We are so tempted to imbibe the views of our culture and to join them in our understanding of the worship of God
Today's video is on syncretism. Looking for some answers, Kyle and I went to Trinity Reformed Church to get Pastor Van Eyk's thoughts on the subject. This is Faith to Film.
Syncretism happens when various aspects of different religions are merged together to, in effect, create a new religion.
0:31 What are examples of syncretism in the bible?
Syncretism has always been a problem for the people of God. We see that in the old testament where Israel assimilated some of the practices of their pagan neighbors into their own worship of God. So, for example, after the northern tribes split from the southern tribes after the time of Rehoboam, Jeroboam, the King of Israel instituted the worship of God in Dan and Bethel but in that worship he employed the use of golden calves which came from the religions of the nations surrounding them. In the new testament we see syncretism as a problem as well that the different philosophies of the culture around them influenced the church. Perhaps one of the most particular influences was the belief among many in the ancient world. That the physical was evil and this had an impact for example in the church's understanding of the Lord Jesus. Since physical was evil there were some who thought that there's no way that the Lord Jesus had a real human body it just appeared that He did and this denigration of the physical also meant that some Christians thought that they were to abstain from God's good gifts of sexual intimacy and food. Things that God had created for our enjoyment and to be received with thanksgiving.
2:05 What are examples of syncretism today?
Syncretism continues to be a challenge for the church today. We live in a culture that is awash with sexual immorality with false understandings of human life and dignity and identity and with a misunderstanding of how we are to use God's good gifts and the leisure time that he has given to us and Christians because of the prevalence of social media and we are just inundated with a value system that is contrary to the system that is laid out for us in the word of God. We are so tempted to imbibe the views of our culture and to join them in our understanding of the worship of God.
2:53 How can we resist the temptation of syncretism?
The apostle Paul warns us in Romans 12 that we ought not to be conformed to this world and then encourages us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. So it's so important for Christians, inundated as we are by our culture, to look at our culture in light of the word of God and to bring the false teachings of our culture to the light of the truth of God so that we might order our lives in a way that pleases God and pleases Him fully.