11 thoughts on “Are fundamentalists an unreached people group?

  1. Matt, a good way of putting it. It’s reminder that movements, doctrines, theology, denominations are provisional. What the glory of God once filled can be just as quickly empty. Whether Fundamentalism ever was ‘full’ is another question.

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  2. My understanding was that “unreached people groups” usually means “unreached ethnic groups”.
    However, I do share the chuckles re Xian fundies needing evangelisation. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I realised when at times I function in the evangelistic gifting, there seemed to be lots of opportunities to share the basic joys and truths of salvation in Christ with fellow Christians as well as with people unacquainted with The Way.
    Actually, I find myself being continually confronted with my own opinions and inclinations which need evangelising i.e. redirected to more loving and truthful modus operandi

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  3. “Unreached people groups” is a far broader concept than “unreached ethnic groups”. It acknowledges that boundaries between communities are grounded in cultural, religious and ethnic differences … not just ethnicity alone.
    For example, one of the key barriers preventing gospel transmission across Indian society is caste. Brahmins and Dalits have, accordingly, long been recognised as distinct people groups by missiologists. But speaking of caste in terms of ethnicity would hardly be adequate as it’s more a case of a religio-cultural difference within the same nation.
    Closer to home, between nations we also differentiate between unreached Australians and unreached Americans, acknowledging the cultural differences despite the ethnic similarities between the Anglo communities. Others have recognised the importance of recognizing globalized subcultures, such as goths, as people groups. Lausanne recognizes the major religions as people groups and some of my collegues have argued much the same for new religions.
    In view of this, for all my ethnic proximity to American fundamentalists from the deep south, i am deeply aware of the huge cultural and religious gap.
    My suggestion above is half in jest, but only half. I do consider them a different people group to my own, I’m only hesitant in terms of how much I consider them unreached. Some seem far less loving than universalists, which raises some interesting questions don’t you think? At the very least we have some differences that need reconciling. But if their gospel is a half gospel, as so many missional leaders have suggested, why do we shy back front taking this line of critique to its obvious conclusion. Is it so silly to ask whether re-evangelisation is necessary? Maybe some is required on both sides, but that still wouldn’t let them off the hook.

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  4. So you see where this is going I hope. I reject universalism as false teaching. But, having said that, I affirm that heretical Universalists may be closer to the kingdom than hateful Fundamentalists. For the master said,
    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
    “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

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  5. Good thoughts.
    Indeed they should be considered unreached, but like the Pharisees, they’ll be some of the hardest to share the truth with, as they think they already have the truth.
    A lot of patience and a lot of love.

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  6. Having been around Fundamentalists for many years, I am familiar with the interpretation of the Bible and thought processes that lead them where they end up. Any message of the Divine deteriorates to pure ego of individual man. Saved and unsaved. I am saved, you are not. I am privileged, you are not. I am anointed, you are not. Anything I say is right, everything you say is wrong. It’s crazy. Truth is Universal and applies to everyone, “saved or unsaved.” Knowing Jesus means we have a better chance of knowing the Truth because we are exposed to it routinely. But what some people do with the Truth is truly frightening.

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