Summary: The Church’s response to the Trade Center Tragedy
The bloodiest day in United States History was September 17, 1862 when 4700 Union and Confederate soldiers died in the Civil War battle of Antietam.
That was until September 11, 13 days ago when over 5000 ( and the number still rising) were killed in a well planned terrorist attack. By comparison, 2388 Americans were killed at Pearl Harbor, and 1465 Americans were killed the first day of the Normandy invasion.
We have seen our Nation pull together like never before in my lifetime. Since September 11, there has not been Democrat or Republican, white or black, rich or poor—there have been Americans. It has been a time of our Nation humbling itself and seeking God’s guidance and protection. In God we Trust has taken on new meaning.
Last week I shared with you what I felt was necessary to take the terror out of terrorism. One of those things was for the church follow the pattern of our military and move to High Alert.
Wednesday Night in our Leadership meeting, Phil Hudson, President of New Mission Systems was sharing some devotional thoughts and commented that he could not wait until this Sunday to hear what it was going to take to be a High Alert Church. The problem was that was not what the sermon was going to be. He however, planted the seed, and I woke up early Thursday morning, knowing that this is what I needed to share today.
One of the first choruses I learned as a child was,
“I may never march in the infantry, ride in the calvary, shoot the artillery,
I may never fly ore the enemy, but I’m in the Lords’ army.”
Well, there is a lot of truth in that chorus----the Bible is full of military analogies. Through out the Psalms David talks of God preparing him for battle, of God going before Him in battle, of God being our leader in battle. In the New Testament, we are told to dress ourselves daily—with what?
Listen to Ephesians 6
What is a High Alert Church?
Our military has a system of terrorist condition indicators. It is called the Treat-Con system. Posted at entrances and in key locations on each base are Treat-Con signs. Most of the time they read “normal”. That means standard operating procedures are in order. You do your job. You go to class, you keep things nice—you put in your time. Normal Alert conditions are very INWARD focused. It’s all about the base. The graduations, the classes, the degrees, the promotions, the inspections----it’s all about what is going on in your area.
That is what most military people are used to.
Sept. 11 that changed. The Threat-con system has multiple levels.
Threat-con normal. Then Threat-con Alpha. Which applies when there is a general threat of possible terrorist activity. The nature of that threat is unpredictable but personnel are reminded to be suspicious and inquisitive about strangers and containers. In fact there are 12 measures that bases take at Threat-Con Alpha.
Next come Threat-con Bravo- which escalates measures to include barricaded streets and the placing of barriers. And there are 29 more measures (each with multiple sub-measures) suggested for bases to take. Next is Threat-con-Charlie. This condition applies when an incident occurs against a base or installation. There are about 39 more measures to take. And then we get to Threat-Con Delta. Which is where our country has been since Sept 12. Applies when there has been a terrorist attack and is a warning to community. This level has about 16 more measures with multiple sub measures as only military people can write our understand. I tell you all of this so you will know how serious “high alert” is.
Our country went from Threat-Con Normal to “Threat Con Delta” overnight.
When a country is on High Alert– everything changes. There is an OUTWARD focus. The normal things might still happen—inspections, classes, graduations—but those are not what everyone is focused on. They are focused on what is going on in the world—and how they are going to be a part of it.
This morning-----I want us to bring some of that attitude to our church. I want us to be a High Alert Church.
What happens at Threat Con Delta?
#1- There is a visible change in Activity.
Daily life is no longer standard operating procedure. People are armed, they are ready. Plans are being made. Troops are being moved. Everybody’s “routine” was changed. Plans were cancelled or postponed. Every plan, every motion is related to fighting the war. Every activity is somehow related to what we are about to enter as a country. Our president has called up thousands of reserves. People who have made commitments to our country, but are not active. They have been trained but are not actively involved in military on a day to day basis. But in times of war–they are activated to full time status. Over the last 13 days there has been a visible change in our military.