Following last week’s synchroblog on syncretism I’ve been pondering the fact that some people think I have a small view of God because I won’t add good things from other religions to my faith. In order to explain my position I’ll share this thought (which is not my own, it’s in the Bible). If a husband said to his wife, go and have affairs with other men because that will enrich our relationship, we would rightly question, not only his sanity, but whether he really loved his wife, and that is how I feel. Asking me to add other beliefs to my faith is like suggesting I become an adulteress. It shows a lack of understanding that I have a relationship with God, and don’t merely adhere to a set of beliefs.
I’ve also heard it explained this way. If a person read a biography about someone before they met them, it would be completely different from the experience of actually meeting them. Reading a biography is knowing about them, but meeting them is knowing them personally. Unfortunately our English word, to know, doesn’t make the distinction between these two knowings. If my faith was merely a matter of knowing a lot of facts then it would be a minor thing to add or subtract other beliefs. But it is not. My faith is based on knowing God personally. Reading the Bible helps me understand God better but it would be very dry if I didn’t actually know God personally.