This is not a patriotic post. It is not meant to catch the eye of up-to-the-minute news hounds. It is a blog about death, about hope and about Jesus.
Of course Mr. bin Laden is a high-value news target, one which stole the spotlight from the royal wedding on cable news. Many of my Christian friends had opinions about the raid in Pakistan. Here are some nameless Facebook stati:
Ah yes. Killing to show people that killing is wrong...
I confess to taking pleasure in knowing the last thing that went through Bin Laden's head was an American made bullet.
It is good to see young people in the streets celebrating a major victory for America. Cheers to the SEAL team, military, and intelligence agencies that brought down that terrible man!
Knock, Knock who's there? The Navy SEALS!
Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.
"I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great joy" -Mark Twain
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him (Prov 24:17,18). For there is none righteous, no, not even one. (Rom 3:10)
Dr Phil to Osama: How's that 72 virgins thing workin' for ya?
The main Bible verses floating around Facebook and Twitter were the following.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’
Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.
Proverbs 11:10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
So, Christians, where should we stand? Here is my take on all this. I don't think that we can rejoice in the death of a sinner who very likely did not have saving faith. They are all around us, some are seemingly good people, and others, well, they are seemingly evil. Jesus died for them all. We can't rejoice in their death because we too deserve death. I am not rejoicing. I am praying for those to turn from their evil ways without judgement. I confess, I never could watch the video of the hanging of Saddam Hussein. And although I thought he committed evil and deserved death (Gen 9:6), I did not rejoice, and neither does God.
This does not mean that I am indifferent to tyranny and murder. God is the one who knows their hearts. I can say that fruit of the evil that spilled out, was sickening. God in his wisdom chose both Paul and Moses to partake in the advance of the Kingdom of God here on earth. He also allowed a murderous and oppressive Egyptian army to drown in the Red Sea. God is a just God and our ways are not his.
The verse in Genesis is clear that those who purposely take life should lose their own. As Christians I do not see a case for aggressive action.
Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."
How should we respond to the death of OBL? I think that we need to be very grateful that a man with the blood of thousands on his hands has been stopped. It certainly would have been better 10 years ago. If you are an American and want to be proud of the Navy SEALS, go ahead, I am.
I believe the Osama had an opportunity to surrender and did not. He chose the use of lethal force against him. Our military, border patrol and even local police have to make this choice every day - and on occasion a average citizen does too. I don't think I could do it. But when I see the shattered lives of thousands as I stand amidst the local 9/11 memorial in my town dedicated to 16 of my neighbor's loved ones, I an glad that some can. One of the nurses I had in the hospital lost her husband that fateful day.
Let me be clear. I do not applaud killing of any kind. Unfortunately the use of force is sometimes a solution to preventing more killing and I hate that. I do know that we have a just God, and his justice is perfect. He has the power over our very breath, his heart breaks for those the choose death, and rejoices for those that choose life. Mine does too.
It is this choice for which he sent Jesus to die on the cross; for those with faith and the seal of the Holy Spirit, the sting of death has been removed.
Now that the news has sunk in a little, how do you feel about the death of Osama bin Laden?