Resources for YouWe aim to build up many Christians and churches, not just people at City Temple. We make our resources available to anyone so that people might live fully as God intended
Living in Babylon
The nations of the United Kingdom were once known as “Christian” nations. Society valued churches and ministers as those who made a positive contribution to the world. Schools and institutions were expected to uphold “Christian” values, even if they were not explicitly Christian institutions. Christians and churches held a favoured position in the culture, exercising much positive influence. It was almost as if we were living in a new “Israel”. We even had popular hymns, like William Blake’s “Jerusalem”, that resolved to build “Jerusalem” in England’s green and pleasant land. Living in this new “Israel” was our reality for several hundred years.
But recently a shift has occurred.
As another great English-language poet, Bob Dylan, has stated, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”. Seemingly without warning, and without leaving our seats, the world we live in became radically different. As Dorothy says, “I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”. A tornado has ripped through our reality and settled us somewhere completely different, yet oddly familiar. This social tornado has lifted us from our comfortable “Israel” and landed us in “Babylon”. And we have no yellow brick road to follow that will lead us back to Israel.
In the Bible, “Babylon” plays a major role in the future of humanity (see Revelation 18, for example). Babylon is a place of extreme wealth and luxury, a place of commerce and trade, a place of pleasure and deception, a place of slavery and violence – and a place of hosility toward God and God’s people. Babylon embodies a world system that sets itself up in opposition to God and God’s ways, a system that seems wealthy and prosperous but is spiritually dead and deadening. Babylon seems good for people, but it will destroy people for its own ends.
We live in Babylon, not Israel.
Many Christians and churches deny this new reality, behaving as if they still lived in Israel. They don’t. Others protest the change, thinking their protests will actually make a difference. They won’t. It may be that Christians have even contributed to this change of scenery, empowering the tornado, by their failure to live faithfully for Jesus and make disciples of all nations, especially those living next door. The growing number of scandals involving “Christians” and money, sex, or power have eroded confidence in Christian leaders and churches. The failure of Christians to embody genuine biblical values and attitudes in their interactions with non-Christians have also undermined our standing in society. Perhaps one of our greatest needs as Christians is repentance.
I have called this series “Living in Babylon” because we will look at how to live fruitfully and faithfully for Jesus in our new reality. Despite the challenges, I remain tremendously optimistic for what God will do through his people, his church, even as they live in Babylon. God wants his people to thrive and prosper. God wants his people to continue doing good. God has promised that his people will endure and his Kingdom will come.
We are joining together with the Chelsea Community Church, Edith Grove, SW10 0LB during the redevelopment of our building. Everyone is welcome. See more information on our “Contact Us” page.
Looking for the City to Come
4 June 2023
Watch or Listen
Some Popular Resources
The Three D’s of Disruption – From the Series “The Church as God’s Agent of Disruption”. 28 June 2020
Philadelphia – An extended prophetic word for City Temple based on Jesus’ letter to the church at Philadelphia in Revelation 3. 16 January 2022
We love new churches. God is reaching out to London by starting new churches.
Preparing for Times of Crisis in Times of Peace – A testimony and talk by Karen Woods discussing how she endured through her husband’s serious illness and hospitalisation. The talk begins at the 42 minute mark.
Turmoil Ahead – A prophetic sermon given just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, explaining the turmoil that the world would experience in the coming year.
Proclaim the Lord’s Favour. A sermon about the favour of God, especially God’s favour upon City Temple in this season.
Resources for Living
Freedom in Christ Course
A course to help people experience and maintain their freedom in Christ. The battle for our minds, choosing to forgive and breaking strongholds are just a few topics.
Freed to Lead
A course to help Christians lead more effectively in every area of life, including the workplace. Based on the book, Freed to Lead, written by Rod
CAP Money Course
A course to help people develop and maintain a budget while managing their money more effectively. From the ministry Christians against Poverty.
Articles, Stories & Blogs
I’ve really never liked church all that much…
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City Temple is an international church in the heart of London, bringing together people from many different nations in unity with each other and with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Come just as you are and meet us!
City Temple URC
Company Number: 08357702
Charity Number: 1151257
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Some pictures – usually the best ones – provided courtesy Niki Gorick. © Niki Gorick Photography Ltd. 2018, www.nikigorick.com