The ever-growing influence of cultural and societal trends, aided by the rapid growth of this digital age often makes life for the church difficult. A new word in the pew at least for me but interestingly informative, Syncretism. When paired with “Religious” becomes a whole new blog.
“Religious syncretism, the fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices. Instances of religious syncretism—as, for example, Gnosticism (a religious dualistic system that incorporated elements from the Oriental mystery religions), Judaism, Christianity, and Greek religious philosophical concepts—were particularly prevalent during the Hellenistic period (c. 300 BC–c. AD 300). The fusion of cultures that was effected by the conquest of Alexander the Great (4th century BC), his successors, and the Roman Empire tended to bring together a variety of religious and philosophical views that resulted in a strong tendency toward religious syncretism. Orthodox Christianity, although influenced by other religions, generally looked negatively upon these syncretistic movements.”
The church has been subjected for years to a host of new buzz words that often can change direction of thought in a most subtle way. No need to list them but many denominations are affected by their insertion into the conversation. Within the next couple of years there could be a dramatic change in the denominational structure of one of the largest mainline churches. Once again the church has been hijacked by “social warriors” in their quest to achieve their agenda. I must in all fairness disclose that about three years ago I left the Methodist Church because of the reprehensible behavior and disdain for church doctrine and scripture exhibited by the Council of Bishops. Please do not judge me as one of those people who didn’t get their way and “took their ball and went home”. I very much miss the Methodist Church and the Wesleyan way, the church and the people are very much in my heart. It is also necessary to point out that this particular denomination is not the only one struggling with this problem. Truth is that this is not the only problem the “church” universal faces.
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Truth and power are in the “Word” which is under attack and to be blunt, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also. They are trying once again to put Him on the cross, the cross of cultural and societal trends and change. They have failed to learn the “Truth”.
“5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
This new word “Syncretism” the fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices, joins that list of buzz words that can change the truth through subtle deception. Religion is the organized way to share the word but it is faith that powers all our efforts through the Holy Spirit and the discernment of the “Truth” as to the will of our Lord. Change in the way we share the word is not a bad thing and in the digital age it is wise to use it to reach as many people as we can. One indisputable fact about the digital age is its ability to influence the thinking of many people without having to establish its validity. “I read that on the internet just the other day.” So, along with the buzz words, slogans, seminars, leadership failure and the many distractions of the day, I add the word “Syncretism”. It fuses diverse religious beliefs and practices into the Church and they overtime seem as if they have been there forever. They become acceptable because “we have always done it that way.” Syncretism is the chameleon of truth, able to change opinions or behavior according to the situation. We would do well to recall when Pilate asked Jesus “What is truth?” That was Pilates dubious reply to what Jesus had just said;“I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” Here from gty.org is a statement that says it best.
“Others believe truth is a collective judgment, the product of cultural consensus, and still others flatly deny the concept of truth altogether.”
Amen and a resounding yes to that! The author of that article also offers this thought.
Here’s a simple definition drawn from what the Bible teaches: “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God.”
If we change what is biblical truth to accommodate the consensus of cultural change, it will in time work its way into the church. It will become a Syncretism, one of those “always done it that way things.”
Go to the link below to read the entire article.
Sin is sin and there are many of such that separate us from our God. It is important that we remember:
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
We must not be the generation that let the “light” be overcome.
This will be the last blog this month due to medical issues which must be attended to. We will publish our next blog on July 1.
God Bless …… Life is Good