Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Was God MIA on 9-11?

The above title was the headline of a Fort Worth Star Telegram commentary by Pop Culture critic Miki Turner.  The first line of the article reads, “Where was God on Sept. 11, 2001?”

The commentary was a reaction to the author’s advance viewing of a special, set to air Tuesday, Sept. 3 on Public Television, entitled Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero.  Turner writes that the special, “does a fine job of soliciting myriad responses from theologians, clergy, educators, authors, survivors of victims — even an opera singer.  Some of these have lost faith in someone or something they cannot see.”

The most disturbing aspect of the article, and apparently the television program itself, is that there is very little understanding of the relationship God had and has with that terrorist event.

Note the following paragraph from the article:

“They include a firefighter’s widow, who says she used to talk to God daily, but now feels abandoned; a friend of a victim, who still considers himself a ‘good Christian’ but now refers to God as ‘barbaric’; and a Buddhist who believes that God wasn’t anywhere on that day because he doesn’t exist in the classic Christian-Judeo concept- ualization.”

One said that “God knew best”; and another solemnly intoned that “you can’t question” God’s plan.

Finally, in commenting on the program, Turner opined the following:

“…the answers to these questions depend largely upon your religious convictions.”

and

“One of the things viewers will have to come to grips with afterward is that the same God who tells some of us that we shall not kill, tells others that it’s OK to commit mass murder.”

In reality, it doesn’t matter what our religious convictions may be.  The answer to where God “was” or the part or lack of it that God played in the events of that day is a matter of objective truth rather than personal perception.

In effect, if God compelled those men to kill those people, He is a barbaric, horrific entity, not the divine benevolent Father which Christians perceive him to be.  Conversely, if those men acted of their own volition, then it is misguided and blasphemous to blame God for such savagery.

Here is what the Bible teaches us on the matter:

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).

In truth, God has abandoned no one; rather, many have abandoned him.  In truth, it was not in God’s “plan” for so many to die; rather the carnage came from the deceitful plotting of ungodly man.  In truth, God is not barbaric; rather, man is.

n truth, it is not that God does not “exist in the classic Christian-Judeo conceptualization”; rather, it is that “even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (cf. Romans 1:28).  In truth, it is not that God directed the terrorist because of a “plan” that only He knows; rather, it is that men have departed from the plan that God has clearly revealed to all.  Finally, in truth, it is not that God tells some men some things, and other men other things; rather it is that “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes (Proverbs 21:2).

God did not approve of the free will expression of evil and barbarism which took place on 9-11.  Those men will answer for their evil, and justice will reign.  “…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).  God should not be faulted for man’s descent into evil.  Rather, man needs to blame man for the inhumanity and horror of that day.  For those who turn to and embrace God in the midst of this evil, there is comfort and joy in the realization of an eternity of rest and protection in His everlasting arms.