Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ancient Faith in the Suburbs

From Blog10

Ancient faith
New-built in the suburbs
In plaster and concrete, glass and metal
Of One who doesn't change
Ancient of days
His loving-kindness lasts to eternity

He never changes
Is always there
But the parking-lot gates are locked

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
--Hebrews 13:8

This beautiful building is in the western suburbs of Houston. Although the gates were locked, I was able to walk around them and take photos. See here and here.


Jim Swindle said...

In fairness, I must mention that one other gate was partially open, and I don't know what gates were on the other side of the parking lot. In front of the main steps approaching what appeared to be the main entrance was a golden rope. It discouraged approach, but may have been there to discourage skateboarding down the steps.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I have never found Orthodox churches in America to be surrounded by any kind of barricade or fencing, such as we find surrounding "the Crystal Cathedral" in Anaheim, California. They are usually open to the public or, if the temple doors are locked, can usually be accessed when services are not in progress by going to the church office and asking to be let in from an interior door.

This is a Coptic Orthodox church, which is different from all other Orthodox churches for this reason: They originate from lands which are mostly under the political and sometimes cultural control of militant Islam, or from lands that experienced frequent invasions by marauding Muslims. Hence, the fence.

In Egypt, which is the origin of this church (Coptic = Egyptian Orthodox), to this very day, the churches are persecuted and their properties pillaged and attacked with near impunity. Perhaps in America, they just surround them like this out of habit.

Jim Swindle said...

Thank you, my brother. You may be right. I assumed that it was other (mostly reasonable) reasons. The fences were not designed to keep out people who are on foot, and I could have walked around the rope easily. Each local church must decide what measures are required for its security. At the church where I'm a member, the parking lot stays open, but the doors are locked except when there's a reason for them to be open. It reduces theft; does not eliminate it.

I'm thankful for all who are genuine followers of the real Jesus, whatever their ethnicity or denomination.