The healing of Naaman, recorded in 2 Kings 5 has always left me with a question. As he prepared to leave after his healing he asked for forgiveness as he accompanied his master, the king of Aram, in worshiping an idol. Elijah’s answer “Go in peace” (2 Kings 5:19a) has always left me conflicted.
Naaman’s healing was real and immediate. His response certainly indicates a changed heart as well as a changed body (2 Kings 5:15).
The Bible teaches that we must live separated lives- clearly distinct from those who are participating in ungodly behaviors. But Elijah seemed to make an exception for Naaman. Is his testimony about the uniqueness of God thorough? Or, by participating in the worship of an idol with the king of Aram is Naaman setting a standard of compromise that can – and may very well explain the weakness of Western Christianity- lead to syncretism?