Is the church more about culture than doctrine?

This is a followup to my previous post: What is Culture? And when I say church I am speaking of the kind of church I am in. One that would be called a fundamentalist Baptist Church. Here's my concern and perhaps I am way off but ...

  • I know a seminarian who told me he aspires to be a fundamentalist pastor.
  • I believe in the fundamentals of the faith and as one can see from my doctrinal statement that I could easily be called a fundamentalist.
  • When I was in seminary school I aspired to be a Baptist pastor.
  • What I believe I am seeing in church is that we are more about culture than about a doctrinal position.
  • Examples ... discussions at fellowships:
    • What Christian Day school did one attend?
    • What Bible College did one attend? "I went to Pillsbury ... or Northland"
  • About the culture of fundamentalism: It seems to revolve around the so-called traditional fundamentalist taboos: Movies, dancing, drinking, cards, et cetera. "behaviors that are expected, rewarded and reinforced by and within a particular group.”
  • I sense that our churches have become cultural centers (perhaps I should say "sub-cultural" centers instead of bastions of doctrinal truth. And the church is to be "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).
  • We gather, I fear, wearing the clothing of the fundamentalist club instead of to worship "in spirit and truth" (John 4:24)
Comment: I appreciate your comments. Help me figure this out! What I see as expected:
  • Sending one's child to the church's Christian Day School
  • A young person enrolling in the approved Bible college
  • Being "called to ministry" (want to be rewarded .... express being called!)
  • A woman not being a professional.


  1. I'll drink to churches abandoning fundamentalist culture while retaining fundamental doctrine!

    (and dance a little to celebrate, too!)

  2. Because was not raised a fundamentalist (saved at age 20) and Kathee was saved in her early 20's ... we do not "get" the fundamentalist culture .

  3. I couldn't agree more. I grew up in "fundamental Baptist" churches - I learned how to ACT like a good Christian, but never learned how to BE a Christian. I'm still learning that one, and unlearning many bad habits I picked up in that culture.


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