"Are We Fundamentalists?" 

by Dr. Peter Masters

Minister of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in central London

This ministry started in 1865 by Pastor C. H. Spurgeon






THERE ARE NOW TWO KINDS OF EVANGELICAL.... The old is the authentic, biblical position.  The new is far off the track, not in its basic view of salvation, but in its readiness to compromise with doctrinal error and worldly ways. The new is selling the faith for earthly respect and recognition... and churches are being ruined. [Illustrations]


Today, old-style evangelicals are in the minority....  This booklet attempts to give a clear picture of the present alarming scene, in order to encourage believers to take a clear stand.


Old-style evangelicals are often called fundamentalists, particularly in the USA. New-style evangelicals adopted the term, 'new evangelical' to describe themselves in the 1950s. ...We are told that the fundamentalist label was first coined in America in 1920 to describe militant evangelicals. ... It would be fairer to say that fundamentalist is someone who cares about the defense and preservation of the Gospel...


Those of us who are old-style evangelicals are now being labeled as fundamentalist by our critics, the new-style evangelicals. A repetition is occurring of what happened at Antioch, where the 'the disciples were called Christians first' (Acts 11.26). That glorious name was given to them by their critics....


Why are the new-style evangelicals calling us fundamentalist? They are doing so for reasons of tactical self-advantage. ... Harold J. Okenga, the distinguished Boston pastor, joined with Carl F. Henry and Billy Graham to steer American evangelicals into a more liberal position, they were keen to be known as the new evangelicals. They founded the magazine Christianity Today as the flagship journal for their new direction. ...


The new evangelicals were inclusivistic rather than separatistic. They ... urged Bible-believers to stay in compromised denominations....  Liberal scholarship was studied and in many respects embraced.... The old, sharp line between worldly activities and spiritual activities was swept away, and believers were encouraged to be much more involved in worldly culture, leisure and entertainment. ...


...the new evangelicals began to put less stress upon the new, and to speak of themselves simply as evangelicals, and the old-style believers as fundamentalists. This made them sound more orthodox. All that remained was to give the term fundamentalist an objectionable, negative image, and the new evangelicals would then appear to be mainstream.


This is precisely what is now happening in Britain. The new evangelicals are appropriating to themselves the exclusive use of the term evangelical, and calling old-style believers fundamentalists. Like their American mentors they define the latter term in the most objectionable way.[1]



You may want to visit the Biblical old Metropolitan Tabernacle and order this special 30-page booklet reprinted from a 1995 issue of The Sword and Trowel.


Examples of the "new evangelical" church

The Changing Church. An Idolatrous Silence - Evangelicals & the Egalitarianism of Sin: "...I woke up to find myself the campus minister of a banned Christian fellowship. In a trial held over the preceding midnight, the Tufts University student judiciary met secretly to "derecognize" the Tufts Christian Fellowship for its refusal to allow a gay advocate into leadership. We were politically isolated on the Tufts campus and abandoned even by other Christian groups at Tufts....
        "Many Christians (not just Evangelicals) swallowed the argument: 'Jesus talked more about greed than about sexuality, and aren’t we also guilty of being greedy?' The philosophical laziness of their reasoning should be apparent–although it is not to them or to much of their audience–since they fail to make the obvious distinction between acknowledged moral lapses and the wholesale abandonment of a moral standard. ..." 
Rom 1:22-32

The Changing Church. The Passion Experience Tour: "Dive in to all of who God is! One hundred eighty minutes worth... and all your life. Undignified reverence." This "experience" seems to major on emotional highs while minimizing truth -- a shift that is transforming the church. It may sound exciting, but you don't become a Christian through a "dive into all of who God is!" See The Global Church and What it means to be a Christian.


The Changing Church. Most church youth programs are spiritually shallow: "Barry St. Clair has been involved in youth ministry for more than 30 years, writing some 20 books on the subject. So when he recently called most youth ministry programs 'a mile wide and an inch deep,' he had quite a few intent listeners.
       "The Georgia-based speaker, who is a Southern graduate, said the goal of youth ministry should be to 'reach every student on every campus with the life-changing message of the gospel.' But too many youth ministries are falling short of that goal, St. Clair said, because they have the wrong emphasis -- entertainment."
 See What it means to be a Christian and Biblical versus Cultural Christianity.


Global Church Management. This dream we call DAWN: "The database approach, research strategy and action planning along with prayer by the whole Church attracted me to DAWN," says Agustin 'Jun' Vencer. "...It is focused in its ministry, measurable in its outcomes, good management leadership, uses technology well, high in accountability, and increasingly becoming international in its staffing. It is systemic in its approach to ministry." 

          Notice the TQM buzzwords in his statement. [A Glossary of Church Terms will define these terms when finished] He praises the new global management system with its high tech monitoring and standards-based assessments. Does he know how these "outcome-based" strategies will be used to manage minds and members everywhere? See Reinventing the World


1. Peter Masters, "Are We Fundamentalists," The Sword and Trowel [started in 1865 by C. H. Spurgeon], 1995; page 3-5.

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