We had a dinner guest who confessed to being nervous about being called a “fundie” for his maintaining in public venues among his colleagues that homosexuality is wrong. I hadn’t heard the word “fundie” in a long time and found it quaint.
Our dinner guest was 20 years our senior, and came up in a different time of the world. He could have met the liberal New York pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick in person, and was surely in the thick of the liberal-fundamentalist controversy of the 20th century. He would have known the sting of being called a “fundie” by those liberals who considered themselves more modern and scientific—and intelligent.
The terminology has changed in our day, but it occurred to me that the sting incurred by those who hold to simple biblical truths (as opposed to the sophisticated “truths” of tortured interpretations of Scripture) continues to be the very particular sting of an attack on the intellect. Christians who continue to uphold the Bible’s teachings on, say, homosexuality as a sin and marriage as the lifelong covenant of one man and one woman are the new ignoramuses of the religious world. Rather than being called “fundies,” which is a term out of vogue in the 21st century, they are called “haters,” or “bigots.”
In my opinion, persecution that is leveled at one’s intellect is still the most painful kind in the first world nations where intellect is highly prized and nearly idolized. I personally believe that most people would rather be thought immoral than stupid. Immorality, indeed, can be a badge of honor in certain venues where the wicked boast of their wickedness. But I have yet to find a person who will boast about how unintelligent and obtuse he is. And to be thought so by others, especially one’s peers, is painful indeed.
But so be it. If this is the kind of persecution we are called to in our nation, then let us endure the shame and continue to do right and speak truth.
“Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured” (Hebrews 13:13).
And remember this:
“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).