On this day ten years ago, I sat in a class on World Religions. My professor was about to read a section from the Koran when an agitated young lady walked into our classroom to inform us what had happened. That day, of course, is ingrained in the mind of every American. The brutality expressed in the actions of 19 coward men changed the face of this nation. In the end, this is not just a geo-political issue, in reality it is a deeply religious issue. And because what happened on September 11 is religious, we need to consider the implications of that despicable act as Christians.
Since 2001, two extremes have become prominent: radical Islam and western Secularism. On the one hand, Islam has received all the propaganda they ever wanted, whether good or bad. On the other hand, there has been an extreme reaction to any form of religious expression. Western secularism has gained distaste for any sentence that starts with the word “God.” Most notably, the atheist Christopher Hitchens leads the pack with his enthusiastic hatred of religion.
In the middle of these two extremes, we need to consider how we are to think. World events cause us to think through the implications of our faith. We are called to colonize the world, so what happens in the world should matter to Christians. When we look at these two extremes from the viewpoint of Christian theology, we realize that these are really not two different extremes, but rather two manifestations of the same ideology: a hatred for the Triune God of the Bible. Islam hates the God who is Three and One. It adores a God who is wholly other; completely separate from the affairs of men. Islam adores a God who delights in being alone. Western Secularism adores a God made in its own image. It adores the god of immorality and generally gives their god the name Tolerance. In the name of Tolerance, secularism spews their intolerance towards anything Trinitarian.
In the end, these ideas have one thing in common: they are both idolatrous. They worship false gods; the same god of the Philistines in Samson’s narrative.
The Scriptures on the other hand, teaches us that we should love only One True God. In Him we move, live, and have our being. In Him, there is love sufficient to be shared in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we are not alone, because He is not alone being with One another from all eternity past. In Him, we do not sacrifice ourselves, we sacrifice for others. In Him, we have life, and we seek this life today as we worship the only True Lord.
Let us pray: Almighty God, Father, Son, and Spirit, cause us to trust in Your justice. May you be our Protector, so we might be delivered from evil, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.