We live way out in the country. I mean, if you want to talk to me, you need to drive six miles out of town, hang a left on an obscure road, then go 300 yards down a driveway, not knowing if maybe there is a house at the end.
I just walked in from outside. I thought my friends from VA, the Goodes, were driving up. Instead it was a Jeep full of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Seeing our mutt, Abby, they asked me, “Is your dog dangerous?” I exclaimed, “very much so.”
Then, without getting out of the Jeep, they told me they had good news for me.
I asked if they were JWs and they said “yes.”
Then, with an evangelist’s smile, I said, “Then I have good news for you! There is far more liberty than you realize! I watch you guys and you do everything by the numbers, but there is far more liberty than you realize!” And I went inside.
The JWs are syncretistic. That is missionary techno-babble for “mixing the truth with stuff that is at best benignly cultural, or at worst, evil, from the pit of hell, and smells like smoke.”
I used to look down my long, arrogant nose at the JWs. Then I looked around my neighborhood and my community and I saw the syncretism of soccer moms and patriotic dads embracing a Sunday-only faith, putting the religion of sports and academics and America before the true religion of discipling young people to care for widows and orphans. I saw my own syncretism in not seeking first the Kingdom and Jesus’ righteousness.
Get upset at me if you want to, but I’m telling you, the only difference between us and the JWs is that they’re more insistent in pushing their syncretistic beliefs than we are.