Heretical Anabaptists

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : August 28, 2004

I had a good chat on Thursday with a couple Jehovah’s Witnesses that came to my door. Before they got into their pitch too much, I shocked them by telling them that I agreed with where they were coming from (that things took a bad turn in the 4th century when the Roman State and the Church became intertwined. The difference between them and myself, I explained, was that they throw out the baby with the bathwater. Many evangelicals today have an anabaptist edge–feeling that the Constantinian turn was a mistake and that the collapse of Christendom is a relatively good thing. But we are orthodox; yet Jehovah’s Witnesses are not. They are heretical anabaptists. I am sympathetic to where they are coming from, but they just went too far.

We had a great conversation–something that is hard to have with a JW, since they are trained not to get into discussions–about what is wrong with the church today. I resonated with what the senior JW (the one training the college aged student who accompanied him) had to say. He had a firm grasp of the perils of trying to forge an alliance between the church and the American Way.

I am passionately Orthodox. I am jazzed about the doctrine of the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, etc., but something in me has to wonder…which is worse: to be, like this JW fellow, a heretic with a Kingdom mindset, or a horribly stereotypical sort of Christain–who is greedy, self-absorbed, consumeristic, and lacking in love, yet who still affirms the creed?

Don’t get me wrong. Orthodoxy is incredibly important. But there is more than Orthodoxy.

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2 Responses to “Heretical Anabaptists”

  1. Jesse Gavin on August 30th, 2004 10:37 am

    Wow, so you are a J-dub now eh?

  2. Van S on August 30th, 2004 10:59 am

    Hmmm…I guess I am an Orthodox J-dub.

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