Last year for my history curriculum, I had to write an article on Fundamentalism vs. the World Council of Churches. I strongly believe what I wrote then just as much as, if not more than, I do now. I thought what I discovered was interesting and worth sharing, so here it is.
In the early 1900s, as secular beliefs became more widely accepted in Christian circles, the Christian Fundamentalists emerged. They maintained that the Bible was inerrable: correct and literal in all areas. This leads them to protest issues such as legalized abortion, evolution taught exclusively in schools, homosexuality, feminism, Communism and secular humanism. Just before WWII, a group of churches attempted to form a unified body of churches, but their progress was hindered and delayed by the war. It wasn’t until 1948 that the World Council of Churches was officially founded in Amsterdam. Their aim was for the world to see a unified Christian body of churches that are socially acceptable. However, the firm, assertive fundamentalists saw this as opposition to true Christianity. The World Council of Churches compromised on many issues in order to be seen as tolerant, relevant and contemporary. The Fundamentalists are outraged that The World Council of Churches accepts denominations which deny fundamental Biblical principles such as the trinity, the sincerity of faith, baptism as a symbol only, justification by faith, and capitalism. Since the World Council of Churches has modified their Christianity to be socially tolerable, Fundamentalists who hold firm to their Biblical beliefs cannot accept their Christianity as anything but watered down to be inoffensive like the Christianity of the church of Sardis in Revelation which Jesus rebuked and referred to as dead.