9/11: A Time for Reflection

I’m listening to Wayne Monbleau’s series on the new covenant, and he makes a point that he’s made before: Christians really blew it on 9/11. (Monbleau’s web site is http://www.lovinggrace.org/).

According to Wayne, 9/11 presented Christians with an opportunity to reach out to people with love and the Gospel. Instead, they responded with judgment. I’m sure Wayne had Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in mind, since they said God was punishing America for taking religion out of schools, abortion, and homosexuality.

I agree that love should be the paramount concern of Christians. Maybe it was unfortunate that Falwell got interpreted as the Christian voice on 9/11. But I think that 9/11 should make us reflect on serious issues. Sometimes, it takes a tragedy for us to do that.

Why didn’t God protect us on 9/11? We took our safety for granted. We saw ourselves as invincible. That’s why 9/11 came as a shock to so many Americans. We were complacent, and, when we’re complacent, we aren’t drawing closer to God. But people recognized their need for God after September 11. Was God confronting us to think more about him? Did he want us to take a good hard look at our national sins, rather than maintaining our “go with the flow,” “do your own thing” sort of attitude?

Why did the terrorists attack us? I didn’t really accept much of the American spin after the event. Bush called them “cowards.” Would a coward kill himself by flying into a building? He also said they attacked us because they hate our way of life. That makes a little more sense. I’ve heard that Islamic fundamentalists don’t care much for Western secularism.

Some say that the terrorists did what they did because the West has hurt the Middle East with its continual interference. According to this line of reasoning, they were impoverished, and they didn’t have much power, so they did what they could to strike at their enemies. I don’t think that excuses what they did, for killing innocent people is wrong, no matter who does it. And we should also remember that Al-Qaeda may have its own ambitions for power, since it does seek to create an Islamo-fascist caliphate. But we should ask ourselves if we’ve done anything that’s made us part of the problem rather than the solution.

It’s like the 1930’s. Hitler was evil. There should be no doubt about that. But we didn’t help matters when we kicked Germany while it was down–with the Versailles peace treaty. And we may have been goading the Japanese when we placed an economic embargo on them. Did these countries have their sinful ambitions? I’m sure Germany did. But that doesn’t mean we should make matters worse.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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4 Responses to 9/11: A Time for Reflection

  1. Bryan L says:

    You know I think Christians overestimate how much non-Christians actually pay attention to them. Even people like Pat Robertson and the other well known public figures who are sometimes controversial don’t get all that much attention either.

    We often hear about how the world’s eyes are on the church and they’re wondering what it’s going to do about this or that or what it’s gonna say but overall I don’t think the world really cares or that they really think the church is one voice and one body nor that particular figures represent the church (except maybe the Pope but then many people also think Catholicism and Christianity are actually different religions).

    BTW I actually started going back to church and really gave my life to God the week of 9/11 but it had nothing to do with what happened with the terrorism and all that stuff but rather other events going on in my life at the time.

    Bryan L


  2. James Pate says:

    What, Bryan! Are you saying a lot of Christians are…NARCISSISTIC? Say it ain’t so!

    I think that we need to make a good impression on the world (not that Jesus said that would always work). But I get tired of Christians on my Christian dating site who say regarding all of their arguments and debates, “What would an unbeliever think if he came here and saw us acting this way?” I doubt he’d be that surprised. When people are attacked, they attack back. It’s the way people are. But that’s why we need to try especially hard to do the opposite (not that I do all the time).


  3. Bryan L says:

    LOL. Yes we are pretty narcissistic.

    “I doubt he’d be that surprised. When people are attacked, they attack back. It’s the way people are.”

    That’s very true. I think Christians often think non-Christians expect them to be nonhuman. Sure maybe a bit different but not aliens.

    That reminds me one time shortly after I got saved I was somewhere with my brother and he smacked me in the face and laughed and said “Hah hah you’re a Christian so you can’t hit me back!” So I turned the other cheek thinking I’d be clever and he smacked me on that one too. That had to be one of the most educational experiences as a Christian! : )

    “But that’s why we need to try especially hard to do the opposite (not that I do all the time).”

    I think you do a really good job of being respectful and calm when you disagree and you often try to see things from different sides and I appreciate that and I’m sure others notice even if you’re not always perfect about it (none of us are).

    Bryan L


  4. James Pate says:

    Yeah, some people are easier than others to be diplomatic to, I know that’s the case.


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