The Brokenness of 9/11


Twelve years ago today I was driving to my office at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills when I heard the first reports on the radio that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.  My thoughts went to a small single or twin-engine plane and some sort of terrible accident.  Not until I reached the office and we turned on the television did we truly begin to grasp what was really happening.

Today’s anniversary illustrates so clearly the brokenness of our world as a result of sin that I wrote about last week on this blog.  Because of the freewill sin of a group of individuals, the date of 9/11 will forever be “broken” on our calendars.  The deaths of the 2,977 have broken the lives of countless family and friends.  The ripple effect of sin spreads and grows and days like today remind us that the consequences of one sin never end.

I am continually amazed at the general attitude toward the concept of sin, which in virtually every case minimizes or denies its impact.  Among the popular ideas:

  • My sin only effects me.  This is to say that sin occurs in a vacuum and since most people don’t murder, rape, or steal, we tend to feel that our brand of sin is less significant and thus only individualistically of consequence.  And the consequence is usually dependent upon “getting caught” in the lie, or called on the carpet over an attitude such as anger, etc.  Within this line of thought is the notion that sins are not equal and that what the church or the Bible labels as some sin is really not a sin at all, i.e. homosexual behavior, abortion, pornography, substance abuse, etc.
  • Sin does not exist.  The driving force behind this line of thinking is that man is basically good and sin has been created by religion in order to subjugate people to the church and illicit feelings of guilt in people.  The real beast behind this view of sin is the atheistic disbelief in a God.  If we are truly here as a random process of unguided evolution, then there is no higher power (God), and there is thus no authority to label any human action as sin.  Each society is left to construct its own mores based on how the majority want to live and die.

But days like 9/11 blow up the latter view and challenge the former.  9/11 reminds us all that there most certainly is a thing called sin and the consequences of sin roam far and wide seeking to devour the innocent.  We desperately need a recovery of a Theology of Sin in the Church and in the culture.  It is not likely the culture will embrace such a theology but it is essential that the Church does.  This world is broken, you see.  Broken by sin.  Broken in creation and the heart of man.  And only when we come to terms with the obvious will we begin to seek an answer to sin.

And that answer came 2,000 years ago in the form of Jesus Christ.

His body was broken on the cross and by his stripes we are healed.


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