Has tragedy created an unprecedented emotion?
An Unprecedented Emotion
Has tragedy created an unprecedented emotion?
In these days of sobering sadness and the realization of our humanity and vulnerability, we are also brought to the knowing of the absolute truth of our Savior. We are rendered, as a Country, helpless without Him. In these times of mourning and loss for many; in the wake of the devastation of September 11, 2001, we are left with no choice but to acknowledge and surrender to His superiority. This declaration of submission is the freedom of our Nation and the unity that causes it to survive. In the year 2002, just as it were in 1776, we declare as a family that we will operate as “one Nation under God”. Our actions will bear witness to the truth that we profess. Our words will spread it. And our love for one another will bind it. We, the United States, have been forced to face adversity, and because of this, have also been shown our character. We have proven faithful in this time of turmoil, doubt and despair. But what will happen when the dust settles and everyone is able to function as individuals once again? Will they choose to walk away from the altar? Will what has happened in this time of tragedy become merely a memory?
The day is coming when this time of trouble will pass and that which was destroyed will be rebuilt. A glorious day of triumph that will prove our resilience and perseverance, as a nation belonging to God. I can only wonder if, then, the thousands of dying, hurting and hungry people on every American street will remain forgotten. Will the 9 mile line mean anything more to us when this is all over? Does it mean more to us now? Is this attack only tragic? Is it just an event? Is the unity and servanthood we are experiencing, at the root, merely hype, caused by an emotional experience? Very emotional, and unprecedented, true. But yet still, it is simply an event in history, not an act of God by any means. Are people flooding churches because they have realized they need Jesus or because they are simply scared, looking for hope? Will the church show them that hope??? Many will be saved because of this tragic situation I’m sure. I only hope that our example as a body proves to be an accurate representation of our Lord and that we will be found blameless in the sight of those watching so closely, looking for something real. These people are not flooding the churches because we are righteous, they want something that will give them hope.
I find myself curious, shouldn’t our actions have shown them the hope of Jesus years ago?? Saddening that such an event is what we have demanded do the job of evangelism for us. Doesn’t it seem that the tragedy of living life without a relationship with our Lord would be an event that should bring people to their knees before the fear of a terrorist, a mere man! Haven’t we told them that He is real?? Maybe our actions do not mirror those words. What about that church they have lived down the street from for twenty years? What is it that makes the lives of those who died in this attack more important to that church than the family down the street who has been waiting for them to simply knock on the door for twenty years?
Are all of the recent church floods really an act of commitment?? When the World Trade Center has been rebuilt and the terrorists captured, will the churches still burst at the seams as they do today?? I recall a story my grandpa once told me when I was a little boy. He said that if you throw a frog in hot water it will jump out, but if you put it in cold water and slowly warm the water until it actually boils, the frog will not notice the change in temperature and allow himself to be cooked. Not very spiritual I know, but isn’t that the state that our country is in? We have been slowly cooking for decades, not realizing the slowly rising temperature of suicide, murder, theft, homosexuality, and every kind of immorality, but have done nothing. We hear it on the news every day, slowly cooking us. But on Sept. the 11th when tens of thousands die and our freedom was challenged, the water quickly became hot and our nation “jumped out”. Everyone wants to help, everyone wants to change. I can’t help but be curious of the motivation behind this wave of Christian conversion. The slowly rising water we call “signs of the end times” are only a result of more Christians being in bars than on their knees contending for this faith they say has “changed their life”.
We are in debt to each of these fragile lives. We owe them the reality of Christ lived out in us. This is only the beginning of Spiritual revolution in our country. The emotion is only a spark. We must light the fire of repentance and a love for Jesus in them. God is real, why then do people leave churches every day? Because they see no representation of Him in it. These “church floods” are only a window of opportunity. The people are hungry, not committed. It is a chance, a test, to see if the gospel we preach is the same gospel Paul the apostle preached to the Gentiles. The true gospel and the power therein. It is a test and whether we pass or fail will be proven by the pews that are filled today and left empty when the fear and devastation fade tomorrow. The lives we live determine their commitment. If our actions do not support their faith, these people will walk out as quickly as they walked in. If we, as Christians, expect the body to grow, the “altar floods” of repentance must begin with us. It is our responsibility to foster and care for the lives of those who are newly born. Just as a mother cares for a child. To train, to encourage, to challenge, to rebuke in love. We must behave in a manner worthy of the gospel. The church’s hypocrisy has proven to be its own slow cook cycle that kills Christianity and those who test its waters.
1 Timothy 3:5 says that if man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? In the same way, if churches don’t figure out how to rule their houses; then we will never see another truly added to the kingdom. How can we recreate a lifestyle that we have not ourselves adopted. Practice will always be heard over preaching. Christ will not be mocked. He would rather a person leave the church than have another hypocrite bred by our double-minded, twisted, perverse ways. He doesn’t care about numbers. It doesn’t matter if 60 million go to church today because they are scared if they leave tomorrow and ride the train of emotion straight to hell. The Lord stands back and waits. Will he see the church body rise up in representation of His son, or will every life that we saw come through the doors today, be lost because the church was found fruitless and without hope. The proof of desire of pursuit. Are we pursuing? Be not of yourself.
We must pray for the body of Christ and for its repentance to ring throughout our Nation. We simply cannot expect the Kingdom to grow in any permanent way as a result of terrorist attacks and the fear that it instills in people. If people are scared into it, they will be scared out of it. They will only live to the level of commitment that we display. We must live holy and without blemish before the Lord. The Bible says that if we say we abide in Christ we ought to walk as Christ walked. The day the church walks as Christ walked, is the day we will see this world’s redemption, no sooner.