Syncretism in America – Part Two

Tolerance

The product of this political correctness is a tolerance for heresy, paganism, Satanism and many other beliefs.  Tolerance has been confused with judgment, and tolerance has been elevated to a supreme virtue.  Many believe that if we do not tolerate other’s beliefs we are being ignorant or fundamentalists.  The Interfaith Congress held at the Paul VI Pastoral Center in Fátima, Portugual recently “issued an official statement that urged all religions to refrain from proselytizing those of other religions, since “no one religion can irradiate another or strengthen itself by downplaying others.  What is needed is that each religion treat each [other] religion on the same footing of equality with no inferior or superiority complexes” (Fátima)[1].   The Interfaith Congress had representatives of many religions including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and African Paganism.  They called for a place where different religions could mingle.  Jesuit theologian Jacques Dupuis insisted that the religious of the world must unite: “The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all” (“Fátima”)[2].

This tolerance trend has diluted people’s belief in God and who God is.  When disaster strikes or we are hit with hard times, such as 9/11 or the current economic crisis, people remember to pray and most believe that God will bless America regardless of what they believe about Him or what they think of Jesus Christ.  Dr. C. Matthew McMahon of Whitefield Theological Seminary described America as having a desire for “God without the character of God, good men without the sinfulness of sin, or divine comfort without the preciousness of the Savior Jesus Christ” in his sermon Solomon’s Folly[3].  He further says that: America professes itself as a dominantly Christian nation, which is simply not true.  We may claim the faith of most of founding fathers and the Constitution as a document that is useful only to a religious nation.  We may gather in churches and hold vigils.  We may rally in stadiums to pray with thousands unified under the American Flag.  But all of this is triviality, a smoke screen, if the basic tenants of true spiritual fulfillment are cast by the wayside.  The nation as a whole has stumbled into Solomon’s folly all over again.  If men disregard the holiness of God, the sinfulness of men, and the Salvation only found in Jesus Christ, then they remain as deceived as they were before.[4]

Conclusion

In his book The American City and the Evangelical Church: A Historical Overview, Harvie Conn says it well: “The individualism that has been characteristic of American culture from its beginnings will continue to impact the evangelical message…  Bible-believing pulpits will continue to understand persons, sin, the gospel, and redemption in individualistic terms…”[5].  The problem is that America is looking at God and the Gospel through our individualistic lenses.  We are missing the point of believers as the Church, a community called to further God’s kingdom and God’s message.  Instead they only remember Him when they need something; others, if not most, have taken what’s most convenient out of many different religions to build their own “theology”, partly because they pick and choose what’s more convenient and partly because that is the “enlightened” thing to do, to accept others.


                 [1] Dave Miller “Pluralism, Multiculturalism, Syncretism, and America

                 [2] Dave Miller

                  [3] C. Matthew McMahon “Solomon’s Folly; The Revival of Religious Syncretism in America” (www.apuritansmind.com/christianwalk/McMahonSolomonsFolly.htm).

                   [4] C. Matthew McMahon

                   [5] Van Rheenen, 160

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About Bárbara

I am a Christ follower, wife, mother, missionary, and Online Instructor for LU Online teaching Introduction to Missions. My family and I serve at Living Bread Ministries; planting churches among the desperately poor in South America. I have an MA in Intercultural Studies from LBTS. My passion is to see the Lord Jesus worshiped among the poor and needy and to see lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.
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One Response to Syncretism in America – Part Two

  1. Caryne says:

    Thanks for this insight! So scary to think about where tolerance will lead the world! Thanks for speaking truth

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