Over the years, I’ve been to some strange and interesting worship services, but one service I attended in Malaysia a couple of years ago really took the cake! It was a Hindu festival called Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were one-million people in attendance. This festival also takes place in other venues, but the celebration in Kuala Lumpur is one of the largest in the world due to the Batu Caves. These are massive limestone caves just outside the city proper. There is a large stairway (272 steps) that ascends up to the caves. The Batu Caves are large cavernous, damp, smelly caves filled with bats and monkeys…and trash…and Hindu idols.
For two hours, we jostled our way through the steamy throngs, and ascended the stairway up into the caves. It was hot—over 90 degrees! We saw people dancing in a state of trance, and others who were piercing themselves with large skewers. All of this was being offered to Hindu “gods”. I truly believe that a number of people around us were demon possessed and worshipping demons. Having said that, we need to remember that Christians have the Holy Spirit inside of us—who is far more powerful!
Going to Thaipusam offered a powerful reminder what any of us could be like outside of Christ. I’ve never been in a worship service of this size that was comprised almost entirely of people worshipping idols and demons. It was both haunting and sobering at the same time. As a leadership team, we had a good discussion afterwards about the realities of Christ, salvation and the need to share the gospel with a lost and dying world.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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