The Christian Perspective on the Death of Osama Bin Laden

Most if not all of us have heard about the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.  The question is how should the Christian respond to this event?At some level I think that all of us who are Americans feel some sort of relief, some sort of satisfaction that, as President Obama said, ” Justice has been done.”

Here’s the problem I have, by all of the knowledge we have, Osama Bin Laden will be headed for the Lake of Fire. How can I rejoice about that? How can any person who considers themselves a Justified and Washed in the Blood of the Lamb, think in their heart that this is a good thing? Ezekiel tells us in chapters 18 and 33 that God doesn’t get any pleasure from the death of the wicked. If God doesn’t delight in the death of evil men, how can I? How can I rejoice that a rebel sinner has died in his sin, given that he will now never see the mercy of our great God and Savior.

At the same time, we see a consistent testimony throughout Scripture that God is Just, and commands his people to love justice. I don’t think it is any stretch of the text, to say that we are to love justice as God does. I believe that if a man has ordered the death of 1000′s it is proper to say that he no longer deserves to live; in other words, he has earned death. Taking his life was just.

In Conclusion, I think that the Christian perspective is one of mourning a sinner who failed to repent, but a satisfaction that justice has been served.

About Ken Cook

Ken Cook has written 15 post in this blog.

I agree with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, am married with two sons. I am finishing my Ordination here shortly. I have worked for Carm for a bit more than a Year.

12 Responses to The Christian Perspective on the Death of Osama Bin Laden

  1. Jeremiah says:

    I agree with this posting. A friend of mine asked me last night, “with us being Christians, how are we supposed to feel about this death?” My reply was that we should not rejoice in his death but we should pray for his family because they lost a loved one. Yes he did bad things but we are still to love one another, as hard as it may be. The U.S. is celebrating in this as it is their victory but in fact, it is only GODs will. I didn’t think of it in terms as the writer of this post but this post solidifies the fact that we should not be celebrating because it is not victorious because Osama’s soul is going to hell.
    On the surface it may look victorious but in the bigger scheme of things it is only sadness.

  2. Myra says:

    I can identify with this article but I have to ask the question “death and justice at whose hands?” and how are we justified in being the ones who took his life? As a christian I believe in the word of God, the bible and I believe there is a commandment that states “thou shalt now kill”. His death should have come at the hand of God in some other way. How can a true christian that participated in killing him not have this thought in his head? And what will his judgement be in the end for participating in this? Bin Laden surley deserved to die, I agree but I guess my question is, at whose hands? After all he will be punished in the end by not reaping the reward of the kingdom of God but having eternal hell for all that he did. To me there is nothing that is worse than that.

  3. I’m with you on this. 100% agreed.

  4. Greg Wright says:

    Ken, I appreciate your article. It is always sad when another person rejects God and goes to Hell, but we have reason to be satisfied (and even rejoice) when God protects and avenges innocent people by sovereignly using means, even the U. S. government, to neutralize mass murderers. Thanks be to God for working behind the scenes to make this happen.

  5. Well said – this is a day that will long be remembered, but for me it was a sad day to watch so many in my nation rejoice in someone’s death.

    Justice yes, rejoicing – I don’t think so.

    < Craig McCourt

  6. Interesting. I’m torn over this whole issue. I’ve seen Christians on both sides through today. It brings back memories for me though. Memories of the Civil Rights Movement and non-violent resistance.

    ”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.

  7. Adrian says:

    @Myra a better translation of Exodus 20:13 is “You shall not murder.” (NASB) Killing is OK in this situation as he’s done things worthy of death and the state has the right to execute.

    Matt wrote about this sorta thing on carm.org

    http://carm.org/questions/you-shall-not-kill-yet-god-kills

  8. Aaron says:

    in resonse to Adrian. I amd a firm believer in Christ and the Bible. when you say the Killing is “OK” i have to disagree as murder and killing are one in the same you are taking the life of an individual. if you read in Matthew ch 5 38-42 Jesus is teaching that the old way of doing things “eye for and eye, tooth for tooth” is no longer he says that we are to “turn the other cheek” also in the New Testament Jesus not to repay evil with evil. I dod agree that justice needed to be served and that we will be judged and that Bin Laden did need to pay for his sins. but as a christian I do not agree that we were the ones to take his life. I know that over that past few days ppl have been trying to justify Bin Laden death with Scriptural text and taking the text it self out of context we need to read passages in their entirety before we as God fearing christians go around saying that it is “OK” to kill someone. our hearts need to be right with God before anything else can happen.

  9. Greg Wright says:

    I used my Bible search engines last night to see if there could be a righteous rejoicing over the neutralization and elimination of an enemy. My favorite was Deut. 32:43, “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.” (KJV) I also thought Exodus 15:1 was helpful, “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” (KJV) Clearly there is some righteous, biblical context for rejoicing when God uses means to give us victory over an enemy.

  10. KC says:

    Just as a footnote to Greg’s search engine work, it might also have turned up Matthew 5:40-48 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    There are times when evil needs to be restrained, but Jesus seems to be calling us to something beyond the kind of celebration that finds its roots in seeing your enemy done in, to a kind of compassion that sees even one’s enemies as God’s children. They may be joy in knowing that hurtful behavior has been stopped, for the sake of those who suffer from it – but not much to celebrate in the destruction of another person, who is still a child of God, and as such my brother or sister – even if they are wayward and fallen. For that the appropriate response is sadness.

    • Greg Wright says:

      KC, God does call us to something higher than gloating. When I read passages like Exodus 15:1-2, I see a celebration that is not gloating by God centered. Let me show you what I mean. This morning I wrote a poem that matches the meter of Wesley’s “O For a Thousand Tongues.” This is a first draft, and the comment box might not hold the whole thing, but perhaps enough will show up to show you what I mean by a God-focused rejoicing in victory.

      Praise God Who Gives Us Victory
      By Greg Wright
      (using the same tune and meter as Charles Wesley’s ‘O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing’)

      Praise God who give us victory,
      Who gives success in war.
      Bin Laden lies beneath the sea.
      He’ll trouble us no more.

      Praise God for mothers, fathers too,
      Who for our soldiers pray,
      Who trust that God will keep them safe,
      Preserve them every day.

      They know that only God above
      Can give us victory.
      In God alone we place our trust
      To keep our nation free.

      The ones who brought Bin Laden down,
      They are our nation’s best.
      Yet might alone does not prevail
      Our God must grant success.

      Praise God for mercy deep and wide!
      Let us His name adore.
      Let us repent of foolish pride,
      No longer God ignore.

      Indeed, let us with grateful hearts
      Give praise to God above.
      Who though we have not kept His law
      Still bears us up in love.

      Oh Lord revive our sinful land;
      Cause us to seek your face.
      Draw back our wondering hearts to you,
      Restore us by your grace.

  11. Mike Wayne says:

    It is sad that Christians which are called to be students (disciples) fail to read and undertand the basics of the Bible. Individuals and governments have different roles and responsibilities according to the Word. Mt5:40-48 is the role of individuals. The Role of the governments are to bear the sword.

    Read Romans 13:1-7. Verse 4 -”for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.”

    Murder and killing are different and speak to motive or heart state. Check it out in the word – A lot more Bible and a whole lot less of man’s opinions.

    I think the article speaks very close to what the Bible teaches.

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