Newsweek ran an article about a month ago arguing that “We Are All Hindus Now”. In it, Lisa Miller argued that “recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.”
Of course, the whole idea that modern Christianity leans toward paganism is not new to the Church of God. However, with the continuing dismissal of the literalness of Scriptures, it appears to be getting worse. For example, the idea that there is only one true religion has been abandoned by many Americans. “According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey, 65 percent of us believe that ‘many religions can lead to eternal life’—including 37 percent of white evangelicals, the group most likely to believe that salvation is theirs alone.”
It is the syncretism of Christianity with pagan ideas that caused God’s true plan of salvation to be obscured. The dismissal of a literal resurrection is due, in part, to the idea that humans have an immortal soul. This was carried in from Greek philosophy, esp. Socrates.
We can thank Justin Martyr for some of this madness.
Justin continued as a teacher of philosophy, but he now explained Christianity as the true philosophy. He believed that all truth was God’s truth. Borrowing from John’s treatment of the Word (Logos in Greek) in his gospel, Justin taught that any truth in the Greek or pagan philosophies was the Word or Logos reaching out to sinful humanity. He believed Plato’s God was the God of the Bible and Socrates was a Christian before Christ, just as Abraham was. Moses and the Old Testament writings were older than the Greek philosophies, and any truth the Greeks had was borrowed from the Jewish prophets.
~ Christianity Today International. (March 2007). Glimpses #50: Justin Martyr; The First Christian Philosopher. In Glimpses of Christian History. Retrieved from http://www.christianhistorytimeline.com/GLIMPSEF/Glimpses/glmps050.shtml.