Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Should A Christian Respond?

Osama Bin Laden is dead. He was a terrorist of the worst kind. He was a murderer. He was a plotter. He was a deceiver. He was enemy number one to America and arguably the majority of the world for the last ten years. His execution was warranted. His demise was a blessing. But in the midst of it all, how should people who wear the name of Jesus respond?

1. The initial reaction should be relief. When Nero died, I imagine this is how early Christians felt. He opposed God and the church. He wanted to kill every person who exalted the name of Christ. He lit his gardens at night with burning Christians. There can be no doubt that early members of the Lord's church were relieved when this terrorist in their lives was no longer able to hurt them or their families anymore.

2. The secondary response should be sadness. Osama Bin Laden died outside of Christ. Even worse, he made himself an enemy of God. The first Scripture that came to my mind, when I saw people dancing in the streets in Washington D.C. was Ezekiel 33:11 - "'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'..." I found other friends of mine soon writing about and thinking about this exact verse. There is nothing wrong with people who are in the military, or who have family in the military, or who have lost someone on 9/11 being jubilant over a victory that has cost them so much. But when common people, who regularly show their disdain for America and sometimes for God, decide to party at the death of a person who has lost his soul, how can our loving and merciful Father be pleased? How can such a reaction show the world that we are a people who love souls and desire peace?

3. The third feeling should be that of thanksgiving. This thanksgiving should not be misplaced. We should primarily be thankful to God, who has proven once again that He will destroy every work of darkness and work by His providence in our lives. We should next be thankful to the people in our military, who sacrifice a normal existence, are separated from their families, and who daily put their lives on the line so we can be free. No politics, please. No Christian will ever seek an advantage at the cost of another. If we are ever to boast in any death, let it be in the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I will admit it. I am so thankful that Bin Laden is gone. But I pray to God that my reasons for these feelings are pleasing to Him. I know that the real enemies we face are the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). I know that other terrorists abound.

May God help us to be a people of love, joy, and peace.

"But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." ~ Galatians 6:14


  1. I agree completely. When I first heard the news, I thought, "Finally!", but I was more than a little disturbed by the partying in the streets. He was evil, yes, but now he's a soul lost for eternity and there should be no rejoicing in that. And then there's the fact that the militant Muslims hate the US and our allies enough already and I'm afraid there will be reprisals for our reaction to the news.

  2. Very well put. I have had some of those mixed feelings myself. I live in a military town and have lots of kids in my youth group celebrating his death with status updates and the stuff. I have had mixed emotions about what to say to them. Your article puts my jumble of thoughts into words very well and for that I thank you.

  3. The Scripture that came to my mind is this:

    Proverbs 24:17-18 (NKJV) Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; 18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him.