The gods of the malls, part 1

This is a post that I’ve been considering writing for a while, but until now it has never come to fruition. I’d like to speak to you a little about the ‘gods’ of the malls.

Many Christians are likely aware of the passage from Ephesians 6:12:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I wonder, have you ever felt the reality of this passage when wandering the darkened halls of our malls? Ever felt the cloying oppressiveness that these places can evoke in you? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I’d like to tell you a couple of stories based on my experience.

Firstly, a few caveats:

1) I do not believe that there are demons under every bed. Nope, not at all. Usually, they are to be found under the table around tea-time because they get kinda hungry then and….well….anyway…..
2) This is in a nature of personal experience. It’s subjective, so understand it as you will.
3) Often, I am spiritually aware as the nearest stone. Perhaps God in his rather wry wisdom decided to bring this stone some discernment and sensitivity that cannot in anybody’s wildest imaginations come from the stone himself. Or then again perhaps this is just a particularly delusional stone. Hard to say really….
4) I am not against honest commerce. Nor do I have a grudge against malls. Sometimes a mall is just a mall y’know?

So with all that said, what are these experiences you speak of Peter? Read on, dear reader, read on….

It was the year 2000 and we were in Canada discerning Gods call to this land, and we had just taken a trip up to Edmonton. Edmonton is host to the West Edmonton Mall – the largest mall in the world. We went there. We wished we hadn’t.

I have rarely met a place so spiritually ‘dark’ and oppressive as West Edmonton Mall. The mall itself, physically so bright and airy, felt, quite literally like hell on earth. Not only were we aware of oppression, but active opposition as well. There was a sense that we were most definitely unwelcome visitors.

The trouble with relating something like this, is that I can offer no proof over and above the testament of my wife and I. This place was the most spiritually dark mall I have ever had the misfortune to visit.

When you think about it, it does make some sense. Here you have the largest mall in the world – dedicated to consumerism, greed, avarice, sensuality – you name it, the gods of the western world were well represented. If you accept the existence of principalities and powers, where are you most likely to have a high temple than in the self-styled largest mall in the world?

There was something else too. I do not know whether it is still there now, but at the time there was a large ornamental snake winding its way through the ceiling joists. Perhaps a celebration of Chinese new year or something – I cannot remember. I noticed it, and in my spirit I understood that it was the physical representation of the spiritual nature of the place.

I do not have a theology of this, but it does appear to me that there can be a physical\spiritual interconnectedness that you can sometimes pick out. Fanciful, Peter? Perhaps, I will leave that for you to judge.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you another example and conclude this little thought……

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8 Responses to The gods of the malls, part 1

  1. tikkiro says:

    If you’ve not yet read them, Frank Peretti’s books on This Present Darkness and the sequel (can’t remember the name offhand), are written from the perspective of the angels and demons who surround us continually. While fictional, I was left feeling there was possibly a lot of truth in how he portrayed both sets of spirits, but especially the demons who were constantly seeking to oppress and deceive by any means possible. Paul said that there was a great cloud of witnesses watching us, and while he maybe meant those in heaven, we obviously are also warned about the “principalities and powers” around us too, so I think your suspicions are more than validated :)). Looking forward to the next part of this interesting post. Blessings TKR


  2. mcalmond says:

    Well, Peter, jump right in won’t you? As for me and where I am at, I am full of faith as to the reality of these things and of the strongholds that reveal themselves or are revealed to us through the working of God the Holy Spirit and those who are not.

    I truly believe that if we were allowed to see the extent of this reality, we would all have a very different attitude concerning this world and the lives we live here. In fact, if we were allowed, I mean generally allowed, to see this reality, we would fall with great haste upon our faces, seeking the safety and provision of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am so glad that he whom we serve, as both Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, is our only hope against hope, our only protection and only provision of security, safety and assurance over and against the things of darkness. I for one, am so very pleased that Jesus has paid the price of our Salvation, defeating darkness and all that it is, would seek to be and become.

    His precious blood has covered us all, who are called by his name, the name above all names, the Lord Jesus Christ, providing for us our redemption and setting us apart as his own and for his greater glory, honor and praise. The Father has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    Sorry, I got on a bit of a roll. Thank you Peter for your faithfulness to post what the Lord has given you, for we need not fear, in Christ Jesus, that which He has defeated on the cross, where in spirit and truth, we are his.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  3. faithwalk says:

    Ahh Peter, the long awaited post! 😉

    You know how I feel about the mall… wicked, wicked place! I am smiling here…
    such a difficult place to go.
    But then again I am a strange woman who doesn’t like to shop the mall , so what can you expect?
    Must be the darkness of those nasty spirits of “consumerism, greed, avarice, sensuality – you name it, the gods of the western world”

    Peretti got it spot on he did. Like Phil said, if we could see fully, we would be on our face before the Lord our God!

    Every blessing to you Peter, and thank you for the post! I too look forward to the next one!



  4. Dan says:

    I had the same expereince at the mall of America a couple of years ago. You could almost physically sense the spirit of paganism, hedonism, lust, greed, etc…. I beleive this stuff is a real and powerful force; perhaps Baal worship/ Lord of the Flies fits here.

    Peter, Thanks for the post.


  5. Peter says:

    Hi tikkiro, thanks for dropping by 🙂 I have read those books, and I think there’s certainly plenty of truth in them. Well, it is fiction, so it’s probably a little exaggerated. Or maybe not, what do I know?

    Hi Phil – where angels fear to tread and all 🙂 I’m right there with all you are saying! Now you’ve got to come up with something even better for part 2 🙂

    Hi Susan – I am married to a similarly strange woman, she hates shopping, unless it’s in thrift stores and the like. I guess I am a man much blessed. 🙂 She could tell you a few stories about very different attitudes amongst many of the Christian population in Calgary….


  6. Peter says:

    Wow that was a lot of smilies in the last comment. Note to self: smile less.

    Hi Dan, glad to see you drop by, and good to know I’m not the only one sensing these things!

    The whore, the queen of babylon will have her judgement. Now, I’m getting ahead of myself here, that’s the next post….


  7. tikkiro says:

    Can’t wait :). Thanks for checking in to my musings too!


  8. Pingback: The gods of the malls, part 2 « The Age To Come

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