Maranatha is Fundamentalist -- By: Fred Moritz
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Maranatha is Fundamentalist
Maranatha Baptist Bible College and Seminary was born in a theological tradition of fundamentalist, Baptist, separatist, dispensationalist theology. My assigned task is to speak about Maranatha as a fundamentalist school. Others will write articles dealing with other distinctive positions.
As far as we know, the term “fundamentalist” was coined by Curtis Lee Laws. The Fundamental Fellowship within the Northern Baptist Convention met for the first time in 1920 at the Delaware Avenue Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York. After that meeting Laws, editor of the Watchman Examiner, wrote stating: “We suggest that those who still cling to the great fundamentals and who mean to do battle royal for the fundamentals shall be called ‘Fundamentalists.’”2
Blaine Myron Cedarholm (1915-1997) founded and served as the first president of Maranatha. Dr. Cedarholm ministered out of the fundamentalist
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theological conviction that the Bible is the Word of God and that those who believe it must “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3). Cedarholm was the son of an early fundamentalist preacher. His father, Anton Cedarholm, had ministered as a singer for Evangelist Dr. R. A. Torrey. He later served the Burton Avenue Baptist Church in Waterloo, Iowa, as pastor. Through his radio and pastoral ministry the church experienced God’s blessings.3
B. Myron Cedarholm was educated at the University of Minnesota, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Princeton Seminary. After a successful five-year pastorate at the Lehigh Avenue Baptist Church in Philadelphia, he was called to serve as an evangelist with and then become the General Director of the Conservative Baptist Association of America. From 1947 through 1965 the association, during Dr. Cedarholm’s tireless and dynamic ministry, grew from one hundred churches to 1800 in the fellowship.
Maranatha’s founder began his ministry in the framework of the Northern Baptist Convention, and he left over the theological liberalism that pervaded the convention and auxiliary organizations. He then devoted eighteen years to the CBA of A and then severed his connections to that movement because of the compromises of ecumenical evangelism and the New Evangelicalism. Throughout his ministry he maintained a testimony of absolute fidelity to the Word
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