What is a fundamentalist? A fundamentalist is someone in a faith walk who shuts down an idea without considering it, because it doesn’t fit in their ideology. They have a list of doctrines and beliefs that they themselves find acceptable. They can’t explore something new, because their world automatically shuts it down. If you have ones outside of this list, you are not welcome into their community. On some level, we all have fundamental views on life and faith, but once this becomes too rigid, we bow down to a system and community of fear. The fears of other people’s beliefs will always make a community’s development stagnant and not dynamic. Fear kills curiosity. Curiosity breeds a bigger understanding of God, the world, and human beings.
Jurgen Moltmann once said, “Many people can do more than they think they can. Why? We are afraid of attempting so many things simply because we are afraid of opposition and defeat. But people who withdraw into their own shells out of fear of setbacks, or because they are afraid of other people’s reactions, never get to know their own potentialities. And if we never get to know our own potentialities, we never learn the limitations of our powers either.” If it weren’t for Moltmann making a theological case against Divine Impassability, then it might be possible that many of us would live life believing that God doesn’t suffer with us in our suffering. It was a belief that was long accepted by many theologians before him.
Curiosity gives birth to new inventions, to new research, to new relationships. Stanley Hauerwas writes about Christian community in his book Resident Aliens as a colony. A colony is a military term that describes a group of people that are constantly moving. Colony, is a term of adventure, of action. Christians are meant to be on the forefront of ways to serve the world. God’s work demands curiosity, creativity. It demands reconciliations, healing, and redemption. Communities and individuals with curiosity create life-changing things. They are interested in the progression of the world around them. Fear doesn’t allow for progress, it only allows us to be stationary. We need more curious people, and less fearful people.
Fear does not allow us to make steps into the journey. Fear does not allow us to ask questions that allow us to change, move forward, and develop. Fear stops us in our path, and makes sure that the life we are stuck in, is our verdict. In fear, the starting point, is the end point. In fear, we are extremely broken finished products.