… mysterious land of idolatry …

.. in 2005 the church i was attending had a mission work trip to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.  there were a number of orphanages that this church sponsored that were in desperate need for work to be done.  one orphanage in the outskirts of Chennai was run by a man called Pastor Simpson.  the small orphanage and church took care of many children, mostly orphans, and scores of elderly widow women came for support and comfort.

… there were a number of tasks that we were to accomplish, including the installation of a concrete slab so that the children did not have to sleep in the dirt.  earlier that year, they had installed a 2 foot high wall around the perimeter to keep out the cobras.  apparently cobras don’t climb, so 2 foot was all that was needed to keep them out.

… when we arrived, they had already prepared the surface for us by spreading out broken pieces of brick. i was a general contractor in my country, and here we would install 57 gravel under the concrete, but in this village in India, bricks are very inexpensive because they are mostly made by slave labor, so the cheapest way to install the substrate for the concrete, is to break up the bricks into rock size pieces, and install that.  for a month or so before we got there, the widow ladies and orphan children broke up the bricks and spread them for us.

… at the other end of this building there was a wall about 6 foot from the exterior creating the place where pastor Simpson, his wife, and their children lived and slept in.  and just outside of that was the kitchen area where the widow women would use rocks as tools and the concrete floor as working surface to prepare the meals for the children.

.. on our trip back to the states, the pastor who went with us had to take a later flight, as they had overbooked the first class section on our flight, so a couple of members of our team waited and took the later flight so the pastor did not have to sit in coach with the poor people…

… in 2006, my wife, Laura and i set up a ministry, New Wind Ministries, Inc. for the purpose of setting up feeding projects around Chennai to feed countless scores of hungry children, and on a trip that year we visited Pastor Simpson and asked what they needed, so we bought them a refrigerator and mattress pads for the children to sleep on instead of just the concrete floor that the church we had attended had installed the year before.  the cost to purchase the refrigerator and mattresses was less than a tenth of the cost of a first class airline ticket to India…

… there are many poor in India that will buy bunches of jasmine flowers and string them together to make a type of jasmine garland that the rich put in their hair so they don’t have to smell human waste that is in many of the gutters in the cities of India. in 2006 my wife learned how to make them from a bunch of widow ladies that help take care of the orphan children …

…over the next couple of years we made 2 trips a year to India to visit our feeding projects and to hold conferences and we even took 100 of the slum children to an ocean side camp near Mahabalipuram for a three day kid’s camp.  we built up to feeding 240 kids/6 days a week before the economy caused our construction company to go under and eventually we had to close the projects.

… on my first trip, the church i attended booked us rooms in a 4 star hotel at the cost of $150 a night.  we were encouraged to take the shampoo, soap, and other personal hygiene items that the hotel gives out daily, to the people in the villages where we visited.  on future trips, we stayed in a hotel that cost $40 a night, and instead of taking what the hotel offered, we purchased soaps and things from the store to take to the villagers.

… i remember our first Sunday back at the church filled with people in designer suits, adorned in gold, silver and diamonds and the parking lot full of Hummers, BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, and Cadillacs.  i remember the 8,000+ member church that applauded our work and i wondered why it was so difficult to raise the $3,000 needed to replace the failing roof on one of their orphanages in Chennai.  i also remember the shock and horror as this mega-‘church’ decided that $1,500 a month to pay for 3 orphanages was just to much as they stopped supporting them a few months later…

… and i remember the words that the Apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthian church.

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”” (2 Corinthians 8:13–15, ESV)

… and the words that he wrote to the church in Colosse.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (Colossians 3:5, NLT)

.. and i realized that this country has a much bigger problem with idolatry than India does…

You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (Ephesians 5:5, NLT)

… that greed and worship of money has now led to a majority of ‘churches’ supporting one of the greediest men on the planet to rule and reign over this country.  of the 1,810 billionaires in the world today, 540 of them live in this country, and now 5 of them have massive power in our government.

… i am mortified by the huge number of people who claim to be ‘Christians’ who are in favor of building a larger military by cutting programs that feed and help the poor.  but i am also aware that the Bible says that many people will support a lawless man because the LORD will cause them to be deceived because they are idolaters in their hearts…

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9–12, ESV)

… there are over 21,000 children who die DAILY on this planet while we have ‘pastors’ who want more money to buy bigger and better jets.  and i am deeply saddened that the majority of the ‘Church’ in this country is deeply steeped in idolatry, and i realize that the ‘mysterious land of Idolatry’ isn’t India, but is actually the United States of America..

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:17–19, ESV)

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