September 11, 2001 – In Memory

This month, I was tempted to write a “Person-2-Person” article about the recent events in the eastern US. But I already had an article written and I have my doubts as to what any words of mine might do. I knew I would only be “preaching to the converted.” And yet, like many Americans, I feel the need to say or do something about what has happened.

As I write this, terrorists have attacked the US, with strikes on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon. The weapons were hijacked commercial airliners. The terrorists were armed only with plastic knives, weapons they might have taken through airport metal detectors. They took over the planes and deliberately flew them into buildings full of innocent people.

For years, we have taken great pains to make sure our country was safe from acts of aggression, from bombs, ships and missiles. Our President has made a priority of making our country safe from foreign missiles. And yet, in the end, we were stabbed by plastic knives. The missiles of destruction were of our own making.

In the aftermath of the attack, there have been calls for a response, usually a military response. There are those who have urged that we lash out at our attackers, whether we know who the guilty parties are or not. While some have urged a measured response, others have even suggested the use of nuclear weapons, ignorant or uncaring of the long-term environmental and political effects of a major nuclear blast.

And yet, those of us who are members of the community of faith know that “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the lord.” (Rom. 12:19b KJV). It is not up to us to decide that we can have justice by killing and maiming possibly-innocent people. Our call is for a higher justice, one that meets the holy standards of God.

We have trusted in our own strength to protect us, rather than the matchless power of God. All of our military might and technological prowess was of no avail against twisted hearts and plastic knives. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12 NIV) Our weapons can protect against flesh and weapons but not against evil. For that battle, we need “the full armor of God” (Eph. 6:10-18). Only this armor can protect us from the desire to substitute vengeance for justice.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary:
“‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:17-21 NIV.)

Yours in Christ,
David Phelps

Lighted candle

~ The Candle Of Peace, Hope & Unity ~
This candle was lit on the 11th of September 2001.
Don’t let The Candle of Peace, Hope & Unity burn out!
Hold out Your candle . . . We must stand Unified.

by David Phelps

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa

Copyright © 2001 by David Phelps