Today there will be much talk about 9/11, its causes and the people involved. Because Truth is a virtue, it is incumbent upon citizens of the kingdom of God to speak accurately about 9/11. With that I offer 3 thoughts with the intent of bringing some clarification to the conversation of 9/11.
1. The Terrorists Were Not Cowards. It has become popular to call the 9/11 terrorists cowards. However, a coward is one who succumbs to fear and self-preservation. The terrorists of 9/11 all voluntarily gave their lives for what they perceived as a higher calling or principal. They were, of course, wrong. There was no higher calling or principal, which makes these men fools, misguided and wicked, but they were not cowards.
2. The Victims Were Not Necessarily Heroes. A hero is someone who sacrifices his/her desires, needs or life for others or a higher calling. Being killed may make one a victim, but not necessarily a hero. There were heroes on 9/11. The firefighters and police who entered burning buildings to save others, as well as the people in the buildings who risked their lives to help those around them, are all heroes. But to call everyone who died in 9/11 a hero is to cheapen the word for those to whom it truly applies. We should honor those who died, but let’s do so honestly. Honest honor is better than false praise.
3. The Opportunity Will Always Be Clearer Than The Cause. We can speculate forever about the causes of 9/11. I’m not talking about the direct causes, i.e. that terrorists flew planes into buildings, but the more fundamental causes, whether they be political or divine. What is clear is the opportunity 9/11 created for the kingdom of God. 9/11 shook a nation out of its secular slumber and opened people to the Gospel. It also incited hatred, which gave Kingdom citizens the opportunity to model the love of Christ to Muslims. In short, it was a tremendous opportunity for the advance of the kingdom of God. Only time will tell how well Christians seized that opportunity.
So, if you find yourself in a conversation regarding 9/11 today, speak Truth, give honor where honor is due and seize the opportunity for the kingdom of God. GS