This morning I found the article below in my inbox. Its content relates pretty well to the subject discussed on my blog yesterday. If you have not done so already, read my previous post please.
The world’s economic balance is hanging by a very fine thread, and we are still finding big, powerful and influential churches occupied with feeble pursuits such as helping its congregation to lose weight. Never has the following verse of the Bible been more relevant than today, as the economic wheel that makes the world spin round truly hangs in the balance:
This economic turmoil will bring with it like never before big waves of casualties affected by poverty, hunger, unemployment, violence and illness and at a time when the church should be getting ready to be the light and the salt to the world, at a time when thousands of Christians should have been trained, equipped, taught and well rehearsed on how to minister to others who will present such challenging and dramatic needs, we continue to be self-absorbed and self-focused, we continue to be lukewarm and indifferent about the world perishing around us because our time, gifting, resources and most importantly our leadership has lost its North and its compass. They have put their attention and focus in all the wrong places, in misplaced and misjudged ends and goals.
Tell me, what kind of military leader lets its troops fall into slumber and complacency at the very moment when there is a looming warning of battle and grave danger in the horizon, when there is knowledge about dramatic events threatening the stability, balance, safety and health of the territory those troops are responsible for defending with all they’ve got? And yet despite the numerous warnings in God’s word about how Christians must prepare for “battle”, and the millions of dollars and pounds invested on training the Christian Leaders of today, the acts of The Western Church spoken off today do not resemble in any way those spoken about in the Bible. Perhaps the one similarity we could speak of is the quick increase in church attendance and membership in certain places but not as a result of a “Damascus” encounter where the individual personally meets with Christ, but as a result of the holiness of Christ being taken out of the equation and being replaced by worldly pursuits little to do with the cross. Somehow I don’t think Saddleback and Rick Warren would have made the New York Times’ Headlines had it not been for the very lack of reverence, holiness and shocking misplacement of loyalties and priorities at the very foundation of this church’s understanding of what defines people after God’s own heart.
“NEW RECESSION THREATENS the GLOBE”
-Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Nov 10).
The OECD’s index of leading indicators for China, India, Brazil, Canada, Britain and the eurozone have all tipped below the warning line of 100, with the pace of the decline in Europe exceeding the onset of the Great Contraction in early 2008. Professor Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the IMF, rattled nerves earlier this week by warning the world is “looking straight into the face of a great depression”. The grim data is coming thick and fast. Japan’s machinery orders fell 8.2pc in September as the post-Fukushima rebound lost steam and the delayed effects of the super-strong yen began to bite. Export orders have been declining for eight months. “Outright contraction is possible in the quarters ahead,” said Mark Cliffe from ING. Exports in the Philippines dropped 27pc in September, the sharpest fall in two years. Korea’s exports have showed sharply, caused by a 20pc slide in shipments to Europe. Manufacturing has been contracting for the past three months. Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s chief, warned in Asia that “there are dark clouds gathering in the global economy. Countries need to prepare for any storm that might reach their shores”. She said “adverse feedback loops” are at work as financial stress and economic woes feed on each other. China’s carefully managed soft landing has turned uncomfortably hard, with ripple effects through the commodity markets. Spot iron-ore prices have dropped 30pc since July to $126 a tonne. Copper prices have fallen 20pc since August. Barclays Capital said the risks of contagion to China has become serious. The bank is monitoring the country’s “key high frequency data” for early warning signs of the sort of sudden crash in metals demand seen during the Lehman crisis…
“The credit spigot has been turned off in the US,” said Chris Whelan from Institutional Risk Analytics… Fiscal and monetary stimulus has disguised the underlying sickness in the debt-laden economies of the West over the past two years. This heavy make-up has at last faded away, exposing the awful visage beneath.
It is a delicate moment. The risk of a synchronised slump in Europe, the US and East Asia is bad enough. What is chilling is to face such a possibility with the monetary pedal already pushed to the floor in the US, UK and Japan. Worse yet is to do so with Europe spiralling into institutional self-destruction…