Archive for the ‘9/11 Anniversary’ Category

Was 9/11 Judgment From God For America’s Sins? Part 2

September 26, 2011

Title: Was 9/11 Judgment From God for America’s Sins? Part 2

Text: Isaiah 5:5-6, 24-25, 40:1-2, John 5:13-14, 8:1-3

Time: September 19th, 2011

 

Last time, if you remember, I talked about 9/11 being a judgment of God upon sinful America. I also spoke about how most Americans will not accept that analysis of 9/11 because they will refuse to admit or confess to their sins, and they will also refuse to recognize that God judges sin in this way. But as I also pointed out, the Bible is full of just such examples of God judging and punishing the sins of his people. So in speaking of America under God’s judgment for sin, and by seeing that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were part of God’s judgment upon the nation for it’s sins, I realize that I’m going against the grain of popular American thinking. How dare I or anyone – it started with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson a few days after September 11th, 2001 – to speak of America in such a way? How dare anyone speak of God in such a way either? Well, first off, I’d like to say that nobody is saying the innocent victims of 9/11 – the people in the World Trade Centers who died, or the first responders who tried to save them and died, or the people who died in the Pentagon or in Flight 93 that crashed – nobody is blaming them, or saying that their sins brought upon the 9/11 attacks. Whenever one discusses God’s judgment upon America or America’s sins, no doubt someone will raise the objection, “Those innocent victims cannot be blamed for the tragedy of 9/11. To blame them is unconscionable. You should be ashamed of yourself for even suggesting so.” I want to say in the strongest terms, I’m not blaming any of the innocent victims who died for the attacks or saying that their sins brought the judgment of God upon them or the nation. I’m saying the corporate sins of this nation, it’s abortions, it’s embracing of the gay lifestyle and gay marriage, it’s turning away from God as a society and nation – these are the things that bring God’s wrath down upon a people. Just as one wouldn’t want to blame any individual or individuals in the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, so too, one wouldn’t want to blame any individual or individuals alone for any judgment that comes upon our nation. But having said all that, the Bible clearly outlines that nations are judged by God for their sins, and so, when we look at the nation of the United States, we must say sin brought about and brings about God’s wrath upon a people. A nation is the combined beliefs and activities of its people. If America is judged by God it will be because of what it has done together. Is there any question that America as a nation has moved steadily away from the will of God as outlined in the Bible? Are there no consequences for a people moving away from the will of God? Yes, there are consequences, and I’m saying that 9/11 is an example of God bringing negative consequences upon our nation for its sins – sins it still has yet to acknowledge as a nation. But in case someone is still not sure about this way of thinking, let me explain further. (more…)

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Was 9/11 Judgment From God For America’s Sins?, Part 1

September 26, 2011

Title: Was 9/11 Judgment From God for America’s Sins?

Text: Habakkuk 1:5-6, 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Isaiah 1:4-7

Time: September 18th, 2011

 

Last week, on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I spoke on the reality of evil. The attacks were a public demonstration of the reality of evil, even if a majority of Americans today don’t believe in absolute moral standards anymore. There’s something about the events of 9/11 that convince even the most radical moral relativists among us of the reality of evil. Today, I’d like to go in a different direction in respect to the 9/11 terrorist attacks of ten years ago – I’d like to ask the question, “Was 9/11 judgment from God for America’s sins?” Now this isn’t the first time this question has been raised. If you remember, shortly after the attacks, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson and televangelist Jerry Falwell were discussing the events of 9/11 on the 700 Club television show. Here’s what they said:

THE TRANSCRIPT
Here are their comments in context:
Pat Robertson began the interview asking Falwell what his response has been to the terrorist attacks.  Falwell said there had been a massive prayer gathering of members of his congregation along with students from Liberty University.  He told the TV audience that they had humbled themselves before God, prayed for President Bush and his advisers and for the victims of the attacks.
Falwell then likened the attacks to Pearl Harbor and that at that time, Hitler wanted to destroy the Jews and conquer the world.  Now, “Islamic fundamentalists, radical terrorists, Middle-Eastern monsters” want to destroy Israel and conquer the world.
The two men then talked about religious revival and whether the events of September 11 might spark spiritual renewal in America.
Then Falwell said, “What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact, God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.”
Robertson replied,  “Well, Jerry, that’s my feeling. I think we’ve just seen the antechamber to terror, we haven’t begun to see what they can do to the major population.”
Falwell said, “The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. And I know I’ll hear from them for this, but throwing God…successfully with the help of the federal court system…throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad…I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America…I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen.”
Robertson said, “I totally concur, and the problem is we’ve adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government, and so we’re responsible as a free society for what the top people do, and the top people, of course, is the court system.”
Falwell added, “Pat, did you notice yesterday that the ACLU and all the Christ-haters, the People for the American Way, NOW, etc., were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress, as they went out on the steps and called out to God in prayer and sang ‘God bless America’ and said, let the ACLU be hanged. In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time, calling on God.”

 

Now if you remember, this caused quite an uproar and both the men were eventually forced to backtrack a little on what they said. But my question is, “Is there any truth to the notion that God could be bringing judgment upon America through the events of 9/11 for her sins?” It certainly isn’t a pleasant idea, but after ten years I think it’s time to go back and really answer the question honestly. I understand at the time, ten years ago,  right immediately after the terrorist attacks, it might have been inappropriate to even bring up the subject of God’s wrath and judgment for sin, but after ten years I think it’s important to go back and re-examine the whole question. Was God trying to get our attention? Obviously God permitted or allowed this terrorist attack to occur – he could have prevented it — but was it for a purpose? Was it in any way as a result of our national sins? Is it even legitimate to talk this way or even raise the question? Ten years ago, it’s obvious from the reaction to Robertson’s and Falwell’s remarks, that Americans thought their remarks were inappropriate.  But what about now? Is it ok now, after ten years, to talk and think about such things? Well, whether it’s proper or not in the eyes of most Americans, I’m going to tackle the subject today, and I’m going to make three claims: first, according to the Bible, God judges nations for their sins and sometimes uses other nations as instruments of his wrath; second, there is cause for God to bring judgment upon America for her sins; third, Americans need to repent of their sins and turn back to God in order to avoid future judgment. (more…)

The Reality of Evil: 9/11 Tenth Anniversary

September 22, 2011

Title: The Reality of Evil: 9/11 Tenth Anniversary

Text: Matthew 6:9-13, 1 John 5:19, John 3:19-20, 10:10, 13:27, 17:15, Acts 1:18, Revelation 12:12

Time: September 11th, 2011

 

Today marks the tenth anniversary since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. It’s a time of remembrance and reflection on those events – and I’m sure most of you will think about what happened and remember by watching television documentaries that relive the events. Our nation has been on high alert since the attacks. We’ve also fought wars as a result, in order to discourage future terrorists from thinking they can succeed without consequences. But one of the positive results of our struggle against terrorism in the last ten years has been the growing understanding and acceptance by more and more people of the reality of evil. Of course, the Bible describes evil from cover to cover, but our modern world has largely forgotten or rejected the biblical teaching about evil. Today, the prevailing view is that there really isn’t anything classified as real or absolute evil, because after all, there are no moral absolutes – in other words, there are no standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone at all times given by divine command through, for example, the Bible. The modern world teaches that all religions are the same, basically, as well as all religious, spiritual and moral values. The world teaches that values are simply what humans value, what are useful to believe or not, whatever is helpful or not, in maintaining society. That’s why our modern, secular government in Washington, D.C. is careful not to mandate any Christian or biblical values in, say, public schools, or in public policy. In modern thinking, values are simply what humans value in their time, in their situations. But these can change from culture to culture. This modern attitude is called moral relativism, and it recognizes no absolute standards of right and wrong. That’s why it’s hard for modern, secular people to admit to or recognize real evil. But when the planes hit on 9/11, modern, secular thinking people were suddenly confronted with a crisis in their thinking. “Do we admit and recognize that this ugly act of raw terrorism is absolute and real evil, or do we go on believing in moral relativism? Do we admit that real absolute evil exists or do we go on believing that evil is only what some people think is wrong or bad given their context and cultural situation?” Believe it or not, there are still some people who try to hold on to moral relativism, the view that no action is really absolutely right or wrong, but it just depends on the situation. For example, certain teachers’ unions were instructing teachers in public schools to not make value judgments as to the rightness or wrongness of the terrorists actions on 9/11, because after all, over in some Arab nations, the attackers are considered heroes, and people consider their actions a great victory of good (the attacks) over evil (the bad Americans). Remember, many Arabs consider Israel the Great Satan, and America as the Little Satan. But most Americans don’t see it that way. Most Americans now realize, if they didn’t before, that there is real evil, absolute evil, and they witnessed it on 9/11. As Christians, we don’t have any problem calling the 9/11 attacks evil, because we know all about evil from the pages of the Bible. But let’s review from the Bible why we believe in the existence of evil and why we believe that the 9/11 attack was evil. Matthew 6:9-13 (read). (more…)