How Christian Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11
I became even more passionate about my mission to fight the evil that grinds good, hardworking, and even godly people into poverty and its desperate consequences. I was heartened to witness the church being stirred to a greater desire to advance on this battlefield. Compassion International more than tripled in size this past decade as a result of God's people living out their faith. Many have realized that "doing good" is not good enough for the suffering poor—we need a level of commitment that goes further, one that reaches out more deeply and sacrificially.
Thanks to the will of the 9/11 generation, we now believe that it's not only necessary but also possible to push extreme poverty right off our planet. I think we can—and will—in my lifetime.
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
During the 10 years following 9/11, as a Christian, husband, and father, I discovered that extremism comes in many shapes and sizes. Every extreme, whether ideological, spiritual, or political, carries potentially catastrophic destruction. I came to realize that the greatest antidote to extremist posturing lies embedded in the simple reality of the Cross.
The Cross that embodies the hope of glory for mankind simultaneously carries a powerful truth that life is both vertical and horizontal. Vertically, we stand connected to God and his kingdom; horizontally, we stand in communion with culture and society. Life brims with vertical and horizontal dichotomies: sanctification and service; covenant and community; faith and action; righteousness and justice; John 3:16 and Matthew 25; Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr.
Yet what is the strongest section of the Cross? Where should we live as followers of Christ, as parents, spouses, ministers, and citizens? Not in the extremes or outskirts but in the nexus, where the vertical and horizontal intersect: the center. How do we collectively triumph over extremism, moral relativism, spiritual apathy, cultural decay, and religious totalitarianism?
The only authentic, transformative solution to cultural challenges stems not from the donkey or the elephant but rather from the glorious intersection known as the agenda of the Lamb.
Anne Graham Lotz, author of Expecting to See Jesus: A Wake-Up Call for God's People
September 11 was an alarm that penetrated my daily responsibilities and my busy ministry schedule, warning me … of what? Ten years ago, I could not have answered that question. All I knew with certainty was that God was trying to get the attention of his people, including me. Like the prophet Isaiah in the year that King Uzziah died, I looked up with the eyes of faith.
What I saw was not just a fresh vision of Jesus Christ. Like Isaiah, I also saw a humiliating vision of my own sin. I spent days on my face before God, confessing my sin and receiving his cleansing. The result was an authentic experience of personal revival. The immediate impact was a renewed vibrancy in my relationship with God, an increased fervency in prayer, clearer insight into God's Word, and a sharpened focus in ministry.
But the alarm did not fade away. Instead, I have heard it reverberating throughout the past 10 years: from Hurricane Katrina to the record-breaking floods, forest fires, tornadoes, droughts, and snow storms; to the collapse of our major financial institutions; to the economic recession; to the inability to win the war in Afghanistan. The alarm keeps resounding because so many people have not heeded, or even heard, the warning.