Posts Tagged ‘syncretism stew’

Why True Conviction in Christian Faith is Detested

March 6, 2017

A friend of mine (screen name “L”) recently wrote about churches drifting away (or, in some cases deliberately doing so) from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is often true. What’s more, it is happening at a greater rate in this generation than ever before!

Our family left two churches over the years because we found that the pastor was drifting away from excellent Bible teaching. In one case, the pastor started to follow another pastor’s way of teaching and this caused errors (one was huge!) in the direction that he started taking the church.

2Ti 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

2Ti 4:4

and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

I suggest reading my post entitled Syncretism Stew. An author by the name of Marsha West has created a list of denominations that have drifted their congregations away from what the disciples originally called, “The Way.”

Today, one of the most “admired” ideas is the human philosophical combination of many religions under the guise of labeling it in a term called COEXIST.

I have seen many of these stickers on the bumpers of cars here in California. It is a very nice sentiment and would be nice if sincerely followed. However, each of those religions disagrees with the teachings of the others. Therefore, each religion thinks that all the others are wrong! This is an example of where human philosophical efforts often fail. If a person doesn’t agree with all of the other religions listed on that banner, then you are often labeled as “bigoted,” “phobic” (including all the phobias being spouted around today), “crazy” or even “evil”!

Why?

Because behind the banner of “can’t we all just get along” is the premise that the claim of exclusivity of being saved by grace through Jesus Christ is bad news…rather than the Good News of salvation.

We see today how Christian faith is attacked by non-believers (often relentlessly) and the Jewish faith (which is the root of Christianity) is also highly disparaged.

Why?

Because the proponents of philosophy of religion precludes any true believer in Christ from having true conviction in their faith and replaces it with the demand for syncretism.

So, how are we supposed to know who is correct in such matters?

Good question!

That is where serious studying of the Bible comes in!

There are too many Christians who only rely on the words of others, rather than examining the Word of God and the Living Word – Jesus Christ – for themselves.

There is a verse in 2 Timothy (which is utilized by the AWANA programs for children) that tells us to “study to show thyself approved unto God – rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What’s more is that we need to be diligent about it! There are so many tools that can be used to help us in our studies. I think that the commentaries of past biblical scholars (like Matthew Henry) are very helpful! Also, using a concordance in order to understand the meaning of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words in the Bible helps to prevent error in private study and interpretation. For example, the word “fear” in the Bible can mean either dread of something or someone, or it can mean reverence (usually reverence for God). This is only one example. Proper context is essential in Bible study.

The book of Jude informs us that we are to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

Jude also warns us about the syncretism stew of those who would do things to gain advantage, follow after their own lusts, and be mockers:

Jde 1:16

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Jde 1:17

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Jde 1:18

how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

Jde 1:19

These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Jude 1:19 informs us that those who do not have the Spirit (meaning the Holy Spirit of God who indwells us when we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ and then through faith, ask Him to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit as saved individuals) are people who are sensual persons who cause divisions. Again, this is an example of the syncretism stew that people can willingly enter, or ignorantly enter into because of their lack of knowledge about the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ.

Bible study is crucial, but the fellowship with other Christians in a Bible based non-denominational church is also important. If the church is Bible based, then it is less likely to fall into the syncretism stew types of errors.

The longer I study the Bible, the more I learn.  However, this side of heaven one has “never arrived” regarding the wisdom and knowledge of God.   The Bible is a miraculous book and once saved, we are forever being sanctified through the grace and mercy afforded to us by Jesus Christ.

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Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

December 30, 2016

Just read a great post over at Wintery Knight’s blog.  Hat tip to Truth 2 Freedom blog for linking to it in my reader feed.

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

Excerpt:

So, everyone knows that there a huge number of different religions in the world. This is called religious pluralism. Some people infer from the large number of different religions that there must be no religion that is correct. After all, they say, there are people in many different religions who are sincere, so that must mean that they are not wrong. (Sincerity = not mistaken) Or, some say that because different religions disagree, then that must mean that no religion is correct. (Disagreement = no right answer) Or, some say that because different religions make different groups of people feel happy, then no religion is wrong. (Makes you happy = not mistaken) Or, one I see among Hindus a lot: “my family and my nation are Hindu, so it cannot be wrong or else my family and nation would be wrong”. (family pride and national pride = can’t be mistaken). There are probably other variants, but the common factor is this – religion is not like math or science or engineering or technology, where we do have right answers and wrong answers. Religion is something else – it’s more like clothing conventions, or culinary preferences, or taste in art or music. It’s more about a person’s likes and dislikes, not about claims being made about reality.

How should truth-seekers respond to religious pluralism?

The law of non-contradiction

Readers, you must read it all HERE!!!

 

Within the post, Wintery Knight asks:

How do postmodernists reinterpret religious claims as non-propositional?

There are three answers, but the “syncretism” answer applies to my recent discussions with someone who likes Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” teachings.

syncretism: you re-interpret truth claims of the different religions so that claims that are absolutely central, such as “was Jesus God?” are reinterpreted as being peripheral issues, and then the religions can all agree on the core of religious belief, such as advocacy of socialism, global warming and abortion.

 

I have dealt with the idea of syncretism in a previous post entitled, Syncretism Stew.

Non-believers often see the differences between the various denominations and offshoots of Christianity. The fact is, that those who have drifted away from the absolute truth of the Bible and use syncretism excuses for rejecting the Cross of Christ being needed for redemption; are no better off than non-believers! It isn’t “politically correct” to write, but it’s the truth.

My comment there (may still be in moderation):

This is a great post!  Besides the fact that “all religions cannot possibly be true,” it is also a fact that branches of Christianity can (and have) fallen by the wayside when it comes to the truth contained in God’s Word.  I am in the process of “politely debating” an individual on his agreement with Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” book vs. my born again beliefs regarding biblical Christianity.

I already know the errors of Tolle’s beliefs (when it comes to comparing what he has espoused vs. what the Bible reveals), but I have (thus far) been cautious not to “turn off” this young man by stating outright that Tolle (and by extension, the young man) is wrong in several areas of his religious beliefs.  He has already gained an increased respect for Jesus Christ, but Tolle’s teachings combine pantheism, Buddhism, and Gnosticism.  I suspect that the Buddhism aspects of Tolle’s beliefs appeal to this young man.  It has been an interesting discussion…to say the least!

In a recent discussion, I noticed that when I shared Bible verses and quotes by Jesus, the young man had not heard of them before.  He said he has read the Bible, but just reading it once and not studying it can lead a person to take another person’s “word for it” (e.g. Tolle) when it comes to truth and doctrine.  Many Christian denominations have “fallen off the rails” too; as they dismiss the truth of the Bible for man’s errors and imaginations.  I call this “syncretism stew” and the book of Jude warns us that the closer we get to the end times, the greater chance there is for anyone, (including some who call themselves Christians!) to fall for non-biblical beliefs within Christianity. End Times prophecy reveals that there will be a great falling away; while at the same time  the absolute truth of the Bible will reach others and will build Christ’s church!

Anyone interesting in reading about Eckhardt Tolle (so that you will know how he skews away from biblical Christianity), here is a post over at my blog Talk Wisdom:  What do you think about Eckhart Tolle?

Hat tip:

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

 

Syncretism Stew

April 17, 2016

Stew…

In the comment section of this post,  I introduced several columns, including Berean Research: Evangelicals Divided, A Movement Fractured, Part 1 written by Marsha West. Upon further research, I found that West’s columns can also be found at Renew America.

I have only read about half a dozen of her essays, but they have all been absolutely on-target for those of us who hold to biblically-based Christianity!

Her column entitled Purpose Driven dismantling of Christianity, Part 1, written back in 2011 caught my eye this morning.

Excerpt:

The real danger to traditional Christianity is not from without, but from within its own ranks. Millions of professing Christians have conformed to the world and have been taken in “through philosophy” and “the tradition of men” and are “not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8) Not that this is anything new. The attempt to blend Christianity with paganism has been going on since the days of the early church. And here we are 2 millennia later, still fighting some of the same battles.

One of the major problems Christendom is combating is pagan spirituality. The pace at which unbiblical pagan beliefs are seeping into evangelical churches is dramatically quickening. Many of the orthodoxy have been sounding the alarm, but few have been listening.

Liberalism, with its false social justice gospel, has also reared its ugly head in the Church of Jesus Christ. The liberal “social justice Christian” sees traditionalists as out of touch with the times. Their clarion call is: The Church must change! The next generation of Purpose Driven pastor’s accuse traditionalists who speak out against change agents of being “haters.” Purpose Driven/charismatic pastor Steven Furtick rapped his disdain for outspoken traditionalists in Hey Haters. “Fall back! It’s a new day!” he rebuked. The orthodoxy’s “day is done.” They are “haters…nit-pickers…black and white…full of opinions, low on the Spirit.” Steven seemed angry, even, well, low on the Spirit. I saw no love emanating from this pastor’s eyes, what I saw was arrogance.

I have been sounding the alarm bells regarding the heresy of Rick Warren over the past several years, but Ms. West does a superb job in listing not only the wrongs of the “purpose driven” Warren in this piece, but also shares the mix of “syncretism stew” that is currently ravaging many local churches (especially, sadly, several mega churches) that were once biblically based!

West writes, “liberals were serving up platefuls of Christian stew” and lulling them into “la la land” through a “blend of Christianity with paganism.”

I know SO MANY PEOPLE that I would LOVE to share this with!  Especially, there is a great need to share this information with Millennials who have fallen for unbiblical pagan beliefs.  However, in today’s twitter and texting generation, an article like this would probably cause their eyes to glaze over and they would not even get past the 140 characters that they are used to reading at any given time.   Sad observation, isn’t it?  And, I know this is true because I have shared previous articles with some 25 to 30-something individuals.  But when I ask “did you read…” I get the usual, “no, didn’t read it yet.”  They probably read the first line or two and perhaps decided to reject what was being said?  Well, maybe some day they will come back to this blog and read the difference between biblical Christianity and the satanic stew being mixed in by the “change agents.”

Ms. West explains what she means by “syncretism.”

SYNCRETISM

False teaching has made inroads through the blending of religions. It’s called syncretism. Syncretism in Protestantism occurred when elements of other religious beliefs were integrated into mainstream denominations. As syncretism takes place fundamental beliefs change.

Those involved in syncretism have a name and a goal:

Grievous wolves (Acts 20:29) masquerading as evangelicals introduced false religious beliefs (abominations) into mainline churches. Many of them are forthcoming about what they’re doing, others not so much. Their main goal is as I stated above, change. The plan (yes, they have a plan) is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and usher in a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.”

Ms. West lists the ingredients of syncretism stew:

SYNCRETISM STEW

Ingredients:

Darwinian evolution
Eastern religions
Neognosticism
Neopaganism
New Age
Theosophy
Transformation
Simmer for several decades, then gradually turn up the heat and add an abundance of ‘isms’:
Annihilationism
Communitarianism
Cultural Marxism
Ecumenism
Emotionalism
Environmentalism
Freudian naturalism
Globalism
Homoeroticism
Inclusivism
Liberalism/progressivism
Moral relativism
Multiculturalism
Pluralism
Postmodernism
Postmortem evangelism
Pragmatism
Secular humanism
Universalism
Bring to a rapid boil. (For added flavor sprinkle in gimmyism, meism and voyeurism.)

While the isms boil, toss in a whole lotta movements, phenomena, and worldly practices:
Alternative medicine
Angelology
Charismatic
Church Growth
Contemplative
Emergent
Global Peace
Man-centered (self-esteem)
Metaphysical
New Apostolic Reformation/Kingdom Now/Dominionism
New Revelation
Pentecostal
Progressive (social justice)
Purpose Driven
Psychology
Reformed
Revolution
Signs & wonders
Televangelist
Twelve-steps
Universal Reconciliation
Word of Faith (health & wealth)
Turn down the heat and simmer until the flavor of historic biblical Christianity completely disappears.

Serve to the sheep.

Quite a long list…isn’t it?

No wonder there is so much confusion going on in the lives of Christians who do not, and have not, studied the Scriptures in order to recognize heresy, apostasy, and the satanic “stew” being fed to them via the wolves in sheep’s clothing!

I encourage all to read the entire article!

When Christians realize, study, understand, and finally see the following:

“The attempt to blend Christianity with paganism [which] has been going on since the days of the early church.  And here we are 2 millennia later, still fighting some of the same battles.”

…it means that they have taken the Berean road towards discovering the truth within God’s Word through diligent study of the Scriptures so that they can earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

One more excerpt:

Followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to contend for the faith! Listen to what Jude 1:3, 4 says:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

According to Clark’s commentary:

The meaning of the apostle seems to be this: ‘Beloved brethren, when I saw it necessary to write to you concerning the common salvation, my mind being deeply affected with the dangers to which the Church is exposed from the false teachers that are gone out into the world, I found it extremely necessary to write and exhort you to hold fast the truth which you had received, and strenuously to contend for that only faith which, by our Lord and his apostles, has been delivered to the Christians.’

Hat tip: Marsha West at Renew America

Hat tips to all links.


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Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). 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It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. 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