December 11, 2006

syncretism ~ pros and cons

The subject of syncretism has been the concern of many christian's and for good reason. Still, I believe that if our hearts are right with God and if we honestly look at the world and all it's ways and philosophies discerningly we will find principles that we should run far away from but also some that we should strive to acquire ourselves.
In the story of the crooked manager (Luke 16), Jesus said "... streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way-but for what is right-using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you'll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior." (the message).
The problem is not necessarily syncretism in the family of God but perhaps the fact that even though we may live according to good morals and correct theology or whatever (which is fine) , we sometimes do not fully see what God is showing us which may be something out of the box and we don't do what we already know to our full potential.
We each have our own personalities shaped by God partly through nature and nurture, and since it is ok to be nurtured who says we can't discerningly allow ourselves to be inspired by an unbeliever. When we compare the church today with the world in the arenas of science, art, music, politics, business etc... we do tend to get blown away. Praise God that his grace makes up for our shortcomings.
When the ways of the world are admirable, syncretism is ok. When the ways of the world are unrighteous, syncretism is bad. Most religions and philosophies have their own strengths and truths. We would do well to filter them out from what is false and make them ours. May the spirit of God give us discernment with this kind of stuff and the strength and courage to grow.

Phil Wyman on "Syncretism in the Evangelical Church: The Consumerism of the Altar Call and the Sinner's Prayer"Sally's Journey on "Time out from Tinsel"Matt Stone on Family ValuesSteve Hayes with an interesting turn about on where we find syncretism!Mike Crockett on Church and Culture: a double-edged swordCarl Nystedt on Syncretism: Pros and ConsBilly Calderwood - It's the Economy Stupid...John Smulo's BlogJohn Morehead's Musings

11 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I suppose the problem is where one draws the line between legitimate inculturation and syncretism.

Sally said...

"When the ways of the world are admirable, syncretism is ok. When the ways of the world are unrighteous, syncretism is bad. Most religions and philosophies have their own strengths and truths. We would do well to filter them out from what is false and make them ours. May the spirit of God give us discernment with this kind of stuff and the strength and courage to grow."

AMEN!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What Carl said, and Sally said back!

Good post Carl

Anonymous said...

What Carl said, and Sally said back!

Good post Carl

Anonymous said...

What Carl said, and Sally said back!

Good post Carl

Anonymous said...

Hey Carl,

What you said, and what Sally said back. Yeah good post.

Anonymous said...

wow, your blogger is posting things in a bizarre fashion. I tried once and it failed. Then I came back hours later and posted once to get six postings altogether. 5 of the original popped up, and one new one.