News and Views




John Glass

General Superintendent

Elim Pentecostal Church

The financial chaos in the money markets around the world that commenced three months ago continues, like the seismic disturbance of an earthquake, to produce one aftershock after another. Subterranean tectonic plates hive moved and foundations being disturbed.


Northern Rock was amongst first to go as one institution after another began, like precarious dominoes, to totter and collapse. The attack of 9/11 was directed against the World Trade Centre, and on its anniversary world trade again has taken a direct hit.


What is happening will affect us all, whatever corner of the world we inhabit. Some whose income depends directly on the stock market find themselves in the eye of the storm, but the ripple effects have reverberated globally with tremors destabilizing everything from job security to the basic price of food.


We could say that ‘Babylon is falling’, or that God is shaking man-made institutions just as a duster is agitated before cleansing can commence. The Scriptures tell of a time when God would shake everything that can be shaken so that the things that cannot be shaken can remain.


Peterson puts it like this in his paraphrase of the passage in Hebrews: ‘He’s told us this quite plainly – he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem – to stern.” The phrase ”one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting of all the historical and religious junk so rid so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered’ – Hebrews 12:26-27; The Message.


One thing is certain in all of this: houses built on sand will sink, and those that are built on rock will stand. Faith is tested in the wind tunnel of adversity, whether the storm that we are called to weather assails our health, our wealth or our emotional security.


When it comes to guidance, Christ remains our irremovable north star. When it comes to security, he is the only foundation we can ultimately trust.


Most of us have no memories of the Blitz of the Second World War. As fascist bombs rained down on Britain, those who survived spoke of priorities that shifted from the secondary and the trivial to things that mattered more: relationships and family. For the Christian it also meant a deeper reliance and trust in God.


For the Church, locally and nationally, these times will also call for a re-evaluation of purpose – which will prove to be not altogether a bad thing. It will be a challenge for us all and, without doubt, a litmus test of our credibility before a watching world.



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