Religious Syncretism

1. April 2017 18:05 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (4)

Religious Syncretism

#StaySleep OR #StayWoke

 

What is “Religious Syncretism”?

 

Terms Defined

Religious – Belief in a God or a group of gods and following the rules of a religion. One being devout by the indication of a spirit of reverence toward God.

Syncretism – The merging of two or more different forms of belief practices. The attempt of reconciling or unionizing opposing principles, practices, philosophies of religions.  

Religious Syncretism is therefore the reconciling and fusing of two or more unrelated religious beliefs and practices into a new system, practice, or lifestyle. Religious Syncretism therefore boils down to the incorporation of beliefs into religious traditions that are wholly unrelated.

 

Urban cults are currently in their “latency period”. The latency period is the time between infection and the ability of a said disease to spread. The Church can either be proactive or reactive in giving a apologetic defense for the faith that we hold. It is now high time to equip the Body of Christ that She might give a reason of the hope that She is built upon. 

Why the Urgency for a Proactive Apologetic Defense

In 2017 the Church will not be influenced by  the means and methods of old but by mediums and platforms that can reach thousands in a matter of minutes. Where Philosophy, psychology, & Theology once ruled it has been now replaced with YouTube, memeology, and a plethora of *Live* social media platforms. 

These Urban Cult movements are flourishing through the primary spheres of this world's social distribution & we cannot ignore them. In particular the field of sports, the fields of intellect, & entertainment. Here are 3 notable names for an example. 

 

Notable Influential Names

Amar'e Stoudemire – Former Phoenix Sun, New York Knick star Amar’e  Stoudemire self-identifies as a Hebrew Israelite, a tribe that’s believed to have descended from the Kingdom of Judah and inhabited what is now Israel before its expulsion by the Romans in 70 A.D. In search of a deeper meaning of birth, life, faith, and his religious roots has immersed into a Hebraic lifestyle and identifies as a Hebrew. To Stoudemire it is about fulfillment, enlightenment I'm not a religious person," he has said. "I'm more of a spiritual person."

Dr. Umar Johnson – In the world of intellect a popular name and influence is Umar Johnson who is affectionately called “the Prince of Pan-Americanism" and often referred to as “Poppa”. Dr. Johnson is a Black Psychologist and National Certified School Psychologist. You could say that Johnson is a Marcus Garvey disciple. 

While outwardly his goal is the edification of African-Americans/Blacks yet it’s done through a message with the attempt to destroy Christianity by reconnecting Blacks to their African spirituality.  

Nick Canon -  Nick Canon is an rapper, actor, comedian, television host, etc etc. 

When people see Nick Canon these days they see him sporting his diamond studded turban that reflects his new belief system. Canon said on the popular radio show the Breakfast Club “Christianity was his first language but that he is now fluent in a range of different spiritualties as well”. When Nick Canon speaks Millennials & Gen-X listen.

 

The message Millennials & Gen-X’ers are receiving is a propagation that Christianity is NOT the only true system of belief and practice to God and Jesus Christ is NOT the sole means of salvation and way to a relationship to God.

These three examples don’t even begin to scratch the surface. These ideas are encapsulated in a movement called “The Consciousness Community”. Today I will deal with just the beginning of what’s circulating and influencing Millennials & Gen-X age group.

 

Christ in Egyptology

Many in the Consciousness Community believes that Christianity and the idea of Jesus Christ is all plagiarized from Egypt. Some of their claims are as follows:

The ten Commandments were taken from Egypt

Jesus was based on the Egyptian god Horus

The birth story of Jesus was taken from Egypt

Jesus having 12 disciples came from Egypt

Jesus death and resurrection came from Egypt

The claims of parallels are numerous but all are false. 

 

Apologetic Defenses

1)Where is any of this information found in Egyptian Literature?

2)Ask the question what are the original source material to back this claim?

3)What are your Primary or secondary resource. (Ask how?) 

4)Familiarize yourself with Isis, Horus, and Orsis

5)Have an understanding of the Pyramid Text & the Papyrus of Ani a.k.a. The Book of the Dead.

(Horus was an Egyptian god, people thought of Horus as having the head of a falcon. The Pharaoh was the human form of Horus. The goddess Isis, in Egyptian mythology, was married to Osiris. Osiris was killed and his body was scattered all over Egypt. They searched Egypt finding the pieces of his body, put them back together again into Osiris, and brought him to life again to make their child, the god Horus.)

 

Moorish Science

The Moorish Science Temple of America started by Timothy Drew who now is known as Noble Drew Ali. Moors teachings are derived from The Holy Koran, not to be confused with the Holy Qur’an of Islam, was written by Nobel Drew Ali between 1913 - 1929.

Ali taught the idea that Jesus would have supported the worship of Allah and even taught his followers that all people worship Allah even if they have renamed him Zeus, Yahweh, etc. The teachings of the Holy Koran are supposed to be taken from the missing years of the life of Jesus. What is most intriguing about Moorish teaching there aim is to give Black men and women an identify that they teach was stolen from them during their life in North & South West Africa in slavery.  

 

Apologetic Defense

1.Be familiar with Moorish teachings.

2.KNOW your Bible

3.Know Soteriology (the doctrine of Salvation) & what Moors believe teach about it.

4.Know Christology (the doctrine of Jesus Christ) 

 

Chrislam

“Chrislam is an attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam. While it began in Nigeria in the 1980s, Chrislamic ideas have spread throughout much of the world. The essential concept of Chrislam is that Christianity and Islam are compatible, that one can be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. Chrislam is not an actual religion of its own, but a blurring of the differences and distinctions between Christianity and Islam.” (GotQuestions.org)

How is this relevant to Flint? The weekend of March 28 both channel 5 & 12 ran a story of a local “Church” and a local Mosque coming together in unity. There are several questions pertaining to this that must be ask. 

Is the Yahweh and Allah the same God?

Is Jesus and Isa the same in the Qur’an?

Is Christianity and Islam both Abrahamic faiths?

 

Apologetic Defense

While the answer is No to all those the Church must be able to answer the why.

1.CallingMuslims.org

2.Understand Yahweh’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob. 

3.Know the essentials of the Christian Faith

4.Read several books on Islam (What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an, The Dark Side of Islam,& Reasoning from the Scriptures with Muslims)

 

Hebrew Ebionites

Who are Hebrew Ebionites? The Ebionites were in essence a sect of Judaism that fled Israel under the persecution of Rome. The word Ebionite comes from the word “Ebionim” meaning “was "poor,". These Jewish refugees admittedly were poverty stricken and were of the mindset and understanding refusing to accept the Christology of the ruling Church. So they merged the two together spreading hersey.

 

In the 21st Century a new sect has arisen. Today there is a new sect of Hebrew Ebionites that the Church must be aware of.

 

The modern version can be described as a crossing of the false cult teachings of the Hebrew Israelites and Christianity. It is no doubt that the people of the land of Israel and surrounding region were melanated people. Skin color does not automatic make a person a Hebrew or an Israelite but that is what most Hebrew Israelite camps teach. 

 

There are now some pastors and Christians claiming to be Hebrew and Christian thus the term Hebrew Ebionite. The challenge here lies in some of the core teachings. 

Are Christians who do not keep the “Sabbath” violating God’s standard?

Can a Christian be a law keeper and a disciple of Christ at the same time?

What role does the Apocrypha play in the life of a believer? 

 

Apologetic Defense

1)Know Galatians 3 & Colossians 2

2)Must have a good familiarity with the Old Testament and covenants

3)Must know Church history

4)Understand Law and Grace

 

I want to conclude with a statement from another Apologist.

“While religious syncretism is a danger in every age, with the boom of the technological age, it’s becoming increasingly problematic in the urban context. As a pastor in an inner-city context, I regularly engage people with questions about Egyptian mysticism, Pan-Africanism, ecumenical councils, canonization, and the early history of Christianity…Unlike the Egyptian mysticism of the 16th and 17th centuries that is wholly based upon fables, I often argue that the Christian message is one that is deeply rooted in history and yet to be disproved archeologically. Rather than seeking to appease a god through human agency, the God of the Scriptures is self-satisfied by the offering of his son, Jesus, upon the Cross for the remissions of our sins. This stark contrast demonstrates that amalgamating anything with Christianity is unfaithful to the biblical narrative and incompatible with the gospel.” ~ Ernest Cleo Grant II

 

We MUST know the Gospel and all that it entails. The Gospel is very simply Jesus Christ! He is the Son of God, the Son of Man. Sent into this world to be born of a virgin that He might be sinless, that He might be born under the law, to keep the very law that every individual on the face of this planet has broken. The perfect, sinless, Son of God has perfectly met all the requirements of God’s law, and is ready to give His righteousness to us that we would have a perfect standing before God. Jesus went to the cross; there He was lifted up to die. There upon that cross, the sins of everyone who would believe in Him were transferred to Him. And Him who knew no sin God made to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. That’s the great exchange of the cross—the worst about mankind was laid upon Him, the best about Him now to be laid upon all who will believe as He shed His blood upon that cross.

 

Repent of your sins, put faith in Jesus Christ – that is the Gospel.

Rev. E. L. Smith

SDG

 

About Edward L. Smith

My ministry philosophy would consist of these essentials—a High View of God, the absolute authority of Scripture, Expository Preaching, Sound Doctrine, Personal Holiness, and a Biblical view of spiritual authority. All ministries must be God-Honoring, Christ-Centered, & Gospel Saturated. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

 

Month List