Thursday, September 29, 2016

Christ and Culture: The Real Danger Of Syncretism

I think many of you have heard of the book; Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World, by Don Richardson (1984). 

The thesis of this book is that God has prepared the cultures of the world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we can see the impact of this book in the area of Christian Missiology today.

Although I am willing to accept the proposition of the author that God might indeed has prepared the cultures of the world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there has always been a sense of alarm and caution in my mind as regards to the application of this thesis, partly because I myself came from a pagan background and thus I do not want to adapt any form of unbiblical syncretism in my Christian belief.

The real danger of syncretism

And my concern is not groundless, too. For example, there is a heretical Christian group called Makuya of Christ (キリストの幕屋 Kirisuto no makuya) in Japan. This sect was founded by Ikuro Teshima in 1948. 

In their "sincere and extreme" effort to see "eternity in the hearts of Japanese culture and mind", they nonetheless have departed from the orthodox Christianity somewhere on the way and fallen into the unhealthy and heretical sect which adhere mixture form of the Old Testament and the Kojiki (古事記) /Nihon Shoki (日本書紀) which are the Japanese mythological history books. 

Their other distinctive beliefs include; ultra-nationalism, patriotism, Christian Zionism, worship at Yasukuni shinto shrine and so forth. You can see their syncretic form of heretical Christianity on the short video below.

Christ and Culture---I believe it is indeed an important topic not only for those who in the mission field but also for all the sincere believers who want to be set apart from the world and live for Him alone. If you have any ideas or opinions on this topic, please share with me freely! Thank you.