Why I Said What I Said
I apologize for hurting people--but my larger point is that America is in deep spiritual decline
Despite the impression some may have from news reports over the past several days, I hold no one other than the terrorists, and the people and nations who have enabled and harbored them, responsible for the September 11 attacks on this nation.
I sincerely regret that comments I made during a theological discussion on a Christian television program were taken out of their context and reported, and that my thoughts--reduced to sound bites--have detracted from the spirit of this time of mourning.
On Wednesday, one day later, I led the Thomas Road Church in another call to prayer for America. On Friday, September 14th, President Bush invited me to join him, his family and administration and 3,000 others to the National Cathedral for a special Day of Prayer and Remembrance, where we asked God for His comfort, protection and wisdom. Since then, by television and radio, I have attempted to call together millions of people throughout this nation and around the world in remembering all those who died, and praying for our nation, the victims of this barbarism, and their loved ones.
On Sunday, September 16, the Thomas Road Baptist Church, where I have served as pastor for 45 years, gathered thousands of dollars for the families of New York firefighters. Our members also gathered a huge collection of tools, clothing and other materials for the New York rescue and recovery efforts.
My statements on the "700 Club" on Thursday, September 14th, were called divisive by some whom I mentioned by name. I had no intention of being divisive. I was sharing my burden for revival in America on a Christian TV program, intending to speak to a Christian audience from a theological perspective about the need for national repentance. In retrospect, I should have mentioned the national sins without mentioning the organizations and persons by name.