THE CULTIC NATURE OF FUNDAMENTALISM
Christian Fundamentalism is not a cult in the same sense as those heretical sects that are commonly designated as such (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, etc.) But Fundamentalism has a lot in common with the cults. One theologian said that “fundamentalism is orthodoxy grown cultic.”* All cults are fundamentalist by nature, that is, adhering to a narrow creed and claiming exclusive possession of all truth. Thus, the common attributes of cults also apply in a general way to Fundamentalists. They all fit in the acrostic given below:
“C” Claim to represent the True Church
“U” Unorthodox Belief
“L” Legendary Origin or Leader
“T” Trinitarian Error
“S” Substitute Scripture
Claim to represent the True Church:
Fundamentalists are cult-like in their narrow allegiance to their own party or group. They practice brainwashing and exclude all opposing views from consideration. Their Bible schools are indoctrination centers. They are very polemic and love a fight. Fundamentalists hate easily, and they tend to split over minor issues and then despise those of the other faction.
Belief in the Holy Bible is put ahead of belief in God. This is the heresy of bibliolatry. Peripheral issues (such as right-wing politics) are made essential to what Fundamentalists define as orthodox belief. Superstition results in irrational faith, and the fear of Satan is magnified to the point that God’s power is compromised. Also, morbid doomsday pessimism and radical adventist date-setting are common.
Legendary Origin or Leader:
Fundamentalists are sheeplike people who follow after charismatic spiritual overlords. Some have even committed suicide at the request of their highly-venerated leaders. Miracles such as healing and financial prosperity are attributed to these leaders - who talk to angels, claim special revelations, and grow wealthy on the gifts extracted from their naive flocks.
(Generally, this defect does not apply, except in the sense that bibliolatry compromises a right view of God.)
The Bible is venerated to the exclusion of all other books, but binding Creeds or Statements of Faith are overlaid on the Bible and actually define Fundamentalist dogma. In some cases, Fundamentalists who are also Freemasons esteem the books containing that occultic ritual.
*The Case For Orthodox Theology by Edward John Carnell.