Prophet of God
I was called upon by God* today to visit a Christian church in Springfield, Missouri. I don't care if you don't believe me. It's True, capital T. I am a prophet of God. If you question my status as a prophet of God, that does not make you special.
This is not an attempt to convert you to a set of man-made riddles intended to make you feel better about yourself, though my hope is you will someday. That is to say, I don't give a shit if you turn away from Truth at this moment. Truth will eventually find you, whether you seek it or not.
My parents were ordained Pentecostal ministers, both of them. Of course, Dad got all the accolades because, well, he was intent on seeking them and was therefore more appreciative of praise. I'm assuming it was some such rationalization he utilized in subjecting his wife to a life of service.
Mom was without doubt the more devout of the two, and Dad freely admitted this. It was like an inside joke within the family. The fact that his youngest became a full-fledged prophet of God is another great inside joke.
Self-Proclaimed Men Of God
Self-proclaimed "men of God" like Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and their ilk espouse spiritual insights only to enhance their own temporal condition. That is, they're frauds. If you haven't figured that out yet, maybe you should stop reading. Going with the herd is the best course for many human beings, especially the irretrievably lost. No one blames you. God understands that there is nothing inherently wrong with regular church attendance.
God understands that the easily led are prone to follow blatant fraudsters more out of convenience than conviction. Or, put another way, Evangelical Christianity is to religion what professional wrestling is to sports. Both can be entertaining once you suspend your disbelief.
As a genuine prophet of God, I do not seek followers and don't really want your money. I do occasionally purchase items when God sends me on a prayer mission, but it's usually not that much. You could give your money to a homeless person. Any major intersection in Springfield is where you'll find them any day of the week. This is a relatively new phenomenon locally but certainly not in human history. Any thriving tyrannical empire will produce plenty of beggars. God knows it runs in cycles.
My aim in sharing prophesies is no different from the old timers back in the day. Consider it a warning, a wake up call. This is what prophets do. The rest is on you.
Venturing Forth on East Sunshine Street
Verily, I ventured forth to answer God's calling, passing many a humble consumer servant along east Sunshine Street. Dutiful bargain hunters were ever-so-carefully creating a traffic snarl at a Sam's Club entrance. This despite clear traffic signals intended to provide smooth passage. Many of the elders were driving Buicks, which God finds oddly amusing. That's not much of a divine revelation, I know, just passing it along.
In the blink of an eye, I came upon a large house of God nestled high atop a neatly mowed hill several hundred paces from the road. I beheld an angular arrangement of bricks with metal roofing. This, I felt reasonably sure, was the spot. I pulled into the huge parking lot. Nobody was there.
God & Architecture
At first glance, I mistook the church for a middle school or high school. It seems whomever God had blessed with the construction contract for this house of worship had thrice utilized the same pre-ordained template with larger school districts in surrounding counties.
God prefers His homes to be singular in their design, which may explain His sighing disdain for prayers emanating from cookie-cutter suburban landscapes. And I'm sorry to report that God no longer attends to the distorted pleadings emanating from prefabricated metal buildings. Sadly, most of these "full metal churches" are found in rural settings, frequently on highway outer roads.
For the record, the rare open air tent meeting remains the preferred assemblage from which God enjoys receiving worship and prayers.
I began examining the roof lines of this particular church. Walls, windows, and corner masonry slapped together in a lazy geometric. I've seen Lego structures with more character. I found myself visualizing, for a moment, God's Word bouncing off the angled roof lines like laser beams back into the atmosphere, piercing clouds and careening off orbiting satellites into the deepest reaches of space.
Inside, a multitude of prayers from congregants would launch an internal bombardment of prayer lasers bouncing from ceiling to floor and back again until fading out entirely. Sunday worship at a metal roofed church would amount to nothing more than an indecipherable, discordant mix of mangled pleadings and missed directives from the pulpit. After all this they get in their cars and drive!
Figure It Out!
God sometimes reveals Himself through idle thought portals like this. That is, I've come to value moments of wandering, or what some people would call day dreaming, because the mental meanderings sometimes end with a flash of divine light. One person's daydream is another person's epiphany. Revelations from God don't happen that often, really, just often enough to effectively conditioned me to keep the playground open. You never know.
Was God revealing to me that the church roof served as an impenetrable deflector shield? Could this explain why so many Christian churches have lost their way? Metal roofs deflecting God's message? Could it possibly be that simple? Is this why Evangelicals are so susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous charlatans? Seems plausible.
Come to think of it, the area's favorite mega church, James River Assembly of God, has a metal roof like this! By the way, it's now James River Church, as they've scrubbed their website of any references to the Assemblies of God denomination, which is headquartered in Springfield. Did we miss something?
God finds church squabbles to be delightful entertainment. It's His reality television, if you will, witnessing self-righteous men - and it's always men - puffing up and making fools of themselves in His name. The wives? Well, they are trained early to be submissive, so what would you expect?
Is it possible that a metal roof on James River Church explain why Pastor preaches that yoga is demonic and gay people aren't worth protecting? Could it be that messages from God just haven't been getting through? Is Pastor just winging it?
Having heard him speak on several occasions, I find this quite plausible.
Heaven, Hell & the Rapture
Thought Portal: I'm imagining Pastor's arrival at the Gates of Heaven and being asked about his misguided political meddling regarding yoga and gay rights.
Pastor: You see, it turns out our church had a metal roof that served to deflect the Lord's Word. I never actually received His messages, and should therefore be held harmless for any sins I may have committed.
Peter: Oh? Sorry, but the "Know Not What They Do" absolution is valid only when administered by God or His Designee. If you don't know what you're doing, you cannot possibly absolve yourself for not knowing what you're doing. Figure it out! Therefore, no entry for you, false prophet!
Pastor: (falling) Aiiyeeeeee!
Disclaimer: Pastor being flung into traditional Hell is my own self-directed vision. I'm human. Truth is, God has never outright told me that Heaven or Hell exist, nor has He confirmed there is a final day of judgement after death. He has implied many times that heaven and hell (lower case) do exist in real time right here on Earth, which I find both troubling and comforting depending on my situation.
Of course, as a prophet of God, the troubling question is, did I project a scenario from my own mind, or did God reveal it to me? Metal roof deflecting God's message? Really?
Wishful Thinking & Faith
It pains me to admit that I soon became overwhelmed with indecision about this day's calling. Why can't everything be easier? Being incapable of understanding God's message is the main reason man invented faith (with zero Guidance). God says that faith is nothing more than an advanced form of wishful thinking, but again, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. So, if you consider yourself to be a man or woman of faith, rest assured there is nothing inherently wrong with that.
At this moment, my wishful thinking was being severely tested. I resisted the temptation to leave and instead chose to wait for Divine Affirmation of some kind. This could take a while.
I once parked for the better part of an evening outside a strip mall massage parlor in southwest Springfield. Once there, I could find no sign or clue.
"He just had a massage," God interjected. "He's going to be limber."
This is when you know you're on the wrong track. It's never, "Hey, you're on the wrong track." Instead it's always a statement of fact followed by an unspoken "dumbass". Guidance from God is seldom direct and just forget about asking questions. Click. Among His most frequent directives is "Pay Attention". Easy for the omniscient to say.
It turned out the massage parlor outing was all about a woman who worked there, rather than a cape-wearing Josh Hawley. I never learned her name. She may have been ill, because I eventually was directed to a nearby Asian Market where I purchased specific items and returned to drop them off. That was it, but it took more than four hours for me to figure it out.
So here I was again, sitting in my car on Blackman Road waiting for something to happen. And lo, it came to pass that I fell into a troubled sleep behind the wheel of my Toyota.
(Okay, I'm stopping with the King James language unless it appears of its own volition. God told me it was annoying, and as always, His will be done.)
Children Are Dying!
"Children are dying!" I screamed at the families below. "Can't you see? No! Don't do this!"
But people continued moving patiently along in neat lines that doubled back on themselves. They clutched their brightly colored rafts and kept moving forward, afraid to look up at me. A few children were obviously petrified, but parents urged them along toward the top of the slide, where smiling park attendants helped them lie down on their rafts.
The park had a distinctly Branson feel to it. Like happy vacationers boarding a doomed Duck Boat, these people had somehow convinced themselves this was a must experience. True to Branson, all of the parents were too heavy to be thrown off the slide, but the younger kids were flying high into the air, one after the other. Oh, God!
"What's wrong with you people?" I woke up screaming. "Jesus!"
God laughed at me about the dream. Why would anybody listen to you? They don't listen to Me!
With my dream, I believe He was trying to show me how tough it is to be God's prophet in 21st Century America. People don't listen, even when their lives are at stake, and they are struck dumb when confronted with Truth.
Truth often comes in blows, He once told me.
And then, still reeling from my dream, the sign from God came to me. I mean, literally, it was a sign right in front of my face. It said, "ATM".
At this moment, God reminded me how comfortable I had become with the superficiality of consumer life, that it would take over an hour to notice a big, bold bank ATM sign sitting squarely on Church grounds. Is this not His house? Did anybody bother to confer with Him about this? Obviously not!
A Den of Thieves
You may recall the only time we see violent Jesus is when he unloads his righteous rage on the money changers in the Temple, beating their asses, overturning tables, spilling cash boxes, freeing the sacrificial livestock into the streets and calling out the priests for turning the Temple into a "den of thieves". Oh, man! Wish I'd seen it. This was the real reason they killed him, of course.
Such a public display of disrespect to the wealthy elite, who had effectively established a lucrative pay day loan scenario inside the Temple of God, was not to be tolerated. So, they had him executed in a most gruesome manner for all to see. You know the story. Sometime later, a bunny with colored eggs became involved. I have no idea. But the wealthy elite's message to the peasant class - virtually everybody else - was crystal clear:
"Don't get any ideas."
Historical Note: From this point, the story of Jesus becomes quite convoluted. But 66 years later a violent rebellion did erupt, forcing Roman Emperor, Nero, to send multiple reinforcements. The great Jewish Rebellion lasted seven years before it was finally defeated, leaving much of what we now call the Holy Land in ruins.
My point here is that most modern day "Christians" think that Jesus died for their sins. In truth, Jesus died for upsetting an established order that had allowed exploitative money changers to establish a foothold in the Temple of God.
Fast forward two thousand years, and we see money changers once again persuading themselves that it's okay to set up banking services in God's house, and the church has become so thoroughly secularized that it's blind to the obvious desecration of God's house.
God's position is this: People can go ahead and worship money like crazy. I mean, we have free will, right? This isn't new. Just don't expect it to end well. Churches, however, cannot also be banks, okay? God considers this spiritual bankruptcy, if you will. And here we have Exhibit A in the spiritual bankruptcy filing from Glendale Christian Church in Springfield, Missouri.
Also, please note that Springfield City Council unanimously approved this bank/church arrangement. The mayor, who strenuously opposes strengthening the local regulation of pay day loans, quipped that the church might find it easier to collect tithes with an ATM. So, it's a cozy co-mingling of church, state and the money changers and nobody seems to understand the cataclysmic undertones. Admit it, you don't think it's that big a deal, do you? Verily, I say to you. This is a big deal.
God Did Not Create Corporations
Oh, and let me just pass this along, since we're discussing church/state things. God condemns the notion that corporations are people. Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A will not be rising up during the Rapture. Neither will you, for that matter. There's isn't going to be a Rapture. A full scale Apocalypse maybe, but no Rapture.
He wants you to know this. Stop deluding yourself.
For God's sake, I'm telling you all this now so that appropriate actions may be taken, though I'm not exactly sure whether it would be better to repent or join a rebellion. Both have dubious outcomes historically. If pushed to choose, based on my interpretations of God's message, I'd probably go with rebellion at this point.
I will report more Insights as they are provided to me. It is my calling. Meanwhile, I would advise anyone reading this to offer prayers to God only while outdoors for best results. Also, just to be safe, if you attend a church with a metal roof, please listen very carefully to the message. Does it sound like it could come from God, or are they just making shit up?
You have free will. Pay attention. Figure it out.
*God has no gender and doesn't care about pronouns. I thought about mixing pronouns, but that would have made this piece even harder to read than it already is.