I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
To the ordinary eye this appears to be an era where Christians have had unprecedented success. What, have you not seen the celebrity pastors with personal jets, how about the pastor with the $18,000 poodle or the goofy multi millionaire pastor with a $15,000 espresso machine who raps about the best days in Christian living?
Have you heard about the Cristo de la Concordia, a statue of Jesus Christ located on San Pedro hill in Cochabamba, Bolivia? The statue is 34.20 metres (112.2 ft) tall, on a pedestal of 6.24 metres (20.5 ft), bringing its total height to 40.44 metres (132.7 ft). The statue is slightly larger than Christ the Redeemer (located in Rio de Janeiro), making it the largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world. It is also the largest statue of any kind in the Southern Hemisphere. But to take Christian merchandising to another level, Poland has unleashed the mother of all statues.
SWIEBODZIN, Poland — Workers have completed a giant statue of Jesus Christ in a small Polish town that its creators say ranks as the biggest in the world.
Hundreds of residents gathered to watch a towering crane lifting the crowned head onto the top of the statue in the town of Swiebodzin on Saturday.
The [167 feet] statue is the creation of a retired local priest, Rev. Sylwester Zawadzki. Many local residents and business people in Swiebodzin (shvee-eh-BOHD’-jeen) say they hope it will put their town of 22,000 on the map for Roman Catholic pilgrims and bring in money to their community.
To some Jesus Christ has always meant nothing more than 30 pieces of silver. An after thought. A mere means to an end. But there is another side to a story.
There is also the invisible church. The persecuted church is never the vocal or glamorously visible face of Christianity. More so today even in the modern times we live in. Christian Television will feature programming to excite and dull the consciousness of their audience. Ratings are closely kept in check with trendy and relevant news stories and events.
You probably did not hear about the Iranian Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani, who has been sentenced to death for a “thought crime”. He is one of several members of his church who have been imprisoned. The Iranian government has also threatened his wife with life imprisonment and has threatened to take away their two children, who are currently being cared for by relatives. Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Quran.
Or how about the struggles with on going world evangelism of hard to reach groups? Have you heard of the gospel parachutes per chance? Well, locally made parachutes (by ladies of Faith Christian Fellowship) are be used to air drop “special packages” into the dangerous jungles of Colombia where revolutionary FARC guerillas terrorize the peaceful inhabitants. These packages contain a Bible and a solar-powered radio pre-tuned to a Christian broadcasting station. It is estimated that thousands of soldiers on both sides of the conflict have come to Christ through this unique ministry “from above.” Sounds exciting better than any sci-fi movie script. Just the thought of a young person having their life irrevocably changed by stumbling upon one of these parachutes in the jungle fills one with awe: awe in the power of The Holy Spirit of God.
Do not be mesmerized by giant effigies and graven images that do not speak. They offer no salvation, no hope and will not bring about any revival. Stand in awe of God alone and in the power of his might. Tonight, more than ever remember the invisible church: pray for the persecuted body of Christ in the world.
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