Syncretism is a very troubling problem that has plagued Christianity since the earliest days

of the Jesus Movement. It seems that syncretism is a human condition that goes all the

way back to Adam and Eve! As we have studied and focused on the peoples, cultures and

nations that make up our history as it is recorded in the Bible, maybe we should take an

assessment of who we are and the job that we have done here in these modern times. It is

impossible to study the “Old Testament” or the “Tanakh” as it is called in Judaism without

seeing all the failings of those who have preceded us. God wants us to see and to learn

from our lineage; not to condemn or to belittle the Chosen of history (and of all Eternity).

Those precious words, our Holy Scriptures, are there for us to see and recognize that we

also are all too often just as weak. How would we appear, in the eyes of the whole universe,

if we were compared with King Jehu of the Northern Kingdom of Israel? He was the king

who destroyed the dynasty that brought pure Baal worship to the people. He was the king

who brought back the God of Israel to the people. But, he was the king who didn’t go far

enough.He brought back worship of God with the ways of Baal!

Where are we today as a movement? Where are we as representatives of the One True

God? Is our religious observance as pure as what is required? That is a question for you

as an individual as well as a member of the larger movement. As for me, this Christian

shall continue observing the appointed times of the Lord. Passover starts this afternoon

and the Feast of Unleaven Bread begins at sundown. I shall observe the Early First Fruits

on the third day.


Where are the Levites?

As I’ve been studying out the city of Shechem these past few days, I came
up with a horrifying insight, one very troubling and applicable for today within the Community of God. Where are the Levites? Strange as that question may sound, they are nowhere to be found in a place they’re supposed to be. In the Torah, God commanded that the Levites be given forty-eight cities among the children of Israel. Of those, six were to be cities of refuge and Shechem was one. Except for the stirring episodes of the Covenant renewal ceremonies of Joshua 8 and 24, Priests and Levites are absent at all other times. These men, chosen by God to represent Him,ones’ whose duty was to teach the people the ways of God through words and deeds. Absent.
This absence of the Word of God and of the men of God left an opening for something other than what is good and right. After the death of his father Gideon, Abimelech decided he wanted to be king of all Israel. The kingship had been offered to Gideon and his descendents by the men of Israel years before, but Gideon wisely declined by stating that neither he nor his sons after him will rule over Israel but that the LORD shall rule over them all. Yet Abimelech elevated himself to where he wasn’t meant to be. And he persuaded his mother’s father’s family and they persuaded the leaders of Shechem and they the people. Thus Abimelech became king over Israel for three years and brought about judgment by God on all those involved who rejected God as King. Many, many people died and Shechem was leveled as a result of covetous desires and foolish choices. If only the teachers of the Word of God had been in Shechem, the people might have responded differently. How about where you live? Are there teachers there? Are you the teacher? By words and deeds? Or will your city end up someday as rock and stone ruins in an archaeological park surrounded by a fence? Will your city become like Shechem?