In September of 2001, I was an engineer at the old Westinghouse building in Westminster, near I-25.

My job was good. Many mornings I would enjoy eating breakfast at work. It was novel. The food was good. It was also a time to talk with coworkers about issues other than work.

That morning, I watched the news out of the corner of my eye, while focusing on my meal. I enjoyed the omelet as the cheese and egg blended in my mouth. Then the omelet turned to ashes.

I watched with horror as the impossible happened. Like the bullet of the assassin, the first plane drilled into the tower. What a tragedy! Was the equipment malfunctioning? My heart went out to the lost lives.

About fifteen minutes later, another plane was thrown at the second tower. Stupefied, I stared at the screen. The people in the cafeteria were transfixed upon the television. Gasps of unbelief punctuated the silence of the room. This could not be a coincidence. There was no malfunction.

For the next forty minutes, we numbly attempted to work. But like metal attracted to magnets, our minds gravitated toward the tragedy. We walked back to the cafeteria. Then the first tower collapsed.

As that tower collapsed, my mind collapsed with unbelief and sorrow. How could this be happening?

That question still echoes today: how could this have happened? Why had this happened? Different people offer different reasons. Some atheists point to it as evidence of the dangers of religion. Other people blame the sluggishness of the military.

Christians also gave different answers. Some were just as baffled. Some even blamed homosexuality. Few followed the understanding of our American forefathers: that all things are in God’s hands. At the opening of the American Revolution, Congress recommended a day of prayer and fasting:

“In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered…it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger…by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness…”

Just as our forefathers of 1776 believed, hopefully Christians today will take the words of Christ seriously while mourning for the dead and comforting the living:

“Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:4, 5)


3 thoughts on “9/11: reflections of a Christian patriot

  1. Given the Barna data you posted on your Twitter feed, I wonder if the church in the USA is going to survive, much less the country. I always wondered if I was imagining the conservative, confessional Protestant churches losing all their children. I don’t I am and I think the Barna data proves it. It also explains the way I feel as a Gen Xer: the Boomers had it pretty good with both the Christian consensus AND 5x more Christians in their churches. Gen Xers see the decline in their generation and the cliff in the next one.

    On another topic, I’m hearing many Christian thought leaders shout “Romans 13” at Christians who’ve had enough of the shutdowns. Others have compared complying with the shutdowns to complying with building codes and sex offender legislation. I think the latter analogy holds only so far. What if the government made building fire codes and sex offender legislation so onerous that it made regulatory compliance impossible for churches? Close them down? Romans 13?

    Here’s another question: what happens to Christian young men who might get drafted into increasingly unjust and pointless wars? Romans 13? YOu and I both served and see the decline in our military and know we’re headed for a major military defeat at some point. Do we want our sons shot, blown-up, drowned in some atheistic military adventure? Romans 13?

    I thought Romans 13 applied to obeying the magistrate as far as the scope of his office which is basically to keep public order, reward civic obedience, and punish wrongdoing, not comply with a tyrant’s every whim.

    What’s a Christian patriot to do in these times but pray?

  2. Which kinda tells you where this will go. There will be sanctioned churches – much as there are in China today – and there will be non-sanctioned churches, much as there are in China today. The non-sanctioned will be viewed as either seditious (under hard totalitarianism), or dangerous to the public good (under soft totalitarianism). And the sanctioned churches? Don’t expect too much support from there, that’s all I’m going to say

    I’ve often thought that BigEva and maybe even BigReva will be our persecutors. Imagine what ERLC could do if given the power.

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