Change the definition of Christian Fundamentalism... please



I've heard so many people, including fellow Christians say, Christians are fine, but I can't stand Fundamentalists.

My problem with this statement is that neither the definitions of fundamentals and Christian are inherently bad. In fact, the fundamentals of Christianity are pretty great if you ask me! Peace, love, salvation! These are all great things.

We are called to love everyone as ourselves and improve ourselves through practices that are still extremely relevant and practical in our everyday lives.
Image that says, "Keep calm 'cause Jesus Loves you!"
Just look at the definitions according to Oxford Dictionaries.

Christianity - "the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices."

Fundamental - "a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based."

Both of those definitions seem pretty legitimate to me!

Yet there are people who the average Christian wants to separate themselves from, those that give actual followers of Christ a bad name. These are the guys who most people refer to as "Fundamentalists." They are the Westboro Baptists of the world.

In this regard, Fundamentalist doesn't mean follows the fundamentals at all!

Instead, a Christian Fundamentalist is someone who refuses to listen to any sort of change and only adheres to the outdated interpretations of the Bible passed down by their ancestors. They think the age of the Earth is 6000 years, and believe the scientific method is from Satan himself. They tend to be hateful, which is completely opposite of what Jesus taught, and tend to judge other sins before they judge their own. They protest, rage, and get into the media in all the wrong ways.

This is what I have a problem with. Fundamentalists have no regard for the fundamentals of Christianity.

So what's the harm?

Let's say someone has a very strong understanding of the dictionary definition of the word fundamental, but knows nothing of Christianity. They run into someone known as a Christian Fundamentalist who is full of hate and judgement and presents themselves in a very negative manner.

To this man, the Fundamentalist would represent the fundamentals of Christianity, when in reality they are portraying the exact opposite of the basic teachings of Jesus. Can you see why that might be a problem?

This someone, who may otherwise have been a strong Christ follower, now thinks very poorly of Jesus. 

The opportunity to plant the seed for this person's salvation is completely missed!

Maybe we should stop using the term Fundamentalist to refer to someone who does not follow the fundamentals taught by Jesus whatsoever; even when we're trying to separate ourselves from them in our beliefs.

It's counter-productive to promoting the message of the gospel, and counter-productive in the efforts to preserve our image.