There is only one thing that we do well here, and only one product that is of any worth.
You can get other things at other places, at better prices and higher qualities. Better shows. Better food. Better accommodations. Better networking. Better atmosphere.
We've tried the business plan of Alice's Restaurant, but it didn't work. No, here, you can't get everything you want. No Starbucks in the atrium. No concerts or productions. No motivational talks or self-improvement or meditation podcasts. No gourmet dinners and a chance to rub elbows with the high-and-mighty's. No healthclubs or consciousness-raising marches for the fashionably oppressed or picketing soldier funerals.
No permission slips for conspicuous consumption or up-to-date assumptions (and situations of convenience).
I've done research on my marketing segment: we're blown out of the water on every index of "felt needs." Child care is better somewhere else. The air conditioning is better. The music is better. The theater is far more entertaining. Potential clients go elsewhere to find complete acceptance, and permission to remain as they are: there is, here, a pressure to change.
Accordingly, we're going out of business, and we're certainly not too big to fail.
We'll stay open but the sale is shut down. We have "focused" our business model.
There is only one "thing" left on the shelves.
Salvation from hell.
Salvation, more importantly, to be like Him.
Deification, in a word.
If you want this, then come here and fast. Come here and learn to stamp out your passions (which are, each one, a rehearsal of perdition). Come here and force your brain into Nicaean and Chalcedonian molds. Come here and take the word "sinner" as your personal ward and savor. Come here and run away from ecstasy, take divine sweetness instead for the mundanities of the vale and blessing for the journey.
Come here and embrace the Cross, instead of a visitor's badge. Take the Eucharist instead of a brochure.
That's my commercial, my billboard, my ad campaign.
I do not understand how or why anyone would want to be religious without being concerned about perdition. Theology is meaningless unless you know yourself as a sinner and want to be a Christian. Theology is useless unless you pine for a cool drop of water on your tongue. And "sin" is an utterly absurd concept unless you are interested in salvation.
If you are interested, you will recognize sin as necrosis, and you will stand outside the village and look for the Son of David to come by some day.
Being a Christian means that there is no way you can think about God without Christ: Christ is the only image you have of God the Holy Trinity. Christ is the only means, also, by which you can think of divinity at all.
I understand that "salvation" is old-fashioned sounding, and is probably a word held in great contempt, because it is predicated on the possibility of perdition. If perdition is not a possibility in your construct of the world, then by all means dismiss salvation, sin and Christian theology.
Theology is a waste of time if there is nothing you fear. Religion becomes damnation outside of the desperation for the Cross.
Theologizing without begging for salvation is useless: you won't like it, or anything of the Holy Trinity, or especially the Cross, at all.
Our business plan is wrecked, after all. Very few talk about hell and death in a way that they want to be saved from it: they are too interested in prosecuting God for crimes of disaster and unease. We, on the other hand, have stocked our shelves with other things, and the agora has simply passed us by and left us obsolete.
It is Holy Week, and we must be grave, solitary, the crowds will turn.
We are out of business, the den of thieves is closed.
Back to the House of Prayer.