How Should Christians Respond to Bin Laden’s Death

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I personally will not be going out into the street and celebrate but I am not going to judge those that do either. There are many imprecatory psalms that call for justice against the wicked and celebrate their judgement. The bible doesn’t call for us to be stoic but acknowledges our feelings and at times calls for us to express them while at other times calls for reservation.

Proverbs 11:10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.

I believe there are two points which are in tension. To see that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth, to recognize that celebration may add fuel to Islamic fires, the call to love your enemies (but no their ideologies).  But then there are points of tension which we may fail to acknowledge while we try to be overly pious and look down on our brothers who do celebrate. Can’t celebration communicate our love for justice?Might a lack of celebration communicate a minimization of the evil of Bin Laden? In celebration might we show conviction and empathy for our country men that fell?  But our love should be for justice and an end to unrighteousness not for the calamity that brought about justice or to see the unjust suffer, not to see a person suffer but to see wickedness itself repaid with justice.

Ecclesiastes 3:8  (There is) a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Psalms 58:10-11:10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Psalm 139:21 Lord, don’t I hate those who hate You, and detest those who rebel against You?

conversely we see verses like this

Proverbs 17:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.”

Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

Shouldn’t God’s people make known to the world that there is a God who judges the earth?  Part of the Gospel, the good news, is also the bad news about our sinfulness and fallenness and the lostness of the entire world that we may try to downplay to avoid ruffling feathers.  But in so doing the world might loose track of the reality that it is lost.  Then when we come to the world and say “You need a savior” the world answers back “A savior, for what?”.  To which we then might be tempted to respond “how about a role model” which is a redefinition of Christ and a corruption.

There are many times more ways to look at something and I am not taking a side here but I think the other side of why someone who is a Christian might felt led to participate in some celebration might not be considered.

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About Devin Adint
I have always had many interests; technology, science, philosophy, theology, politics, history, etc... Currently, life for the past twelve years has placed me in the area of technology fulfilling roles in System Administration and Architecture. But I have always been involved in the local church and enjoy researching and discussing issues of theology, philosophy, history and politics...

One Response to How Should Christians Respond to Bin Laden’s Death

  1. Paul says:

    I’m not celebrating his death but, I don’t judge those who do either. Let us all be convinced in our own minds why you choose to do either. Various Scriptures have been quoted on both sides of that debate.
    That said, God appointed all governments and part of their responsibility is to administer justice. Well, Bin Laden attacked a country and killed several of its citizens. This wasn’t a military attack. This was a cold blooded attack on innocent civilians. So, when their government chose to pursue him to bring him to justice, they weren’t wrong. Bin Laden called for the attack on us and he encouraged others to do the same, if not worse, and he even threatened more attacks were to come. To be clear, he’s not dead for threatening or encouraging others to attack us. He attacked us. Anyway, I’m not convinced this was ever going to end any other way. He was a sworn enemy of our country. I’m sure he never intended to be taken alive. He wouldn’t allow it. In the heat of the moment, all it takes is a bad move and one bullet. We sought justice and unfortunately it brought about the end of his life and love did not change that man’s soul. He chose to attack us and this was his end. I think of “live by the sword, die by the sword”. I don’t believe that Scripture is just about punishment. I think there is a common sense element to it also. If your actions, criminal or line of work, puts your life in a more dangerous setting, military, police, terrorist, gangster, etc., then you might die by the sword.
    I can tell you I have prayed for him and for Christ to change him before it would come to this; I leave that up to God. God is a God of justice as much as He is a God of love but I cannot, nor do I think anyone else can say for certain that this was God’s justice brought about upon Bin Laden versus man’s justice. To that I can only say, “May God have mercy on us all.”

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