Double-dip recession hits businesses and Church of England

Globally lives have been governed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, we are now witnessing the effects of the repressive draconian lockdown measures on businesses, as we enter a double-dip recession.

A study conducted by the federation of small businesses (FSB) predicts 250,000 businesses will close in the UK within the next twelve months.[1] Such closures could be compounded further, to around 900,000 small businesses affecting 2.5million workers, if the government does not continue to help.[2] A joint study conducted by Derby and St. Andrews universities highlighted the plight of small businesses, revealing that 500 businesses in Plymouth are at immediate risk of closing as a direct consequence of the lockdown restrictions.[3] The lockdown has affected not only small business, but large retail outlets too.  Topshop and Miss Selfridges have closed, leaving thousands unemployed,[4] – Debenhams will also shortly close all its stores resulting in 12,000 workers being laid off.[5]

The above statistics are a glimpse into the adverse effects the lockdown measures are having on businesses. Yes, government bailouts are currently being provided, but while such measures intend to save companies from collapsing, they are nothing more than a plaster on a gaping wound. Yes, businesses are assisted to remain in business – a strange concept when they are in effect subsidised to be closed – but who will pay for the government bailouts? How can a fractured economy be sustained when it is haemorrhaging debt – when there is a Great Reset around the corner?

The word unprecedented does not seem to covey the enormity of the present situation. Yes, we live in an unprecedented time, but it is one the Bible prophesied would come before Jesus’ return. It would be a time when evil would be called good and good evil.[6] 

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:2)

We’ll witness wars and rumours of wars and ethnic internal conflicts as nations fracture;[7] something we have vividly seen in the past year in the USA through the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement[8] and, more recently, in the election riots. Yet, how come the police dealt differently with the BLM riots and the election capitol riots?  Such duplicity is not merely isolated to the USA. We witness similar events in the UK as BLM rioters who toppled and defaced statues did not face any prosecution but were allowed to protest. However, those protesting against the government’s covid-19 lockdown measures were vilified and attacked by the police.

Yet, while there are various thoughts on why governments show partiality, we can see the state of a society in how it honours people and movements. Who would have thought that the Black Lives Matter movement that has rioted in America would be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?[9] How can a movement that is linked to ninety-one percent of riots in a three month period in the USA[10] be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize? Now, I am not against highlighting social and racial inequalities – we must, especially as Christians. The Gospel of Jesus is one that highlights humanities’ enslavement to sin and their subsequent emancipation through His death and resurrection. God’s gift of freedom from sin is freely given to all who humbly come to God, repent of their sins, and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. But to God, ALL LIVES MATTER; that is why He died for all of humanity! The sad reality is the church that professes to represent God fails to observe His precepts in an attempt to be culturally relevant and appease people. This is summed up in a recent statement by the new archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell:

The church should welcome ‘absolutely everyone, regardless of their sexuality,’ adding ‘there is absolutely no place for homophobia in the Church’.[11]

While I agree the church must welcome everyone and should not show hatred or vilify people or groups, it MUST remain steadfast to the word of God and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it calls people to repent from sin – even if that offends. However, the archbishop was not making reference to this, but rather to his liberal theology that permits sin in the name of love.

Mr Cottrell believes in a ‘radical new Christian inclusion’ that promotes caution when taking a Biblical view on same-sex relationships, [12] a position that seeks to re-examine Biblical text in light of what we know now, rather than within the past, stating that “there was no reason why thanksgiving prayers or a communion service could not be offered for civil partnerships.”[13]

The New Archbishop of York epitomises the pervasive liberal and social gospel that has permeated into the Church of England. Rather than edifying Biblical principles, the social gospel stance stands in total opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Therefore, the social gospel is a false gospel, as it fails to highlight what sin is and thus removes the need for a saviour to save us from our sin. The reality is that sin is defined by God and not man or one’s culture! The social gospel is inept in eliciting true repentance and, therefore, cannot bring a believer to maturity of faith.

Could the reason why the church of England is facing a decline in numbers be a consequence of the social gospel it proclaims? Jesus prophesied that before His return, there would be a falling away from the truth, lawlessness would increase, and the love of many would wax cold.[14] If we are living in the days before the return of Messiah, then we will also witness God’s hand of judgment upon the earth. A judgment that will commence in the House of God, as the church witnesses the cleansing arm of the LORD.[15] Therefore, it is time to repent and turn from sin, as defined by God and not man.

The days we are living in will only worsen, but the good news is that God has warned us so that we can prepare. We do not need to fear what is transpiring globally, nor do we need to be alarmed. Instead, let us stand firm and hold fast to the truth of God’s Word, as we arise and shine in the pervasive darkness of this world. Let us seek the LORD as we humbly walk along the path of righteousness Messiah has shown us and along which He leads us.

The world needs a saviour. Therefore, let us proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in love and with boldness as we share the good news of God with a dying and sick world.

Let us not be conformed to the things of this world, but rather let us be conformed into the image of our Messiah as we humble ourselves before God. The world says there are multiple gods and multiple truths because truth is relative, but this is not true. There is only ONE God, and His Word is True. It is not relative or subjective to how we feel, but it is the same yesterday, today, and forever; it does not change but requires us to change to take on the culture of God. Therefore, let us resist the insidious ideology that seeks to reinterpret scripture in light of our culture to make it acceptable to people.

We stand at the cusp of a great awakening, one that will witness cosmic events as the battle for humanities’ souls will be visible on the earth. We will soon see the rise of the antichrist as God gives humanity over to its evil desires. An act that will usher upon the earth judgment as God removes His hand of protection. The events we are witnessing are the birth pains; worse is coming. The question is, whose side are you on? What do you believe in, the god of this age or the one true God?

I urge you to submit to God and draw near to Him while you have time and make ready for a dark winter.

May God bless and keep you.

Shalom


[1] Lucy White, (11th January 2021). ‘Record 250,000 small businesses could go bust in the next 12 months as firms struggle amid coronavirus crisis, warn industry bosses.’ The Daily Mail, online, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9133305/Coronavirus-UK-Record-250-000-small-businesses-bust-12-months.html

[2] Rob Merrick, (28th January 2021). ‘Around 900,000 small firms at risk in ‘cruel spring of bankruptcy’ if Covid help stopped, Rishi Sunak warned.’ The Independent, online, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/small-firms-bankruptcy-covid-rishi-sunak-b1792954.html

[3] William Telford, (30th December 2020). ‘Plymouth in danger of seeing 500 firms go belly up due to Covid lockdown.’ Business Live, online, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.business-live.co.uk/enterprise/plymouth-danger-seeing-500-firms-19469169

[4] Mark Duell, (1st February 2021). ‘Furious Topshop staff find out they’ve lost their jobs on Twitter after Asos buys High Street brands ‘on the cheap’ for £330m with bosses hinting they will ONLY save flagship Oxford Street store – as Sir Philip Green’s family is ‘set for £50m’ from sale.’ The Daily Mail, online, accessed 1st February 2021, available from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9209245/Asos-confirms-takeover-Topshop-Miss-Selfridge-265million.html

[5] Mark Sweney, (25th January 2021). ‘Debenhams to close all stores with 12,000 jobs at risk as Boohoo buys brand.’ The Guardian, online, accessed 26th January 2021, available from https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jan/25/debenhams-close-stores-job-losses-boohoo-shops-covid-19

[6] Isaiah 5:2

[7] Matthew 24

[8] Sky News, (24th July 2020). ‘Black Lives Matter: Federal agents confront protesters in Portland.’ YouTube, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYx2m13MqJs

[9] Harriet Alexander, (30th January 2021). ‘BLM is submitted for a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting against racial injustice…. but the summer of violence and riots carried out in its name are glossed over in the nomination.’ Daily Mail, online, accessed 30th January 2021, available from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9203889/Black-Lives-Matter-movement-nominated-Nobel-Peace-Prize.html

[10] WION, (19th September 2020). ‘New study shows BLM movement is linked to 91% riots over 3 months | Black Lives Matter.’ YouTube, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua9TtOyuXnc

[11] Raven Saunt, (31st January 2021). ‘Church of England warns it may cut number of paid clergy by up to 20% amid fears a FIFTH of worshippers may never return after pandemic.’ Daily Mail, online, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9206873/Church-England-warns-cut-number-paid-clergy-20.html

[12] The Christian Institute, (18th December 2019). ‘New Archbishop of York: ‘Bible has to fit the current culture’. Online, accessed 31st January 2021, available from https://www.christian.org.uk/news/new-archbishop-of-york-bible-has-to-fit-the-current-culture/

[13] Ibid.

[14] Matthew 24:12

[15] 1 Peter 4:17

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