Should we rejoice in the death of Bin Laden?

The President hasn’t even given an official address yet, but the BBC and the New York Times have reported that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

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?

4 responses to “Should we rejoice in the death of Bin Laden?

  1. david simonson

    as im sure you heard binladen is dead. now yeah he killed people and was bad got what he had coming to him. thing i noticed is people celebrating. even christians. i said it seems kind of dark of us to celbrate anyones death. then i asked the fallowing question..

    do you think jesus would rejoice? or if a bunch were celbrateing would jesus walk in and dance for joy with them?(about binladen being dead)

    a woman said i am christian and happy hes dead and seee nothing wrong with any one celbrating

    (Romans 3:23) 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; ..

    (I John 3:4) 4 Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness…

    by no means do i defend him,, but a sin is a sin no mater the size and we are all guilty of that to compair who does worse just sayin

    So what do you think am i out of order state such a thing and not celebrate by posting pictures of dudes head hanging, or having a post saying wooooo hes dead im so happy. yes yes yes. Am i the lone christian here?

  2. Yeah, I agree with you to a point. Something we could talk about one-on-one someday.

    What’s most interesting to me is thinking of how this looks to those who celebrated on 9/11. Is our celebration of the death of Bin Laden any different than their celebration of the fall of the twin towers?

    It’s certainly worth thinking about…

    • Yeah, I mean I get the celebration of justice, and I’m all for that. I just believe that it must be accompanied by a solemn understanding of the cost of said justice. Realizing that salvation is of the Lord, and that only He can control that, the fact that many of us are so quick to come up with jokes about how Jack Bauer planned the assault, Chuck Norris implemented the tactical strike, and MacGyver locked the back door of the compound with a q-tip…it just makes me sad that our hearts are so far away from praying for our enemies.

      • Praying for our enemies is hard. I heard the hosts of 90.9 pray for al qaeda this morning. They had mentioned that we should pray for our enemies similar to what you said and then went to a commercial break. When they came back they confessed how convicted they were and they prayed for al qaeda.

        To be honest, it was awkward for me to hear. Not because the prayer was awkward or anything, but because I don’t often think about praying for a group that is so evil.

        Yet that is indeed what God has called us to do. To pray for those who persecute us.

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