Caught in a Crossfire: How Should Christians Respond to Osama’s death?

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
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  1. In an attempt to process the surreal news late last night of Osama Bin Laden‘s apparent death in a US-led raid on his compound in northern Pakistan, I sat down to shed some perspective on how a Christ-follower would/should respond to this kind of news.  In my reflection and research today, I came across a couple very well-written articles that also articulate a deep desire to respond in a Christ-honoring manner.  So I share them with you, both those who read this who are professed Christians, as well as to those who are not-yet-of-the Christian faith.

I’ll also share some of my own reflections from this news, and how I’ve processed it;

1. To cheer or not-to-cheer?  I’m a huge sports fan, and I love a good party…so I know how to cheer, celebrate and get caught up in the excitement of the moment.  But cheering that someone died…that’s a paradox!  I’m glad that a known terrorist, radical religious extremist, and a poisoner of young Arabic minds is no longer able to wreak havoc, but I struggle with chanting “USA-USA“…and “Obama got Osama” in almost the same manner you would hear and see people celebrating after a Gold Medal Olympics or World Cup of Soccer win.  Is it really a good day that someone, who didn’t have a personal faith and relationship in Jesus Christ (unless something dramatic happened recently), died and is going to spend an eternity in hell as a consequence? (yes Rob Bell, our choices here on earth do matter more than you think!)  Yes I’m glad that there is some level of closure now from the 911 attacks and numerous other alleged Bin Laden-led Al-Qeada attacks, but I’m also grieved that Heaven will have one less occupant than it could have if Osama had opened up to Jesus’s claims & teachings, and followed Him instead of a radical form of militant Islamic faith fueled by his own anger.

2. Osama got what was coming to him?  In one aspect I’m glad that justice has been served, but did Bin Laden ‘deserve’ anything more or less than any of us?  I’ve never committed outward acts of murder or carnage, nor have I planned any mass attacks on government agencies and civilians, but I have committed countless sins in my heart that no one knows about…except for God.  And to Him, those sins, as all sin, are impure, un-holy and not fit to be part of a holy, perfect God.  But some sins involve affecting more than 1-2 individuals, and have greater spiritual impact.  This may sound contradictory, but although we are all guilty of sin and are in need of the work of Christ, the bible shows clear precedent that all sin inevitably gets punished…but some sins/sinners (who are apart from God) get immediately punished (Nadab, Abihu, Uzzah, Egyptians, Assyrians, etc…).  So I guess I’m saying that not all sin is quite equal, and that Osama got what was eventually coming to all of us if Jesus had not stepped in @ Calvary…total seperation from God for eternity…only because he didn’t accept the free gift of Jesus’ invitation to come follow Him, and to receive pardon for sin because of the substitutionary ‘stand-in’ Jesus paid for us at the cross.

3. The world is a safer place now…??? Unfortunately, now that Bin Laden is gone, someone else will only rise up and take his place as a self-proclaimed avenger for ‘God’ against the tyranny of the western world.  When the US deems it necessary, they’ll produce another public enemy #1 for the world to focus on…afterall…it’s pretty good for politics!  I would hazard to guess that the US should prepare themselves for some sort of retaliation…whether it can be successfully carried out or not, is another matter.  But as long as sin is allowed in this present age, there will always be evil.  And as long as there is evil, there will be a real and determined enemy bent on bringing all of us down.  And the only solution to this evil, and to attain real peace, satisfaction and joy, is to look to Jesus Christ…not to soldiers, policies, governments…or to just bury your head in the sand and hope no shrapnel hits you!

So in the end, it would appear that justice has indeed been served, in more than one way…what do you think?

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