Wednesday, December 17, 2008

flop-flippers

A nice little post from Scot McKnight on Fundamentalist Flop-flipping. I hardly read Scot's blog anymore since he switched over to beliefnet (it's mostly just the look, but I don't like the ads and stuff either), but this is one I need to keep on hand. See, I am a former fundy; and even now that I am not, I can sometimes be a flop-flipper too. I know many others who are as well. What is a flop-flipper, you ask? He sums it up in this paragraph:
These anti-fundamentalists (and anti-evangelicals) can be just as confident and cocky that they've got it all figured out. That they stand high above the rest in their perceptions of truth. They can be just as zealous for their new convictions, some of them petty. Once they saw all non-fundamentalists in danger of perdition, now they find everyone who doesn't fight for the cause they believe in as hopeless or apathetic or non-Christian. I call this fundamentalist flop-flipping, from being a pro-fundamentalist fundamentalist to being an anti-fundamentalist fundamentalist.

But there is hope... and this I like:
At the bottom of the problem many of us have with fundamentalists is the lack of grace or mercy or -- and I'd prefer this term the best -- love. Jesus taught his followers something that can reshape anyone from zeal-spirited fundamentalism, whether on the rebound or not. He taught them that the whole law hung from two basic commands:

Love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

I call this The Jesus Creed and the discovery of the importance of this Creed to Jesus can reshape more how we live and relate to others than what we believe. Love has the power to reshape fundamentalists from the inside out. I've met plenty of them.

Fundamentalist or not, this is what Jesus wants of us: to love God and to love others. No one who loves God and loves others lives in that angry spiritedness, flop-flipper or not.

And I thought Keith Schooley was right on with this comment:
the fundamentalistic impulse--which I might define in this context as love for an idea or position to the exclusion of love toward people who may be in opposition to that idea or position-

Good stuff, indeed. I need to be reminded of this often. Thanks Scot!