The Fundamental Baptist
Perhaps you have become a bit confused about the many different "Baptist" terms floating around these days. You might have heard of "Baptists", "Independent Baptists", or even "Fundamentalist Baptists". But what exactly are "Fundamental Baptists"? I realize that the term "Fundamental Baptist" has been used by many different people, resulting in a great deal of confusion about the term's meaning.
Basically, a Fundamental Baptist is a Bible-believing Baptist. Because a Fundamental Baptist believes the Bible, he or she also believes in the baptism of believers in Jesus by immersion in water, as the Bible instructs. Because Fundamental Baptists hold that only those who believe may be baptized, Fundamental Baptists therefore reject the baptism of infants, (who, because of their age are not yet able to believe on Jesus). Nevertheless, some other Christians also believe in baptism by immersion, although most mainstream Protestant denominations tend to practice the sprinkling of infants instead.
Sadly, many people who call themselves Baptists no longer believe their Bibles. One of the main reasons for this is that many Baptist Seminaries have become filled with "unbelievers" who do not believe what God said in His Word, the Bible. (A Seminary is a type of school where Baptist or other preachers are trained for the ministry.) Some of these unbelievers reject only part of the Bible. Others reject the historical Baptist doctrine that the Bible is "inspired" by God, (literally: "God-breathed"). Those unbelieving Baptists who reject the Bible in whole or in part are not Fundamental Baptists. Only those who actually believe the Word of God are Fundamental Baptists.
Because Fundamental Baptists believe their Bibles, they also believe in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Such basic Christian doctrines include, among others, "salvation by faith"; the virgin birth of Jesus; baptism; and the literal "Second Coming" of Christ back to Earth from Heaven. Those who reject these and other basic Christian doctrines of the Bible are not Fundamental Baptists. Fundamental Baptists believe their Bibles, and so believe and practice the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith.
In contrast, a liberal Baptist is a Bible-rejecting Baptist who rejects one or more of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Such liberal Baptists do not believe what God has said to them in His Word, the Bible. All Bible-rejecting liberals who refuse to believe on the Christ shown to us in Scripture are "unbelievers". The Bible says about such "unbelieving" Baptists:
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
It is clear from this and other passages from God's Holy Word, the Bible, that liberal Baptist unbelievers who refuse to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death". If they continue on in their refusal to believe on Jesus as God commanded them to do in His Word, they will then spend all Eternity in Hell, as punishment by God for their sin and wicked unbelief.
You have probably also heard of the term "Fundamentalist Baptist". "Fundamentalist Baptist" is sub-group among Independent Fundamental Baptists. To a Fundamentalist Baptist, Jesus and the Bible always come first. There are two major distinctives of Fundamentalist Baptists compared to other Independent Fundamental Baptists. These two doctrines, which every true Fundamentalist Baptist believes, are the doctrines of "Biblical Separation" and "Militancy".
"Biblical Separation" refers to the separation of Fundamentalist Baptists from all other religious groups, (and especially from The Great Roman Catholic Whore spoken of in Revelation Chapter 17). "Militancy" is the idea that Fundamentalist Baptists are always to be "light" and "salt" and are not be afraid of speaking out against sin and for Christ, even if persecution results from delivering such "light" and "salt" to a Jesus-rejecting and Bible-rejecting world. This "Fightin' Fundamentalist" characteristic of Fundamentalist Baptists therefore makes them a small subgroup within Independent Fundamental Baptists. Fundamentalist Baptists are also very much hated by both the world and by liberal, unbelieving and Pseudo-Fundamentalist Baptists.
Now, let me attempt to clarify another question. Who is, and who is not a Fundamental Baptist? There has been much confusion over this question caused by New Evangelicals who do not believe their Bibles. Specifically, they do not believe one or more of the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith as taught in the Bible. Nevertheless, some of these New Evangelicals want to still go by the name of "Fundamental Baptist". However, these men and women are not Fundamental Baptists, no matter what they say. Rather, they are liberals, not Fundamental Baptists. Merely claiming to be a Fundamental Baptist does not make you one.
Independent Fundamental Baptists were once common throughout the United States (as well as other areas of the world), especially during the early twentieth century. Nevertheless, we are now living in the "Great Apostasy" as prophesied in the Bible. Jesus said in the Book of Revelation that this current "Laodicean Period" of Church History would be characterized by an abundance of spiritually blind, cold, and naked (i.e. lost) church members who, when mixed with a few hot (i.e. saved) church members, create what is called "Lukewarm Christianity".
There has been a tendency, during this period of "Lukewarm Christianity", for Churches to fill up with an ever higher percentage of lost church members, (compared to saved members.) During this Great Apostasy, such churches also tend to move ever closer toward the Great Roman Catholic Whore, toward the Rick Warren Apostasy, or toward some other wicked abomination in the sight of Almighty God. Nevertheless, this "falling away" from Biblical Truth during today's apostasy will probably continue to increase even more as we approach the day when the "Man of Sin" (Antichrist) will be revealed upon the Earth. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)