Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thinking About September 11th

I am writing this post to elect exiles and citizens of the kingdom of heaven who also happen to be citizens of the United States of America.

We need to think about how we think about September 11th. Do we think primarily as Americans or primarily as Christians?

If we think about September 11th primarily as Americans, then we are thinking mainly patriotically and politically. What we probably remember most from that terrible day is Muslim extremists high jacking multiple airplanes, flying them into buildings, and killing thousands of people. Our emotional response is likely still one of anger. Our desire may still be what it was nine years ago: payback.

If we think about September 11th primarily as citizens of heaven, then our thinking should be much different. It ought to be theological instead of political. Our focus should be from God's perspective instead of from the American perspective. In thinking this way, what did we see that day? We saw a great deal of sin and death. We saw much killing, like the world has seen for thousands and thousands of years. We saw people (the killers and many who were simply going to work) go directly to eternal Hell. We saw a great tragedy of eternal significance because those who died have no more opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our emotional response when we think of September 11th should be sadness. Our desire in light of that day ought to be one of increased fervor in sharing the gospel with all peoples.

September 11th is one of the defining days in all of our lives. That day is imprinted on my mind. I was working as a school psychologist in a public school system at the time. I'll never forget standing in the school office and watching on T.V. when the first tower collapsed.

We all remember it well. The questions now for us Christians are: How will we think about September 11th? How do we feel about it? And, most importantly, what are we going to do about it?

Let's think and respond as citizens of heaven.


Jason_73 said...

Another good word Eric.


Jason_73 said...

I need to use the "citizen of Heaven" vs. Patriotic morale person matrix for a lot more than today.

Eric said...


Thanks. I find the citizen of heaven verse very helpful. People seem to understand it even if they don't particularly like it.

So many american Christians can't seem to see the cross without the American flag draped around it. We need to try to help them see.

Alan Knox said...


What a great post! I can tell you that because I was thinking and acting (or trying to think and act) as a kingdom of Heaven 9 years ago that a Buddhist asked me why I seemed to be at peace while airplanes were flying into buildings. It gave me a great opportunity to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to him.


Eric said...


Thanks! I realize more and more that I think based on cultural norms and expectations. I desire for this to change so that I will think more biblically.

We'll be citizens of the USA for a few more years depending on how long we live. We'll be citizens of heaven for eternity. I want to live like it.

Aussie John said...


Because of the close alliance the USA has with Australia, many Aussie Christians have similar unhealthy thoughts about Sept.11., which you express well in the short sentence,"Our desire may still be what it was nine years ago: payback."

It is ugly and disturbing to see those who name the name of Jesus acting in such a way!

Thank you for an excellent article!

Eric said...


Thank you. That is interesting (and sad) that even Australian Christians would react in such a way. How easy it is to fall into cultural patterns of behavior. It is a massive problem here in the USA in that so many Christians cannot seem to separate the flag and cross. We all need to think more biblically.