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Spiritual Syncretism

Old Testament Truths  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Since God’s Covenant Community are the bearers of God’s truth, we must never dilute God’s truth by synchronizing it with the world.

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Introduction

Introduction

We live in a time of unprecedented evil, a culture that doesn’t know right from wrong, a world in which people have lost their way and stumble in darkness, looking for the next latest thing to excite them or anesthetize them from thinking and feeling their pain. In the midst of this, we, the church of Jesus Christ, the incarnation of His body, dwell, to shine the light, to bring hope and healing through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, as we proclaim the life giving Gospel.
But what happens when the church itself becomes confused? When the church begins to question whether the scriptures that seemed so clear in the past, on the issues of our culture, have somehow become vague, cloudy, or non-relevant for today...and before we know it little by little we begin a dilute our view of scripture, with the world view of our culture.
This Spiritual Syncretism, as I call it, is nothing new. We see it all through the Old Testament, and is the basis for the false teaching in the New Testament. In each case, it contains these three elements, the presence of God’s truth, the presence of God’s covenant community, and the presence of a godless, influential culture surrounding them.
This is where we find ourselves this morning in the book of Judges, chapter 17. If you know anything about the book of Judges, you know that it contains repeated cycles of God’s covenant community falling for the sins of the pagan culture around them, and God consequently disciplining them by their enemies, resulting in God’s covenant community repenting of their sin, and finally God raising up a deliverer, a Judge, who delivered them and ushered in a period of peace.
There were two undeniable cries from scripture that mark and define this era of time;
Judges 2:10 ESV
10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
Lack of a godly legacy
judges 2:10
Judges 21:25 ESV
25 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Lack of godly leadership
Syncretism is the assimilation of one religion’s beliefs and practices into another.

Text: , page 216 (pew Bible)

Main Idea: Since God’s Covenant Community is the Beacon of God’s truth, we must never pervert God’s truth by alloying it with the world.

So what does the perversion of God’s truth look like?

1. Using God’s Name To Sanction Evil (v. 1-4)

A. Presuming God’s blessing on the godless (v. 2)

B. Associating God’s blessing with godless activity (v. 3-4)

Exodus 20:4–6 ESV
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
ex 20

2. Replacing God’s Authority with our own (v. 5-6)

A. Replacing God with the things of God (v. 5)

Ephod. Upper garment worn during religious services associated with the tabernacle or temple. “Ephod” generally referred to the ornamented vest that the high priest wore over a blue robe (Ex 28:31). Included with the ephod were the Urim and Thummim, the sacred lots.

B. Replacing God’s established truth with pragmatism (v. 6)

3. Seeking False Leadership to Provide Security (v. 7-13)

A. False Leadership may display a godly title (v. 7-9)

B. False Leadership is enticed by worldly treasures (v. 10)

C. False Leadership will promise godly blessings and give a false sense of security (v. 11-13)

The Levite never once told Micah that what he was doing was wrong, but gave him a false sense of security by affirming his activities.

So What?

Do we, as a member of God’s covenant community, find ourselves compromising with the things of the world, and find them more exciting and enticing then the truth of God?
Do we as, Ebenezer Bible Fellowship Church, faithfully proclaim and show forth an un-alloyed truth of God, so that the unregenerate community around us sees and hears a difference between us and them?
Do we as a church show that Jesus Christ is our King, and we therefore do what’s right in His eye?
Can we say that we have or are engaged in passing on our godly heritage to the next generation so that they will, uncompromisingly, light the beacon of God’s truth for their generation?

Remedy

The expositional preaching of God’s Word. ()
Nehemiah 8:8 ESV
8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
Repentance and Consecration of God’s People. (, )
Nehemiah 8:9 ESV
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.
Nehemiah 8:12 ESV
12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
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