Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’m taking a break today from looking at Inerrancy and the Geisler/Licona debate to remember what happened a decade ago. Certainly for many in my age group, it is the great event of our lives politically that we remember, along the lines of what the assassination of JFK was for people a generation ago.
I don’t know what you all did for church, but my pastor did a sermon where he utilized both the Koran and the Bible to make a contrast of the two. (None of that Chrislam stuff for us.) We also had a presentation on Islam and what Muslims believe. All churches wanting to speak to the events of that day should be aware of the beliefs of Muslims.
As I look back on that day a decade ago after all, I remember that my Bible College I was attending had chapel from 9-10 in the morning. Before the chapel started, someone came and notified us that one of the twin towers had been hit by a plane. I wouldn’t say we thought nothing of it, but I do not think an attack was in our minds. It was a terrible tragedy and what pilot was so horrible a pilot that he flew a plane into a building? Other older people might have thought about the time that a plane flew into the Empire State Building.
It was only after the sermon was over that we learned that the second tower had been hit by a plane.
No one was thinking accident then.
We gathered in the lobby watching the flames rising on the buildings wandering what would happen. Then one building fell. Shortly after, the other building fell. In the midst of this at one point, we all prayed. I remember the rest of the day walking around campus and realizing no planes were in the air. I also remember contacting friends on the net who lived in the area and making sure they were okay.
They were, but some people weren’t.
I think of the story my pastor told about a young Christian who was leaving and he recalled at one point being face-to-face with a fireman who was racing up the building, and no doubt racing to certain death.
He didn’t make it out okay.
Did he have a family? Did he get to tell his wife and children good-bye? Did he leave thinking that he would see them again? Did he leave with them thinking they would see him that night? What plans did this person have for the future that were forever destroyed due to the evil in the hearts of the terrorists?
Now America did flock to the churches, but as I look back, did we give them what they needed? Or, did we give them pop feel good psychology with a little bit of Christianity thrown in? Did we give them reasons for the hope that we have within us? Did we explain to them the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and how we know it happened? (And at a time when death was so vividly in our minds, would that not have been excellent?) Did we educate them on Islam?
I remember my dismay when within a few years, some people had already decided that what we needed was to be more tolerant and understanding.
I suppose in a sense that’s true.
I have no problem with being tolerant of the rights of Muslims to believe as they see fit, and I think we should understand why they do, but I do not think for a moment that we should tolerate beliefs that are wrong. We can love the people who hold them, but to the degree that a belief is distant from the truth, we should not love it. What we need to be doing is what was done at my church this morning, seeking to understand Islam and how to evangelize to Muslims, not acting like we are all accepting and ready to be best friends and that one belief is just as good as another.
One belief system flew the planes into buildings killing thousands.
One belief system has flown planes to other countries delivering medicine, food, and other such goods providing for thousands.
The teachings of Muhammad and the teachings of Christ are not the same. Calling them the same does not change it. I have heard that Abraham Lincoln once asked “How many legs does a dog have if you count the tail as a leg?” Answer? 4. Counting the tail as a leg does not make it a leg.
Perhaps if we had actually been educating people more, things would have been different. Of course, I am not against the time that was spent in emotional healing. That needs to be done and sometimes, that needs to be done before one is ready to learn, but has the church been reduced to nothing more than a quick stop place one goes to for emotional healing? Have we reached the point where it is no longer seen as a bastion of learning?
I fear the answer to both is yes.
Yet a decade later, people are still asking questions and let us be ready to answer them. However, let us not just do that. Let us be out there raising the questions. We have no excuse to sit around and wait for the people to come to us asking the hard questions. We need to go to the people asking them the hard questions as well.
9-11 should have taught us that we are not invincible. A lot of people seem to think that America is unstoppable. We’re not. To my fellow Christians, don’t make the mistake of thinking America can’t fall because it is too important to the plans of God. I’m certain several Jews around 70 A.D. thought the same thing about Jerusalem. I’m sure after Constantine some thought the same about the Roman Empire.
The gospel has outlived all nations and peoples thus far and it does not depend on any of them for its survival. It is strong in several other countries and if America falls, the gospel will not fall with it, but you can be sure that America will fall ultimately if it does not have the gospel. The gospel does not need America, but America needs the gospel.
If you think your country is worth fighting for, then by all means stand up for it, but more importantly, if you think your faith is worth fighting for, then stand up for that as well.
We live in a day and age where we have the greatest means at our disposal to do much for the Kingdom. Let us do so. What shall we say to our God on the day of judgment when we have not been faithful with all that he has given us. Will we succeed in all we do? Who knows. He has not called us to be successful however. He has called us to be faithful. Let us be so.