Documentaries will be pouring in from every media platform and flooding the airwaves throughout this weekend. Commemorative events will take place across the country as our proud “Stars and Stripes” highlight a fresh reminder of their significance in major cities, small towns, rural hamlets, and even private homes. Tales will be told and retold of how the heinous intentions of heartless enemies were met with defiant courage and spontaneous heroism by ordinary, everyday men and women. Tears will flow unchecked as stories of the unspeakable suffering and selfless sacrifice of those who were lost mingle with inexpressible gratitude for those who were saved. Millions of hearts will swell with revived pride and resurgent hope as America remembers. And given the inseparable connection between what happened 20 years ago and the events unfolding in Afghanistan, a fresh reminder of what national pride and real patriotism felt like would be welcome. All of us who were alive on that hellish morning will recall where we were and what it was like, but those who weren’t born yet, or who were too young to remember, will have to approach it in a different way.
Curiosity Helps ~
Those categorized as “millennials” by our divisive, identity-obsessed culture will have to develop their own perspective on this piece of our history and determine how they’re going to deal with it. I was confronted with that same kind of challenge when I was their age. Just as they weren’t alive when our enemies turned passenger planes into bombs on 9/11, I wasn’t here when Pearl Harbor was attacked. We didn’t realize as we were growing up how many ways our country was changing and how greatly our culture was being affected because of those attacks. I didn’t know anything about what led to the attack on our country back then, but at least I was curious.
My hope today is that multitudes who weren’t here 20 years ago, or not old enough to remember, will be curious now as well. There is much to be gained if they want to know how it happened, who did it, and why. Just seeing bodies falling from the towers and the faces of those running for their lives may profit us nothing if we don’t think about “what it all means, both then and now. But sadly, multitudes of our younger generation won’t be asking about that awful September morning. Their curiosity has been stolen. Their questions have been preemptively disarmed by leftist professors and “woke” ideologues promoting twisted versions of what that day was all about . . . and what our country is all about.
Debilitating Indoctrination ~
Multitudes born within the past few decades have been systematically indoctrinated to believe that America is an oppressive, racist nation run by white supremacists and that it needs to be fundamentally transformed. They have been taught that free market capitalism is evil and that some kind of Marxist/socialist mutation is our only hope of survival. A relative handful of academic, political, corporate, and economic power brokers committed to stripping this nation of our most priceless possessions are wielding incredible influence, especially over our children.. Things like political transparency, personal freedom, equal justice, and the God-given rights assured by our Constitution will no longer exist if they have their way. The enemies of America are no longer half a world away and their strategies and tactics to bring us down have changed dramatically. They have infiltrated our major institutions, and their weapons are words and ideas.
Our nation fought and won a lot of battles in the aftermath of those devastating attacks on our homeland. Sworn enemies around the world discovered something about America that they had not considered. They learned the hard way that the courageous men and women who rose up to fight for this country carried with them a weapon no enemy could defeat. They showed up for enlistment with a deeply ingrained love of freedom already in place, freedom they’d rather die than relinquish. They also carried with them a unique devotion to one another that was founded on faith in the God in whose name their nation was founded. That combination fueled a kind of bravery and heroism that bullets couldn’t kill and bombs couldn’t destroy. So, our enemies were left with only one hope of victory. If they were to defeat the world’s greatest superpower, they’d need to figure out a way to make it collapse on its own.
A Frightening New Strategy ~
Their strategy reveals satanic ingenuity. They realized that if Americans could be brought to relinquish their personal freedom and replace it with blind submission to government control, victory could be achieved. They realized that America’s characteristic courage would fade away if her history was tainted or forgotten altogether. If their faith in God was corrupted and their defining principles replaced by foolish, fabricated, ideological generalizations America would die on the inside. If teachers could replace parents and indoctrination could become the objective of education, ignorance and fear would soon rule. A sense of national shame would replace patriotic pride and apologetic embarrassment would replace American exceptionalism. Then suicide bombers would no longer be needed.
America has spiritual roots and they are unmistakably clear in our founding documents. The victories won in the wars we’ve fought were never achieved by our physical efforts alone. Our warriors were supported and our military resources were made effective by our faith and our prayers. Whether on a personal or national level, the victories we achieve have spiritual implications and come with responsibilities. We are responsible not only for how we deploy our resources to fight the battle, but also for how we manage the peace that follows. God has shown us again and again that great victories can be a precursor to disastrous defeat when followed by rebellious disobedience (ref Joshua 6-8). On the other hand, humiliating defeats can open doors to incredible victories when they are met with contrition, repentance, and faithfulness.
Victory’s Challenge – Protect the Peace ~
Like the Jews so often did, and like so many of us have done personally, we Americans have won victories and then ignored our responsibility to honor and obey God in the peace that He has granted us. Just as He has done for thousands of years, when we turn away from Him in the good times, He will withhold His hand of protection and blessing. Persistently mocking His designs, ignoring His Words, and adopting destructive and ungodly practices has consequences. We have managed our battles well, but we have failed to acknowledge the real source of our strength and to protect the foundations of our peace. Victories don’t last for those irresponsible in preserving the peace. Our country is in peril from more directions at this point than we can keep up with. How we respond will determine whether we survive the saboteurs currently at work and/or the attacks yet to come.
Today our hearts reach out to honor those men and women who had their lives snatched away by terrorists and those who gave theirs in the attempt to save those in peril. We grieve with their families and pray that their sacrifices will continue to inspire those fighting to defend our freedoms today. I know of no better way to do that than to do these two things . . . First, we can stop playing superficial church games and honestly submit to following the ways of Jesus Christ. Then, take personally the admonitions included in this familiar declaration:
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below. Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . .
- “The courageous men and women who rose up to fight for this country carried with them a weapon no enemy could defeat. They showed up for enlistment with a deeply ingrained love of freedom in place that they’d rather die than relinquish.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “America has spiritual roots and they are unmistakably clear in our founding documents. The victories won in the wars we’ve fought were never achieved by our physical efforts alone.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “If teachers replace parents, with indoctrination becoming the objective of education, ignorance & fear would soon rule.A sense of national shame would replace national pride & apologetic embarrassment would replace American exceptionalism.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “We are responsible not only for how we deploy our resources to fight the battle, but for how we manage the peace that follows. Great victories can be a precursor to disastrous defeat when followed by rebellious disobedience (ref Joshua 6-8).” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “We Americans have won victories only to ignore our responsibility to honor and obey God in the peace He granted us. Just as He’s done so often, when we turn from Him in the good times, He will withhold His hand of protection & blessing.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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