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9/11 and ISIL - Response and Aftermath

Today (2014) we face ISIL, and are terrified. God's people of 2,500 years ago faced Assyria then Babylon, and were terrified. They were carried away. Was this not because their heart - their attitudes, their deep beliefs, commitments, aspirations and expectations - had turned away from the Living God?

At the time of 9/11, should not the openly-Christian President of the world's leading Christian nation have responded in God's way rather than in the world's way? Should he not have led the USA in repentance for America's evils, for which 9/11 was a warning sign, rather than toughing-up with a 'war on terror'?

Response determines aftermath. God's way of response yields God's aftermath: long-term, sustainable shalom. Human way of response yields human aftermath: short-term, unsustainable hero-activity.

God's way, especially revealed in Christ, is to acknowledge our sin and repent, to trust the Father for all, and to lead in the world with self-giving agape love rather than self-protection. Have not Christians down through history, including the revivals of 150 years ago, proved that when we repent and cast ourselves on God, sin is disarmed and things turn for the better? But since September 2001, we have toughened up with competitive self-protection, the very opposite of God's agape love.

God's way, especially revealed via prophets like Isaiah, is that God's people are expected to demonstrate God's ways in the earth, and lead with God's character, even when the world pushes in the opposite direction. Did not prophets like Hosea clearly show that God's people should trust God, rather than the economic-military power of Egypt? Yet God's people then chose the human-logical way of relying on Egypt, that "broken reed". In 2001, On what did we really rely when we 'toughned-up' with our 'war on terror'?

God's ways work! God's ways are long-term; human-logical ways are short term. Does not God look on the heart while humanity looks only at the surface? Is not the heart - the inner attitude and the deep beliefs, aspirations and expectations that drive us - the fount of all else we think, say and do? Does not the Lord Jesus Christ give the foundation for both repentance and trust to work?

Human ways don't work. Human ways might look logical in the immediate, but they ignore the deep things that determine the long term. Did not Bush's 'war on terror' expose his heart as one who trusts to economic-military power rather than the Living God? Has it got better since then?

Would it not have been better, in 2001, for G.W. Bush to lead in repentance of the two evils highlighted in the 9/11 attack - those of a self-serving, cruel world trade that cost many their lives, and those of a proud and self-important military might?

Then, perhaps, Christ's attitude would spread throughout the world. But the attitude of arrogance, self-interest and self-rightness spread instead. And so it has continued to this day. Should not the openly-Christian President of the world's leading Christian nation have led in God's way of repentance and trust (Isaiah 30:15) rather than the world's way of toughness and fear (Isaiah 30:12-17)?

To the United States of America:

Have we not had several warnings from God?
Should we take ISIL as another, louder warning?
Is there still time for true repentance, turning from self-interest and arrogance?
Or is time running out fast?

See Also

General Stanley McCrystal says we need to understand, a "nuanced understanding" - not just react. Perhaps what is said in some of these links might contribute to that nuanced understanding?

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About This Page

This page, URL= '', is on-going work, designed to stimulate discussion on various topics, as part of Andrew Basden's pages that open up various things from one of the Christian perspectives. Contact details.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden at all the dates below. But you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

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Created: 10 September 2014. Last updated: 14 September 2014 added ISIL in title. 14 December 2015 Stanley McCrystal. 19 February 2017 request dashes. 29 August 2021 new .end. 5 September 2021 9-11-20y.