Jesus was straightforward and said: “You cannot serve God and mammon.” This is the dilemma that far too often leads to syncretism, or the mixing of beliefs and by implication compromizing lordship. Christian Syncretism is an oxymoron as the term Christian truthfully means “after Christ”.
When we repent from our sins and surrender to Jesus, we confess Him as Lord. He forgivess our sins and our relationship with the Father is restored. Our spirit is renewed and we are a new creation, born again from the inside. Jesus said the Kingdom of God cannot be seen because it is inside us. This is the new life of the spirit.
This doesn’t mean the Kingdom of God is irrelevant for the world we live in. It only tells us where the seat of the Kingdom is. Scripture is very clear that if we have faith but no works, we are lacking substance in our lives. Romans 12:2 also says that we are transformed by the renewal of our mind, the mind which proverbs teaches us is what our lives flow out of.
We are still battling the old paradigm that was born in the Garden of Eden and certainly repeated by the Greek philosophers. The partitioning of life has brought immense pain and damage. Today we still see some things in our follwing Jesus as holy and others as secular or worldly – belonging to this world.
Jesus said His followers are not of this world, just as Romans 12:2 exhorts us: “… be not conformed to this age …” This gives us a great hope that we can grow out of all teaching that is not of God. Every area and expression of life can, in teaching and in practice come under the lordship of Jesus. When we learn that He is the true ark of our salvation, no part of our lives need be under enemy territory.
One of the key battles are restoring the significance of the wisdom and the ways of God revealed in the ancient Scriptures. Paul said all of Scripture is useful (2 Tim 3:16) and we ought to think the same.
Many teach that the Old writings are obsolete due to the New Covenant in Jesus. We must be careful that we don’t equate the Old Covenant with the portion of Scripture we call the Old Testament. There is no grounds for this. The truth is that prior to, during and after giving the Old Covenant, God has both entered other covenants and taught His people His ways. The ways of God are always right.
God created everything that has been created. Many of God’s ways arise from the nature of what he created, an intrinsic law that is laid down by the wisdom of God. “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.” (Proverbs 3:19)
That the nature of something dictates its best use means, in the first place, in principle, God’s wisdom has founded it.
Yes, there is a cosmic battle going on, and men and women throughout the millenia have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The issue is sin. Jesus came to deal with sin and set all of creation free by reconciling it to the God, the source of life.
Though sin and depravity has pervaded people, nations, culture and creation for millenia, the fundamental nature of things hasn’t changed. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Col. 1:16)
Therefore, the ways of God will stand the test of time. They are right. He taught them to Adam and Eve and the early inhabitants of the earth. He, when the world went wrong, raised up Israel as a blessing to the nations of the earth. He didn’t just give them His covenant. He also taught them His ways. The ways of God arise from the nature of things, which has the DNA of God’s wisdom. David so many times proclaims that God’s law is good. He delights in it. A man after God’s own heart delighted in God’s commands. He understood the spirit of the laws and found the secret to life.
Whether we are leading people to Christ, praying for deliverance from demonic influence, working the fields of a farm for provision, seeking to guide our family through life, running a business or offering our services to protect the citizens and enforce the laws of the land, we can and ought to always be under the lordship of Jesus. There can only be one master. If we compromize this we are syncretists, mixing masters. This can be both through ignorance of willfully. The former can be remedied. The latter will ultimately lead to renouncing the Lordship of Christ.
Jesus warned the disciples against false teaching. Our aim must be Jesus Christ and Him alone. In Him our lives are hidden. He is the true Creator and Sustainer of life.
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.
“And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14 – 18 (NASB)