- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
JOSH HOUSE CHRISTIANITY
is how to keep God in a box so he will
A Josh House is a temple of habitation of gods for any pagan culture. Most false religions have a Josh House. Monotheistic faiths claim that their god cannot be seen or will not present himself in physical form. But, even some monotheists have their Josh Houses where they keep various representations of their god.
Now, it occurred to me that some Christian churches are a Josh House. The Roman Catholic Church is the worst at cooping up their god in a Josh House.
The question is, do YOU have your God, and Jesus Christ, holed up in a Josh House? Let's look at the history of Josh Houses in various settings, and then check on ourselves and our mental and emotional attitude toward our God.
In about 625 AD Mohammed received his revelations in a cave outside of Mecca, a dusty trading town in the heart of Arabia. In Mecca was a temple, a Josh House called the Kaaba, full of over 360 gods from cultures far and wide in the Middle East. This temple full of gods was an accommodation to the many traders and caravan drivers who moved up and down the frankincense road. They would stop over in Mecca, and they could go to the Kaaba and pray knowing that their personal god was inside listening to their prayers.
Mohammed, in forcing his prophecies of a new religion on the local people, opened the Kaaba and removed all the gods except one. He had learned from the Jews and Christians in Arabia that there is only one god. So, his religious invention was to be monotheistic. Allah, a god from ancient Babylon and Sumer, was chosen as the lucky god to be the god of Islam.
To this day, the Muslims all over the world carry around a compass to tell them the direction to face when they pray. They bow toward Mecca because that is where Allah is. They would deny this, but they are virtual slaves to the qibla, the central geographical point of the Muslim faith in Mecca.
I found the following discussion of Chinese Josh Houses online:
The nature of Joss Houses of Asia can be a mystery to those of us steeped in western philosophical and religious influences. While the citizens of the day appear quick to dismiss this aspect of Chinese life as idol worship, the josh Houses serve a social as well as spiritual function. They are a way for the Chinese to remain in touch with their culture and roots. Many of the “Josh Houses” in Victoria are more like shrines for ancestors or patron saints for the various gods from Chinese religious lore.
Josh Houses or Chinese temples did not appear to attract much discussion or observation amongst early Victoria’s white population, except perhaps to serve a reason to label the Chinese as “heathen.” Several of these structures can be found on the 1885 Victoria fire insurance map, but coverage of them in the newspapers of the day is scant.
These Josh Houses were shrines for usually one god or saint-like individual, for whom there would be a statue on display. I hesitate to use the term “worship” as the act of observing these individuals, as the Chinese religion is a complex hybrid of influences from Taoism to legend and reverence for ones ancestry. However, at the very least, the term “commemoration” or "superstition" seems appropriate.
The Colonist has a story of how a “joss” statue was found in a Chinatown shop. The observer, finding something familiar about the appearance of the statue, queries the shopkeeper, and discovers that the statue is a representation of Robert Beaven, Public Works Commissioner at the time and who was briefly Premier of British Columbia in the early 1880s.
The urge to deify men who become honored and revered is typically Chinese. But, I remind you of the same urge to deify certain Christian leaders like Jack Hyles, Benny Hinn, and Joel Osteen. The parallel is frightening. I also notice that a Christian Josh House is needed, for the Christian leader who is deified, to reign in with pomp and grandeur. It hardly would work for a modern deified church leader to simply go from house to house like the Apostle Paul. We also note that the Pope needs a grand palace like church to rule in.
Trader Horn was a young man who went to the Gaboon and Congo area of Africa in about 1880 as an agent for a trading company. Trader Horn worked up several rivers setting up trading centers in which he delivered items the natives craved in exchange for ivory and rubber. There were two movies about his life which add features he did not back up in his autobiography.
Trader Horn told of being on one river, and he visited a native tribe which was at first troublesome. But, with clever talk and decent manners he convinced the natives they needed his friendship. He claimed he always tried to be fair and honest with decent natives, so their friendship became rather close. The natives decided Trader Horn should be invited to their chief's palace, which was African in design and not at all like European palaces. The chief became very fond of Trader Horn, and he invited him to become his blood brother. The ceremony was conducted in the tribe's Josh House, a ceremonial building where their gods were lodged.
Trader Horn had heard about a White girl whose father was a trader on the coast, and the natives there killed him. The man's daughter was taken captive, and the natives decided she was their new goddess. The tribe had been spiritually ruled by goddesses for many years.
When he was inducted into the tribe with the chief, Trader Horn met the alleged goddess, and he was quite taken with her. But, he was engaged to a girl back in England to whom he decided he must be loyal. So, he brought her things a lady would appreciate from the outside world on all of his trips up the river, and the tribe thought ever better of him because he seemed to take their Josh House goddess / queen seriously.
Trader Horn finally decided the goddess needed to have the option to be rescued from the jungle tribe. He said she had seemed to adopt fairly well to her role as goddess / queen, but when he broached the idea of her coming with him to the coast and a new life, she at once agreed. She seemed to have a real sense that she needed to go back to whatever culture she had come from.
Trader Horn had a friend from Peru in South America who had taken a fancy to the Josh House queen from things Trader Horn had written to him, and Peru (which is what Trader Horn called him) sent presents to the girl. Trader Horn arranged with her to sneak away one night, and he headed for the coast with her in his steam boat. Peru was to meet them there, which he did. Peru and the girl were married there at the coast, and Peru had planned a honeymoon that would be largely his way of helping the girl learn to live in the "civilized world."
Trader Horn went on to travel to many nations and fought in the Boer War in South Africa. He even went to the USA twice, and one of his adventures was to work with Wild Bill Hickok's Wild West Show. The movie of his life, though not very accurate, charmed the whole of the United States and Europe. Royalty of all sorts, for some reason, made it a point to be seen at the showing of his life. Something about Trader Horn drove people mad with zeal to have a taste of his adventures. He actually lived to see the movie, which is not usually the case, and he benefited financially from it. The movie made the girl into the daughter of a missionary, which was probably more melodramatic, but I am telling this from reading Trader Horn's autobiography.
As strange as this story seems, I know of other tales just as bizarre from the early days of African exploration and missionary ventures. Also, other peculiar things Trader Horn told about I could confirm because of my having grown up in Africa where strange stories were not uncommon. Many people, upon reading his autobiography, claimed he did some padding to his stories. This was always the way the White race took the reports of early explorers, and in later years, often long after the explorer was dead, the world learned the first report was quite true. So, the goddess / queen seems entirely possible to me.
Now, I told you all of that story to tell you this. Pagans in the depths of Africa long ago had their own Josh Houses, and they took them very seriously. This unusual account of a tribe that had a living goddess / queen in residence is the only one I have ever heard of where the god or goddess inside was living. Usually Josh Houses are the depository of dead gods made of wood and stone, though they can be very elaborate and grand. The thing to remember is that the Josh House was the focal point of pagan primitive religious ceremony and zeal.
Trader Horn did not take the Josh House seriously, nor did he believe the girl captive was a goddess. Trader Horn, in all his writing and spinning of yarns, could see that a White girl in the jungle is just a White girl in the jungle, and she ought to be rescued.
So, what is it about your Christian Josh House, which you very wrongly call a "church*," which charms you? You claim to have faith in a God of which the Bible says, "no man hath seen God at any time." But, you cannot worship your unseen God, whom you and I believe is real, unless you are sitting in your Josh House? Some of you poor silly asses even get all flustered and discombobulated if you walk into the church house and see a visitor sitting in your favorite spot in the pews. You stand there for some time, looking at dozens of empty seats, as if there is no place to sit, but you have to force yourself to go sit in a spot where you have never sat before. Don't tell me this is not so. As a pastor I have watched this hilarious drama many times.
Think about this story of the African Josh House, my friend. It tells you something about who you really believe God is.
Acts 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things?
* The Church is ONLY the people of Jesus Christ in the Bible-- it is NEVER the name of real estate, or a "Christian" Josh House.
Perhaps the most blasphemous Josh House invented by Christendom is the Josh House of the Roman Catholic Church. The obelisk in the foreground is a grossly pagan item and is traditionally the male phallus in all Eastern religion. Why is it in the Vatican?
Saint Peter's Basilica is the numero uno Josh House of the Roman Catholic Church. See it in the photo at the right. The word basilica, used to elevate the place above the generic churches of Catholicism, comes from the Roman word Basilisk, the serpent. The serpent god was the central god in much of the Middle East for several thousand years, and Basilisk was the god of fertility and was represented by the male phallus.
Naming the house of the God of the Bible after the phallic serpent god is the grossest of blasphemies. So, we see that the Josh House of the Roman Whore is a filthy habitation of devils. All who fall in worship of the god of that place are self-deluded fools if they think that is the God of the Bible.
This is the Chair of Peter, that is, if you believe that the Apostle Peter sat in a Josh House to serve God long ago.
Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
The Pope has a title, among many-- Alter Cristos-- Another Christ. This is an antichrist title, for it gives the Pope the position which Christ should have in his Church. Thus, Pope Francis in all his pomp and glory is a devil. How do you look at your pastor? Have you exalted him so that you cannot feel right with God without him? If so, though he may not want it that way, you have made him into Alter Cristos, another Christ. Beware my friend.
HERE IS A LUTHERAN CHURCH- St. Michael in Schwäbisch Hall
Now, the decor is quite subdued if we compare it to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. But, I see they have a dead Jesus hanging on the cross, and there is a lofty creepy feeling about the place. This may cause some people to feel very close to God, but this form and ritual, in the order of a Josh House, causes the members to see this as the place where they meet their God, and the rest of life is dead boring compared to this. Lutheran theologians will try to convince us that they teach their people to live the Christian life all week long, but I have known a lot of Lutherans, and there are very few who live in the same awe of God which they have when they hit the kneelers during the worship rituals at the Josh House.
At the right is St. Michael's from the outside. This sort of cumulus lapidum, pile of stone, gives the believer the impression that God is residing in lofty huge buildings with all sorts of pointless external decorations to function as the house of worship. The believer's home has none of this, so he may place various religious images and relics around his home to prove to himself and his guests that, while God may not like his home as much as the Josh House, God is indeed in his home. This also gives the believer the blaze feeling that God is at home in his house when, in fact, if this believer is even born again, Christ says he is only found IN the believer.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Paul does NOT say, ".....Therefore glorify God in your chuch house....." YOU are the temple of God in the Church Age, and there is NO other temple. Your Josh House is just a pile of inert building materials when the believers are not there. Some church houses even have a "presence light" which is burning all the time, as if God is present in that empty building when the people are not there. BALDERDASH !!!
I contend, from personal observation, that this sort of Josh House Christian has a very low view of his piety and relationship with God. He feels he has to go to the Josh House to ultimately be near his God. If you do not want God to meddle too much in your life, it is very handy to leave him at the Josh House, right?
HERE IS THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF HAMMOND, INDIANA
This monster holds thousands of people. It is a monument, not to Jesus Christ, but to Jack Hyles who invented this Josh House. Jack was full of devious tricks to use other men's wives, and he was followed after his death by a Josh House god who, like Jack before him, inhaled the incense of power and glory which was supposed to go to Jesus Christ. This most recent egomaniac preacher is now sitting in prison for convincing a young lady he was her sex god.
It seems to me that the contagion of this monster Josh House in Hammond will never be put away. Their leaders show superficial piety and humility, but they KNOW they are the power on high-- they rule in the Josh House. Their Jesus is a mental icon to whom they give lip service, but they really serve their own lusts.
One of the most deadly aspects of the Christian Josh House is that its enormity seduces its ministers. They walk to the podium on Sunday morning, gaze forth over the mob of awe struck sheeple, and the guru suddenly becomes bigger than life in his own eyes. I watched in person as Jack Hyles inhaled the incense of flattery his preacher boys gave him. He was far too intoxicated on himself to convince me he was even born again.
So, is your local meeting place just a building where the Body of Christ, the ONLY Church in the New Testament, meets? Or, do you feel you are not right with God if you do not walk through the symbolic doors to glory and park your fanny in an expensive hard wood pew every Sunday?
I have heard so many times, "You need to be here every time the doors are open." This is sacral superstition which says that you are not right with God unless you rush off to the Josh House to retread your piety and devotion to God. All over the world are Christians who cannot find Bible based fellowship, so they worship God in their living room. They may have no other fellowship than their spouse. Are they defective? Are they less than complete in Christ?
Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. Jesus went out of his way to reveal himself to this Samaritan woman. She belonged to a cult of Judaism which had all its own worship and scripture rituals distinct from the Jews in Jerusalem. Her people worshipped in their own temple near Damascus. She assumed Jesus would tell her she needed to worship in Jerusalem instead of in Mount Gerizim. Jesus never said a word about WHERE to worship. That was NOT what he was trying to preach. Do you get that my friend? Where is NOT important-- WHO you worship is the only issue.
John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
So, the place of worship is in spirit (that is, YOUR spirit with the Holy Spirit), and in truth. The truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ, and he is now revealed to us in the written Word of God. So, "true worshippers" worship the Father in their spirits as the Word of God is read, taught, and is the theme of all singing and activity. Where you worship should be moderated ONLY by one standard-- is the Word of God faithfully and literally preached, and is there a spirit in the midst which reminds you of Jesus Christ? If not, MOVE. Find new fellowship.
Jesus taught this truth to the Samaritan woman BEFORE he went to the cross. The place of worship was still the temple in Jerusalem as Jesus spoke to the woman, but he tells this her that the place of worship will soon not be a physical location or a special building.
The Apostle John was in exile on the Island of Patmos for the Gospel he preached. He was alone, and there was not a church house in sight. In fact, he may have been living in a cave. It is astounding that in this bleak setting God chose to give the Revelation, the last book of the Bible, to a lonely Apostle. All true Bible believers, except for those dry bones followers of Calvin and Luther, revel in the study of The Revelation. This last book of prophecy was delivered to the Church of Jesus Christ from a wild place, not from a seminary, a monastery, or from a church office. And, in the same sense of Christ's words to the Samaritan woman, John said:
Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Jesus had to bring his own candle sticks. Read that again please.
When Jesus wants the church to light candles and make gold pots and pans to use in worship of him, HE will bring the accouterments himself, just like he did back in the Old Testament with the tabernacle. When man adds gongs, trinkets and mighty cathedrals to feel closer to God, you can count on it my friend, those people are NOT close to God at all.
So, how is it with you? The Apostle Paul gave you NO physical or geographical requirements in order for you to worship your God in spirit and in truth. Why do you crave special buildings and sacral decorations to feel right with God?
Could it be that you like God to stay at the "church house" so that he will not bother you during the week? Are you keeping God in a box?
If you draw near to the Josh House, and if you imagine you are nearer to God there, you are a silly ass. We have said much about the idea of keeping God in a box, but let us now see what the process is for finding real Christian fellowship:
Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Notice the order of movement toward fellowship:
1. Verse 21-22- Let us draw near to the High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is the object of our profession of faith. Before you try to have fellowship with fellow believers, get your soul and mind cleaned up so that your conversation is edifying rather than all about golf, the Dallas Cowboys, Manchester United, or fishing. If that is all you are good for in conversation, please stay away from me. I need to be edified a lot of the time, and I want to be lifted up closer to Jesus rather than come down to your slop hog definition of fellowship.
2. Verse 22- Let us grab hold, and not let go, of our confession of faith. The confession of faith of a true believer is not proven when he burps up the answers given in the catechism. The proof of a genuine confession of faith in Jesus Christ is when the believer cannot help himself and speaks about Jesus Christ in the check out line at Wal Mart.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
3. Verse 24- We must provoke each other to good works. This is NOT merely shaking hands with other believers at the Josh House. That is about all of the provoking to Christian zeal most of you do. When is the last time you called a brother in Christ and asked him to meet you for lunch or coffee? And, when you were with him did you happen to ask him if he had any recent war stories from his efforts at good works? Did you sense some issue in his talk that needed more discussion, for prayer or for bebuke? Or, do you say, "Let's pray for our food silently so we don't irritate anyone." If it terrifies you to talk about Jesus in the market place, why should anyone believe you are really born again? Tell me, when is the last time some Christian brother got right with God or did the right thing simply because you encouraged him to?
4. Verse 25- Now, off to the Josh House, right? No! Off to the brethren anywhere you find them. Have you ever been going about your day, and in the course of meeting people you learned someone you talked to was a true believer in Christ? We all have. So, what do you do at that point? Most Christians, if they do anything, invite the person to come visit their Josh House. "We have something for everyone." Or, "We have a great pastor-- he is a real Bible teacher." I have news for you-- you did not obey verse 25 in our text with that trick. If you want to obey verse 25 next time, ask the believer you just met if he would like to have coffee and visit some more in the Lord. THAT is the real "assembling of ourselves together" of a real Bible believer. A true saint in Christ CRAVES fellowship anywhere he can get it, not just at those once a week visits to the Josh House.
By the way, if your pastor never does this, that is, spontaneously invites a brother he meets in the market place to have coffee or just visit, find another church. Your pastor is a Josh House custodian, and nothing more. Also, if your pastor cannot fellowship unless he has a three piece suit on, get away from him. He is a clone of the preacher's union which thrives on pretension.
After, and ONLY after, you have your soul and spirit right as to what fellowship and assembling are all about, only then can you meet at the local church house and benefit and contribute to the fellowship of the saints. This article is not about driving you away from the local church house altogether. Rather; it is about driving you to worship "Christ in you the hope of Glory" all week long and assembling all week long with Bible believers.
Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Let me ask you a question. When you are job hunting do you include in your list of objectives to find a work place where there are a handful of Bible believers? If not, you are a fool. Bible believers, on average, will give you a lot less grief than pagans, they are less likely to have filthy mouths, AND, you will have friends at work who edify you with fellowship on break times.
Now, go do the right thing.
A DRAGON GOD CEREMONY AT THE HAU JOSH HOUSE IN HONG KONG
Here is a dragon ceremony in China in which the god is paraded. Some Chinese people have prefabricated Josh Houses which they put up only on certain holidays, they worship the gods in the Josh House, and then they dismantle the Josh House until the next holy holiday. Think about your Christmas rituals at your Josh House and in your home. Jesus is front and center for a few weeks, and then the Josh House fixtures are stored until next Christmas.
TRADER HORN ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE
This is also suspect in some details if his autobiography is to be believed.
JOSH HOUSE IN THAILAND
Consider this please. The life of a Thai citizen is often dull. His home may be very plain, even showing some aspects of poverty. So, he can go to the Josh House, sit and contemplate, and he can feel like he has a place of splendor and refuge to help him escape the ordinariness of his life. I have seen this in Christian churches. People "go to church" to their Josh House, and they have a place to move about with the beautiful people and feel like they have a few hours of Christian belonging.
The wretched fact is, these Christians who live on the edge of poverty NEVER get a visit to their home from anyone in the Christian Josh House. If this is what "church" means, then there is no local church. And, I believe this is why the early Church in the Book of Acts went from house to house to enjoy Christian fellowship. The arrival of real estate ownership, and a grand Josh House image, was a reverting to pagan forms and rituals.
For the record, the first known church house built exclusively for Christians meeting was in Ephesus, and that is the local church of which Jesus said in Revelation 2, "you have lost your first love."