Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 and Rudy Giuliani Idolatry

"Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation./He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved" Psalm 62:1-2

Today is the eleventh anniversary of 9/11; on this occasion, I want to comment on the biggest mistake our nation made in it's aftermath.

We didn't turn back to God.

One of the great cliches in life is that adversity doesn't build character, adversity reveals character.  The cliche is still true.  After 9/11, our nation plunged deeper into the idolatry that already plagued us.  Church attendance spiked briefly, but didn't last.  Far too many of us were more interested in shopping and baseball; we placed our faith in politicians.

Rudy Giuliani is the best example.  No one (credible) disputes that Rudy acted heroically during and after 9/11.  Rudy's calm, stoic leadership helped prevent a panic, which could have been worse than the attack.  Rudy brilliantly finessed the transition from a rescue mission to a recovery operation.  I still get choked up thinking about Rudy and the funerals.  Unfortunately, instead of getting on our knees and thanking God for blessing us with a leader like Rudy Giuliani, we built Rudy into an idol.

In my own life, I turned the New York Yankees into an idol.  Where I had previously been a fan, after 9/11 the Yankees became an unhealthy obsession.  The results speak for themselves.  The Yankees lost the 2001 World Series.  Except for 2009, they've endured a stagnant decade.  Heck, they even lost to the Red Sox.  Lesson (belatedly) learned.  Baseball teams are a hobby, NOT a substitute for Him.

It's not exactly a secret that things haven't gone as planned since 9/11.  From Iraq, to Katrina, to the 2008 financial market crisis, to Obama's spending and debt, to the horrific situation on our border, it's just not working.  While we absolutely need better public policies and higher quality leaders, step 1 is our personal relationship with God.

Fortunately, it's never too late with God: if we follow the instructions in 2 Chronicles 7:14, then He will bless us with 2 Chronicles 14:7.

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