. The church is not a talk show. It’s not an opera. It’s not a social center. It’s not a movie theater.
When we start a church service, you need to sit still and pay attention. We don’t walk in and walk out at our leisure. This church is not a Great America amusement park. We work hard around here to provide some clean activity, fun and excitement. But I’ll tell you, the most important thing here is not the church picnic. The most important thing is the preaching of the Word of God and lives being changed and people being saved.
Church is not a coffee shop. It’s not a chat room. It’s not your spiritual Moose Lodge. The churches today are far removed from what they were 200 years ago.
What we have been talking about is being called New Fundamentalism, but that’s impossible because fundamentalism is, in its very nature, original or old. Let’s never be embarrassed of being an old-time religion church.
Now, if you say “Brother Owens, you’re just mean,” then you need to come back some day when I am helping our people with the burdens of life, and we definitely have some messages like that. I’m not mean. I love people and I love my church. But I love it enough that I’m going to protect it from dangers like this.
We don’t need anything new from these so-called new fundamentalists. We need to stick with the old time way, and the eternal unchanging Word of God.
Jeremiah 6:16, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Thank God for some of those things that have been passed down to us from the previous generation. We need to make sure we pass them down to the next generation.