The Insecure Fundamentalist

Insecure people resist change, prefer force to persuasion, and consider violence against others justifiable but violence done to them to be wrong.

Over generalizations? Yes, perhaps so, but reading a newspaper these days, with all the references to violence on the part of Al Qaeda and Taliban, brings such ideas to mind. A fourteen year old girl is shot in an attempted murder for the crime of wanting to go to school. A library in Mali, thought to contain all the nations ancient cultural artifacts and writings is burned to the ground.

These are not the ways of civilized people but of barbarians, whose insecurity drives them mad.

When we are talking about conservatives in whatever religion or political system, we must always ask, What are they trying to conserve?  In American politics, for instance, the Far Right wants to return the US to a pre-Civil War state. Christian Fundamentalists want to return us to a 19th century triumphalism. They want to use the Bible without being biblical

Muslim jihadists, who are a very tiny proportion of broader Islam, show all the familiar signs of the fundamentalist mentality. They are very proud to have the right rules for behavior and all who violate the rules are wrong, perhaps evil; and to have all the right answers in theology (or politics or whatever) and all who disagree are wrong, perhaps very stupid. Their “right” rules and “right” answers, of course, were set out for them more than a thousand years ago. They want to set the clock back a whole millennium.

No one confident in himself, his God, or his belief system can think that way.

Confidence in oneself and in God frees a person to be gracious and loving, kind and patient. . .the very way God treats us. Confidence helps one be humble without being threatened by humiliation, proud without being arrogant, grateful without being obsequious, firm without being brutish. Confidence frees a person to be creative and flexible without feeling threatened by change.

The biblical word for confidence is faith and it is one of the greatest gifts our Creator has offered us.


About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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