September 11, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy among Americans and the world’s inhabitants. This Sunday (September 11, 2011) marks the tenth anniversary to the day of the attacks on the Twin Towers. On September 11th, 2001 I was at a friend’s house hanging out when the Twin Towers were first hit, and then collapsed. Since that day much has changed in my life. I met the love of my life Sarah, and have been married almost five years to her. In that time I’ve moved from Seattle, Washington to Boise, Idaho. Since 9/11, I have completed a professional degree in hotel management, a bachelor’s degree, and almost three master’s degrees. A lot has happened in my life in the period of ten years since September 11th, 2011. A lot has happened in the life of America, as well as we have moved from having President Bush as our President to almost the end of President Barack Obama’s first term as President. As a nation we have gone into Iraq and Afganistan and are still waging wars in Afganistan and against terrorism around the world. A lot can happen in ten years not only in our personal lives as we see but also in the life of the respective nations we inhabit.
In this article, I want to focus on the consequence of worldviews and what consequence ideas have upon one’s worldview and how these consequences have effects upon the way one views the world. If you are in my generation (20-35) 9/11 was a formative event in our young lives. I believe 9/11 was not only formative to my generation but to all generations. 9/11 changed the way everyone views the world. 9/11 announced loudly to the world that sin was real and its consequences are nasty.
Do you believe that ideas have consequences upon how you view the world? Do you believe that how you think is how you will act? The terrorists who bombed the Twin Towers had a belief system that caused them to believe that if they murdered millions of innocent defenseless people they would somehow inherit eternal life and be able to enjoy a thousand virgins. If you don’t think ideas have consequences then why would men who believed they would inherit eternal life and die as martyrs in their religion act as they do?
The issue these questions raise all relate to the issue of worldviews. Who people are is dictated by what they value, and what they value is built around what they believe. What they believe in turn informs their worldview. A person’s worldview affects who they will become, which in turn affects how they will behave. As you can see ideas have consequences whether for good or bad, how one views the world will affect one’s behavior.
Into this every changing landscape where people view the world increasingly through the lens of their feelings and or circumstances rather than through a biblical worldview— the Church of Jesus Christ has an eternal unchanging message to proclaim. The message of the Word of God is unchanging because our great God, King and Savior is unchanging. Jesus stands as our Advocate, High Priest and Intercessor before the Father. Understanding the truth of the Word of God and the Gospel of God in our every changing culture is vital to the health of the local church and ministries.
How should Christians live in a post 9/11 world? Christians can begin by responding to the changes in our post 9/11 world by admitting that they don’t have everything figured out and have much to learn. Humility rather than ministering from a place of strength is one of the keys to minister in the context of a post 9/11 world. The Gospel calls believers to humility and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Gospel does not call one to boast in their own accomplishments or achievements but to glory in the One who humbled Himself completely and died in our place for our sin, was buried and rose again. Humility rather than arrogance ought to characterize those who belong to Jesus Christ.
Living a humble life in Christ goes a long way in ministering the Word of God. People in our post 9/11 world are searching for answers and are looking for authenticity and transparency. The Gospel calls believers to be authentic first with God in confessing their own sin and then turning from their sin in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole life of the believer should be characterized by the work of ongoing repentance. The Gospel not only calls believers to turn from sin but also to live in community with other sinners who gather together to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ in the context of a local church. On an individual and corporate level, the Christian must grow in identification with Christ and with His people in and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
September 11, 2001 was a horrific day. It was a day that will remembered in history books and talked about for a long time to come in classrooms, documentaries, movies and on television. On the tenth anniversary of this event I want to encourage you to think through how your life has been changed in the last ten years. Once you’ve done this ask yourself, “What do I really value?” What you value will shape your character. What you believe will inform your worldview, the lens through which you view the world around you. Ask yourself the following questions: “Is what I value biblical? Is what I believe grounded in God’s Word? Is how I view the world according to the Word of God or from my opinion?”
The call of the Gospel is a call to count the cost, pick up the Cross and follow Jesus Christ. Jesus invites people to come and see, but He calls His people to a higher standard than just “coming and see” but to “count the cost and die to self”. Have you counted the cost to follow Jesus? Are you dying to self and bringing glory to yourself or to Jesus?
Living for the Gospel in a 9/11 world requires humility, courage and integrity, all of which require transparency and authenticity. One of the keys in reaching a post 9/11 world will be in how willing we are as God’s people individually and corporately to examine ourselves in light of the Gospel and live out the truth of our God-centered, Christ-centered and Gospel saturated worldview. The Gospel is the power of God to transform lives of people like you and I. I pray that we as the people of God would be a people characterized by humility, transparency, and authenticity because such a people will bring glory not to themselves but to the Cross of Christ, and will be a mighty weapon in the hands of Jesus Chris for the advancement of His kingdom.