Monday Meaning : Syncretism

Religious syncretismthe fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices. Religious syncretism is the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief.” This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion and usually results in a new teaching or belief system. More and more I’m learning just how serious this matter is and that this doesn’t line up with biblical Christianity. Sometimes I wonder if people want to follow the bible really. Or is it that some mixture of sorts would be more preferable?

I think it’s scary that we would’ve been polluting the faith in so many subtle and in other cases blatant ways. Don’t you? Rev 22:18-21 gives us a sobering warning against adding or taking away from the teaching given to us. It’s Heresy and is not true Christianity.

One of the easiest forms of religious Syncretism is when foreign beliefs are introduced to an indigenous belief system and the teachings are blended. The new, heterogeneous religion then takes a shape of its own. This probably happened in Trinidad in some form when the Europeans colonised the West Indies if due diligence wasn’t taken in ministering to and converting the indigenous Indians. This has been seen most clearly in Roman Catholic missionary history. “Take, for example, the Roman Catholic Church’s proselytizing of animistic South America. Threatened with the fear of death, natives were baptized into the church by the tens of thousands without any preaching of the Gospel whatsoever. Former temples were razed, with Catholic shrines and chapels built on the same spot. Natives were allowed to substitute praying to saints instead of gods of water, earth and air, and replaced their former idols with new images of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, the animistic religion the natives had formerly practised was never fully replaced—it was adapted into Catholic teachings, and this new belief system was allowed to flourish.” GotQuestions 

And this is likely to have happened for other religions too where people mix based on whatever was necessary for them. My question now is how have we mixed ourselves into a confusion and a misplaced worship?

I can’t say I know or understand these issues fully but I’m sharing to trigger thought and caution in the minds of anyone who would read. Is what you believe in a mixture? Is it true faith or cleverly masked deception. More recently, religious syncretism can be seen in such religious systems as the New AgeHinduismUnitarianism, and Christian Science. These religions are a blending of multiple different belief systems and are continually evolving as the philosophies of mankind rise and fall in popularity.

I read a short excerpt from  Jesus Among Other gods by Ravi Zacharias  and it really provoked me. Here it is I hope it provokes you too :

“The purpose of this book is to lay out for you, the reader, why I firmly believe Jesus Christ to be who He claimed to be the Son of the living God, the One who came to seek and to save a lost humanity. At a time in our cultural history when the West is looking more like the East and the East is covertly trying to emulate the West, this is much needed. Religions are making a revival, but often as a hybrid of western marketing techniques and eastern mythology- a devastating combination of seduction through media and mysticism. The first casualty in such a mix is truth, and, consequently, the person of God.”

 

Do you believe that Jesus is the way the truth and the life? 

Hebrews 13:9 7 

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

MMM (3)

 

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