On this first Sunday of Kingdomtide, we are given God's absolutes. The nations are to be expelled before the Israelites, and the Israelites are to destroy everthing reflecting the religion of these peoples. We are told that nothing is to be left, there is to be no intermarriage.
Likewise, St. Paul tells us, not to be unequally yoked, that is a Christian should not marry a non-Christian, and truth be known, a Christian should not become business partners with non-Christians. This is in part because we serve a holy God who wants us to be holy too. He does not want us mixing up Christianity with other religions, which all too easily happens today. The Israelites were to practice a pure religion, not confounded with the religion of the Cananites which included child sacrifice and temple prostitution.
Syncretism is all too easy to allow in. Many will be celebrating All Hallows Eve, not as a celebration of sainst, but as a celebration of evil in the world. This celebration was originally a Celtic celebration when it was believed that the spirits of the dead walked the earth, and jack 'o lanterns made of turnips were used to scare them away. Instead of celelebrating witches etc., we should celebrate the saints who were heroes of the church and who show us that we can follow God in truth.
We must always beware of syncretism. It is all too easy to sneek into our faith, especially when their are other faiths masquerading as being Christian. Christ is Lord and Saviour and him alone. We are to worship him, and him alone, and follow him with all our heart and mind and strength.
Shalom b’Yeshua haMoshiach
Mar Michael Abportus, OSL
Pastor, Congregation Benim Avraham
Bishop of La Porte, Texas