Being Accused of Syncretism for Being Nonwestern

Don’t worry, Chinese Christians, our White brethren sometimes accuse us of syncretism not because they hate us but because they don’t understand and aren’t aware of all the stuff their own Christian cultures have rightly plundered from the Ægyptians. It still is the case, alas, that Westerners retain a suspicion against anything that fundamentally is not culturally Western. What matters, however, is the word of God. Upon that word we shall be established.

The West has amnesia about what it took from the ancients who did not know Christ, while putting away idolatry; the Sinosphere, for its part, has the whole Chinese cultural tradition to reckon with in the centuries to come. Christ is making all things new, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against us.

2 responses to “Being Accused of Syncretism for Being Nonwestern

  1. Can you give some examples of the pagan inheritance unacknowledged by Western Christians? I find myself sympathetic to the point, but beyond the specific Roman inheritances of Roman Catholicism (e.g. Pontifex), I can’t think of many examples–and I imagine it’s not the Romanists you have in view with this comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I wouldn’t call it pagan inheritance, because I think nothing is properly pagan until contact with Christianity, but: the literary forms of the Psalms and other parts of the Bible, the influence and development of Roman law, the use of rogation days in the Church calendar, the enforcement of monogamy, much of Greek and Roman philosophy, the clothing worn by Christian priests, the eight modes of church music, the joining of hands and the bride’s ring in marriage, the mention of pagan gods in literary symbolism, the use of a solar rather than a lunisolar calendar, conventions about what counts as long hair, the particular significances of colours, the greater tolerance for women’s clothes showing cleavage, and so on. Besides these, the very existence of the nuclear family, for which there is not even a commonly known term in Chinese, is not at all a straightforward development from Christian principles.

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