Six Distinctives of Biblical Fundamentalism

Virtually all Christian voices heard today (whether from churches, para-church ministries, media ministries, authors, seminar lecturers or conference speakers) are bold in their claim that what they are saying is based upon the Word of God. So why the conflicting statements and agendas? Why is the Biblical fundamentalist distinctively set apart from what seems to be every one else when he defines acceptable faith and practice by way of the Word of God? The difference is that he not only believes the Word, but he is also willing to walk in Its light.

The Biblical fundamentalist is militant: He takes seriously the command to “earnestly contend for the Faith” and is able to determine what is in fact “the faith which was once delivered” (Jude 3). He sees doctrinal error as wickedness and warns about its incursion into the church.

The Biblical fundamentalist proclaims“all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). He does not pick and choose his way through the Word. Expository teaching prevents him from neglecting truths that are equally vital to the spiritually equipped servant of Jesus Christ.

The Biblical fundamentalist is is separated from error and the errant: He must not be identified with a ministry that is committed to a course of unbiblical belief and practice. But remember too the desired end of raising a separated witness with respect to a fellow believer—his repentance and restoration (2 Thess. 3:14,15; Jas. 5:19,20). Regarding the apostate, with some, “make a difference,” that is, make a distinction, and give the Gospel (Jude 22,23).

The Biblical fundamentalist is evangelistic: He is himself a “new creature in Christ” and God has committed to him the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:14-21). He certainly does not enter into the compromised, ecumencial-styled programs so prevalent today, but he most assuredly does have a burden for the lost and will do whatever he can to pray and strive for the lost to hear the Gospel and receive the Savior. He realizes that the the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of grace, not works, from start to finish.

The Biblical fundamentalist is dispensational: He makes a difference between Law and Grace; the church and Israel; the Church Age and the Kingdom Age. He is able to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

The Biblical fundamentalist is spiritual: It is a daily battle and the need for renewal of the inner man (Eph. 4:23,24), but through Christ and the endwelling Holy Spirit, he can walk in fellowship with his God. Keep His commandments, abide in Him (Jn. 15:4-10) and thereby “bear much fruit [and] so shall ye be my disciples.” Many today who seemingly take a “fundamentalist position” evidently care little about what the Bible has to say about the circumspect walk and “enlarged heart” of which the apostle spoke so forcefully.

— Pastor Dennis Costella (1948-2011)