At a Taoist Temple Dedicated to the Goddess Mazu in Taiwan – DIARY OF A CHRISTIAN! 在媽祖的廟（板橋）
I’m not too sure how it all happened, but I found myself boarding a train with two Nicaraguans, one of whom was an Atheist, the other Catholic, plus a cute Japanese girl from a popular Buddhist sect in Japan. I being a Christian and a very non-traditional (but perhaps super orthodox in G.K. Chesterton’s sense of the word) had quite an experience there.
First off, let me just say that I love Asia. I first fell in love with Japan, and then the Chinese. I say Chinese rather than China because even though Japanese are very still connected to their Land of the Japanese Archipelago, China’s government was displaced not long ago to a small island and continues to carry out its traditions, religions, language, and so on from there. Thus it’s far easier to just say I love Japan and I love Chinese. Maybe someday Japanese will have a similar exit and perhaps go off-world Macross-style? In any case, my experience at this temple was pretty typical, but felt like some sort of spiritual interface for sure. I was exhausted that day, but as we walked through the bustling streets I got to know my classmates and where they stood spiritually. Once there, the girls partook of the whole incense burning rituals, and I did not. The complicated artwork everywhere and idols were quite overwhelming to the senses, but perhaps that was the idea. Where does one begin to try to sort out all of this stuff? A Taiwanese guy came and helped show us around, and he totally believed that if you came here often that Mazu would help you to get more money.
Rather than start criticizing other religions, I just choose now to praise God for freedom from all works-religions and manmade traditions, and that we are welcome to come into the Spirit at any time to experience His good grace! In many ways, when I go to many churches I feel the same spirit of falsehood that I sensed all around me in that temple. So does Mazu, I believe, look at her temples. I believe Mazu was a very nice girl who had some kind of supernatural gift to pray for people, and later on people idolized her. But God loves all Mazu-worshipers and wants us to also extend His love to them. I reach out to all Christians still in church just as I do to idol-worshipers: step out and open your heart up to Jesus, really! Right now! Get out of man-made religions and let’s meet the God of the Universe together! “I am the door,” says Jesus – and you may get a religious experience in a church or a temple, but in the end you’ll still feel empty. Would you like to go to some Buddhist Heaven where they don’t feel anything anymore? Or would you like to go to the Father and experience the full richness of Creation as it was meant to be! Again, the Spirit and the Bride say: “Come!” and let him that is athirst come and drink from the River of Life. It’s real and it’s available to you, now, through Jesus!
我們去媽祖的廟的時候，有一些時間互相關於宗教聊天。 因爲一個人是無神論，一個人是天主教，一個人是佛教，然後我是…不去教會的基督教，真的有很多不一樣的看法， 所以慢有意思的經驗。我平常沒有時間去教會，可是對我來說（還有我想過，媽祖有沒有這樣想？）人類作的建築大概代表我們的傳統，可是我們可能忘記爲什麽我 們相信這個宗教。
我 很高興有這個機會去媽祖廟。可是我在臺灣，我總是會感覺媽祖。我怕有人只會看她的廟，可是沒有真的跟靈魂世界有關係。我認識耶穌的時候，發現他總是在我旁 邊，跟我一起。所以，我覺得不要去教會，要不然我離開教會的時候，可能忘記祂的存在（“上帝的家是教會！”）我有的時候在一個咖啡店或是在家裏跟媽祖有聊 天過。可是我在廟的時候，沒有那麽深的感覺！