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Missional Leadership Apprenticeship
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Events & Gatherings

9/11 and Better Weapons
Written by soulster   
Tuesday, 11 September 2007

9/11 CrossToday NYC is full of remembering. 9/11 will always be the dividing line between who we were and are now. For me it is more than a national symbol or a cry to patriotism. It’s friends who have to fight depression daily, who are locked in cycles of mental illness, who self-medicate with anything they can find just to stop the spinning that began on that day.

I also think about all that has happened since. According to some estimates, nearly 655,000 lives have been taken in retribution [source]. Or perhaps the spin doctors would say this is the cost of correcting the original problem, while downplaying the number to only about 60,000 [source]. What disturbs me the most is our lack of imagination in response to our pain. Even a Christian pacifist friend of mine told me as troops first landed in Afghanistan, “I just don’t think there is anything else we can do.”

A group of insurgents against the occupying British once came to Mahatma Gandhi. They were willing to lay down arms and practice his response to oppression. Gandhi didn’t sell them some pie-in-the-sky promise:

At every meeting I repeated the warning that unless they felt that in nonviolence they had come into possession of a force infinitely superior to the one they had and in the use of which they were adept, they should have nothing to do with non-violence and resume the arms they possessed before.

So today I am dreaming of better weapons. Jesus has commissioned believers to be salt and light to the world. As such we should begin to believe that this destiny is our weapon to fight evil, and it is “infinitely superior” to all other means “in the use of which we have become adept.” Suppose we had spent the $450 billion war cost on mission work, education, economic development, infrastructure, and peace building in the Middle East? Suppose we had sent the 1.5 million young people as peace makers, missionaries, aid workers, teachers, and builders instead of as troops? Suppose it would have cost us the lives of 3800 good-workers and missionaries turned martyrs? Would we be headed for another future than the one before our feet today? In light of how things have turned out, I would be willing to back up and give a more imaginative response a try. Since there is no going back, do we have the courage to dream a different future?

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