Syncretism

Pew: Most Americans “mix traditional faith with beliefs in psychics, reincarnation and spiritual energy that they say can be found in physical objects such as mountains, trees and crystals.”

Chrislam: A Dangerous Ecumenical Expansion (Part 2)

Adapted from Voice, Mar/Apr 2015. Used with permission. Read Part 1.

God gave this warning to Israel as they were about to enter the Promised Land filled with Canaanites:

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. (ESV, Deut. 12:30-31)

The Quran certainly does believe in replacement, not only of the Jews and Israel but also of the Messiah and His Church, replacing them with Islam’s own prophet and book. But the Bible clearly teaches: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

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Chrislam: A Dangerous Ecumenical Expansion (Part 1)

From Voice, Mar/Apr 2015. Used with permission.

We need to make Bible believers aware of a new ecumenical trend called Chrislam, which attempts to reconcile Islam and Christianity based on shared common beliefs. It is a pattern developing in Christian-Muslim interaction with the goal to bring acceptance of Islam as a peaceful religion while rejecting the uniqueness of Biblical Christianity. In this article I will try to inform the readers as to how has this come about, what we should make of this trend and suggest how we might respond.

History of Chrislam

Due to religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria in the 1970s, a group was formed that embraced both the Bible and the Quran as holy books of faith and this group held both combined and separate services to meet everyone’s background. The leaders believed they had special angelic revelation to create this syncretism of religions.1 A similar grouping developed in 1993 following the Lebanon-Israel conflict. Several Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim leaders formed the “Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee” to promote understanding and dialogue between religious groups.2

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"Miracles just aren't enough," Dau says. "Miracles won't save these people. Only the Gospel can save them."

Viet toddler’s miracle is no Gospel substitute
“ ‘It was a miracle that healed that baby,’ Dau says. ‘Everybody in the community knows it.’
Still, none of the villagers has come to faith in Christ as a result. Even Hoa and Thoah, who acknowledge that they worshipped the Creator God for a while, returned to their lifelong practices of Buddhism and ancestor worship a few months after Song was healed.”

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Blessed Are the Intolerant

Then it was Elijah’s turn. Stepping onto a large boulder, he slowly pivoted to gaze upon the prophets of Baal. Before him were 450 sweating, bleeding, exhausted leaders of the most prominent religion of that region and time.

Surprisingly, rather than calling down fire from heaven, rallying the Israelites around the true God, and eliminating the false teachers, Elijah said, “Gentlemen, I have come to realize that while we may have our differences, we have much to offer one another in our understanding of life. As a matter of fact, God has infused a great deal of truth into your religion, and it would be rather arrogant and unloving for me to claim otherwise. Let us unite around our common goals and demonstrate to the world that while we may have different traditions, we are all, every one of us, children of God.”

Few of us could imagine such an ending to the great encounter on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18. But listening to some of the rhetoric swirling around Christian circles today, one gets the impression that perhaps Elijah got a little carried away. Couldn’t Elijah have made more progress with dialogue than the sword? Shouldn’t he have looked for common ground rather than differences and used loving affirmation rather than confrontation? Not if he wanted to be consistent with the will of God.

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