Syncretism

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  • September 16, 2014

New words often produce new ways of expressing ideas that are often hard to put into a neat little package. As I was reading Exodus this morning about the Israelites working their way from Egypt to the promised land, I came across a new word for me. The commentator used the word to explain the reason for the dire sin of creating the golden calf at the base of Mount Sinai. I didn’t know the meaning of the word, so excitedly, I opened up the dictionary to discover it’s meaning. This is a very exciting exercise, worth every second of time required to walk over to the bookcase and open up the dictionary. It often uncovers some hidden jewel to help explain and illustrate an idea in a much clearer way.

The definition of “Syncretism” is : “1.The union (or attempted fusion) of different systems of thought or belief (especially in religion or philosophy) 2. The attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principals, practices or parties, as in philosophy or religion.`

Wikipedia defines it this way: Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means `combining`. Syncretism may involve attempts to merge and analogise several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.

These articles or Epistles are not intended to be far-out philosophical treatises designed to entice and stimulate the intellectual interests of mankind. The only interest that I have in exploring these ideas is to help deepen our walk with Jesus, our Lord. This information has one purpose, and that is to help ‘those who have ears to hear’ to walk strong in the Word. Part of the walk is to discern, uncover and reveal the hidden recesses of evil lurking in every dark corner, hoping to trap the followers of Christ.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.` 1 Peter 5:8

I believe without a shadow of doubt that many who call themselves ‘Christians’ have polluted their lives with poison from their past. Just as the children of Israel mixed their new life with their old life, many have fallen into the same trap. The worship of other gods was a very common practice in Egypt, just as the worship of material goods and possessions is a very common practice in the modern world. The Israelites had entered into revelry, which included immoral sexual practices violating the commandments of God. Today, sexual immorality is arguably the most common method of destruction to the Christian today. Although these things are alive and well and thriving in the body of Christ, it seems obvious that these practices are wrong. Those who practice these things, do it with the conviction of the Holy Spirit hounding at their heels, I am sure.

There are other areas of the Christian culture today that seem to be hidden in the fog of deception, but which are illustrated under the banner of “Syncretism” and are very, very destructive! I hear too many people spouting out the ideas of the world and mixing these thoughts with the Bible. There is too much philosophy, natural understanding, head-knowledge, and general softness, when it comes to spiritual warfare! Many have adopted milky convictions, and the number one ‘bear trap’ that I see today is the overwhelming acceptance of secular movies and TV shows that are allowed into the eye gates and ear gates of the believers of Messiah.

There are people who continually tell me about the latest movie at the theatres and yet, give me that glazed look when I tell them that I would not expose myself to that self-idolizing, immoral, sensual, demoralizing, unreal, polluting poison presented as a pacifier to boredom! The world is addicted to the thrills and spills of the “Modern Entertainment System” and much of the ‘Church’ is also! When are people going to wake up and see that the popular “Entertainment” of today, “ Enters in to Attain You ”? The cutting edge conviction of the disciples of Jesus should be in every word, action and thought of Jesus’ followers. All too often, these things are dulled by the continued exposure to this “Garbage” of Egypt! Wake up Warriors and smell the roses! They are giving off a putrid smell of rotting flesh! The poison of Hollywood Babylon has warped the minds of man for long enough. I don’t expect the unsaved to ‘get it’, but c’mon mighty warriors, please reassure me that you have purged this “leaven” from your homes and hearts.

I have met Christians who tell me “I’m regenerated, I can watch anything, including sex and violence without it affecting me”. I have to lift my jaw off the ground after hearing this babbling brook. Can you believe that? I tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that kind of person has signed up for the “Lukewarm” class and on graduation day, they are going to receive a failing grade, and will hopefully have a chance to retake the course. It doesn’t take any discernment to see what is in the future for those deceived ones!

This walk is a ‘walk of war’ not of peace, as your enemy is seeking to devour you! If you are lulled into a false sense of security, you are surely already in his grip and do not know it.

“But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light,
for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says ,
Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:13-14

It seems that we, as a church, have followed the typical course of the ‘natural man’ which has involved a whole lot of “kingdom building” to build man’s kingdom. In the midst of the building program, it has become necessary to compromise a little bit here and a little bit there, in order to complete the project. We know that even though times change, the general make-up of man pretty much stays the same. The patterns of living change a whole lot on the outside as the life styles of modern man evolve, but man does not change inside, without the spirit of God residing within. All of the programs and courses set before us will only tend to mask the deeper sense of our individual depravity, for a time. The lifestyle of living for God requires a complete renovation of the interior design in our deep inner most being. Any attempt to short circuit or microwave the renewal process will only cause it to fail to install. (Have you ever spent time waiting for a program to download onto your computer only to wait, and wait, and finally realize that because it lost one particle of information, it will not install. Now the whole process has to be rebooted) We are like that, God has to have a successful install of His programs, not ours. He does not allow mixture in His ‘new creation’ programs.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Man’s programs do stir us into an expectation of achieving a positive result. Although it may ‘feel’ like something great is about to happen, the final result is like the proverbial boomerang, which tends to return back to its starting point. “ A dog returns to its own vomit ,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22

The only real and lasting solution to every problem of every Christian soldier is to progressively give his life over to the One and Only Lord of All day by day, time and time again. There is no mixture allowed in the disciples of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will convict us over and over to remove from our lives the pollution of worldly degradation in the form of secular thoughts, philosophies, viewpoints, theories, aspirations, recognitions, and the like. We are to be purging all of the poison of the worldly system from our homes, lives and thought lives! Any compromise in these areas is guaranteed to start the downward slippery slide towards lukewarmness! There is a song from Casting Crowns on their “The Altar and the Door” which is called “Slow Fade” and it is very clear that no one falls all at once, it is a slow fade, when we give ourselves to evil.

SLOW FADE by Casting Crowns:

Be careful little eyes what you see,
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you, that are sure to follow

IT’S A SLOW FADE, WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF AWAY
IT’S A SLOW FADE, WHEN BLACK AND WHITE ARE TURNED TO GREY
THOUGHTS INVADE, CHOICES ARE MADE,
A PRICE WILL BE PAID WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF AWAY
PEOPLE NEVER CRUMBLE IN A DAY
IT’S A SLOW FADE

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
Empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

I love this song, because it sums up the destructive course of allowing more and more mixture into our lives. This is a very sober letter to watch and take stock of how your walk is today, as compared to yesterday or last week or last year. Smith Wigglesworth is quoted as saying: “If you are not closer to God today than you were yesterday, you are BACKSLIDING!!!!!!

We love you guys, SHALOM MIGHTY WARRIORS!

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