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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Jonathan Pait
September 19, 2001

The question occupies the minds of many Americans and finds its way to the tongues and pens of many that wish to express their sorrow and loss. Who can know the answer to why the World Trade Center and the Pentagon suffered such a blow that crumpled more than cement and steel? Asking why is natural and seeking for an answer is wise.

Actually, the question covers two fronts. First, we ask what forces of world politics and clashes of cultures throughout history led to the culmination of these heinous deeds. A student of history can draw some solid answers to this facet of the question. History is replete with anecdotal examples with which to compare our own circumstances.

The second angle cuts more deeply. It goes beyond the intellect into our emotions and ultimately to our souls. The simple one word question stands for a myriad of inexpressible groans from our hearts. It is hoped that this feeble attempt to chip at this mound of granite will be accepted in the spirit it is written.

I am a fundamentalist Christian. I realize that is a dangerous thing to say! Even last night I listened to a professor from a university in New York equating all fundamentalists with the likes of the Taliban. The only response can be that the only fundamentalists who are dangerous are those who hold to dangerous fundamentals!

The point is that, for me, the search for life’s deepest questions cannot be separated from what God has revealed about Himself and His will in the Bible. Others may approach the question of “why” in another way and to read their thoughts you may visit any number of sites. However, if you are interested in hearing what at least this fundamentalist thinks, read on.

There was a distinct philosophical difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. In the timing of the events, they were not so far removed, but in method and the ultimate result they were and are light years apart. The French approached the human condition with great confidence. Set at liberty the citizens would ban together and evolve into a great society. It was very “human” focused.

In contrast, the American Revolution focused on certain absolutes outside of man (forgive the archaic use of “man” for the human race). A reading of the Federalist papers and other writings of our founding fathers show they realized that man was not an end in and of himself, but a part of a larger purpose. America straying from those absolutes would bring about a loss of liberty.

Millennia before the first shot was fired for American independence or the storming of the Bastille, there was another beginning. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This new world allowed the liberty to enjoy a perfect world and direct fellowship with its Creator. Our father, Adam, was given a free will. He and his wife, Eve, were given a choice to enjoy everything God had made except for one fruit of His creation. Adam would make a choice each day to remain in fellowship with God or to break that fellowship by going against God’s instruction.

Well, Adam made his choice and the Bible tells us that as a result separation from God is the birthright of every descendant of the first man. Evil entered the world. More specifically, the capacity for evil entered the heart of man. Man is not basically good—only showing evil when provoked by circumstances. Rather, man without any external influence of goodness and right will carry out evil acts.

In the end, the answer to the question of why the events of September 11 happened is the same reason why two years ago there were over 1000 murders in the city of New York. Evil men will do what evil men do. Perhaps a more provoking question is why something of this magnitude did not happen sooner. Most likely it is because those with this evil in their hearts did not have the means to make it happen.

Was this then some act of judgement on America? Any serious student of the Bible knows that America needs to repent. There are so many actions that we take each day that mimic Adam picking the forbidden fruit and biting into it. However, many of my own fellow Christian fundamentalists will often equate this nation with God’s chosen people, the Jews—the children of Abraham. God has given that people group some amazing promises that He will one day fulfill. In history, He has dealt with them in a special way. We do not have such clear cut answers for His dealings with us.

What we do have is a promise to each individual. All of us may turn back time to that perfect world. We can once again have a perfect relationship with the Creator. The evil that resides in each heart can be eternally neutered as we accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

First, we must recognize that the evil exists within us. Second, we must realize that in ourselves we may seek to control it, but we will never defeat it. Last, we take comfort in the fact that Jesus Christ has become “a second Adam” allowing us to become God’s spiritual children when we accept the free gift of His death on the cross for our sins and the defeat of sin and death through His resurrection.

Evil happens. Out of evil God often shows His mercy. It is the editor’s prayer that what these men meant for evil will turn for good. As people around America and the world seek for the answer to “why,” I hope they will take another look at Jesus Christ and His claims.

For more information read "The Hope Booklet."

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