“Christians inevitably are message bearers, and that message is full of beauty, peace, goodness, and salvation.”. A lot. What is Christian tolerance? It's not uncommon for new believers in that context to want to continue visiting the spiritual healers around them. 300 ce). Sometimes how you're resting is more important than what you're doing. The world may look different, but there is still plenty to be grateful for. In this, obscurantism and syncretism are closely related, each leading to the creation of a false gospel. The end result is a false gospel that becomes a stumbling block to those Christians and churches are trying to reach. Those who would mix these practices, if not moving away from them, end up with a false, syncretistic gospel, not the gospel of Jesus. Haitian Voodoo is an example of syncretism that mixes African animistic religious practice with Christianity. What is syncretism? That's synscretism. Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias While Rome waged a struggle with Carthage, the Ptolemies were masters of the eastern Mediterranean. They fear irrelevance to the point they bend and shape the gospel to fit nicely within the culture. This sounds remarkably similar to Mohler's 2005 statement in Time Magazine that Christianity and evolution are incompatible . Support the work of CT. Get weekly updates from The Exchange delivered to your inbox. Both errors are dangerous as each leads to a false gospel. Those are obvious. Christian Truth. Each issue contains up-to-date, insightful information about today’s culture, plus analysis of books important to the evangelical thinker. Context matters. If you don't care about contextualization, you end up obscuring the gospel (obsurantism). It is syncretism, blending a practice from paganism into the stream of Christianity. Subscribe and get one year free.The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today. Spencer J. Palmer, Korea and Christianity, 1967. CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week. God's way cannot be "improved" by human sincerity. Changing the way a religion is described or the way a particular rite is practiced to make it understandable to a culture is not syncretistic, since it does not add a foreign religious belief to the system, nor does it actually change the original belief. Syncretism is not the total abandonment of a faith. Last Tuesday, we learned about obscurantism and how to avoid it. It is way more insidious and dangerous. Syncretism is overwriting the beliefs of other faiths or cultures onto this practice. Syncretism happens more than we might know. ... Another example of syncretism is the insidious fusion of Christianity with the “culture of success.” Satan has effectively used the “success syndrome” to undermine Christians in our country. Each error is dangerous and fearing one more than the other often leads a church directly into the one that is less feared. The challenge we face, then, is charting the course down the middle. The Exchange is a part of CT's Likewise, some in emerging contexts (or the emerging church of a few years ago) have contextualized the gospel by softening difficult theological truths, which also changes the gospel—it's syncretism. Syncretism can be most easily seen when two or more starkly contrasting religions are mixed. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. The Exchange newsletter is a weekly digest of coverage, research, and perspective from Ed Stetzer. So there is this danger in walking the fine line of contextualization where error awaits on either side—obscurantism on the one and syncretism on the other. Methods 4. When anything is added to the message of the gospel, the uniqueness and sufficiency of Christ is compromised and another gospel can be created that is, well, actually not the gospel.