Whether in the church corporate or individual, syncretism gains a foothold because someone let it. Lax faith and a desire to be affirmed by the world—not God—or to please personal desires—not God’s—leads to adopting the ways of the world, be it in worship services, statements of belief or how we raise our kids and conduct our marriages.
Seriously, If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. If we, church corporate and individual, look like the world, behave like the world, and think like the world, then we are the world. We no longer have legitimate status as faithful people of God.
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, ‘Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.’ From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.
Jesus didn’t hold back the truth, water it down or wrap it up in an inoffensive package of whateverism. And people walked away from Him. Just like they’ll walk away from us and our churches. Some will even become persecutors or wolves in sheep’s clothing who try to infiltrate the church with a “gospel” more palatable but un-Biblical. They will do whatever they can to intimidate the followers of Christ.
We can stand up to this, however, in good company with the Israelites whose response to this same sort of taunt was the acknowledgement that “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel.”