Taking up where we left off yesterday, I’d like to give you another example a little closer to home – this one is the linked shopping centre in Calgary known as ‘the core’ – comprising Calgary’s Eaton Centre and TD Square.
This place is not as malicious, but nevertheless is oppressive in its own way. There is a sense there of avarice, rampant consumerism, pride and overt sexuality. It has this odd marketing thing going for as long as I can remember, that of having naked models holding strategically placed pictures of themselves clothed. The motto being ‘who you are starts at the core’ – presumably implying that if you do not shop here for the right ‘stuff’ then you are nothing. This marketing thing – it appears to be fixed, almost as if there is a record playing that is stuck and they can only repeat the same things again and again and again.
I find it unpleasant to walk through there, cloyingly oppressive, a heavy and unwelcome perfume seeming to fill the air. It wasn’t long before I noticed the physical representation of the spirit of this mall. There is a shop there, an expensive jeweller with a most odd set of pictures in stained glass, the most prominent of which is Semiramis, Queen of the Babylonians. Go figure!
There are a couple of articles I unearthed here and here giving you a little bit of background to this person. The historicity or otherwise is a moot point, the main thing to be understood is that it is entirely representative of the spirit of this mall.
And the future of this figure?
5 “Sit in silence, go into darkness,
Daughter of the Babylonians;
no more will you be called
queen of kingdoms.
1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted:
“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
3For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
4Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
7Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn.’
8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
So what to make of all this? Whether you think there is something here, or whether you think I really should be off to the doctors for an increase in the prescription, I would put to you that there are ‘principalities and powers’, and we need to be aware of them.
Aware of them, yes – know your enemy and all. Overly fascinated with them, no. The devil, that ancient liar is happy with either – for ignorance or unhealthy fascination will suit him quite well. We always need to stand on the Rock of our salvation, that is Christ, and know that He has already purchased the victory. The only time a lie has power over us is when we believe it. So, know that these usurpers, and usurpers they are, have already lost – and they know it. Their time is short, and hence they continue to try and exert dominion to hold what little they have before they are gone forever.
So, where does that leave us? Me, I’ve never found a mall I did like much, so I tend to visit infrequently. Nevertheless, do not be afraid or anxious when entering these strongholds. The land is Gods, and the battle belongs to Him. Even better the battle – at its very core, has already been won, and was won on that cross in Calvary so long ago.
I got the same crawly evil feeling the few times I’ve ever entered a casino. You’re sensing something that’s definitely there — hard to describe, but real.
Peter, again a good post and important awareness. He, our Lord and Savior is the victor and therefore we, in Christ Jesus, are as well.
Thank you for your stand, may it be that which continues to reflect, the Lord Jesus Christ, in all things and at all times.
Blessings in Christ Jesus!
Hello again Peter! I am glad to see the second part and appreciate your faithfully sharing what the Lord sets in your spirit.
I often wonder at how the Lord will deal with how this spirit has swept into the church; this consumerism and obsession with the gods of this age that most are not only unaware that that is what they are, but will actually defend.
Hence the “God wants you to be rich” doctrine so widely spreading that only works in western society;creating an atmosphere for anti western/anti christian sentiment in impoverished nations, where it is also being preached but doesn’t work.
oops, I’m preaching myself now… better stop! 🙂
Blessings to you!
I heard the other day Bill Johnson speaking of God’s judgment as letting people deal the consequences of their actions and values. The consequences of this idolatry will not be pretty; of course the O.T. is full of examples of what this leads to.
Jesus asks “When I return, will I find faith?”
There will be judgement I think, a cathartic action. For some it may be nothing but disaster, for others it may end up being the very best thing that could happen to them.
Blessings to you all,
When the film The Lord of the Rings was released I bought a booklet on the subject which I have safely filed away. I wish I could find it for the author eloquently explained the difference between modern times and days of yore. Before drugs, both legal and illegal, when man needed an emotional crutch to get him through the day, we believed in God. Our belief caused us to congregate around cathedrals and assorted houses of worship to ensure that our future needs were taken care of. Today towns grow up around shopping malls to ensure that our immediate secular needs are taken care of. Same principle;different gods.
If you are the white rabbit, are you fr neo, as in this: http://fatherneo.blogspot.com/ ?
Curious comment though. Cultural Christianity, like secularism is indeed needs based and reduces to worship of self. The real article is something else entirely…
Sorry, But I am not Fr Neo. I shall look again for the booklet which I bought in a Christian book shop
Found it! The book is “The Gospel According to Tolkien” and is authored by Ralph C Wood.It was published in 2003 by Westminister John Knox Press, Lousiville, Kentucky.
The quote is from page 67. (although the reference was hospitals not shopping centres but the principle remains the same)
For Tolkien the modern obsession with quantity rather than with quality of life is the mark of our unbelief. To be obsessed with prolonging our existence well beyond the bounds of our allotted biblical years is to worship life rather than the God of life. Someone has said that, if asked about the chief purpose of human existence, many denizens of the modern West would reply, “If they could muster the candor: “It is to stay alive, not to die, and the purpose of staying alive is to have a good time.” Our only commonality is the fear of death. Hence the burgeoning power of the health and amusement industries as, virtually around the clock, most citizens of the so called “developed” countries are either being entertained or receiving one kind of therapy or another. Whereas medieval cities were focused on cathedrals, ours are built around our huge medical complexes, even as our suburbs have country clubs and golf courses at their centre. In this mania for longevity and pleasure, Tolkien shows that we have lost the ancient honesty of the Psalmist: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (90:12) As we shall see he regards death as one of our greatest gifts.
I agree, this kind of life lived is just one long denial.