Prayer Walk II

The second prayer walk was totally different from the first, and took us from Xanadu into the heart of darkness. We went to Sibei, where the third most well-known Mazu temple in Taiwan is located, after Fongtian Temple in Singang and Chaotian Temple in Beigang.

Sibei actually has two temples within 50 meters with each other, Zhen Wu, which lost its popularity to its rival neighbor Liou Sing. This is satirical as the temples compete with each other as to who is #1, but then you have this farce in “Christian” cults as well. There is a sect called True Jesus Church in Taiwan, another called True True Jesus Church, and a third called True True True Jesus Church! I was taught if you’re really good you don’t need to loudly proclaim it. So much for vying to be #1!

Zhen Wu Temple

Zhen Wu Temple

Liou Sing Temple

Liou Sing Temple

What makes Liou Sing famous is that it houses the third Mazu statue from the original Tianho temple in Singang, the first temple to worship Mazu in Chiayi but destroyed by floods. The other 2 statues have been moved to Fongtian and Chaotian respectively, hence their fame. The irony is that Mazu is supposed to be the patron goddess that protects seafarers, such as fishermen and sailors from water harm, but unable to protect her own home! The Mazu here is black-faced from all the soot from the burning incense. Ps 115:5-7 is so true,
* They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see;
* They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell;
* They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat.

“Official” Black-faced Mazu

Another irony: worshipers wear statues of demons during parades and move their arms with strings like puppets. Why do these gods need to be carried around? Can’t they move on their own? Aren’t gods and demons supposed to be opposed to each other? Why are they walking side-by-side like buddies?

10 feet tall statues of devils worn by people in idol parades

10 feet tall statues of devils worn by people in idol parades

The temple displayed photos of students with good grades supposedly after they worshiped there. The reality is that these were good students to begin with. It’s only their superstitious parents who burned incense for them before the exams. They would have gotten good marks without the incense. Besides, poor grades are never displayed. The temples would hide bad publicity!

List of students who got good grades supposedly after worshiping idols

List of students who got good grades supposedly after worshiping idols

While we were there, tour buses came in droves dropping off superstitious tourists to burn incense and make a wish. This is sad but understandable for the ignorant, but especially sad to see young and apparently educated folks doing the same. Truly “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Co 4:4)”

Tourists come by busloads to pay homage to the black-faced Mazu

Tourists come by busloads to pay homage to the black-faced Mazu

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