Whose Death Does God Cheer?

Bin Laden Death

I’m not a pacifist—but I do not celebrate the death of another human.

Even Osama bin Laden.

I remember watching the riots and flag burning in parts of the MIddle East that took place after the 9/11 events. I remember feeling angry toward those people celebrating the deaths of my countrymen. I remember feeling anger toward the people that perpetrated the attacks on mothers and fathers and working class people across the country. I couldn’t help but to think, “what is wrong with those people that they really think that God is on their side?” I remember thinking; “They actually think that this is how God demonstrates his favor—by killing the people who don’t fit into our moral, political or religious agendas?”

…and here I sit again.

Watching my Facebook Wall
filling up with American cheers and jeers

“God is on our side!!”
“God’s justice has been done!”

It made me cry a bit.
It makes me angry again.

Watching my Facebook friends, pastors and Christians strike their own chorus of revelry and revenge that somehow God’s will has been done and He has acted for us. He has delivered justice for us. He has delivered revenge for us. He has delivered our enemies to us because He is good and just—and God is on our side.

Of course, the logical flaw is that everyone thinks this.

Also by Jimmy: Love Wins – A New Split in Protestant Evangelicalism

Humans on all sides of the ocean, and throughout all the centuries love it when we can wield God for our agenda. We find ourselves imitating the Middle East crowds who took to the streets on 9/11 shouting that justice has been done to our enemies. We echo the mantra of the Crusaders who shouted, “God Will’s It!” as they charged their steeds into blood-soaked battles—so sure of God fighting for them.

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We also imitate the first century Jews who 2,000 years ago swarmed the Jerusalem city gates and shouted “Hosanna”, on this just recently passed Good Friday, because they were so overjoyed that Jesus would finally conquer the godless Romans for them—proving that they, were indeed, most favored by God.

We still want Jesus to conquer our Romans for us don’t we?
Jesus still weeps at our short sightedness.

I wonder if God fights for us now against our enemies? I wonder if God fought for those men who captured those planes and so assuredly carried out the will of God on 9/11?

Whose bullets carry the blessings of God?
Whose death does God cheer?

A wise man once turned the religious and social world upside down when He said: “love your enemies.” Will I be brave enough to follow in His Way?

If this same wise man actually struggled and broke the cycle of death then God forgive me when I participate in the ancient lineage of the crowds who cheer not for the love of Jesus—but cheer the idea that Jesus fights for my revenge at the great cost of others. God forgive me when I cheer the death of my enemies and thereby perpetuate the cycle of death—the very thing Jesus came to abolish.

God forgive me when I find myself:

Amongst the crowd and at the gates
Cheering while Jesus weeps.

—-
Jimmy Spencer Jr (@jimmyspencerjr) is the founder and CEO of Love Without Agenda. He’s just a good guy trying to change the world—and himself—one act of love at a time.




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About the Author

Jimmy Spencer Jr.

Jimmy Spencer Jr.Jimmy Spencer Jr. (@jimmyspencerjr) is the founder and CEO of Love Without Agenda and author of Love Without Agenda: Moving Our Spiritual Goalposts from Heaven & Hell to Wholeness. He’s just a good guy trying to change the world—and himself—one act of love at a time.View all posts by Jimmy Spencer Jr. →

  • policygirl

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been searching all morning for a way to express my sadness this morning and you put have put it into words for me. I am ashamed at how so many Christians are celebrating. His was a life created by God – I understand he chose fundamentalist Islam and God to strike at our country – but at the end of the day he was a human being.

    His death changes nothing. No justice was served here. He did not get a trial. I will still have to go through security checks at the airport and, if anything, this will embolden those like him for awhile as they are finding a way to deal with their own grief.

    • Jfunk1

      So what is true justice for a man that killed 1000s. If he went to trial he would most likely be put to death. You go through security checks regardless if he is a live dead or if he was even ever born. This is a huge moment in history and the start of something new..

      • lvd

        The start of something new? Really? What’s new? One radical extremist have been killed. Other radical extremists will use this as a call to turn moderate Muslims further against the West. Osama’s death does not cripple Al Qaeda. This is just another sorry event in a long history of violence and reprisal.

        At least Saddam was put on trial by his own people. I fear that this brand of justice will do nothing to endear Western governments to a large populace that already hates and fears them.

        • policygirl

          I could not respond any better.

          If anything is new it is only that more extremists have been created by the news today. Oppressed people become angry people who need a reason (like the death of a leader) to radicalize.

        • policygirl

          I could not respond any better.

          If anything is new it is only that more extremists have been created by the news today. Oppressed people become angry people who need a reason (like the death of a leader) to radicalize.

  • Pingback: On the Night I Heard Osama Died | Coffee Please

  • Beerman3133

    I will not say I am unhappy that he is gone from this earth. I will say that I said a prayer for him, that he would be saved, even though I know him to be a sworn enemy. I am under no illusion who killed Bin Laden, it wasn’t the might of Almighty God, it was a man, sent to kill him by another man, not God, and God isn’t rejoicing, in fact I am sure my feelings must have hurt God as well.

    • the dumbest person alive

      He killed in the name of God…

      • Joel

        As have America…

        • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

          Link/documentation, please? George Bush used the crusade language once or twice, but quickly apologized & corrected himself.

  • Sam

    I knew the first article here this morning would be to show how people were wrong to cheer Bin Laden’s death. No opportunity gets missed here to find fault with the Christian community. This time, however, the criticism is valid. The jubilation does look like the joy that some expressed in the Middle East when the planes hit on 911. Obviously those who have read God’s word know there is a higher standard.

    It shouldn’t be surprising, though, that those apart from the spirit of God would celebrate the demise of a mass murderer. Those of us who have been blessed to receive the gift of new life in Christ would react the same had we not been acted upon by God. The world can not do otherwise. But no, Jimmy, not everyone thinks like this.

    Our God really does want all to repent and come to a knowledge of the Truth – Even Ben Laden. Those who had their families torn from them as a result of his insanity will perhaps find relief of some kind. I pray that The Comforter would bring them the only true consolation. We do no justice to criticize those who react in the only way they can. Our country was hurt deeply by this man. We must realize that leading people to the one who said to, “Love your enemies”, is the only remedy.

    I imagine Jesus is saddened by this death or any other, especially when the person has chosen to reject what was offered them in Christ. Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have said something like, ” I am not sure whether or not God is on our side. I want to make sure I am on His side”.

    • Dave

      Does that mean that if Barack or Bush or insert president/prime minister name was killed those who are afghani, iragi, el salvadorian… would be justified in celebrating their death? America and its allies are responsible for far more deaths than al quaeda has ever caused.
      Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble. Proverbs 24:17

  • truthseeker

    400 Billion Dollars (in afgahistan alone), 10 years, countless afghans and americans killed, country devasted, families destroyed, a new generation of those with increased hatred towards the U.S.= death of Bin Laden….was the outcome worth the cost? Are we safer now? Thanks for this article and pointing us in the direction of Christ’s love even when it is difficult for our human minds to do.

  • lvd

    Before the inevitable chorus of catcalling and aspersions on your character, let me provide one more vote in support of the sentiments you express here.

    (And speaking of voting, it’s the Canadian election today. I’m sure most people reading this blog are politically engaged, but a reminder never hurts.)

    • graeme

      By coincidence, this year Canadians are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the US invasion of Canada. You know – when they invaded Canada and killed thousands of innocent people.
      And I suppose that there were Christians who figured God was cheering for that – just has a God must have cheered a couple of decades later when they killed Mexicans.
      And I’m sure God cheered the killing of Iraqis for all those “weapons of mass destruction” that we’re still looking for.
      I mean, just look at all the powerful countries the US has had to defend itself against – Cuba, Guatemala, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Grenada, – and so many others over the years. I mean, ya gotta defend yourself. And God understands that. That’s why He cheers whenever we blow up another family in Afghanistan.

  • Smkelso

    So, are you saying that this man should have been allowed to live and continue his acts of terrorism? Then you, sir, are a terrorist.

    • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

      I’m certain that’s not what is being said. I disagree with what they are saying with this post, but changing it to say they are advocating for the freedom of terrorists is kind of lame.

      • Smkelso

        I don’t think it is lame, I think its true. If you do not support the death or capture of terrorists, then you support the action of terrorists.

        If this guy would have at least said he is glad the menace is dealt with I would agree with everything he said. Because he didn’t, how can I respect him?

        • lvd

          One can easily advocate the capture of terrorists without arguing for their death. Osama may have been a fanatic, and very unlikely to ever change his beliefs or repent for his actions–but you know what? Now he’s dead, and a negligible possibility has just been reduced to zero.

          Osama’s actions were far worse, but neither side here followed Jesus’ command to love our enemies. There are other ways to fight extremism and hatred than violence. That’s what radical love is about.

        • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

          That is, of course, not what is being said. He didn’t say he didn’t support the capture or death of bin Ladin, he said he didn’t like the jubilant cheers of his death. That’s different.

        • Emily

          It’s not a matter of all out supporting or being dead-set against something. There are so many variances… Many shades of gray between black & white.

        • guest1

          What if I support discourse that provides opportunity for such wicked people (satirically, to use an “us vs them” kind of term) to reconsider their beliefs and realize the foolishness of their ways? Discourse being defined not killing them, if we truly want to stay faithful to an us vs. them mentality, and not to mention to prove one’s witness. Of course, the news doesn’t show the unknown number of would-be terrorists that decided that joining something like Al-Qaeda is in fact ridiculous and counterproductive.

    • guest1

      I think that this man should have been given an opportunity to come to Christ, or at least for Christ to come into his heart. Now, it is not his own accord to reject God, but someone else’s. Our own. It is as if WE’RE God, with the authority to decide who gets a chance to know God and turn from their ways, or not. Though I hardly imagine the idea sending missionaries to confront bin Laden over men with guns as popular, even among Christians.

  • Extremebo

    Well who are we to say that this was not the hand of God working through our soliders risking there lives to protect the inocent people this man has sworn to take. God bless America. Thank you to all of the service members risking there lives to protect us so that we may be free to beleive in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Rock it!

    • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

      That’s excellent. The idea that it’s wrong for people to overreact or over-celebrate seems just absurd. Drives me nuts when people try to take the moral high ground on a genuinely GOOD thing that has happened. Good news is good news. You don’t have to over-celebrate, but don’t act like you are better than those that do, you know?

      • i_am_me

        He’s not acting.

    • Daniel

      Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

    • http://www.firedaisy.blogspot.com Emily

      It may well be, but I will not cheer.

  • Terry

    The Bible says “Precious in the sight of God is the death of His loved ones.” This death was most likely not a precious death.

    Would we have been as happy had we learned Laden came to Christ?

    If not, maybe that is the real problem.

  • Smacback

    I think we need to have some grace for a nation to let off some steam after being so grievously wounded by this man but I pray christians would not blow their witness either. So far everybody in our circles have been very balanced so I am hopeful God is doing a work throughout our nation. We can’t become hyper patriotic while also avoiding an ultra piousness as well…

    • guest1

      I was under the impression that killing more foreigners than the number killed in 9/11 and occupation of two countries and the resulting impacts on a social and individual level of both would have at least satisfied blowing off some “steam”. If that’s what you call killing people and allowing states to flex their military power. In the meantime I wonder why 9/11 itself is not an opportunity for some external group to blow off their own steam.

  • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

    I’m not one of the ones gloating, but I’m certainly cheered by his death. This idea that Osama was still worthwhile, and still full of his complete humanity is kind of preposterous. I don’t really like the gloating, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that reaction to the elimination of the self dehumanized monster that attacked & slaughtered humans for glee & to gain power. There just has to be room in the Scriptures & churches for acknowledging that some humans just choose to be evil, and need to be stopped at whatever means necessary.

    • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

      That is exactly what Osama and his followers say about us when they celebrate their achievements. They see us as dehumanized monsters that attack and slaughter their people for economic power.

      • lvd

        Exactly. This argument won’t always prove convincing, though, as many will pull out the “but we’re Christians and they’re Muslims so we’re right and they’re wrong” card. It’s already come up a few times today in these comments.

        • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

          Christians vs Muslims isn’t the issue. You guys are making total false moral equivalencies. If one group rejoices of a vile act of wickedness, and another rejoices over the military action to address that act, it is NOT justification or equivalent of the first party/group. Just incredibly frustrating.

          • Aaaargh

            I think the moral issue at the heart is whether it is EVER OK to kill. Depends where you fall on the pacifist/just-war spectrum. You’re obviously farther from the pacifist end than some of the commenters here, and thus we’ll never see eye-to-eye on this issue.

          • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

            I’m not as far from the pacifists as you might think, but I do know we can recognize extreme examples of those so committed to evil that we can know it is just to end their ability to make evil by any means necessary. It’s not many that reach that. I guess I’m kind of saying indirectly that Osama seems to have been irredeemable, which I’m not sure I believe, but I do know someone that committed to evil is not changing, and should be stopped, even if it means killing him.

          • Aaaargh

            You’re right, bin Laden is an extreme example. But again…how do we KNOW? And is it right of us to arrogate God’s justice to ourselves?

      • guest1

        And thanks to ourselves, we’ve proved them right. If Osama bin Laden is indeed in league with the Devil, he’s calling us brothers and sisters.

    • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

      That is exactly what Osama and his followers say about us when they celebrate their achievements. They see us as dehumanized monsters that attack and slaughter their people for economic power.

    • guest1

      I’m not fully aware of the details, but I would presume that the people behind his death made some effort to detain and bring him to justice. Or have we preferred to live in the wild west? In which case, I think it is more about the issue of our own choices rather than another’s.

      And for sake of consistency I presume you’d do the same for Western forces when they do the same?

  • http://twitter.com/ThePriss April Coble

    This man’s death doesn’t bring back the six months from the beginning of my marriage that my husband was sent to war. It doesn’t take away the PTSD that tears him up every night and leaves me in tears, because I know I can’t do anything to ease the pain he experiences. Only God can do that.

    I grieve because we’re all God’s children, and this is one prodigal who will never come home. God knew he wouldn’t, but that doesn’t lessen the grief. My heart breaks because I’m one of the few who doesn’t need a proverb to understand what God has taught to my mind and heart. I fear many of those who would celebrate didn’t want Osama to be saved. If he was, would we still celebrate his death? I believe some would. Because they want their vengeance exacted.

    I don’t want revenge for the things that affected my life. I pray for healing. I pray for the lives and salvation of every single person who has died and will die as a result. And our celebrations are no better than theirs. All we prove in that is that we are terrorists with a different nametag.

    • truthseeker

      Thanks for your post. I’m a psychologist and work with PTSD and agree that the impact of war extends far beyond the last bullet being fired. I will pray for the healing of you and your family from the horrible effects of this war. The cost of this man’s death was way too high! God Bless.

    • Anonymous

      this is very beautiful, profound and mature. thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Holldoug

      Sorry April,
      Whilst I empathize with your distress I cannot support your contention that ‘And our celebrations are no better than theirs. All we prove in that is that we are terrorists with a different nametag. ‘ Your conclusion is far from reality. I dont support the celebrations of the death of OBL but I can understand them. OBL set out to kill and terrorise as many innocent people as he could. His murderous organisation deliberately killed 3000 innocent Americans and no doubt OBL rejoiced in their deaths. Navy Seal team 6 killed 1 murderous madman who would have done it again if he could. To equate the motives and actions as the same is absurd. The US celebrations were completely different with different motives. The bible clearly teaches us that civil government has a duty to protect the innocent.

      • agnus_dei

        Sorry, but I can’t let this error stand unopposed. Found this interesting (though simply morally ignorant) site through another portal. There is much to say about homosexuality, but let us call it what it is: sin.

        That said.

        The US government has waged terror across the world for decades against (usually brown) people. From its inception in The Philippian-American War to the Cold War conflicts to those nasty little interventions in South America in the 80s (and today, in the so-called War on Drugs,eg. Plan Colombia) and the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

        When that mortar comes calling to any Palestinian, or otherwise Middle Eastern family (incl. Christian Palestinians), the basic narrative that develops in these individuals’ becomes one of increasing hatred toward an entity which is committing mass murder against them. That being Zionist Israel using American weapons and money, or any other countless of situations.

        Say, you’re a peasant living in a mud hut and you come back from the fields, but find your family in bloody chunks, struggling to talk after being perforated with massive amounts of radioactive mortar/missile shrapnel, and see “Made in the USA” scrawled on the aforementioned weapon of death, you’d be pretty mad too. At the US government, not the piece of metal.

  • http://profiles.google.com/revconwell TJ Conwell

    Without a doubt brother, this is one of the GREATEST posts I have read to date on this subject. For those who claim to follow Christ, it may be time to be reminded of how we should conduct ourselves. Bless you. ~ Rev TJ Conwell

  • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

    FWIW, I think these posts are not quite as ridiculous as the ones that are way over the top celebratory, but also demonstrate an inability to understand the meaning & significance of events and only focus on the reaction to them. Find the New Yorker or other analysis of how this changes the world far more illuminative than all the “don’t over do it” nonsense on my FB & twitter feeds. Somehow seem to have very few of these “God’s will has been done” type bozos in my friends list (cause I normally will hide or block people that do that).

    • Smkelso

      I know. I haven’t seen a single person on my friends list who said anything like that. I think Mr. Spencer should back up his claims with proof. How can you be a credible writer without showing sources?

      • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

        He’s not obligated to bring his personal Facebook friends into this by name.

        But here’s Mike Huckabee, “It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden.”

  • http://twitter.com/TheSavvyGal Monique Reidy

    brilliant

    • Anonymous

      thank you :)

  • michael

    Penetrating questions and wonderful insight. Thank you for this.

  • Smkelso

    Question: Is it then wrong to pray that God would protect us and eliminate the terrorist threats from our world? We know because they are radicals they’re going to sacrifice themselves, therefore we’re basically praying that they would die.

    I’ve been challenged by Mr. Spencer, but he left too many questions and not enough insightful answers.

    • lvd

      Why can’t we pray that God will change their hearts and steer them away from choosing suicide? “Eliminating terrorist threats” doesn’t have to involve killing people. If we believe that God has the power to change people, then surely He is capable of this.

    • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

      Jesus said we should pray for our enemies, and for those whoa re in authority. Yes, please pray. But let’s also not pretend our national policy is directed or defended by God.

      For just as Egypt was used by God to chastise Israel, it could be that bin Ladin was chosen by God to chastise the United States. (This of course doesn’t mean we are to support this action, just as Israel fought against Egypt.)

  • Jfunk1

    This is stupid it is not about the death of one man that most people are cheering about.. it is the cheer for the end of a long 10 years, it is the cheer for a man that took the lives of loved ones being brought down. try and tell christian wifes that husbands in the army that they are poor christains because this now brings true hope that their job is done..

    • lvd

      Nope. It’s not done. Far from it. You can’t kill the hydra by cutting off one of its heads. I understand the symbolic importance of this event, but anyone who thinks that this means that the War on Terror is suddenly “won” is delusional.

      • guest1

        You make it sound like the War on Terror was MEANT to be won. You don’t think that states that essentially depend on warfare to survive and thrive would want end a war or an environment of, that benefits greatly to themselves, do you?

        • Aaaargh

          No, I didn’t mean to imply that at all–I think you’re absolutely right that certain powerful elements of our societies have vested interests in keeping war and related industries going. And the “War on Terror,” by its very nature, is completely unwinnable. There is no single target, for example. Not even bin Laden. It’s kind of like a game of “whack-a-mole”…smack at one, and three more pop up that you completely miss.

    • guest1

      What makes you think their “job” was to end a war? A war that benefits the nation more by existing rather than its ending?

  • Anonymous

    hello all. I’ll be checking on this Wall and engaging people all day. Let the conversations begin. Was up late writing and such. Based on the the # of “you’re amazing!” and “f-you!” messages in my inbox…I’m gonna guess this struck a nerve.

    discussion is welcomed.
    lets all play nice :)

  • Chris Meyer

    Either EVERY life is sacred or NONE are. God didn’t give us the authority to judge who is worthy of life or death (regardless of what we FEEL).

    Love your enemy was not just a suggestion, it was a commandment. There’s no wiggle room. You either believe Jesus meant what he said, or you don’t.

    Do you believe Jesus would have pulled the trigger that killed Osama?

    I don’t.

    Fact of the matter is, we don’t really trust God do we? God tried to show us to use love to combat evil. But we don’t believe him that it works.

    Is God smiling today?

    Somehow I don’t think so, not just because another human has been killed…but because we truly haven’t learned to love our enemy.

    Hate and revenge are easy…love on the other hand, love FOR your enemies…is a whole different ball game.

    We don’t like that ball game so we tried to “change” or adjust the rules to fit our needs.

    On Saturday there were however many thousands people, soldiers, children, wives, husbands, etc. who were killed as the result of 9/11 (not including the Iraq war)

    On Sunday, all that happened were four more were added to the list.

    Victory?

    I don’t think so.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4QQB6EW4BIATZQCKD76ZFUMVTQ David Skelton

      Wait, so are we just supposed to sit by and let our enemies kill those whom we love and cherish because we are “loving” them by not fighting back? That’s absurd.

      • Emily

        I don’t that we just sit back & wait.This war isn’t going to be a win or lose situation, it’s so much more complicated than that. Since you’re reading this blog I’m going to assume (possibly incorrectly) that you’re Christian. Would you want all of your family & friends fighting constantly? How about your kids? Not just typical kids bickering, I mean they genuinely hate each other. My guess would be that God doesn’t want that. He wants us to love each other. But with our human flaws, that doesn’t always happen, & we do fight.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4QQB6EW4BIATZQCKD76ZFUMVTQ David Skelton

      Wait, so are we just supposed to sit by and let our enemies kill those whom we love and cherish because we are “loving” them by not fighting back? That’s absurd.

      • Chris Meyer

        Violence for Violence has been used since the dawn of time: how’s it worked? has violence been irradicated?

        How would the civil rights movement gone and MLK decided to take violent measures, rather than the Love he showed?

        Call it absurd, it is, in the realm of the world…but if you follow Jesus you are shown to follow Him, not the world.

        We killed Bin Laden…are our problems over? Or might they now be worse?

        We’ve never tried really tried love.

        I’d rather die for love, then kill for hate, or revenge.

        • Seolyk

          If love your enemy has no wiggle room, why did Jesus tell his disciples to buy swords?

          • Chris Meyer

            Read the passage, the entire passage…

            But to reply.

            How many of those who were his “enemy” did Jesus kill?

            What punishment did Saul receive for his, sometimes bloody, persecution of the early Christians?

            When swords were used to defend Jesus from arrest, what did Jesus do?

            what was pilates punishment for his part in Jesus’ death? The high priest?

            what wars did the first disciples wage against those who were persecuting and killing them for spreading the Gospel?

            Find me any passage in the NT where Jesus, or his disciples, wage ANY sort of violence against those who persecuted them (that Jesus himself also supported)?

            Also, what is the approved list, then, that are the exceptions to Jesus’ rule? Whom did he list as enemies that were okay not to love?

          • Maddian

            Chris;

            It seems you have forgotten the Old Testament. The Bible should be absorbed, studied, consumed, in it’s entirety…both Testaments, all books, to the best of our ability. Not all will be saved. Not all will be in Heaven. From a human perspectvie this Sucks! We all want to believe that all will/can be saved…But it is not supported Biblically. All the more we should fall on our faces prasing God for his grace.

          • Christopher Cate

            Perhaps not all “will be” saved, but that’s due to their own rejection and choice (for whatever reason they may give). Christ’s call for salvation is open-ended for all. The Gospel is for the world, not a “selection” God deems worthy. And, you’re right, the Bible ought to be digested in its entirety, but must by necessity be read under the context of the cross. The OT idea of “eye for an eye” was temporarily a system of justice that God set in place to appease our own need for violence, but His Son’s life, death and resurrection prove God’s original intention when creating life. The cross says “No!” to the world’s broken system, it doesn’t take any part of it!

          • Maddian

            Yes; and so we dealve into the great theological debate of election vs. free will. Paradox abounds. If you take one without the other you have problems. Somehow God’s system allows both to exist simultaneously. I was likely not clear in my initial response. My whole point is not to judge whether Osama Bin Laden’s death was justified (I for one believe it was) but rather to say that God in his Soveiregnty might (and has many times in the past) chosen to wipe people from the face of the earth. And/or I can accept that humans might very well be born in the “Not Elected” bunch. I dont think the human mind has the capacity to understandood that concept this side of heaven (if ever). As someone mentioned further in the thread I do believe that men/women are ordained for various tasks (whether they are part of God’s family or not) including law, order, justice and sometimes even war. In closing…if Salvation truly is a gift for all but by human decision that we “seal the deal” than the ultimate power to be saved comes from Man. I know lots of people believe this to be the case I just can’t make it work in my head/heart.

          • Guest

            So God set in place a system of justice to appease the evil revenge violence of sinners? Would that not make God an accomplice to sin?

          • Tom Servo

            The wages of sin is death and Yah says govts are an instrument of his.Like Assyria was I think his ax

          • Chris Meyer

            I’m not sure what you are responding to here. i have not forgotten the OT, but you must remember, all was changed with the cross.

            How God operated with people in the OT is not the same he does now…for if it does, then the cross did nothing at all than to ADD to the law – which I would imagine you would agree it didn’t.

            No, not all will be saved – but WE don’t who will or who won’t and we don’t get to decide that do we?

            But like I stated at first: i’m not sure what you are responding to.

          • Maddian

            Chris; I would counter that God did not change because of the Cross. Our interaction with God changed because of Jesus’s actions on the cross not the other way around. Prior to Jesus men were saved by faith through blood as set forth from the beginning by God. I.e. God commanded the Hebrews very specifically how to make burnt offerings to cover sin. By their obedience the Hebrews were saved. Likewise the Hebrews believed that God would save them because of ther obedience. I.e. Faith. The only difference (and this is earth shattering) is that God flipped the order by sending His son. Instead of US coming to Him with sacrafice he brought sacrafice on our behalf. I do not believe God ever changes…we just have a narrow scope of understanding.

          • Chris Meyer

            No God did not change, only how he operates with us. As a father i wouldn’t parent my 2yr old the same way i would my 15yr old…yet we expect that of God?

            the hebrews were not saved by burt offerings. The Law didn’t save them either, they were already set apart.

            You are right, God never changes and sometimes we try to fit him into a little box that we call the Bible and hold him in there…

          • Guest

            I think a little more respect and reverence for the Bible is in order. The things related by The Word of God are ~vast~ and all-encompassing, not little.

          • Tom Servo

            Oh so we can ignore those who love me keep my commandments and they are not burdensome.So in the end god says to many who said to him we did so many spiritual things like cast out demons in his name and god says go away ye who practice legalism or was it lawlessness 

          • Guest

            Chris, the vengeance of God against evil men by police and soldiers is in the New Testament. That was not wiped away by the cross.

          • Tom Servo

            It dosen’t mean that those forces are just either but an instrument

          • Panoply13

            Amen, Maddian.

          • Tom Servo

            True in a mans house there are many vessals some of wrth some of glory and some destruction

          • Stary_nite

            Jesus was a minister and we are not all ministers. Ministers have a specific job. If we only read a part of the Bible we run into this misunderstanding.

            Jesus came as a Church worker. “The Great High Priest”. His job was grace and mercy to the inner soul. This is what Christians as part of the priesthood of believers are supposed to do. But God has also ordained the office of Government with the job of justice! And Christians in that job are called to do it. All through the Bible, God tasks government leaders to do proper justice, which means protecting the innocent from violence. So Christians should feel it is good that government did it’s job in stopping a man who says he will kill other people. Justice is part of God’s character. Would Jesus kill OBL, or I as a missionary? No. It’s not my vocational calling (as Martin Luther would say). But another Christian in government? Yes. It is their calling and service to society. A God ordained service. And if Christians cannot recognize the need for justice in this specific case, then we are truly lost in relativism and have no sense of right or wrong.

          • Dave

            @ Stary_nite – your reading of the bible is bent, mate. Jesus did say “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” and “Do not judge or else you to shall be judged”.

          • Guest

            No, Dave. Stary_nite is correct. He has rightly divided Scripture. The verses you quoted do not contradict what Stary_nite said.

          • Aaaargh

            I’m still not convinced. Even if God tells us that the government is his servant, does he tell us to take part in the government ourselves? Stary_nite and Panoply, you would do well to look at “Christ and Culture” by H. Richard Niebuhr. He pins your position down entirely in one of his five categories. That right there should show you that your reading of Scripture is by no means shared by everyone else, or self-evident to all who simply take Scripture at its word. Be careful that you aren’t claiming that your interpretation of Scripture is God’s authoritative voice. It’s a fallible human interpretation too.

          • Keven

            As a great Derek Webb song goes:

            “peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
            it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
            and then showing them by way of execution”

          • Guest

            Executions are justice, they are not murder: “For he does not bear the sword for nothing.”

          • Aaaargh

            Come on…don’t you see a slight cognitive dissonance in punishing the taking of life by taking another life?

          • Chris Meyer

            Jesus was a rabbi and we are to be disciples…thus we are to be as much like Jesus as possible.

          • Guest

            Jesus does not contradict His own judgments in the Old Testament, nor His words through Paul in Romans. God has ordained people to keep civil order and to maintain a measure of justice in the world.

          • Traci

            “So Christians should feel it is good that government did it’s job in stopping a man who says he will kill other people.”

            Wouldn’t life imprisonment serve the same purpose, all the while keeping Christ’s commandment to love our enemies, by taking care of his needs?

          • Panoply13

            Romans says that those who bear arms (police, soldiers) are God’ servants to execute justice. Also, a soldier asked Jesus what he should do as a follower of Jesus. It would have been a golden opportunity for Jesus to say: “Never kill people in battle or to keep control when a madman is on the loose. But He didn’t.

        • Stary_nite

          Justice is not hate. MLK Jr. served as a minister. That’s why he didn’t take justice into his own hands. But he asked government to do its job and make justice. He understood the role of government to perform justice. So should you. Ultimately hate cannot drive out hate, but in the meantime, justice must confront hate. Even MLK practiced that.
          Jesus came as a Church worker. “The Great High Priest”. His job was grace and mercy to the inner soul. This is what Christians as part of the priesthood of believers are supposed to do. But God has also ordained the office of Government with the job of justice! And Christians in that job are called to do it. All through the Bible, God tasks government leaders to do proper justice, which means protecting the innocent from violence. So Christians should feel it is good that government did it’s job in stopping a man who says he will kill other people. Justice is part of God’s character. Would Jesus kill OBL, or I as a missionary? No. It’s not my vocational calling (as Martin Luther would say). But another Christian in government? Yes. It is their calling and service to society. A God ordained service. And if Christians cannot recognize the need for justice in this specific case, then we are truly lost in relativism and have no sense of right or wrong.

          • Chris Meyer

            Jesus was a rabbi in search of disciples…as disciples we are to “be like” our rabbi. if our rabbi wouldn’t do something WE AREN’T to do it. If jesus wouldn’t kill, as he is our KING then why should lesser Governments be able to.

            We are to forgive our enemies, yet God doesn’t have to?

            That’s not love.

          • Panoply13

            If Jesus were a Navy Seal, yes, He would definitely kill bin Laden, just as God instructed the Israelites to kill their enemies many times. However, Jesus’ earthly mission as the incarnate Savior was to save mankind, not to serve as a soldier.

          • Aaaargh

            And can you tell me where Jesus called his followers to be soldiers? I remember this: “You have heard it said, love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you this, to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (that’s in Matthew chapter 5, slightly paraphrased) Jesus also hate some interesting comments on the concept of “eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth.”

            If Jesus was a Navy Seal…I can imagine that on some ironic twenty-something hipster’s T-shirt. Not in the Bible, though.

          • Panoply13

            Well said, Stary_nite. You have divided the Scripture correctly. Thank you.

          • Tom Servo

            Government in any country can only do three things well kill steal and destroy.

        • D-Dawg

          Non-violence for violence has been tried, and in earthly terms, it has failed many times, at least in the short term. Christians throughout history have been taken to jail, beaten, and killed for their non-violent approach to those who oppose them. If Christians were to lay down their arms entirely, including within government, evil would overrun the world in all likelihood.

          However, as you note, our heart is to be with Christ and not the world. This is our calling even if it means earthly hardships and persecution.

        • Panoply13

          Hi, Chris. Specifically how would we love bin Laden, other than to pray in his behalf that he might be saved and that he might stop doing evil? If a madman were at the local mall right now killing people with an assault rifle, and your mother, your sister, and your wife were there, what would you want the police to do when they found the madman firing at them? Attempt to give him a hug? What kind of love would it be possible to show under those circumstances?

      • Panoply13

        Thank you, David. We don’t love murderers by letting them back onto the streets to murder other people we love. We love them by stopping their ability to murder more people, often by killing them. Killing and murder are not the same. If they were, then God Himself would be a murderer, which He is not. (God killed almost the entire human race at the time in the Great Flood.) We don’t love attackers by letting them destroy us. I think love for Osama bin Ladin was to bury him according to his wishes and Islamic custom. Both love and justice must be given correctly. The Bible book of Romans, inspired by God, says that police and soldiers are God’s agents deliver God’s vengeance on evildoers. The reason we are confused on this issue is because we either do not know or do not believe the Bible.

    • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

      Total false dichotomy that “either all lives are sacred or none are”, not true.

      • Aaaargh

        OK–so you get to decide which lives God values and which ones he doesn’t? And don’t tell me he was a mass murderer–so was Saul of Tarsus!

        • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

          I don’t, but you just can’t say that universal is demanded. If you wanna go to scripture, the Bible says all are universally fallen/sinful/depraved, not sacred.

          • Aaaargh

            Why can’t I say that “universal is demanded”? All are fall/sinful/depraved, but are some too far gone for redemption and thus deserving of immediate punishment? Human justice would suggest yes. Jesus, not so much. Are you following God or man?

      • Chris Meyer

        please explain…

        • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

          I’m saying that it’s preposterous that to claim Osama is evil self-dehumanized former person has implications on all the rest of humanity. See above too. You can’t find Scripture to justify the idea that “all lives are sacred”, if you wanna go the theology route. It’s just a cheap rhetorical trick to stop people from saying things you don’t want them to be able to say. I’m not positive Osama was totally unredeemable, but there’s no point in trying to say that what you say of him you are saying of all humanity. Make sense?

          • Chris Meyer

            If All people are made by God, then we all have the same value as how could one be more valuable than another (despite their actions)?

            Thus all life is sacred or none of it is – are you wise enough to determine who’s good and who’s bad?

          • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

            I’m wise enough to know that Osama is so far beyond the pale it would require foolishness to claim otherwise.

          • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

            *was

    • D-Dawg

      “Do you believe Jesus would have pulled the trigger that killed Osama?”

      No, but…

      Who orchestrated the death of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)? Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19)?

      These are two of many examples of God taking life.

      Jesus was with God in the beginning, and Father and Son are one. Thus, Jesus was a participant in these. This is not a bad thing. Vengeance is the Lord’s.

      However, this illustrates one of the points where “What Would Jesus Do?” doesn’t work 100% of the time. There are certain things that Father, Son, & Holy Spirit do that we cannot or should not do.

      • Stary_nite

        Many Christians seem confused as to how we respond to the death of OBL. We do not cheer the death of a man, we cheer the protection of innocent lives. As Christians, we cheer that the God ordained institution of government has functioned as needed and protected the innocent. As a Christian who is working in the institution of the Church, it is not my job to fight OBL. It is my God given job to lead him to grace and forgiveness. This would be wonderful. But for a Christian working in the institution of government, it is their God given job to protect the innocent from those bent on harming them. Justice and Mercy are both aspects of God’s character and Christianity. These two purposes are served through two different institutions. When Christians ask if Christianity should seek justice and “judge”, they often feel the answer is “no”. But they need to clarify that God separates the work of the Church from the work of government. And both are Christian callings. Jesus asks individual Christians not to kill their neighbors in anger. Pastors and Christians in their personal lives can turn the other cheek. But God asks the institution of government to protect the innocent and strike down the evil-doer. We must understand the fullness of God’s good character and not just the specific ministry of Jesus’s grace. The Church is not called to the purpose of seeing justice done, but the institution of government is. It’s written all over the Bible…

        Romans 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

        • D-Dawg

          Romans 13 is definitely to be taken seriously. But what do you do with examples like this: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/04/24/chinese-police-detain-illegal-church-members-easter/

          China’s government requires that churches register with the state. If Christians meet together to worship without having registered, they are subject to detention.

          • Guest

            The principle of obedience to obey government only goes so far: “it is better to obey God rather than men.”

        • Guest

          So well said. The best post I have read on the Internet in a long time.

      • Chris Meyer

        You are bringing up action before the Cross to use them now…

        • D-Dawg

          If you are saying I was using OT examples, Ananias and Sapphira were post-ascension (Acts 5). If that is not your point, could you clarify?

    • Tom Servo

      Chris if someone dies its because god allows it.So it was his time I don’t know the man,I only know what the media says.So I don’t bother to judge any of it for any side.  Do I celebrate his death of course not. will I cry a river of course not. like the song says there ain’t no good guys their aint no bad guys there are only you and me and we just disagree.Which sums up most wars ever fought.Many the song writer stole it from that man who rolled in his own dung Going going Ghandi that oh so wise ex philosopher.

  • Slabine

    Thank you for your thoughts. I also feel very saddened when people celebrate the killing of another person, no matter what the reason. Instead of celebration, it should be a time for somber reflection, and searching for another way to resolve our conflicts.

    • Anonymous

      wholeheartedly agree!

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  • Randy Shackleford

    What football team does god support? What NASCAR driver does god root for? Which nation does god really like?

    • Anonymous

      I actually have an article that was supposed to be going out in a very similar vein—about God not wearing any particular jersey…bu t then the news hit and I thought I would write something specific.

      GREAT thought man.

    • the dumbest person alive

      which god is really god?

      • Randy Shackleford

        There are no gods. There is only a teacup in orbit around the earth that is
        too small to be seen with a telescope.

  • Stary_nite

    Campolo is confused. We do not cheer the death of a man, we cheer the protection of innocent lives.

    As a missionary, it is not my job, or that of Christians in their personal lives to take a life. Because the institution of the Church has the job of grace and mercy. But the institution of government is a God ordained institution tasked with the purpose of justice. Justice and Mercy are both aspects of God and Christianity. Thank God. They are served through two different institutions. But you wouldn’t know that if you only read the “Red Letters”.

    Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

    • Anonymous

      Please remember that position when the govt comes and takes your home and falsely imprisons you. When we are not on the pointy end of the sword it is simple to shout “justice”—but when find ourselves on wrong end of the sword (or getting bombs dropped on us) we’ll be quick to cry ‘mercy”

      • Stary_nite

        I apologize as I thought this was a blog of Tony Campolo.

        Romans 13 assumes that one can distinguish between good and evil actions. And being the Bible I must therefore assume that we can. (otherwise, why do I even ask for forgiveness). I trust you also can distinguish that OBL’s actions require the application of justice. If not, so help us all.

      • Stary_nite

        You really don’t seem to understand. If as you say government imprisons me “falsely”, then that would be government failing to do its job of true justice. By saying “falsely” you admit that there is a truth about right and wrong. In the same way, Christian pastors are not perfect in the execution of their grace to others. We are called to do our work to the best of our ability and with righteousness. Government makes many mistakes, but I cannot bail on God’s calling to follow the institution of government which he has ordained. No more than I could bail on the Church for imperfections in it. If I am on the pointy end of the sword because I have committed injustice I should accept it. This is implied in Roman’s 13. If Christians are executing justice well in government, I should have little fear.

      • Guest

        Of course, anyone would cry mercy, but that does not make justice illegitimate.

    • Anonymous

      Please remember that position when the govt comes and takes your home and falsely imprisons you. When we are not on the pointy end of the sword it is simple to shout “justice”—but when find ourselves on wrong end of the sword (or getting bombs dropped on us) we’ll be quick to cry ‘mercy”

    • Anonymous

      Just for clarity—because I don’t want to put words in to Tony’s mouth— the article was written by me. I’m sure that Tony and others will have important things to say about the issue. They may or may not agree with me—but I really look forward to hearing their perspectives. Thanks!

    • lvd

      OK, first of all, Campolo didn’t write this article.

      Two comments:

      -does this passage tell Christians to be in the government and take an active role in the military (the post-Constantinian view), or just to obey its commands (pre-Constantinian/Anabaptist/etc.)?

      -interesting that this passage also mentions that we should pay taxes to the government…

      • lvd

        OK, and I have to comment again. Because I fail to see how this qualifies as “protecting innocent lives.” I’ve already used this metaphor today, but you can’t kill the hydra by cutting off one of its heads. Al Qaeda is a widely dispersed organization with angry people in many countries, not dependent on a single figure for guidance or leadership. This death is likely to cause the mobilization of more radical forces as well as possibly the turning of moderate Muslims toward an evil cause. This is not a “win” in my estimation.

        • the dumbest person alive

          We are not, however, talking about a mythical creature cooked up in some opiate consumers head. We are talking about a real person running a real terrorist network. Although we may not have fixed the problem entirely, we are making progress. Stuff just doesn’t change overnight, it happens in small steps, and this certainly isn’t a step backwards.

          • lvd

            I don’t agree. Further acts of violence are not progress. Further acts of violence invite retaliation. Bloodshed is a never-ending cycle. To break the cycle, somebody has to stop hitting back. That doesn’t mean passively lying down and putting up signs that say “kick me,” but it can’t mean killing. Look at this–I’m reduced to speaking in soundbites, like Chris Hedges.

      • lvd

        OK, and I have to comment again. Because I fail to see how this qualifies as “protecting innocent lives.” I’ve already used this metaphor today, but you can’t kill the hydra by cutting off one of its heads. Al Qaeda is a widely dispersed organization with angry people in many countries, not dependent on a single figure for guidance or leadership. This death is likely to cause the mobilization of more radical forces as well as possibly the turning of moderate Muslims toward an evil cause. This is not a “win” in my estimation.

  • darrell

    Now he is dead. He needed to be brought to justice. Many rulers of this world (including rulers of the USA) decided he needed to be hunted down and terminated. That’s all part of God’s plan of keeping us safe. Sure we (as an individual) can love our enemies and pray for them, Jesus told us to. It’s up to our government to decides justice and how it’s delivered. “they do not bear the sword for no reason”. Read Romans 13. It’s not about liking the ballgame, it’s about doing what the coach says.

    • D-Dawg

      I say this as someone who enjoys a high level of safety: God’s plan isn’t 100% a plan of safety for His people.

      Check out the Voice of the Martyrs website at http://www.persecution.com/

      Christians the world over are being viciously attacked and mistreated, yet continue to proclaim Christ knowing what their fate might be. In Matthew 5:10-12, Jesus tells us we are blessed when we are persecuted on account of following Him. This suggests that persecution is possible, if not likely, for every disciple of Christ.

      Sometimes the most obedient among us encounter the greatest dangers.

  • Irene

    It is true, Jesus died for Osama bin Laden too, but a true and just God knows when a person WILL NOT turn from their wicked way. Some people need to be eliminated and I am glad it is the Lord who decides. Of course it makes God sad that some people do not listen and they continue in their ways. But we do know how it all ends, some people are going to be eliminated. Lets not make God out to be what He is NOT: a wimpy God who lets the whole barrel get ‘Infected” because He just “loves” everybody. Even in the “age of Grace”, after a season, some hard decisions have to be made by the Lord. Like it or not, He wouldn’t be God if He did otherwise. His word says that He is coming as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, coming as a righteous judge!
    A reminder from part of Proverbs 11:10, “…when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”
    From a fellow sojourner not of this world

    • lvd

      Did the Lord decide to take Osama now? Or was it the American special forces? Did the Lord decide to take the lives of hundreds of Japanese people two months ago?

      This opens up a whole ugly sovereignty/predestination/free will debate. But I think we should be very careful about ascribing human actions to God just because we like them, especially when death is involved.

      • guest1

        It was a segment of the world population, whose percentage is debatable. In which case I wonder if this is the exception of majority rule? An exception dictated by a small minority? Sounds familiar…

        • Aaaargh

          Sorry, I don’t understand this comment.

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  • http://twitter.com/robmille Rob Miller

    I really don’t understand how you guys can make moral equivalence for a person that made it his personal empire to murder innocents in as pain and taunt his victims on top. If he’s not evil, and the heroes that killed him worthy of praise, then you should check out what life is like in a true anarchy. Law & Order don’t just happen on their own.

    I would rather have captured him, but he wasn’t walking into a military base to surrender, and didn’t hide in a spider hole like Saddam.

    This kind of reaction would be understandable if the United States were actually behaving like you guys are imagining (or possibly some news outlets & individuals are behaving), but Osama’s death is a good thing for America, it’s a good thing for humanity, it’s a good thing in the history of the world, and it’s even a good thing for Pakistan/Afghanistan.

    I’m thrilled that President Obama is getting us out of the Afghanistan war, and am mostly a pacifist, but if you can’t recognize a good death like this when it happens, I really don’t know how to communicate with you. You don’t have to celebrate it, but it’s a good development, and should be acknowledged as such.

    • D-Dawg

      I understood Mr. Spencer to be primarily concerned with the celebratory aspect. I see it as being similar to the criminal who is justly convicted of capital murder and is sentenced to death. I think it is in the realm of reasonableness to feel that justice has been done when the penalty is carried out, but we should do so with humility, knowing that we, too, are sinners, and even if the sins of the other seem far worse than ours, our eternal destinies are still determined in the same way: not by the magnitude of our sin, but whether we believe in Jesus as our Savior.

  • Nellenelli

    I fully agree with you. Yes he was horrible but we should not celebrate the death of anyone, that just makes us the same as them.

  • Edwin_brennan

    Excellent. God is not “on our side” in a military sense. Just one small criticism: why are the “working class people” across the people especially to be pitied? Every man’s death diminishes me, be he pauper or doctor or stock-broker. That apart, a first class article.

    • Anonymous

      just a way to allude to fire fighters who lost their lives. Agree that love is recognizing all people’s inherent value and steadfastly acting upon it without agenda.

  • Timtim

    you guys are fucking retarded. once a person kills someone they give up the rights to their soul. osamas death is very much worth celebrating because his time on earth was only spend killing people. how fucking dare you people even consider him as a fucking human being anymore. talk to the victims of 911 and see wat they have to say. you ignorant fucks.

    • Aaaargh

      Thank you for elevating the conversation! Very convincing.

      Regarding your soul-losing doctrine, can you provide a reference please?

    • Chris Meyer

      I completely understand your anger. But all you are offering to the victims of 9/11 in more violence…and condoning it. If you decide a certain human life isn’t worthy anymore, well, that is your belief – which means anyone’s value is clearly up to you. if we all believed that, deaths don’t matter because bin laden felt we deserved what we got on 9/11 too. You are just on one side of an argument (which can neither be right or wrong – your argument alludes to this).

      I would love to talk to the victims of 9/11 and offer more than just more bloodshed and hate and violence.

      And I have to believe that there are some victims of 9/11 that would disgree with you, despite you wanting to speak for all of them.

      • Aaaargh

        Thank you for responding more reasonably than I did. I’ve been trying to answer some of the more militaristic posters with some thought, but this one just went a bit too far. I might have to take a break from this page for a while.

        There is a response, a bit further down, from a woman whose husband went to war as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Perhaps not quite a direct “victim,” but an interesting perspective nonetheless, and certainly more involved than many of us (I suspect).

    • guest1

      Which is worse, the person pulling the trigger, or the people cheering for death? An event such as this has proven only one thing: we’ve willingly chosen to be just like them. That does not mean the deaths occurred at 9/11 are justified. Merely that two wrongs make no right.

      Talk to the Iraqis whose homes are regularly destroyed by both sides. Even they don’t always vilify American troops.

  • Smkelso

    Lets imagine that the USA was a completely Christian run nation, and everyone was a Christian. 9/11 still happened. How should a Christian nation respond? How should Christians respond to the threat of home, health, and family? Should we just take it and die and suffer?

    If Osama Bin Laden came to your home with a gun to the head of your children, or wife, and you had a gun in your hand would you shoot him or not?

    Mr. Spencer, you didn’t really make clear your stance on protecting yourself and what Christians SHOULD do in this circumstance. I really feel like you could have been a little more thorough in your ideologies instead of seemingly silent on your stance on war, and protecting yourself.

    • Chris Meyer

      I would argue, that if America a Christian nation, ie truly following Christ and his teachings, the attacks of 9/11 would not have happened. Thus your arguement is a moot point.

      As for protecting my family – you seem to suggest that the answer to violence is more violence: hows that worked out for us?

      • D-Dawg

        Check out the Voice of the Martyrs website at http://www.persecution.com/

        Christians the world over are being viciously attacked and mistreated, yet continue to proclaim Christ knowing what their fate might be. The Gospel is offensive, and I think that if we were to repent as a nation and truly turn to God, we should expect more mistreatment by the rest of the world, not less. In Matthew 5:10-12, Jesus tells us we are blessed when we are persecuted on account of following Him. This suggests that persecution is possible, if not likely, for every disciple of Christ.

        • Chris Meyer

          I certainly understand that, but remember, I’m replying into the context of the question. An argument can be made that 9/11 would not have happened under the circumstance provided. That’s all I’m saying, nothing more.

          Please read, everyone, before reacting.

      • DRB

        I disagree Mr. Meyer. Even if America were a 100% Christian nation following all of the teachings of Christ 9/11 would still have happened. That’s like saying if America were entirely populated by people with dark skin we would not have been attacked. We were not attacked because of our diversity in religion, nor the cultural/ethnic heritages we share, but because we are America. Because of the things that America represents and because of our westernized culture. We have freedom, women are equivalent to men, we can choose which God(s) we want to worship, we can openly speak when we believe something our leaders are doing is wrong. Just look at the ridiculousness of the issue involving the President’s birth certificate. It is things like this that are the reasons that America was attacked. Not our inability to follow Christian teachings to the letter.

        Smkelso has a valid argument. What do we do when we are attacked? How do we defend ourselves as Christians. Ideally we would be like Christ and lay down our swords and go quietly to be crucified for doing no wrong, but human nature is a force which opposes that. Survival is in our genes, and yes unfortunately so is revenge, justice, and retaliation. I do not agree with the overzealous celebratory actions that took place, I know perhaps better than others that the death of Bin Laden will likely lead to an increase in the attacks on our countrymen and allies. But I also know that Bin Laden was a man of evil, and had he “laid down his sword” and come along quietly he would have received a trial before his own people. But he did not, and now he is dead. It is an unfortunate thing to lose human life, and I grieve for his children and family as I grieve for my brothers and sisters in arms, as I grieved for those lost in the attacks of 9/11. But I also resist The Hangman (Maurice Ogden), I will stand “side by side for the common good”.

    • D-Dawg

      I have struggled with this thought process before as well and continue to. Our society highly values the idea that self defense is an appropriate response to a violent threat, yet Jesus’ teachings seem to point in a different direction. As to your specific questions:

      How should a Christian nation respond?
      I don’t know. Taking the Bible as a whole, there does seem to be room for violence in the context of governing authorities, be they military or police. Thus, even a Christian nation may be right to use violence in these contexts.

      How should Christians respond to the threat of home, health, and family? Should we just take it and die and suffer? (plus the question about Bin Laden)
      I have often argued that Jesus’ teachings should be taken on the individual level, but not necessarily applying to the state. Thus, Jesus’ teachings don’t necessarily imply the state must not use violence (don’t resist an evil man) or that the state must have welfare programs (care for the poor). However, to be consistent, those teachings must be applied on the individual level.

      Thus, yes, we should just take it and die and suffer (and not shoot Bin Laden) if that is the outcome of not resisting an evil man. I do think we should pray and seek to heap Christ’s love on the offending individual(s), even if it is our last act. There have been stories of robberies averted through this means (for example, http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7456846).

      The one possible point of “wiggle room” here is that perhaps Jesus was not including all possibilities on the scale of evil when He said, “Do not resist an evil man.” The reason I say this is because He says (paraphrased), “If he strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” and “if he asks for your tunic, give him your cloak also.” The examples He uses are not ones of a lethal threat.

      I’m interested to know, what are your answers to your questions?

    • D-Dawg

      I have struggled with this thought process before as well and continue to. Our society highly values the idea that self defense is an appropriate response to a violent threat, yet Jesus’ teachings seem to point in a different direction. As to your specific questions:

      How should a Christian nation respond?
      I don’t know. Taking the Bible as a whole, there does seem to be room for violence in the context of governing authorities, be they military or police. Thus, even a Christian nation may be right to use violence in these contexts.

      How should Christians respond to the threat of home, health, and family? Should we just take it and die and suffer? (plus the question about Bin Laden)
      I have often argued that Jesus’ teachings should be taken on the individual level, but not necessarily applying to the state. Thus, Jesus’ teachings don’t necessarily imply the state must not use violence (don’t resist an evil man) or that the state must have welfare programs (care for the poor). However, to be consistent, those teachings must be applied on the individual level.

      Thus, yes, we should just take it and die and suffer (and not shoot Bin Laden) if that is the outcome of not resisting an evil man. I do think we should pray and seek to heap Christ’s love on the offending individual(s), even if it is our last act. There have been stories of robberies averted through this means (for example, http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7456846).

      The one possible point of “wiggle room” here is that perhaps Jesus was not including all possibilities on the scale of evil when He said, “Do not resist an evil man.” The reason I say this is because He says (paraphrased), “If he strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” and “if he asks for your tunic, give him your cloak also.” The examples He uses are not ones of a lethal threat.

      I’m interested to know, what are your answers to your questions?

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  • HappyBoy1956

    Let’s leave God out of it for a moment. There was a man who spent his life orchestrating the death of thousands of others. He is gone. Perhaps it’s not joy that I fell, but rather a bit of relief and a sense of (secular) justice.

    • Aaaargh

      If you want to leave God out of it, why are you reading this blog? There are many secular places you could go to commiserate with like-minded individuals about this issue, I’m sure.

    • Anonymous

      I think that is more than fair. If you take God out of the equation I would probably argue that the needs of the many definitely outweigh the few—to quote Star Trek ;)

      To be really clear—I’m not a total pacifist. As a Christian—I’m the guy who is supposed to take the words of Jesus seriously. So, when something like this comes up—I just pause and think about how he would approach it. Issues like this look different thru Jesus eyes. It just helps me to ask the questions and do my best to be loving to people who disagree.

      But totally agree with you—actually I really have issues with the celebratory nature because I believe it creates a cycle of violence I would like to see stopped—and I think Jesus worked to try to stop.

      thanks for the thoughts man.

  • Seolyk

    You have one thing wrong: Jesus did not come to abolish death in the physical sense. If that were so, no one would die. He came to abolish the power death has over us spiritually and be our gateway into the life of the world to come. Jesus himself said that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword and even told his disciples to buy swords for protection after he was crucified.

    That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cheering for joy when someone like bin Laden dies. Why? Because he’s been behind the deaths of MILLIIONS of people and he hates the God of Israel and Christians. Would you have written this when Hitler was found to be dead?

    Don’t forget that God led Israel in many wars as well as used the sieges of other nations against them to discipline them for their sins. Israel rejoiced in the book of Esther when Haman was killed, because he tried to destroy their entire nation. When someone who has done horrible things around the world dies, it is perfectly fine to cheer.

    As for who’s side God is on, the Scripture makes that clear: whoever blesses Israel shall be blessed, whoever curses them shall be cursed. He’s on Israel’s (the Jews who actually believe, not the State of Israel) side and whoever sides with them.

    • Aaaargh

      Hmmm–yes, bin Laden has caused many deaths, but surely “MILLIONS” is an overstatement.

      And despite what you say about whose side God is on, I don’t think that God has directly told anyone to wipe out an entire nation since the word became flesh.

      • Seolyk

        you’re right, i was over hyperbolic with that, however we aren’t talking about wiping out a nation, but the killing of one person who’s done horrible things and if its okay to cheer about that.

    • Anonymous

      Jesus chooses to offer us life instead instead of death—the death of living in broken and bruised lives. The death of hatred and revenge. The death of allowing others to starve and suffer.

      He offers the life of reconciliation. The life of forgiveness. A life that finds a way to build peace and not war. I don’t know exactly what the words of Jesus mean for all of society—I can see clear issues that it would cause if everyone in the US became a pacifist. For me though, it is the moment by moment choices I make—will I choose to embrace life or death

      Jesus & the Holy Spirit give us the power to choose life over killing. What we do with that power is our choice.

      • Seolyk

        In killing OBL, aren’t we ending the cause of certain suffering? The precepts he advocates would have women covered from head to toe, be killed when raped, and forced to live without any education. He would also have anyone who disagrees with him in the slightest killed and shows no forgiveness or mercy to… anyone really, including his own people. While I agree we should forgive, however when someone keeps wronging us in ways that threaten lives, we are to protect the innocent at nearly all costs (including that of killing the perpetrator).

        also, why do you think Jesus told his disciples to get swords if we’re only to love and forgive our enemies?

  • http://twitter.com/shazza668 sharon robertson

    Thank you for writing this. I know what he did and dont agree but of course Jesus weeps and some of Jesus people will be and are weeping despite what the media is saying and what people are feeling.

  • Vams_pr

    Wether is celebrated or not we have to admit, Osama had an opportunity to accept Christ as his savior and never did. The same for us here in the US. It doesn’t matter how they died or the reason why. All of us are given the chance to accept Christ and at the end of the day there is no one to blame but your self for not taking advantage of the opportunity when it was given to you by God. We don’t know if this is what Gos wanted or not but it happened and if his soul is not saved the only one to blame is him. And the same goes for us. If my soul or yours is not saved, no one is to blame but us.

    • Nikki

      None of us can really say what was in Osama’s heart at the end of his life. For all we know, Jesus encountered him, maybe like he did to Saul, and accepted Christ. Just a thought.

  • Karl

    Time to either reprove your friends that they should love a mass murderer or find friends who do.

    People would be too shocked to cheer if President Obama had held up Osama Bin Laden’s head.

    Are you saying that the people sent to get Bin Laden should have sacrificed their own lives and the lives of their comrades by letting Bin Laden execute them?

    This isn’t about religion. This is about the State enforcing its monopoly on violence.

    • Anonymous

      my friend who love the mass murderer is Jesus.

      clearly Karl—you have never heard of this Jesus who lived under one of the most violent occupying nations. IN the midst of all the violence that Rome perpetrated here is Jesus saying…no commanding…love your enemies.

      I would want to know how you justify the words of Jesus and your beliefs as a Christian? Do you celebrate the death of Osama? Do you think the people who celebrate his death are any different than the folks who celebrated the 9/11 tragedies?

      Do you see any end to the violence like this?

    • Anonymous

      my friend who love the mass murderer is Jesus.

      clearly Karl—you have never heard of this Jesus who lived under one of the most violent occupying nations. IN the midst of all the violence that Rome perpetrated here is Jesus saying…no commanding…love your enemies.

      I would want to know how you justify the words of Jesus and your beliefs as a Christian? Do you celebrate the death of Osama? Do you think the people who celebrate his death are any different than the folks who celebrated the 9/11 tragedies?

      Do you see any end to the violence like this?

  • Floyddees

    Finally I have read a coment that God might be most proud of.

    • Anonymous

      which comment would that be Floyddees?

    • Anonymous

      which comment would that be Floyddees?

  • http://profiles.google.com/peonyden Denis Wilson

    Well written. I agree entirely.
    I have written about my horror at the US celebrations on my blog:
    http://thebodypoliticisill.blogspot.com/2011/05/murder-of-osama-bin-laden.html
    I have not taken a particularly christian perspective, merely questioned the legality of the incursion and the “justice” of the act itself.
    Denis Wilson

  • http://profiles.google.com/peonyden Denis Wilson

    Well done. I agree entirely
    I have written about my horror at the celebrations at the murder.
    As an incursion into sovereign territory, it was an illegal act.
    The rapid “burial” at sea raises all sorts of questions about the identity of the person or persons killed.
    http://thebodypoliticisill.blogspot.com/2011/05/murder-of-osama-bin-laden.html
    Cheers
    Denis Wilson

  • T-Bar

    Hold your theological darts!!! Would you have also been critical of the children of Israel celebrating the ‘horse and rider thrown into the sea’? There is a difference in invoking fictional gods like Allah and invoking the real God who clearly said in Scripture he would bless those who bless his people. American rests in that blessing because of the Christian presence in this nation. I am sure some of those Seals prayed for safety and I have no doubt God guided their hands in safety as they took out this enemy of both America and the gospel. Yes, I celebrate his death unashamedly and am a minister of the gospel.

    • D-Dawg

      A fair point – we cannot disregard Old Testament accounts of Israel’s rejoicing in victories over opposing forces. I would say, though, that America is not a direct equivalent of Israel. Though radical Islam sees Christians as infidels, this particular conflict was Bin Laden vs. America, not Bin Laden vs. the Christian Church.

      I think we should be careful in saying that America rests in God’s blessing because of the Christian presence in this nation. Christians everywhere should humbly acknowledge that we fall very short and that God is more interested in the Church’s faithfulness than the preservation of any nation.

  • Secondtopaul

    I see your point, and agree with it, but am still conflicted. I think God does value human life and Jesus was a revolutionary for love, but if they are one in the same (Trinity), the why did God order mass slaughterings of entire people groups in the Old Testament? I know we are living under the New Testament but I have always been told God doesn’t change. I am sure the God that told the Jews to clean out the Promised Land is the same one that loves us today. Even if parallels can’t be drawn between then and recent events, I still feel like certain things are not lining up.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your even-toned comment!

      I think the process of God revealing himself to people is constant. I think the temperature does change—the air has changed? That we have lost oxygen or that the basic fabric of air has been altered. Absolutely not.

      I don’t fully understand things either but I do know this—Jesus had those texts at his disposal as he interpreted them to us and taught. He gets the final word in my mind. He interpreted the Jewish scriptures and came up with “love your enemies”

      Jesus’ teachings aren’t just for my understanding—they are for me to live out. I try to keep it simple.

    • Stary_nite

      Perhaps this will help you combine the Old and New Testaments, as well as God’s Justice and Grace. God doesn’t change, neither has Jesus, and don’t let anyone ask you to ignore the Old Testament.
      Jesus came as a Church worker. “The Great High Priest”. His job was grace and mercy to the inner soul. This is the job and purpose of Jesus on earth as sent by his father. This is also what Christians as part of the priesthood of believers are supposed to do. But God has also ordained the office of Government with the job of justice! And Christians when they are working in that job are called to do it. All through the Bible, God tasks government leaders to do proper justice, which means protecting the innocent from violence. So Christians should feel it is good that government did it’s job in stopping a man who says he will kill other people. Justice is part of God’s character. Would Jesus kill OBL, or I as a missionary? No. It’s not my vocational calling (as Martin Luther would say). But another Christian in government? Yes. It is their calling and service to society. A God ordained service. Justice is love. And if Christians cannot recognize the need for justice in this specific case, then we are truly lost in relativism and have no sense of right or wrong.

      Read Romans 13 in that light.

  • Coolomollo

    “I can only think of one death that brought the world peace, and we celebrated that a week ago.”

    • truthseeker

      Well said.

  • Maddian

    Jimmy,

    I want so much to love this response to Osama’s assasination. While I do not revel in any humans death I can not ignore history (Biblical and human). God clearly HAS chosen sides. He has wiped out entire nations (multiple times). This is not my opinion but rather written and historically corroborated fact. I am sad that Osama died seperate (by all Biblical/Christian worldview assumptions) from God (i.e. in Hell) but I am not willing to assume that his demise was not absolutely providential. Only God’s judgement will stand the test of time.

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  • truthseeker

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”
    — Martin Luther King Jr

    • Guest

      Love the quote but the first sentence is not MLK, it’s made up. Just to clarify

    • Stary_nite

      Justice is not hate. MLK Jr. served as a minister. That’s why he didn’t take justice into his own hands. But he asked government to do its job and make justice. He understood the role of government to perform justice. So should you. Ultimately hate cannot drive out hate, but in the meantime, justice must confront hate. Even MLK practiced that.
      Jesus came as a Church worker. “The Great High Priest”. His job was grace and mercy to the inner soul. This is what Christians as part of the priesthood of believers are supposed to do. But God has also ordained the office of Government with the job of justice! All through the Bible, God tasks government leaders to do proper justice, which means protecting the innocent from violence. So Christians should feel it is good that government did it’s job in stopping a man who says he will kill other people. Justice is part of God’s character. Would Jesus kill OBL, or I as a missionary? No. It’s not my vocational calling (as Martin Luther would say). But another Christian in government? Yes. It is their calling and service to society. A God ordained service. And if Christians cannot recognize the need for justice in this specific case, then we are truly lost in relativism and have no sense of right or wrong.

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  • http://www.firedaisy.blogspot.com Emily

    Jimmy, thank you for this. I didn’t cheer, and I knew I had reached a further place in my spiritual walk when I was thinking, “I wonder if someone could have told him about Jesus?” and it made me weepy. You see God sees everyone as children, that laughing innocent wide-eyed child you were when you were four. I realized this about a year ago when my mother said to me she always sees me, as a little girl, and I realized that is how God sees us. I wept.

    • Anonymous

      this is encouraging to me— thanks so much :)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EN2NTGKZRI7SUME4XWIZKADDGM John

        Thank Jimmy!! My brother and I have been having this conversation with our friends since it happen and people were marching in the streets. I am in the Military and my brother is becoming a pastor and there are some thing me and him don’t agree on but we both believe that his death is not something to celebrate in the streets. I will believe they trided to bring him in and he fought and that is why he died. If this is the case then so be it and Lords will be done. Still I agree there I no reason that Christains should be celebrating in the streets, instead pray as Jesus taught us! I thank you again Jimmy I will now be fallowing your blog!

        • Anonymous

          My brother is 82nd Airborne. I appreciate the work you guys do for our country. Thank you sir. I think there is a difference between justice and revenge and I think many civilians celebrating the event in the streets muddies the waters.

          Anyone who has seen death (or tragedy) up close knows its a sobering and sad event to take a life—not something to be cheered.

  • Jack

    well there is nothing wrong for revelry at this time because world’s most vile villain had been killed……

    • Jack

      and also in the old testament god killed the first born of the Egyptians and afflicted the Egyptians with 7 plagues didnt he,,, so the magnitude of this issue is way less severe

      • Jack

        god cast his chastisement upon his people in the old testament as well decimating a large population and destroying cities some of them were even innocent people,,,, but this time lets say he killed a person that deserves the punishment

  • Jack

    well god killed the first born of the Egyptians and afflicted them with 7 plagues,,,, and then his act was justified, even despite the fact that many of those people were innocent,,,,,,, but Bin Laden as we all know is an extremely vile person with a strong animosity towards the Americans killing a vermin like him benefits this world,,,, contrasting to what had transpired in the old testament, god killed with no specific reason….

    • Jack

      god killed the right one this time

  • http://www.bnpositive.com/blog Jason Bean
  • Stary_nite

    Everyone! There is a simple explanation to this. Jesus came as a Church worker. “The Great High Priest”. His job was grace and mercy to the inner soul. This is what Christians as part of the priesthood of believers are supposed to do. But God has also ordained the office of Government with the job of justice! All through the Bible, God tasks government leaders to do proper justice, which means protecting the innocent from violence. So Christians should feel it is good that government did it’s job in stopping a man who says he will kill other people. Justice is part of God’s character. Would Jesus kill OBL, or I as a missionary? No. It’s not my vocational calling (as Martin Luther would say). But another Christian in government? Yes. It is their calling and service to society. A God ordained service. And if Christians cannot recognize the need for justice in this specific case, then we are truly lost in relativism and have no sense of right or wrong.

    • Anonymous

      i enjoyed your post until the last sentence where you essentially say—”and if you dont agree with me then you are lost.” I think that is shallow thought and condescending of other views.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388514701 Greg Dill

    It’s a sad day when redeemed followers of Jesus Christ have crossed over the line from peace and righteousness to demanding the blood of other human beings like some ravenous wolves. Are we really any different than the people who demanded the blood of Jesus?

  • WOODY

    Osama was NOT one of God’s children! He was Satan incarnate and WWJD? Shoot him in the back of the head and cast him into the pit!

    • http://profiles.google.com/jens3073 Jon Jensen

      Osama may not have accepted God’s redemption, but to put him beyond redemption limits the power of the God we serve. The God that I serve is all-powerful with an abounding grace and love, no one is beyond His power of redemption. I have to believe this, and work toward this end. God did not say to Saul, “I’m sorry, you had your chance at redemption…” He overflowed His redemptive love on Saul and filled his hate-filled, evil (terrorist, murdering) heart with grace and salvation. No Osama may not have been one of God’s children, but he could have been. However, not anymore.

      By believing that this man could have been saved, in no way condones any act of evil or violence committed by or towards him. Just as believing that Saul was saved, does not forget or condone the acts of violence and terrorism that he committed.

    • Anonymous

      Every single human being is made in the likeness and image of god.

      OBL committed his life to fighting America and anyone else he thought would stand with them. He committed thousands of evil acts—he duped thousands into sacrificing their lives to get a reward in Heaven. He used his charisma and intelligence for evil.

      But no man can strip the image and likeness away from someone else. This is the power of Jesus—He would have had lunch with him and who knows what would have happened.

      He wouldn’t have been the first person to change his name and change his life so radically that few believed it was possible….or OBL could have stayed his path.

      Let’s not make a people into straw men.

    • Aaaargh

      Troll.

  • Judgez

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”
    - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • MontanaWarrior2000

    “God is no respecter of persons” means that it is not the person that God is concerned with. Dying to the small self frees anyone to know that greater part of him/her. “Personhood” – be it a character like Osama or Obama – God isn’t in the identity, but in the Spirit.

  • Dagopastor

    beautifully and thoughtfully stated. thank you.

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  • M Wooding

    When I heard the news that OBL was dead there was a part of me that was sad. It puzzled me why I felt that way.

    Clearly an intelligent man, a leader people followed, with resources to fund whatever cause he wished to pursue. And yet he picked a road of such profound destruction and hatred. So I guess what makes me sad is not the death of a man who chose to create such evil and terror….but the loss of the kind of gifted man he could have been; the positive changes he could have inspired in others.

    Which made me think what choices am I making….what good can I do? What is my potential to be a force for compassion, love, grace and peace? Or not. Don’t let his death cause further division among us as we ponder it and react to it. Let’s learn from it. What paths we decide to journey down both great and small.

    • Anonymous

      this is well said. thanks for taking the time to share it. now let’s live all it.

    • Anonymous

      this is well said. thanks for taking the time to share it. now let’s live all it.

  • Turnersisters

    Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Or the Lord will see it and be displeased; And turn away His anger from him.-Proverbs 24:17-18. A life wasted on evil is always a sad thing.

  • Chris Meyer

    this will have to be my last post on the subject, so I hope I’m clear in MY beliefs.

    Either Jesus meant what he said, or he didn’t.

    The commandment, from Jesus, from God to us is: to LOVE.

    Love God, our neighbor, our enemy…no exceptions. To Love.

    Despite and inspite of what may happen in the world, to us, to loved ones, we are TO LOVE. As disciples, we are to be like Jesus, thus if we can’t believe that Jesus would kill (for any reason) than we can’t find a reason for us to either.

    Killing, in any form or fashion is NOT love.

    Is it easy to do? Nope.

    But it not being easy is NOT an excuse NOT to love.

    As for those who like to bring up God and how he operated in the OT. Sure God was at war, and still is, but how he wants US to operated in this world is not the same as how he had Isreal operate.

    A parent does not treat a child the same way as an adult.

    God calls us to something more, something better: LOVE.

    Even the pagans take revenge, so what would make a follower of Christ any different? Sanctified murder? Do YOU know what that is? Because I sure as heck don’t.

    Yeah, God killing “bad” people in the OT makes it seem like he would be all for it now…but is that what Jesus shows us?

    Of course not.

    Jesus commands us to LOVE.

    There is no question of this, there is no ambiguity, there is no wiggle room. You are to LOVE EVERYONE.

    You can accept the commandment or not. You can be the prodigal son’s father, or the older brother.

    But the commandment is not up to debate – because they are the words of our Lord. He either meant them, or he didn’t.

    A lot of you on here are wishing and hoping he didn’t…But if we, as followers of Christ, are to reflect his light and love – how does killing do that?

    How does violence reflect Jesus’ love?

    Forget what Jesus would do for a second, would Jesus want you to kill?

    I’ve never known anyone come to Christ because they saw us kill someone who was “evil.” But many more have come to Christ because of the love shown.

    Search your hearts, and ask, is God one of violence or of Love?

    In the OT we aren’t to point and say: Look God Raged War!

    We are supposed to ask, Why…and how does Jesus fit into that now?

    I hope you all find that love is the answer, because that’s the answer Jesus gave us.

    So the question to you is: do you believe Jesus or not?

    ps. you can reach me at justoneministries@hotmail.com if you’d like discuss this further.

    • Anonymous

      thanks for being a part of the conversation man. enjoyed the perpective you brought.

    • Heartposts

      I loved Osama Bin Laden. Now I love him dead.

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  • Fullergirl

    “God forgive me when I find myself:
    Amongst the crowd and at the gates
    Cheering while Jesus weeps.”

    and…

    not praying, not even once, for this enemy whilst I was aware of his existence on this planet. Who am I then to judge anyone’s reaction to his death, if I did not imitate Christ during another’s life?

  • P. Luther

    How do you know what God thinks? You are guilty of the kind of thinking you purport to deplore.

  • Progo35

    I respect your concerns but I think the comparison between people celebrating OBL’s death and people celebrating 9/11 are faulty at best. If we had, say, dropped an atomic bomb on Pakistan and killed OBL, and people were cheering, then I would agree with the comparison. But, OBL was a viscous, violent, unrepentant killer who was dedicated to murdering innocent people. Hence, if Jesus weeps at his death, I think He’s weeping because OBL’s choices lead him to that end, not because the US killed him.

    • Anonymous

      really Progo? Let’s imagine that foreign troops had shown up 20 years ago and stayed. Lets imagine that that foreign country had been dropping bombs and killinf civilians for much of those 20 years….

      you really think OBL cae out of a vacuum? You honestly think that if foreign troops landed in California that we would not take up arms and even celebrate ‘terrorists’ who struck back at the homeland of said occupiers???

      I’m not saying OBL is justified in any way shape or form—I AM saying that to pretend that we played no part in the building of this is just buring our heads in the sand. To pretend that we would not do the same if people with guns, planes and tanks showed up and occupied our neck of the world is simply preposterous.

      While we wish (myslef included) that it was all that easy—it is just not.

  • Seeker_kat

    I am with you brother… I am convinced “The Way” is love… Jesus is The Way…. and I am to prepare the way of the Lord…. I have always prayed that if I were to ever be in the way of violence that I would love no matter what… the only way I can imagine it is to look at them and say, “Jesus loves you!” Inside my heart I try daily to follow… thats really all I can do is try… I find myself deciding all day to love or not to love… love is what everthing boils down to …. sometimes I want to be devious especially with that girl at work who erks me… bothers me… and who I run from… I ask myself how can I love her? I must be different than others… I must not feed this self serving attitude I have to be rid of her…. I know God brought her to me … I have to love….. thank you for your article I have taken it to heart in more than one way… I realized that Jesus’ love is for everyone ….. EVERYONE. It is most difficult to follow after Him, however, I know that He loves me…. with all my anger, all my hate, selfishness, bitterness, … He loves me still…. thank you again for writing this article… it gave me a clear picture of Jesus as He faced His enemy on the cross…. He went as a lamb to the slaughter…. my question is … can I?

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  • Panoply13

    God was not weeping when He sent His warriors out to kill evildoers across the entire Old Testament. Was there not rejoicing in the camp when David killed Goliath? I do not see God crying in Revelation when He throws sinners and unbelievers into everlasting torment. God is a God both of love and of justice. If it is difficult to see how He can include both of these in His character, it is more difficult how they combine in ours.

  • Anonymous

    I have a few serious questions for all those who continue to quote the Old Testament:

    Didn’t Jesus have access to these texts you quote? Wasn’t He able to read these and teach on these as a Rabbi? Finally, When Jesus says to “love your enemies” don’t you think He did so with FULL knowledge of these stories and passages you keep quoting?

    Please explain to me how Jesus teachings are not the LAST word on the subject for you—but rather treated as if they were spoken in a vacuum—with no knowledge of his own texts and heritage.

    Would love an answer.

    • Chris Meyer

      I said I wouldn’t post on here anymore, but your comments drew me in.

      You stated it nicely – Jesus is our FINAL authority: if we are to follow him. When Jesus’ teaching don’t fit with what we would like to do, or not to do – we then go searching the Bible for ANYTHING that will agree with us…yet to do so is wrong.

      God is BIGGER than the Bible so let’s stop trying to put him between the pages of it.

      Jesus spoke as one WITH authority- the question for us is: do we follow that authority, or continue to strike out on our own…

      Nice post, sir.

    • Brian

      Jimmy, I would like to respond if the conversation is still ongoing? Just a reference for you to check out by a Jewish rabbi:http://embodiedtorah.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/on-the-death-of-an-enemy/

      Their wisdom must be heard! They speak from a place of great understanding and experience. The people of the land of Israel face the reality and ideology of bin Laden everyday!

  • Jim

    Here’s the rub for me…

  • Dave d

    You say you are not a pacifist like it’s a bad thing. Sounds like you are almost there!

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure Jesus a complete pacifist? I really don’t know. I am open to investigating all sides of the discussion—and what they mean for my life. So who knows…it’s all an adventure to become more human…closer to the pattern of the likeness and image God made me for

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  • Anonymous

    If he is even dead. Which I doubt. Most likely in protective custody.

    People were never told of the Bush family / Bin Ladin family history.

    They’ve been in business for years. GW’s Father George Bush Sr, served on the board of directors with Osama’s Brother. This company is called the Carlyle group. Guess who is over in the middle east right now making billions of dollars at the tax payers expense?

    Yep. The Carlyle group. So.. Have your brother fly a plane into a building.. Then being a defense contractor, you earn billions from the war he started..

    Seems kinda like insider trading with the currency being human lives.

  • Seniourhite24canbv

    Hopefully no real Christian celabrate the mass death of are so called enimies.These are people just like us,with the exception of the way they were taught to believe and to immatae the their elders as they grew up. If we have the right to condem them for their beliefs then they do also.Right or wrong?GOD’s will is the only thing that matters and it up to the individual to strudy HIS holy word and do their best to follow HIS leadership. We do not have the right to judge others and we do not have the right to judge,question,or doubt the actions of our heavenly Father.Our resposibility is to do what pleases HIM and try to lead a GODLY life so when we die we might fall at HIS feet and touch the hem of HIS clothes and hope HE will say”well done my good and faithful servant”.

  • Amyshepherd9

    Regardless of what he did … he was still a son, father, husband and friend to someone. 
    Every life is precious to God… He gave his son’s life for each one of them. 

  • Tom Servo

    I don’t think god is on anyones side rather on the side of justiceThe scriptures don’t seem to sadly state vengence is mine I will recompence,Rather if it is against an enemy be happy but ask Yah to extend them mercy before and after the fact but not self righteousness that justice was served to perfection because you are better.I don’t worry about the main characters who are fighting each other but lament the death of the innocents on both sides and the devastation of our families and iraqi peoples familys.If osma Bin Laden Abe Lincoln or Joe the Plummer dies god allowed it to happen Im happy for the believers who rest in the lord but for the unbelieving dead its a lost cause,prayer for their surviving families is all that can be done amd encouragement. 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1271801389 Steven Clark

    Jesus came to conquer death, not cheer it.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    I’m already an emotional person, and not always in a good way, but I broke down and cried when I saw the video of Khadafi being tortured and beaten to death. Even as this happened at the hands of those he oppressed, possibly including relatives of those he killed; the cries for mercy, and the utter terror he experienced broke my heart. Even as I look back on it my eyes fill with tears.
    We were not designed to take another’s life, no matter the reason, and the inner consequences cannot be avoided.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barbara-Mack-Blackburn/100001180250101 Barbara Mack Blackburn

    I celebrated that he had been caught, not because he died. I celebrated as a former soldier who was proud of the job done. I am sad that bin Laden chose to go down a road of violence and refused to surrender. I am sorry that we live in a violent world. I would have loved it if Osama was saved and hope that perhaps he will be in heaven somehow. But, I celebrate the ending of Osama’s immunity – not his death.

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Cynicism says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  Faith says, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”  In Obadiah,...

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