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Identifying Hyper-Fundamentalist Groups

Seek The Truth Blog

Identifying Hyper-Fundamentalist Groups:

In Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, Kevin Bauder uses eight characteristics to identify hyper-fundamentalist groups:

1. Loyalty to an organization, movement, or leader: Hyper-fundamentalist groups often associate Christianity with loyalty to the organization, movement, or leader, and consider those who are not loyal to be "un-Christian".

2. Militant defense of extra-biblical or even anti-biblical teaching: Hyper-fundamentalist groups aggressively enforce doctrinal beliefs that cannot be or might only partially be supported by the Bible. This includes doctrine that is contrary to the Bible but supported by the group.

3. "Guilt by association": Hyper-fundamentalist groups believe that associating with a group or person who holds any error is effectively endorsing that error. This is especially true if that "error" is against the group's extra-biblical or anti-biblical teaching.

4. Criticize but do not allow criticism: Hyper-fundamentalist groups consider any criticism to be an "attack", and not defending that "attack" implies weakness or compromise.

5. Anti-intellectualism: Hyper-fundamentalist groups view education as damaging or even detrimental to spiritual well-being. If information critical to the group surfaces, those presenting the information and even the information itself is to be viewed as an attack from Satan.

6. Important non-essentials: Hyper-fundamentalist groups often consider non-essential doctrine to be critically important to one's salvation. These non-essential doctrines are used to test the "validity" of other Christian groups.

7. Militant political involvement: Hyper-fundamentalist groups aggressively fight to enforce their beliefs upon those outside of their group instead of peacefully disagreeing with the opposition.

8. Unethical double standards: Hyper-fundamentalist groups show no restraint in employing tactics that defy Biblical instruction for peaceful persuasion. Name-calling, half-truths, lies, broken promises, and innuendo are used as legitimate weapons against those who do not agree while rude tactics used by these "warriors of the faith" are seen as heroic. These "warriors" are praised rather than corrected.