It will forever be known as 9/11. No matter how many years pass, the barely audible words of Colonel Kurtz at the end of Apocalypse Now remain fitting commentary for the events of September 11, 2001: “The horror…the horror…”
War was declared on America when international terrorism visited us with a vengeance. A pale horse emerged from the outside edge of our consciousness to gallop down Main Street. As the months passed, we processed the devastation, overwhelmed by its unprecedented magnitude. Time marches on, but the ghastly images remain a permanent stain on our collective memory.
The Nightmare Reality
For awhile, as those abhorrent events unfolded on that terrible day, we watched and waited for Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone to parachute into the action, but alas, this was not the latest Hollywood blockbuster; this appalling cataclysm was real.
These were cunning and despicable attacks on freedom-loving people everywhere. When those hijackers carried out their barbaric plan, we crossed a threshold into a shadowy place where our sense of security was forever changed. Or was it?
When it happened everyone said that 9/11 changed life. Has it really? Sure we have to jump through some extra hoops to get on an airplane and there are a few restrictions that are inconvenient, but we continue to travel pretty much at will.
Have we maintained our singular perspective on terror or did that flush of unity we experienced in the days following the attacks get chewed up and spit out by partisan politics? Have we determined who the enemy actually is or are we too busy jockeying for sound-bites and political posturing?
Rules Of Engagement
The Federal government’s prime directive is to provide for the safety and common defense of these United States. To do so requires extraordinary vigilance because no boundaries will be respected by militant terrorists. A nebulous network operates with precision for the sole purpose of destruction; a lethal virus has metastasized within Islam that will not be in remission until freedom is dead; anyone who does not bow a knee to Allah is to be cleansed by conversion or death. History proves time and time again that terrorists do not respond to the niceties of civilization. Their devious rules of engagement make absolutely no distinction between military or civilian personnel.
Current events keep that reality in the spotlight, yet in the present administration the idea of dialog is being loudly voiced. Can we have a meaningful exchange of proposals with an ideology that has demonic dimensions; an ideology that twists the human mind to the point that suicide bombs are more than simply acceptable. In the worldview of radical Islam, homicidal acts are respectable; honorable, even.
One cannot explain the precarious world we live in without using the word evil. Our enemy is evil itself; pure, undiluted evil: Evil with a capital E. Evil was laughing with delight when those planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A Christian Response
The Church has a far different responsibility than the government. Our weapons of choice are spiritual not military. It is the government’s mandate to wield the sword against evildoers, not the Church’s. Here’s where faith truly meets reality because we can never forget, but we must always forgive. Paul of Tarsus presented us with an extreme challenge: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
We are to do battle on a whole other level using tactics that are mysterious, mystical and more often than not counterintuitive. God’s Word is clear: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Christ-followers are called to be peacemakers, even in the confrontation with Evil. We must be active in our efforts for peace. Prayer is an instrument of warfare against Evil; we begin to engage in peacemaking when we pray for peace and for those who seek our extinction.
In these days of remembering the anniversary of the horror, with all the traditional symbols of mourning in full view, the Church must pray for our political leaders, praying for supernatural wisdom, discernment and humility to grace their lives.
“So say we all.”
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
- Watching The River Flow
In a largely forgotten song, Bob Dylan growled: "But right now I'll just sit here so contentedly and watch the river flow." For me, there is great enjoyment, contentment even, in watching the river of life flow...
- What's Up With Politics?
Is it just me or has the transparency pitched by Candidate Obama been reduced to a nice-sounding concept? Or worse, has it always been merely strategic words used to soothe an uninformed electorate?
- Everybody Hurts
In the song Everybody Hurts by R.E.M., we are reminded of the fragile nature of the human experience. Michael Stipes plaintive vocals turns some stark lyrics into a haunting plea for compassion and understanding...
- Truth For Every Season
The lyrics of September Song are enchanting: "Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December...But the days grow short when you reach September...When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame..."
More by this Author
God has a mark for each of us to hit. This essay explores that from the context of Scripture. It offers much encouragement to be courageous and proceed forward in the process of discipleship.
Helen Keller overcame tremendous disabilities to live a life that was a daring adventure. This essay is an inspirational look at her life, and presents lessons we can learn and apply.
We often miss seeing the face of evil because it is ordinary and common. This essay illustrates that truth by tearing a headline out of the news.