The world is a mess, or at least the American and Canadian parts that I toured recently. I have spent the past three months immersed in that mess, flowing from one metropolis to another, listening to conversations, watching people move and interact, drowning in mindless chitchat that goes nowhere and makes a mockery both of our ability to think and to speak.
What a waste of God-given time and space! God has granted us time and space to learn what we need to learn so that we can work our way, step by step, back to Heaven, and yet what most people do with that awesome and unearned privilege (even going so far as to curse it and demand [now legally in Canada] to end it through medically-assisted suicide) leaves me shaking my head and turning away. Some things are better not looked at too closely.
Those who don’t know God and don’t know Jesus and yet call themselves “Christian” would tell you that all these people who live their lives opposed to God are in fact our “brothers and sisters” and we should care for them. Jesus, however, says that only those who do the will of God are our brothers and sisters; the rest are our enemies. Yet we are to “love” our enemies in the sense that we are to pray for them and not to return their evil with evil.
Loving our enemies is not a feeling but an act. You choose to pray and you choose not to return evil with evil. But your enemies are not your “brothers and sisters”, as Jesus so astutely pointed out. Your enemies can never be your brothers and sisters, not as long as they are your enemies. One day, they might indeed be your brothers and sisters (all can yet turn, while there is still time), but while they are your enemies, you must treat them as Jesus instructed. You don’t bring them into your sanctuary and you don’t divulge your secrets to them.
“Be ye as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.”
Yet, despite Jesus’ instructions and warning, there is a general move in Canadian churchianity for people to open their homes and churches to Muslims, who are beyond a doubt “enemies” of those who love God and follow Jesus. As I traveled the continent, I saw numerous signs outside churches of all denominations welcoming Muslims to prayer services and other church celebrations. The invitation is not for former Muslims who converted to Christianity but for Muslims who are still practicing Muslims. This, to me, is so far off in bizarro-land that it warrants our attention and prayers as born-again believers.
Do Muslims take the churches up on their invitation? I know that Muslim leaders have been invited into some supposedly Christian churches to read invocations to their demon-god. Of course, it’s not framed in quite that way, but that’s what’s being done. When you willingly invite a worshiper of a demon-god to take a position of authority in your church, you likewise invite the demon-god to take a position of authority. This is clearly not a good thing. Some of us, thank God, can see that. Here’s a woman in Germany who spoke out against her church letting a Muslim leader invoke his demon:
The other day, I made a pit stop at a local Catholic church to use their restroom facilities. Had it not been a “pee-mergency”™ (lol), I would not have gone into the building. Sunday service was just ending and there was a large crowd exiting while I was urgently trying to enter. The air inside was clammy and stale. A horrendous graven image of Jesus in his final death throes was hanging front and center in the main hall. I turned my back on the abomination and scanned for a restroom sign at the back of the room. I found one, followed the arrows, and reached my destination. When I finished, I hurried out of the building. I felt no sense that this was God’s place. I felt no kinship with the people exiting. To me, it was just a big dank building with a toilet in it, and that was all. I thanked God for the toilet, and left.
People ask me where I go to church, and I tell them I’m always in church. When they press me to know which denomination I’m attached to, I tell them none – I’m in God’s church. It has no denomination. They are rarely satisfied with this answer but instead try to press me further. “So where do you go for services?” I tell them I don’t need to go anywhere; God’s spirit is with me all the time. “But don’t you miss the fellowship?” I have non-stop fellowship with God and Jesus through God’s spirit. I don’t need any other fellowship. I am stared at like a freak and the interrogation usually ends there.
The notion that people can get everything they need solely through God and Jesus is foreign to most Christians. I don’t discount the social benefit of worshiping in a group, but I personally don’t need it (and it’s not a scriptural requirement). Jesus says when you pray, go into your closet (that is, your personal sanctuary). He doesn’t say to go into a building with strangers, most of whom (if not all) are unbelievers or openly worship demon-gods. Having “fellowship” is a socializing aspect that can also serve as protection and support amidst hostile forces. But when the hostile forces themselves are invited to infiltrate, then there is no more fellowship.
I do not see mainstream Christian churches as being anything other than a tax dodge and a social or cultural club. Certainly, social and cultural clubs have their supportive purposes, but they don’t need to be called “churches”, other than for reasons of tax exemption. Yet, I’m glad they still exist, if only for the presence of their restroom facilities. While travelling, I was always grateful for a readily accessible toilet when in need. Public facilities are disappearing from public spaces in Canada and the US, so it’s good that churches can, in part, fill the void. In my estimation, if all that churches do from this point onward is provide publicly-accessible restrooms, then they’ve earned their tax-free status.
The world is a mess, and church buildings are now little more than glorified public restrooms and welcome centers for demon worshipers. I am glad to return from my travels and retreat to my physical personal sanctuary. God’s spirit provides a spiritual sanctuary from the world no matter where I am, but the physical sanctuary he provides rests my weary bones. Both parts of us – spiritual and physical – need sanctuary. That’s why, every so often, Jesus went up the mountain alone. That was his sanctuary.
I think he slept well there.