Christian Fundamentalism is one of the significant religious movements that began at the turn of the twentieth century. It emerged in response to modernist views that were challenging traditional doctrines like biblical inerrancy.

While it shares much in common with traditional orthodox Christianity, it has its distinct characteristics and controversial elements. This article explores the good and bad aspects of Christian Fundamentalism to provide a balanced perspective.

The Good Aspects

1. A Strong Emphasis on Biblical Authority

Fundamentalist Christians firmly believe in the authority and truthfulness of the Bible. Their belief in biblical inerrancy means they hold that the Scriptures are free from error in all matters they address, including historical events, natural phenomena, and moral teachings. This view often leads them to pursue a literal interpretation of the texts, ensuring they do not miss any of the original intent.

2. Moral Conservatism

Christian Fundamentalists typically advocate for strong moral values derived from the teachings of Scripture. They emphasize topics like sanctity of marriage, sexual purity before marriage, protection of human life from conception until natural death, and responsible stewardship of resources.

This strong moral stance often motivates them to promote laws and regulations aligned with these values in society. Though their approach may sometimes be divisive, their desire to see societal moral standards preserved carries benefits in the long run.

3. Close-Knit Communities

Christian Fundamentalism fosters tight-knit communities among its adherents. These communities provide emotional and spiritual support for members and can be an excellent environment for spiritual growth. Within these communities, believers support one another in prayer and fellowship, creating a sense of belonging that promotes a strong Christian identity.

4. A Commitment to Evangelism

Evangelism is an integral part of Christian Fundamentalism. They believe in sharing the Gospel message with others so they may come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Consequently, many Fundamentalist Christians devote their lives and resources to missions, both locally and internationally. This commitment to evangelism can result in significant spiritual impact.

The Bad Aspects

1. Legalism and Excessive Focus on Doctrinal Orthodoxy

While fundamentalists rightly value biblical authority, some take it to an extreme by emphasizing doctrinal orthodoxy over personal relationship with God. This legalistic approach creates an atmosphere where Christians focus more on following the "rules" than loving God and their neighbors.

Legalism also leads to harsh judgment and condemnation of those who do not adhere to traditional Fundamentalist views or practices. This attitudes may cause significant conflict and disunity within Christianity at large.

2. Social Exclusivity

Christian Fundamentalists sometimes display a closed-mindedness toward those who hold views different from their own. This can manifest as discrimination against homosexuals, rejection of scientific discoveries that challenge their literal interpretation of the Bible, or an insular mindset that doesn't recognize diverse interpretations or expressions of faith.

Such social exclusivity could lead to hostility and hinder meaningful dialogues between Fundamentalists and others in society.

3. Criticism of Other Christian Denominations

Fundamentalists often have strong criticism for other denominations seen as "liberal" or "compromising." This can generate division in the Church as they tend to view other believers as less faithful or scripturally informed because they don't hold to all their distinctive positions.

Though Fundamentalists have a right to adhere to their beliefs, their critical stance can unnecessarily sow discord in the Body of Christ.

4. Strict Interpretations That Discourage Engagement With Culture

While Fundamentalists place emphasis on Scripture authority, some take the literal interpretation to its extreme limit. These strict interpretations can lead to isolation from contemporary culture with unrealistic expectations of society conforming to biblical mandates.

This withdrawal can leave fundamentalists ill-equipped to address societal problems with wisdom, love, and practical solutions.


Christian Fundamentalism has distinctly shaped the religious landscape since its inception more than a century ago. On one hand, its strong emphasis on Scriptural authority, conservative morality, supportive communities, and evangelistic zeal offer many positive impacts on individuals and society. On the other hand, its legalistic tendencies, exclusive social views, critiques of other Christian denominations, and strict interpretations that discourage engagement with culture represent some less desirable aspects. Recognizing these aspects can help us better understand this movement while maintaining a balanced perspective.