Thursday, May 5, 2011

Should We Celebrate the Death of Osama bin Laden?

People everywhere are celebrating upon hearing the news of the death of Osama bin Laden. But many born-again Christians are confused about celebrating a person’s death. God says: “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die?” says the Sovereign Lord; “of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live” (Ezekiel 18:23).

No one will ever forget “911” when Osama bin Laden’s band of radical Muslim terrorists—al Qaeda—flew into the World Towers and the Pentagon. President Bush called them “evildoers.” Did that create an impression that they were less than human? Since then the evildoers have become more ‘real’ to us—more human, as their pictures have been displayed in the papers—they do not look evil. They look like your next door neighbor, or the person standing in line at Walgreen’s.

What was Jesus’ attitude toward evil doers? “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44). Forgiveness is the hardest of all Christian acts. It has no limit. No boundaries. The question is whether the Christian can forgive a murderer, a mass murderer, even — as in the case of Osama bin Laden. Although his death was seen as a victory in the war against terrorism, Christians should remember that Osama was a sinner, being held captive by Satan to do his will. And the loss of even one life to Satan is nothing to rejoice about. These are just my thoughts on the matter. I welcome your response.


  1. Greg,

    Zac Poonen's comment about Christians not knowing everything about a person's life (or death) circumstances seems to me to be fitting regarding Osama bin Laden's death. We mistakenly think we are in a position to judge the destination of an obvious (to us) sinner; and it appeals to our own limited sense of justice to consider our judgement to be a true reflection of God's opinion. We don't have the insight into bin Laden's heart the final moments before his death. And Jesus' own promise to the penitent thief could be just as eternally just were He to choose to do so on bin Laden's behalf, if in his last moments he cried out for repentance to an infinitely just, yet infinitely merciful, God.

    I read yesterday a quote from an unknown source that said that even our tears of repentance need to be washed in the blood of the Savior. Also, that the ground is level at the foot of the Cross. Decisions made long before or immediately preceding death will have the same result regarding everyone's entrance into God's heaven. Part of Heaven's surprises will be who made it as a result of God's infinite grace. Just think, someone may be surprised by seeing you there!

    Celebrating the deasth of one deemed evil incarnate is a natural human reaction, especially for those who were directly affected by bin Laden's policies. But we as God's people are called to responding above the natural plain and live as pilgrims away from home.


  2. Thanks for that insight Stan. You are right: God's people are called to a higher standard. Thank God some Christians are disturbed by the idea of celebrating someone's death.

  3. This article says it best for me:
    I actually did pray for OBL to come to know Jesus, but since he never indicated that he had, this was a result of what he sowed, he reaped.