F-E-A-R has two meanings:
“Forget Everything And Run”
“Face Everything And Rise.”
“Are you guys ready? Let's roll.” Todd Beamer spoke these words shortly before 10 a.m. on September 11, 2001. He along with the other passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 knew that death was imminent. The big question was where? Crash into some high-value target in Washington, D.C., or try to force the terrorists to ditch the aircraft away from a populated area and save the lives of innocent people.
Todd Beamer’s words set their plan into motion. Unable to restrain the passengers, the terrorists flying the Boeing 757 slammed the plane into a field near Somerset, Pennsylvania. There were no survivors.
May God bless those passengers for their courageous and selfless act.
Reflections About 9/11
Today is the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. Across our land most Americans are are taking time to reflect soberly on the events of that fateful day. In a host of venues and locations, we are remembering the tragedy that witnessed 2,983 die during the deadliest act of terrorism in our nation’s history. Like most of you, I am thankful for all the efforts to honor the fallen and to celebrate the heroism of so many, especially the bravery of first responders. I appreciate the support of well-known Americans who speak encouraging words about America’s courageous response to the evil of that day.
On September 11, 2001, President Bush didn’t have the luxury of time to reflect. Americans needed action. They needed to hear his reactions to the horrific events that had occurred. His speech was epic, containing just the right words to rally Americans. “Today, our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America… The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
President Bush spoke clearly, passionately, and truthfully. Soon, U.S. military forces headed to Afghanistan to confront the evil perpetrated against Americans on our own soil. Most American strongly supported that choice. Over the past twenty years, U.S. intervention in Afghanistan has accomplished many important things, most notably the prevention of another serious terrorist attack on American soil. Additionally, many Afghan citizens, mostly women and children, were exposed to a better life with exciting possibilities.
Reflections About America Post Afghanistan
Twenty years removed from 9/11, there is growing evidence of a greater crisis looming on the horizon for the United States, but this one is of our own making. The blundering effort to withdraw from Afghanistan has left most Americans aghast at decisions by the present administration. Regrettably, the debacle in Afghanistan is only the latest example of inept and corrupt leadership that has charted America on a dangerous path.
The good news about Afghanistan has come to a screeching halt. With the botched withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, a chain of negative outcomes seems likely: a bleak future for Afghanistan, danger and uncertainty for the United States, and instability for the world at large.
Predictably, our elected leaders in power do not agree. Reaction to widespread sharp public disapproval in the handling of Afghanistan has been one of defensiveness, lies, excuses, and finger pointing. The present administration seems both clueless and unmotivated to change a thing. Their energies seem aimed at creating other distractions in the hopes of pushing the debacle with Afghanistan out of the present news cycle. They won’t succeed. America at large is rightfully angered, especially with leaving fellow Americans behind in Afghanistan at the mercy of the Taliban government.
But Afghanistan represents only one of many serious challenges confronting our country in 2021. Most frightening about America’s present situation is the growing abandonment of the beliefs and values upon which our country was founded. Our currency still reads “In God We Trust,” but evidence in almost every area of our society and culture says otherwise. Increasingly, we are a divided nation without direction. The values of integrity, hard work, and servant leadership are increasingly hard to find. Trust in God is quickly eroding.
The clock is ticking for America. Our democratic republic is under assault by both physical and spiritual forces that want to take our great nation down. Many Americans don’t see this. They assume that the resiliency this nation has shown in the past will be enough to get us through the myriad problems we presently face. I don’t think so.
America Needs a Wake-up Call
In churches and denominations across our land, deafening silence is the most common response to what’s happening in America these days. Virtually every area of our society and culture shows evidence of America’s serious decline. Most alarming are the efforts to remove God from every sector of our culture. Secular humanism is rampant. Many are convinced that America can move forward without God. The wokes in this country are trying to turn America upside down by destroying our foundations and rebuilding from the ground up along the lines of godless Marxist/Socialist ideology.
If any demographic group in our country should be trying to halt this destructive trend, it ought to be Christians. It ought to be the Church. But, largely, that’s not happening. Some pastors believe Christians shouldn’t get involved in government and politics. Others are too timid to preach the truth. Another segment, like many Americans, believes this will go away if we ignore it. None of these represent a biblical response.
It’s time for individual Christians, churches, and denominations to wake up, assess our present circumstances, plan, and act. It’s time to roll.
Next time we will look at examples of the Biblical Call to Action.