by Charles S. Garabedian
Is the pastor of your Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical church the proud holder of a D.D., D.M., Th.D., or Ph.D degree? Do you have a lingering suspicion that some fundie preacher you just heard does not know his anus from a hole in the ground when it comes to truly deep matters of the Christian faith? Does some fundie preacher you know have a “Dr.” before his name? Yet, he talks like this:
So youins ull all be a comin’ aroun’ down yonder, and weezuns wills be a seein’ ya theeyun. Zat all rot?
My on-line friend Bruce Gerencser, a pastor for 25 years at various evangelical churches, particularly Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches, has some important news for you. Before you attend another worship service at a fundie church, and certainly if you are accustomed to turning off your brain before entering the church door, I strongly recommend that you slowly and carefully read the following three articles by Bruce. He is a true expert on all Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical matters, and he is never afraid to share his deep knowledge of Fundieland:
People who are members of fundie churches may be shocked by this news. Those of you who are not members of one of these churches will gain a better understanding of why the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical faith traditions are…well…the unfortunate way that they are—and why the Bible is often read and understood on the same simplistic, literal level as a comic book. You know the old fundie tag line:
A simple gospel for a simple people
Fundie churches have a long history of rejecting intellectualism and book learning. Maybe that is why many fundie pastors do not apply to or graduate from the best divinity schools like the Duke University School of Divinity. Even if they wanted to do so, my strongest suspicions are that they would never be accepted during the application process at such institutions, and if they did get in by some miracle, they would never be able to successfully do such hard academic work and actually graduate with a real D.D., D.M., Ph. D., or Th.D. degree.