One year after the horrendous acts of terror perpetrated within the shores of what was once thought to be the secure bounds of the American heartland, America is still unsure of the exact nature the new season of time. Complicating matters further is America's inadequacy to ascertain the definite identities of the mysterious evil entities that assaulted it. America seems perplexed as to where to turn. It seems that the appropriate spirit required for these perilous and uncertain times is missing. President Bush stated last year that the enemies of America hated freedom and the American way of life. Americans came together in their hour of fiery trial after last September's tragedy in a grand swing of emotional momentum that saw human compassion and sympathy displayed in a torrent of Patriotism. Our President stood upon the mountain of debris that was the former WTC and proclaimed to thunderous applause that the evil doers would soon be hearing from us.
But the questions that I would like to invoke at this first anniversary of the tragedy of September 11th, are these. “Has God heard from us”? Have we humbled our hearts before almighty God, and requested that his will be done in our land? Have we returned his word and his laws back into the foundation of our society? Has our nation awakened out of its spiritual slumber, and recognized that we have strayed way off the course that the Lord has set before us? Has America discovered through the evil acts of last September 11th that it is a target of Satanic evil, and that God has allowed the wall of our defense to be penetrated by the evil ones? Has America reversed its course of vane pleasure seeking and human indulgences, repented of its sin and acknowledged its need of returning unto the protective wings of Divine sanction? Has America witnessed a move in the direction of revival?
Sadly, within my mind, the answer to all of the above questions is a definite no. I have seen national pride exhibited. I have seen comradery and heroism displayed. I have seen many deeds of kindness and courage. I have seen a lot of good, but I have yet to detect within the American soul any movement towards spiritual humility and an earnest yearning for his Divine intervention and help. We sing God Bless America, but we never do anything to submit ourselves to gaining his blessings.
Around the world, America finds that it will have to “go-it-alone” in taking vengeance upon its new adversaries. Death to America" truly is the battle cry of ours most dangerous foe, militant fundamentalist Islam, and the states that sponsor the numerous cells of terrorists inflamed by the rhetoric of Islamic hatred for the nation of Israel. Since America has always been the traditional ally of Israel, America now finds itself squarely on the “testing ground” of its Christian rooted support for the existence of Israel. The haters of Israel have declared war on America! More Americans have been killed by militant Islamics than any other enemy since the Vietnam War. Americans did not recognize that terrorists had declared war on America until September 2001. In reality, that war began in November 1979. That was shortly after Ayatollah Khomeini, overcoming the Shah seized power in Iran, riding the slogan "Death to America"! In November 1979 a militant Islamic mob took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran, and held 52 Americans hostage for the next 444 days. Other terrorists assaults on America the following events:
April 1983: 17 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
October 1983: 241 dead at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.
December 1983: 5 dead at the U.S. embassy in Kuwait.
January 1984: the president of the American University of Beirut killed.
April 1984: 18 dead near a U.S. airbase in Spain.
September 1984: 16 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut (again).
December 1984: 2 dead on a plane hijacked to Tehran.
June 1985: 1 on a plane hijacked to Beirut.
Later the terrorism expanded to other nations. Twenty-four Americans were killed in two terror incidents in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996. Then again in Africa, 224 were killed at the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, and 17 American sailors were killed while on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000. Then came September 11th, and more chants of Death to America! Author: Darrell G. Young
Ironically, September 11th, 2001 carries a lot of comparisons and contrasts to December 7, 1941. Back then American President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that 12/7 was "a day that will live in infamy," and the vast majority of Americans instantly agreed with him and united to avenge that infamy. But before going to war, American's awoke to the sensitivity of the times. Sixty years ago, American's not only felt a sense of an impending military threat, but they also felt a deep soul stirring and an urgent need for spiritual renewal. Revivals broke out across America as many people sensed the awful price in human life that it would soon take to thwart the enemy. American churches swelled with attendance, and people genuinely looked for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in facing the tough season of time during WWII. Fortunately in 1941 America was still familiar with the one true God, and at least knew where to turn in the hour of decision. Thus, America turned reverently to God in 1941, and God utilized the awful years of WWII to afford America to be granted the opportunity to become the missionary to the world. In 1941, America wasn't confused as to who God was. America knew where to turn to find God! By contrast, America a year after 9/11, and even more infamous day of infamy, and at an even more urgent point in history, Americans are much more ambiguous in their feelings about God, and the need to experience a national repentance.
America after September 11th found itself engrossed in the tolerant, bio-diverse world of gods aplenty. We still have the word of God but it doesn't have any affect today. Churches remain cold and inconsequential in the spiritual affairs of the people and the nation. It doesn't seem to matter anymore how much Biblical admonition is leveled in the direction of the ears of the people, they simply aren't motivated by the spirit to respond. It is almost the identical situation that existed in the story of Lazarus and the rich man. It seems to my spiritual eye that America has lost its sensitivity to the message of God's word, and his plea to return unto him. Every time I pray for God to bless America, I seem to hear a faint but small voice inside telling me; if they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to one who even rose from the dead! The church of America has missed one of the greatest opportunities in our nation's history. Whereas the events of 9-11 should have turned people to the one true God of the universe and creation, and to the only name by which men or nations can be saved, (Jesus Christ) America instead has opened an even larger door for Satan to come in. The Christian church did not move to the forefront of the times as stalwart Christian soldiers should have. First of all, our country didn't repent like it should have, but rather and we just opened the doors and said. We must find a way to get along with the world. Ironically there have been more converts to Islam since 9-11 here in America than ever before. We opened our churches to accommodate the doctrines of devils, and even in some instances invited Islamic Imams to preach in our own churches. The Gospel is not a hodge-podge of religiosity. Neither is God mocked.
Sixty years ago after the Peal Harbor attack, America resolutely went to war against Imperial Japan and Hitler's Axis allies. Approximately four hundred thousand young American soldiers never returned home. Throughout the war there was rarely any doubt about the reasons Americans were fighting. Impelling them always was the slogan "Remember Pearl Harbor”! Evil was personified in the evil of Nazism and Fascism. America clearly recognized the enemy, and was cognizant that it stood upon the threshold of tackling an unbeatable foe. The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were by any standards far more egregious than that on Pearl Harbor. The objective of the Japanese Pearl Harbor strike was to neutralize the American threat to Japanese designs in the Pacific. The goal of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida followers on September 11th was nothing less than the destruction of the US. Yet compared to the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the American reaction to September 11 has been restrained, if not muted. President George W. Bush was quick to promise retribution, to divide the world between forces with and against America in the war on terror, and to identify an "Axis of evil" spearheaded by Iran, Iraq and North Korea. But America seems to be intentionally avoiding the real enemies that hate America. And more importantly, America doesn't realize that the spiritual enemy has become entrenched right here in our heartland because we have for decades been surrendering too much space to Satan.
Though flags and other expressions of patriotism have abounded, Americans have showed little resolve to find the enemy and destroy him. Today, in September 2002, Americans are looking back at the events of a year ago less with rage and unmitigated demands for justice, than with sadness and an abiding sense of pain. "Remember 9/11" isn't even a battle cry or a wake-up call. It is only a humanistic memory of a sad day of melancholy, rather than a time spiritual re-affirmation. How, in spiritual terms, can one explain the radical difference in America's reaction to 12/7/41 and 9/11? America's enemies in 1941 were sovereign states with standing armies that could be fought, and defeated, by force of arms. The new War on Terrorism on the contrary, is against an amorphous, extraterritorial, and benign enemy. Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Pearl Harbor attack, later lamented that Japan had "awakened a sleeping giant." His prophecy proved entirely accurate. The sleeping giant that awakened back in 1941 found the spirit of God, and found his guidance and protection. Today, as America ponders the next phase in its pursuit of the evil enemies stalking it, America needs to consider that it will take no less of a miracle than it did 1941 to survive, and it will require the same awakened spirit, or the Giant will fall!
Jeremiah 2:11-13 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
America has exchanged its God for the vane gods of the world. America, like ancient Israel has committed two great evils. It has forsaken Jehovah, the great “I AM”; the one God who sent his son 2000 years ago as the fountain of living water. We have joined the world, and allotted material space for the gods that can give no living water.
II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Lamentations 3:40-47 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through. Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people. All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.
America; where is the Spirit that birthed you, and brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty, born in freedom, loving justice, and clothed in the righteousness of almighty God? America, where is that Spirit? Where is your God? Can we remember where to find him? We Christians in America need to be humbling ourselves before God, and praying that September 11th will become the landmark of our national spiritual awakening, and not our national day of infamy before God.