Facebook and Twitter are already exploding with many sentiments concerning the death of this Al-Qaeda member and leader. Obviously, the majority of these sentiments are in the vein of “Thank God, he’s finally dead.” I fully realize the impact that Bin Laden’s leadership and terrorism had on our country. I don’t know anyone who died on 9/11, but I do know people who have fought in the ensuing war, and can only imagine the personal devastation inflicted upon those whose loved ones died on 9/11 and in the war on terrorism.
So, it’s easy for us, as Americans, to look to other nations and consider them evil when they speak out or act against us. It’s easy for us to rally against those who would attack us. I’m not saying Bin Laden was a good guy, he was by every definition I can think of, a bad guy. But there’s a problem with all the celebrating that everyone is doing. The problem is this: Bin Laden was a bad guy, a bad guy who needed a Savior.
Now, take a second and let your patriotic blood stop boiling for a minute, and remember that we’re Christians first, and then hold allegiance to whichever country we happen to reside. Let’s take a minute and look at what just happened here from a Christian perspective. A human being in need of a Savior just died, most likely never confessing Christ, and is now faced with a sentence of eternity separated from God. How in the world is this a cause for rejoicing?
Some might say “Well, it’s different with him, he’s evil!”. Really? By what standard are we declaring who is and isn’t evil? Are we comparing him to ourselves? Because if so, then we really have no basis for calling anyone good or evil, because we are all “better” than some and “worse” than others? Are we calling him evil based on the Bible’s standards? If so, don’t be so quick to point fingers, because we all fit that profile.
The truth of it is that in God’s sight, Bin Laden is evil, I am evil, and you are evil. Fortunately, God showed us much more grace than many of us are showing Bin Laden. God doesn’t clap with joy when a sinner dies! He paid the price to become our redemption, restoration, and to absorb the wrath of God rightly held against us for being evil people.
Being a Calvinist (another blog, for another day), I fully believe in the sovereignty of God in all of this, including 9/11 and Bin Laden’s death and eternal future. Yet I am forced to dismount off my patriotic high horse and ask if things would have been different if we spent half as much time praying for our enemies as we do praying for our troops.
At the end of the day, we were God’s enemies, through and through, and yet He died for us to make us His friends. So now I’m forced to ask, how much do we, myself included, really want to be like Jesus?