11 September, 2006

9/11

This won't be moving or poetic. I admire all the 9/11 tributes, and the 2996 project is more than inspiring, but it is not in me to follow suit.

I found out about the first plane just before the second hit. The first words I said after hearing about that second plane were, "We are at war."

That has not changed.

Rome was sacked, not by some other empire, but by Gauls, Vandals, Visigoths and Ostrogoths. Rome's size, wealth and technology gave her great advantage against her terrorist foes, but did not deliver her forever. The rabble took Rome's glory.

We are pitted against Islam. My time in Saudia convinced me of that long before 9/11/2001. To underestimate our foes is a grave mistake.

That said, to overestimate ourselves is a greater mistake.

Every year we come closer to being that empire that persecuted the church. Every year we slide further into the immoral morass and spinelessness of which our enemies accuse us. Every year we vote with our wallets, but each year there is less restraint of conscience against it. ("It's the economy, stupid.") Every year I wonder a little bit more at our arrogance, and at God's willingness to let us slide.

Rome fell when she lost the backbone to stand.

Rome fell when God removed His last support from her.

We are at war. We must and will prosecute this war, and I believe we will win round 1.

Round 2 makes me very nervous.

9 comments:

Milly said...

I pray for peace.

Kansas Bob said...

My son's year in Iraq (2004-05)leads him to the same conclusion Kevin:

"We are pitted against Islam."

Please pray for him as the Army has not decided if he will be returning to Iraq next month.

codepoke said...

I know, Milly.

May the Lord grant yours and all our requests for peace.

Milly said...

kansas bob,
You have my prayers.

codepoke said...

KB,

I have a 16 year old boy. I fear that I can imagine what the two of you pray each night.

I stand with Milly. May the Lord bring him home safe and soon.

Thank you for everything he is giving to us now.

Weekend Fisher said...

If "we are pitted against Islam" then our best defense is to spread the gospel to the Muslims among us.

Speaking of Rome, they shed a lot of Christian blood until they were drunk on it, then until they were sickened by it, then until they bottomed out and realized that the Christians had the better way.

codepoke said...

WF,

If "we are pitted against Islam" then our best defense is to spread the gospel to the Muslims among us.

I knew that brevity was going to fail me on this.

There are two kingdoms here in America; the kingdom of We the People, and the kingdom of God. Their goals are utterly different. There was a time that they shared a little common ground, but today the visible kingdom is trying to legislate the invisible one away.

My loyalties are with the invisible, but when there is no conflict, I support the visible one too. In this, there are many, many conflicts. My post looks like a call to arms - I know that - but it is not. In this, I do not support our decisions, but acknowledge them.

A Christian revival among Muslims is the best thing that could happen for the invisible kingdom. I support it, and am willing to throw in with it in any way possible. But, I say that fully aware that this revival would be the worst thing that could happen to the kingdom of We the People. The backlash from those who hate God will be felt around the world. That backlash will be the start of WW5, or whatever number we are on by then.

America once wanted to see the world evangelized. Washington DC never cared, but We the People did, on the whole. We the People are now embarassed by missionaries. We the People now want to see the UN make all decisions, and for our missionaries to stick to providing quiet health care to the needy. Evangelizing the world is anathema to We the People.

The kingdom of God and the kingdom of We the People are very close to directly aligning against each other. And the denominational churches are in bed with the right wing of We the People.

It makes for a very frightening triangle.

My post's last sentence is not a call to arms, but a statement of the inevitable, of horrific fate dragging us onward. We the People will prosecute this war, and we will win it, and we will lose round 2 because God will be gone.

If you know chess, it is like when the master forces a queen sacrifice. The novice will take that queen, knowing all along that the master would not have put the queen's neck on the block, if she would not earn him the enemy's king. But taking the queen is still a tactical necessity. To not take her is instantly fatal.

America has no option but to draw arms, but no good will come of this because she is drawing them while driving away from God. One puts a thousand to flight when God is arrayed against the thousand.

We need to be repenting, and praying against the political church.

I don't cheer that we will win this war; I fear that we will win it. 3000 innocents died in its Pearl Harbor. We the People simply will not forget that. And forgetting it is not a solution, anyway. But we will win it without God, and I fear He will let us do so. The right wing will say we won it with God, and by God, but we will not have done so. We will have won it with the chariots of Egypt.

And in We the People's pride, we will finish our turn away from God, even as the right wing says that we are turning toward Him. I do imagine that the Spirit wakes the spirits of thousands of Muslims, and I imagine that the political right wing takes credit.

One day we will wake up, and round 2 will have started. And America will have to face what it is to stand against the world without God.

The invisible kingdom, though, will not falter. The invisible kingdom will grow by the mercies of God, and to the glory of His own Name. It will just grow within a less and less tolerant visible one until finally it is tolerated no more.

If Rome moved toward Christianity (and I doubt very, very much that Christianity was not truly conquered by Rome rather than its conqueror), then America is moving from it. If Rome persecuted the church less with each century, America persecutes her more.

We are still the land of the free, but "free" means rather something different than it did 230 years ago.

Oloryn said...

If "we are pitted against Islam" then our best defense is to spread the gospel to the Muslims among us.

I empathize, but see a trap in the making. If you're spreading the gospel to the Muslims primarily to defend your nation and your comfortable way of life, are you really pursuing the goals of the Kingdom, or are you trying to use the Kingdom of God for your own purposes? While there's definitely a place for rejoicing in having the gospel preached, no matter the motive (Phil 1:18), the motive is likely to affect your effectiveness. The Moslems need to be reached whether it makes us feel safer or not.

I'm very much reminded of C. S. Lewis's principle of "First and Second Things" (in the "God in the Dock" collecion). I've often thought that Christians in the West have gotten far too used to living in a social and political environment where we can be (relatively) comfortable as Christians. While we are directed to pray for this (1 Tim 2:1,2), the purpose of this is to advance the gospel and make evangelism easier(1 Tim 2:3,4). If we've gotten to the point where we prioritize our own comfort and safety as Christians above the progress and proclamation of the Gospel, we stand likely to lose that very comfort and safety.

Oloryn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.