The most simplistic way I can define syncretism is that it is the blending of two or more belief systems, and it is what is happening every day in the hearts and the minds of Christians who are actively involved in their faith. Syncretism occurs because everyone has the basic need to be accepted; therefore, syncretism allows Christians to proclaim that they are a follower of Christ. Yet, they follow their horoscope daily, revealing themselves as an astrological sign.
Syncretism says, "Don't choose just one believe mix them together and you will be accepted, this is what promotes unity the blending of beliefs not choosing just one." "Is Jesus really the only way? There are such nice people in the world." This is one of the most prevalent ways that I see syncretism creep into the life of a Christian believer.
Syncretism allows for numerous sources to be the filter by which a person makes their moral decisions. The Bible is not THE Source. It is simply A source that can be used as a guide and a compass for daily living. With access to all of the various sources with just one spell of the word or concepts you are searching for, a person has access to hundreds of thousands of perspectives from different types of thought leaders, all of whom can cure their itching ears. We are in the last days, as scripture has proclaimed; Sin is the new three-letter word that people rarely want to use for fear of looking as though they are being judgemental. Syncretism allows a person to create a melting pot of beliefs based on cultural trends and passions.
The church needs to make Christian disciples because syncretism is knocking on the church's door daily, saying, "Come on out, you can believe what Christians believe and what other religions and even the non-religious. You can be spiritual and not religious; you can have it all!" Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like one of the temptations of Christ in the wilderness? Satan says, "Look at all this I have; you can have it! (Matthew 4:1-11) just follow me." The truth is that "having it all" is alike. There is no such thing as having it all for the Christian. Not if you want to have all that the world has to offer, prestige, fame, and fortune. It seems that many want to make their name great, and in doing so, they are forgetting about the great name of Jesus! This is how the world is wooing Christians out of the church and keeping non-believers out because our Christian faith says we must choose who we will serve. We can't have two Masters. It says Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. It gives us instructions on how to live our lives. There is no room for syncretism as a Christian disciple. We believe there is only one Source, and we are Sourced from Him alone.
If you are going to be a disciple of Christ, you must ask yourself what is the Source and who is the Source that is the final authority and filter by which I make my decisions and live my life.
The Bible is our moral compass for daily living. It teaches us who our Source is, and it teaches us who we are sourced in. So, you must get a fundamental understanding of what you believe about the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
The Word of God, the Bible, leaves no room for syncretism. Making disciples confronts the areas in our lives where we have allowed syncretism to creep in because it requires us to read scripture and allow it to challenge and transform us.
While we are on this journey, we are going to take some time to talk about why the Bible is God's voice, His love letter to us; it should be the book we use to filter every decision and every belief so that we can be disciples that are a reflection of God's love.
Tomorrow we will be talking about High Bar Discipleship