Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's in a Word? - SYNCRETISM

According to the American Heritage Dictionary the definition of syncretism is "Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous".

I recently finished a study on the book of Judges. It is a good example of syncretism. Yehovah instructed Joshua to enter Canaan and give the people living there a choice. Either pack up and leave or die. There was no middle ground. He did not want His chosen people to live with people who held other beliefs and other gods. Syncretism happened because Israel did not obey God. Instead they decided to tolerate the Canaanites and allowed them to live along side of the Hebrews. They tolerated the many gods including Baal and Ashteroth.

It didn't take long for syncretism to rear its ugly head. It happened very quickly and before the Israelites knew what happened to them they were worshiping not only Yehovah but the gods of the Canaanites as well. They worked together, worshiped together, married each other and so on. The Torah was not being followed and the priesthood and sacrificial system set up by Yehovah at Mt. Sinai was completely watered down.

Today we are seeing the same thing happen to both the Jews and the Christian church. Instead of following Yehovah's Word, we are building churches based on doctrine. Doctrine that in many cases has no real basis in the Bible. Doctrine that is falling short of readying the church for the fast approaching Kingdom of Yehovah.

The church has adopted the ways of the world to such an extent that it's hard to tell the difference between the two. When a person listens to the same music, watches the same movies and television shows, reads the same books, talks the same talk and basically lives the same life as someone who doesn't know Messiah Yeshua, how are they living the life of a set-apart people?

One reason Yehovah set down the Torah laws was to show how His people were different from all other peoples of the world. We are not supposed to be the same. We are different; set apart for a Holy God. That God expects His people to be different than the rest of the world.

I ask myself daily if someone was watching me could they tell by my actions that I am a follower of Messiah Yeshua. Am I keeping both feet where they belong or do I have one foot in this world?

Many Christians today are living a life of syncretism. They don't even realize that they have combined the world and their faith. I pray that you are keeping yourself set apart for Him.

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