The smell of marijuana–sickly sweet and unforgettable–clung to the porch where I was standing. I was listening to a man talk. “I love Jesus and I love to get high.”
The man talking to me was busy with his fingers, rolling the marijuana into cigarettes. A tall Icehouse beer was on the floor next to his chair. The man’s three female companions who were sitting on the porch cackled, questioned, and ridiculed him as they listened to him defend his salvation. I just listened while an intense debate proceeded.
While visiting neighbors in my Jerusalem, my friend Andrew and I happened to come across this group of people enjoying a front-porch Sunday afternoon–drinking, talking, and rolling grass. I didn’t come to bust up a drag weed party. I came to tell them about Jesus. And like other pushers, hookers, child molesters, and criminals that I’ve met, they were born again believers. Or so they claimed.
I am not the judge of hearts. I do not know who is saved and who is not.
What I do know is simple: Jesus will not be syncretized. Jesus is King. Jesus is sovereign. Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Life. Jesus is the way to the Father. Jesus is Lord.
The problem of syncretism isn’t unique to African animists or Asian Buddhists who want Jesus + False gods. The problem of syncretism is a worldwide highway to condemnation. I am grieved over the blindness and hardened hearts of sinful people. What they need to hear is the Good News of Jesus–the One who will deliver them. This Jesus–this Loving Savior, this compassionate Friend, this God-Man–will not be syncretized.