I agree with you Celtic that a personal relationship with Jesus is essential. The Pharisees had a lot of Biblical knowledge but no heart which made all their knowledge useless. I think we need a combination of Biblical knowledge and love for God and man.
I also like what woodsong wrote that it is the purpose and motive behind our actions that really counts. I mean someone can make a doll and someone else can say they took that from Voodoo, but really it is not derived from Voodoo unless the person wants to use the doll for the same purposes Voodoo uses a doll for. If the person made the doll so their daughter can play with it, then I don’t think it has anything to do with Voodoo even though both involve making a doll. The same applies to Christianity and pagan practices.
P.S. to Celtic, to answer your question “yes and no”. No, I am not Japanese, but yes I am in the context of my husband, children, and relatives are Japanese, I am a permenant resident and home owner here, and I have been living here a number of years, so this is my earthly home now. Moreover, I live in a somewhat small town where my daily contact is with only Japanese people. I don’t live in a big city where I get to see “foreigners” very often so my life is very much intertwined with a regular Japanese housewife’s daily lifestyle so all of that tends to rub off on you as time goes by, yet for the Japanese, I will always be a foreigner, right?!