According to Wikipedia: “Times Square Church is a non-denominational church located at 237 West 51st Street in the Theater District of Manhattan, New York City. A large number of people representing over one hundred nationalities gather to worship together every week. Volunteers from the congregation participate in over forty ministries, ranging from feeding the homeless in New York City to staffing an orphanage in South Africa. A major emphasis at Times Square Church is giving aid to the disadvantaged”.
I have been aware of Times Square Church for some time and of its founding pastor, David Wilkerson, author of “The Cross and the Switchblade” ever since I was a teenage convert to Christianity. I have been rather drawn to this church, although I have had no dealings with it, because it has been able to reconcile two important aspects of Christianity that I see too little evidence of co-existing. Firstly, it is orthodox in its beliefs and practices and does little to gloss over what it sees as its main task of proclaiming the old fashioned gospel message, without gimmicks. Secondly, it has a heart for the poor and disadvantaged, including an area that is of special personal interest – the homeless, and serve them fervently.
As for its current pastor, Carter Conlon, I have never heard of him; that is until a week ago when a friend gave me a copy of his book “Unshakable – Trusting God when all else fails”, thinking I might benefit from reading it, which I have just done. I have to confess it wasn’t quite what I had expected. Having re-discovered recently a prophecy that David Wilkerson had delivered back in 1973, concerning traumatic times that were ahead of us, I expected it would be about the end times and relate to the culture wars that with the rise of Donald Trump have in recent days become fiercer and more evident. Instead it was full of straight forward politically neutral Bible teaching, the sort I have heard from a number of faithful, ordinary preachers over many years and even have given preached on myself. There was a touch of the divine in what he wrote with a warning that we will likely suffer losses and need to be prepared. It was in essence about keeping going, accepting the trials that will surely come and being faithful to our calling, especially when it comes to serving those who are in need, for the opportunities to serve and make a difference are many and we are beholden to serve the needy and to put our trust in God, who is proven to be entirely trustworthy, come what may. I believe this is a message for our times we do well to heed.
The title “Unshakable” is intriguing. After reading the book it wasn’t entirely obvious why that title was chosen. But as I considered the world around me and events of recent years, it seems to me the world is being shaken, and will be even more so in the days to come. If there is one lesson, it is to hang in there, notwithstanding trials and tribulations, for the gospel represents that which is unshakable.