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Westwood School of Missions is a ministry of        

Westwood Missionary Baptist Church, Winter Haven, FL

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Sep 27, 2017

Cultural Relevance or Syncretism?

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Much talk is given about indigenous church planting and incarnational ministry in which one must be careful to not try to change the culture of the host society, but rather let them develop their own form of Christianity within the context of their own culture and society. There is an inherent theological error to this line of thinking that has resulted in syncretism rather than conversion. No, an American missionary’s goal is not to export an American brand of Christianity with all the nuances of American culture. A missionary’s goal is to export the Christian worldview in light of a Christ-like, bibliocentric cultural attitude which is both transcendent of all culture and universal in application. Once Christ is accepted into the heart of a new believer, the very fabric of their worldview, which is based on either secularism or false religion, begins to come unwound. As their worldview changes, so too will their attitudes, presuppositions and behavior. Cultural norms that do not line up with the Christian worldview are thrown into conflict, and new believers are forced to choose between cultural familiarity and Christian principle. This is true of every believer.