9/11 Anniversary

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Discipleship, Evangelism, Freedom, Pastoral Ministry

Of the hundreds and thousands images from September 11, 2001, one that stands out in my mind. It’s a photograph of a simple handmade sign hanging from a building near the World Trade Center. The sign contained a solemn promise: “We will not forget.”

Certainly, we won’t. We can’t. On September 11, 2001, our lives changed; our futures changed; the world changed. Not only that, we changed. Because of the events of 9/11, many of us began to see the world and our lives differently.

The terrorist attacks delivered an unfathomable religious jolt. On the Sunday following the attacks, people packed churches around the country to overflowing. Some will remember that although I had recently been released from a hospital stay, I returned to preach that Sunday to participate with our church family and preach a word from the Lord to our congregation. In the aftermath of the attacks, many people took the opportunity to rethink what they were doing, where they were going, and how they were getting there.

However a decade later, the soulful response seems fleeting. Statistically, the rush to the pews was a mere blip in a long-standing trend away from traditional religious practices. While some have experienced an “internal resetting” of their internal compass, most have returned to normal living. Only the publicity of the tenth anniversary has once again drawn our attention to this horrific day in our history.

Here’s the trouble: “normal” hardly look biblical any more. Increasingly, more people are losing their way. In fact, it’s more like what Paul wrote in the first chapter of Romans, they have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:25). In doing so, people live with a worldview that hardly roots in the Bible. Yet that worldview is filled with spirituality.

We live in a culture of spirituality. In a recent USA Today poll, 70% of American adults believe that many religions can lead to God. And in the culture of tolerance that has been percolating for decades, many Christians caved to the pressure of thinking that they cannot stand. One cannot read the epistles of Paul or the words of John in his gospel, or in his epistles, or in Revelation and conclude that the “normal Christian life” includes any shade of tolerating anything other than the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.

When I think back on the events of September 11, 2001, I am forced to remember that we have an enemy. He goes by many names including Satan, Lucifer, Deceiver, Slanderer, and many more. Satan wants nothing more than to frighten us and to intimidate us and defeat us. But we have a Savior, who is none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth., and He overcame sin and death so that we might have eternal life.

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