The Fallacy of Syncretism

The Fallacy of Syncretism

Although many of the mentions in the Bible of Balaam are negative, in the primary account of him, he seems to basically be a good, God-fearing guy.

Balaam’s issue wasn’t his connection with God, but instead his attempt to meld the God of the Bible with other, contrary beliefs, in this case sorcery and divination. These are incompatible with God.

This practice continues today; it’s called syncretism, the fusion of differing belief systems or an attempt to reconcile religions. Consider:

  • God and Hinduism
  • God and Confucius
  • God and Buddha
  • God and voodoo
  • God and crystals
  • perhaps even God and Yoga
  • or what about God and prosperity?

But God is a jealous God. He doesn’t want to be shared; he doesn’t want his peoples’ attention split between himself and someone or something else. He wants all of us, undivided and undistracted.

It is only human arrogance that suggests otherwise; this is the fallacy of syncretism.

[See Balaam’s story and other mentions of Balaam]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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