We Are Not Okay

September 11, 2012 — 5 Comments

Eleven years ago today, life as we know it changed forever. In that time we’ve cried, we’ve hurt, we’ve fumed, we’ve grieved, and we’ve healed — to a point.

But make no mistake: We are not okay.

On September 11, 2001, our great nation came together in a beautiful display of unity. For a season those boundaries that typically divide us faded into the background. Religion. Ethnicity. Political Affiliation. Socioeconomic Status.

Unfortunately, the unity and camaraderie of that time faded even before the fires stopped smoldering some 100 days later. In fact, the poltical posturing began almost immediately, and 26 days after the attacks, the U.S. military began bombing Afghanistan.

It has been a long time since September 11, 2001:

  • 4018 days
  • 574 weeks
  • 96,432 hours
  • 5,785,920 minutes
  • 347,155,200 seconds

All that time, yet we are not okay.

In many ways we are worse off now than we were then.

All that sacrifice . . . all that expense, yet we are not okay.

The fact of the matter is that we weren’t okay before 9/11/2001, we’re not okay today, and we won’t be okay tomorrow.

And you know what? We’re not supposed to be okay. At least, not in the comfortable, easy-going way we tend to think of the term.

For far too long our country enjoyed the fruits of prosperity from a booming economy, yet that was not enough. Our greed and insatiable desire for more money and material things led many individuals and families to live well beyond their means. By frivolous and undisciplined spending, the once-booming economy began to shrink. But that shrinkage was effectively masked by more and more stuff paid for on credit. Sadly, those generous credit lines were themselves based on inaccurate financial information. Over time, our once-selfless and God-fearing people evolved into a selfish society that made a catastrophic trade that would impact our nation at every level.

We traded faith in God for faith in money.

In this post-9/11 era we continue to see rising debt, both personally and nationally. In fact, our national debt as of last week now exceeds $16 trillion.

Make no mistake: Our problems began way before 9/11/2001. President Obama often speaks of a ‘fundamental transformation’ of our nation. However, I contend that we carved out our own destiny with a series of ungodly choices that helped shape a fundamental transformation long before our current president assumed office. Among them:

  • Prayer and Bible reading removed from public schools (Engel v. Vitale, 1962)
  • Abortion legalized (Roe v. Wade, 1973) [Since that time — by conservative estimates — more than 50,000,000 abortions have been legally performed.]

We cannot disregard God and continue to expect His blessings on our nation. Of course, most Americans seem either completely apathetic or altogether uninformed as the moral landscape of our nation has increasingly shown evidence of deep decay. Even many church-going people have worshiped at the idol of popular culture rather than feasting on the Word of God. While millions watched Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, and Glee, we managed to:

  • Approve plans for a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero (although it has not yet been built)
  • Pass a comprehensive healthcare bill that no legislators apparently read and which threatens religious liberty by mandating taxpayers fund contraception, abortifacients, and abortions; and
  • Alienate Israel, our most tried-and-true friend and ally in the Middle East — and the lone shining star of democracy in the region

Eleven years later, and our two primary candidates for President are (1) a seemingly moral Mormon and (2) a self-professing Christian whose values and beliefs are inconsistent with millions of Bible-believing followers of Christ.

Eleven years later, and our idea of business during a national political convention includes booing and hissing God, endorsing gay marriage, and celebrating the widespread availability of abortion.

Eleven years later, and our news headlines include:

  • America facing economic collapse
  • Iran calls for destruction of Israel and U.S., makes rapid advances in nuclear aspirations
  • U.S. drought will lead to inflation and higher food prices

The smoky haze over New York City may have long since dissipated, but friends, we are not OK. We remain in a serious fog. Economic uncertainty. Political instability. Moral decline. All are extraordinarily complex issues that require a spiritual solution. The good news is that for those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Real security exists only in fellowship with Him. All other sources of security are simply illusions of the mind.

Today as we remember the families of 9/11, I hope you will join me in praying for revival in our land. The only true peace can be found in Christ. He is unchanging, unshakable, steady, and dependable. It’s only in His everlasting arms that we can find safety and security. Only with Him can we truly be okay.

If you would like more information about following Christ, please click here. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions about the Christian faith.

What are your thoughts on this post?

5 responses to We Are Not Okay


    Excellent. Thanks for the research you applied to this, as well as the passion. I agree with you: We are not okay.


    While a renewed focus on God in domestic issues at home is certainly to be applauded, 9/11 also raises the tough issue that while we may have invited God’s wrath, this was an act commited by men.

    Men with very dark views of America and the West, for sure, but those views were forged by over a century of post-war colonialism by the West. These are men Men who see, through their eyes, support of Israel’s expansion as a sign the West not only hates Islam but specifically wants to target and kill Muslims. A view not held by these men alone.

    Add to this our reaction, allowing our bloodlust for vengeance and fear of ‘other’ into inciting a nation to head ‘over there’ to hurt those who hurt us, so they can’t hurt us again. A rallying cry to stomp out terrorists while over 120,000 civilians are killed in the cross-fire.

    That’s the example we’ve set for them and for the world while championing our calling as a Christian nation.

    A pastor friend of mine challenged me on how I’d react to someone kidnapping my son, would I channel Christian values, or would I call for blood? Any parent can easily tell you the answer there.

    In your post you mention about the Mosque that is/was two blocks from Ground Zero, highlighting how old wounds refuse to heal and we struggle to find even enough forgiveness for those with nothing but a loose association to those who hurt us, the pain is so deep, so raw.

    How do we reconcile all this with Jesus’ teachings, his call to us to carry his light to the world, to not resist an evil do-er, to turn the other cheek, to lead by our example? How do we temper our hurt, anger and fear as a nation with the painful revelation that those in greatest need of our grace and love are those we most reluctant to give it to?

    How do we shape our policies at home and abroad such that our nation is viewed not as a bastion of hatred and death by those outside its borders, but one of liberty, life and love?

    As Eisenhower commented on our war mongering nature: “This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live? ”


      John, you make some very compelling points, and I appreciate your thoughtful insights. There are so many factors involved in all that went into the 9/11 attacks — and all that has happened since then. I appreciate your mention of the many, many civilian casualties. I too feel pain and sorrow for such a terrible loss of life, and these war stories get very little acknowledgement by western media. As I’ve shared with you before, I think we approach and process things from very different vantage points — all shaped, of course, by our own beliefs and experiences — but I know that we both love Christ. I don’t always say things in a manner that accurately captures my heart, but my foremost desire and greatest challenge is to becoming more like Christ each day. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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