One Nation Under God!
By Michael Bauml
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, our nation experienced a tragedy of epic proportions. Since then the outpouring of emotions has been tremendous, not only throughout the United States, but also worldwide. Even the lives of some people who have no personal connection to anyone involved in the tragedy have been turned upside down.
Throughout our nation Americans are struggling with how to react to this terrible tragedy. There are pleas for immediate action, justice, and even vengeance. I don't believe that we should annihilate innocent people for the crimes of a few, nor should we arm ourselves and seek personal revenge. As Jesus Christ preached, we may hate the crime, we must still love the sinner. Someone recently said to me, "We'll be O.K. We are one nation under God."
I am proud to be an American, and I love this country. To me, the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. But I must admit that I started to do some thinking about our country being "a nation under God." In reality, we in the United States have been turning away from God. For example, our government has taken great steps to ban prayer from public schools and public forums. Abortions quietly and legally kill many innocent victims every year, many more than those individuals who perished in the terrorist attacks. Muggings, murders, and serial killers are commonplace. Sexual immorality is not only portrayed in talk shows, soap operas, sitcoms, and cable porn stations, but also presented as an acceptable lifestyle. Greed, bigotry, and racism still exist.
In addition, much of Christianity is fragmented into hundreds of different denominations that sometimes barely tolerate each other. "Practicing religion" is a once-a-week event or just an annual holiday observance. Even in our busy daily lives we often forget "that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." (James 1:17) This means that we receive all of our knowledge, abilities, and possessions through God's grace. So how could the situations stated above be manifestations of a nation that considers itself to be "under God"?
Jesus commanded us to love one another "even as I have loved you." (John 13:34) Following the terrorist attacks, many people sacrificed their lives for others. Public charity and outreach to those in need literally exploded. Church attendance shot up because people everywhere turned to prayer. Recently I was honored to sing at a memorial service for the victims of the disaster. Over 1,200 people from various denominations joined together to pray and sing the Lord's Prayer-hand in hand. I wish every American could have been at that service to truly feel the presence of God as we loudly and steadfastly sang, "God Bless America."
The crisis that occurred on September 11, 2001, as terrible as it was, brought our country closer to God. I believe that each and every one of us has the responsibility to continue in this momentum. Christ told us how to do this through the Two Great Commandments ("…love the Lord your God…love your neighbor…" -Matt 22:37-39) He also told us to "seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness." (Matt 6:33) If we followed all of His commandments, then without a doubt we could say that we are "One Nation Under God".
I personally extend my sympathy and offer prayers for all who suffered on September 11th. I pray especially for the repose of all the souls whose earthly existence ended in this disaster.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!