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Religious Syncretism

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

The following article was reprinted from www.GotQuestions.org

I believe it contains some very useful information that will expose new light on today’s current trend among the Protestant churches to introduce a “mixture” of foreign religious philosophies or pagan practices with Christianity.

Some examples of Syncretism might include “Christian Yoga”, “Christian Psychology”, “The Ecumenical Movement” (the false teaching that all religions lead to God), and the general incorporation of New Age occult teachings and practices into the church.

As the article states, “Religious Syncretism is not compatible with true Christianity… syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture.”

Beware of so many Christian churches today that have fallen away from the true Christian faith by following the doctrines of men and demons. “Now the [Holy} Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” – 1 Timothy 4:1.

Please pray for spiritual discernment to know truth vs. error, and be courageous enough to “come out” from among them and be separate, says the LORD (2 Corinthians 2:17).

We speak the truth in love,

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
http://www.RealJesus.net
realjesusministries@gmail.com

Question: “What is religious syncretism?”

Answer: Syncretism, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is “the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief.” This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion, and usually results in a new teaching or belief system. Obviously, this cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity.

Religious syncretism often takes place when foreign beliefs are introduced to an indigenous belief system and the teachings are blended. The new, heterogeneous religion then takes a shape of its own. This has been seen most clearly in Roman Catholic missionary history. Take, for example, the Roman Catholic Church’s proselytizing of animistic South America. Threatened with the fear of death, natives were baptized into the church by the tens of thousands without any preaching of the Gospel whatsoever. Former temples were razed, with Catholic shrines and chapels built on the same spot. Natives were allowed to substitute praying to saints instead of gods of water, earth and air, and replaced their former idols with new images of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, the animistic religion the natives had formerly practiced was never fully replaced—it was adapted into Catholic teachings, and this new belief system was allowed to flourish.

More recently, religious syncretism can be seen in such religious systems as the New Age, Hinduism, Unitarianism, and Christian Science. These religions are a blending of multiple different belief systems, and are continually evolving as the philosophies of mankind rise and fall in popularity.

Therein lies the problem, for syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture. The Bible makes it very clear what true religion is. Think on just a few things stated in Scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37); “Jesus replied, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6); “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31-32); and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Religious syncretism is simply not compatible with true Christianity. In fact, any modification to biblical law and principle for the sake of a “better” religion is heresy (Revelation 22:18-19).

Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other gods by Ravi Zacharias.

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Today’s Scripture Verse – John 2:23-25

www.RealJesus.net“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man.” – John 2:23-25


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Jesus Gets Angry

Religious Profiteers

Religious Profiteers

Some people have a hard time with the idea of Jesus getting angry.

Since we believe He was the sinless Son of God, our mental association of anger with sin, makes it difficult to believe Jesus really had an outburst of wrath when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers. But the fact is, He did. There is a time and place for anger – if it is justified and controlled. It is possible to get angry without sinning. The apostle Paul spoke about this in the Book of Ephesians:

“Be angry, and sin not; do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” – Ephesians 4:26

The problem with anger is that, most of us, usually get angry in a manner that is uncontrolled. When that happens, it becomes sin. We also have a tendency to brood over our anger, which turns into resentment and bitterness. If you’re going to get angry, you must do it in a controlled way (where it is not sinful) and get over it quickly – before the sun goes down at the end of that day.

This is the controlled manner in which Jesus got angry in the Jewish temple.

“And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a whip of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”– John 2:13-16

Jesus teaches in the temple

“‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” – Matthew 21:13

Jesus had good reason to get angry. The religious leaders in the temple had established a moneymaking business for themselves of exchanging foreign money for Jewish currency. They had decreed that nothing but Tirian Shekels 1 would be allowed as acceptable currency in the temple (Every year, a Jewish man, 20 years old and older, paid a voluntary half shekel Temple tax to the Jerusalem Temple. This tax, was instituted by Moses – Ex 30:11–16). Jesus was also angry about the selling of animals in the temple for the animal sacrifices.

No doubt this “religious profiteering” made Jesus really mad. I believe Jesus gets really mad about the same kind of religious profiteering that goes on in the Christian churches today. You see a lot of this on the religious TV channels and Christian media. Just about every ministry is trying to sell you something in exchange for teaching you the Word of God. From Christian books, tapes, DVD’s, music CD’s, Bibles, magazines, and all sorts of Christian trinkets. It really makes me sick to my stomach to see this kind of blatant huckstering going on under the pretense of “fundraising”.

When Jesus got angry with the religious leaders it was righteous anger over their merchandising of His Father’s house. He became indignant watching the religious leaders (who knew better) polluting the temple of God with their moneymaking enterprises. In fulfillment of Old Testament Messianic prophecy, the “zeal” of Jesus “for God’s house did eat Him up!” (Psalm 69:9). From that time, Jesus essentially “declared war” on the hypocritical religious leaders, and exercised His authority as the Son of God to clean up the corruption. The religious establishment didn’t take this lightly. More than ever, Jesus was a threat to their apostate leadership, and they began to plot how to kill Jesus.

A godly remnant.

Despite rampant religious hypocrisy and apostasy, God always has a godly and faithful remnant in all ages. There were still many in Israel who truly loved God and revered His temple, even though most of the religious leaders were false shepherds who exploited the people of God and used their priestly (ministerial) positions to make a fat salary, and even get rich.

Have things really changed today? I don’t believe so.

The Christian churches are full of these same kind of false shepherds and the same religious profiteering. If Jesus came back today, I believe He would turn over the tables of the moneychangers once again,  and He would expose many of today’s so-called pastors and preachers for the Pharisaical hypocrites they are.

Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not against Christian leadership. I am a preacher myself. I don’t claim that I am yet perfected (only Jesus is), but I’m trying to walk faithfully before the Lord and allowing Him to make me more like Him everyday. I also know of other godly ministers that are doing likewise, and I would happily endorse their ministries. However, I also see many pastors and preachers who are not at all sincere; they are the bad apples in the bunch, and the ones who give Christianity a bad name among the unsaved, and cause other believers to stumble.

Like Jesus, I also get angry with what I see going on in God’s house, and I am not afraid to speak my mind about it. I also encourage the body of Christ to be good stewards of their prayers and financial support of preachers, churches, and ministries. There are still many who are doing the work of God faithfully. But there are also many that I wouldn’t even “give the time of day to” in support of their ministries. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment: to show you who to support with your tithes and offerings, and which ones not to.

–         Luis Josephus

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1. Tyrian shekels (Tyrian tetradrachmas) were coins of Tyre, which in the Roman Empire took on an unusual role as the medium of payment for the Temple tax in Jerusalem, and subsequently gained notoriety as a likely mode of payment for Judas Iscariot. The coins bore the likeness of the Phoenician god Melqart or Baal, accepted as the Olympian Herakles by the Greeks and derided as Beelzebub by Jews in the time of the Seleucids, wearing the laurel reflecting his role in the Tyrian games and the Ancient Olympics.[1] These coins, the size of a modern Israeli half-shekel, were minted in Israel, but were required to bear this image by the Romans to avoid accusations that the Jews were given autonomy.[2] They were replaced by First Jewish Revolt coinage in 66 AD.
The Tyrian shekel weighed four Athenian drachmas, about 14 grams, more than earlier 11-gram Israeli shekels, but was regarded as the equivalent for religious duties at that time.[3] Because Roman coinage was only 80% silver, the purer (94% or more) Tyrian shekels were required to pay the temple tax in Jerusalem, but were exchanged by moneychangers in the temple for coins with the approved priestly image
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_shekel

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COMMENT from Kesia: ” I think you have to make a conscious decision to chose the action or not hold on to crap at all. If something needs to be done get it done not in strife, if you cant do it without strife, get rid of the anger. Let it go!”