Monday, 30 January 2012
I'm in disagreement with most of my peers. Before I get misquoted, I don't hate any of them, or think poorly of them. One can still disagree, and yet be respectful. In honest dialogue with some of them -- especially concerning issues of life, faith and morality -- I was given much advice. However, some of this advice is littered with words I think don't really mean anything without qualifiers. So here are some words I usually find difficult to understand without clarification.
I consider myself a Christian fundamentalist, but not in the sense that the press and my friends would understand. In fact, if being fundamentalist mean sticking to the basic principles of Christian belief, then I am. By this definition, I would go further and even argue I am more fundamental than the "fundamentalists" touted in the mass media. After all, I believe in going back to Scripture to live my life.
If one requires more examples of why I am fundamentalist -- but not really -- let me demonstrate:
I believe in biblical inerrancy, and I accept evolutionary theory.
I am a huge fan of the Protestant Reformation, and I look forward to working with the Roman Catholic Church; the only issue I have with their theology is their issue of justification.
Another issue I have is the issue is the word "Open-minded". Most of the time it is used to portray one speaker as more enlightened or educated then the other. But of course you have to be closed-minded in some stuff to be open-minded in others. For instance, I am closed-minded about biblical inerrancy, and therefore I am open-minded about miracles that happen today. However, some of my skeptic friends are closed-minded about even the possibility miracles -- for no other odd reason other that they cannot happen -- and therefore closed-minded about the possibility of Christianity.
I suppose one can accuse me of word games, but I disagree. After all, some people would argue for lack of convictions, but in my experience, those who often claim to be "open-minded" tend to be the most intolerant of people with convictions. As the English poet GK Chesterton remarked,
"The people who are the most bigoted are the people who have no convictions at all."
What words have people labelled you with that you agree with in a different way than was intended? What words do Christians use that you find confusing? Can you shed light on words that might be confusing to others outside of the Christian community?