Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Challenging Public Opinion re: Bin Laden

I don't set out to be provocative or controversial, but sometimes when I read things that really challenge me to think differently, I like to pass them on.

I have been struggling with the appropriate response to the assassination of Usama Bin Laden. I remember September 11, 2001 very well. I mourned the loss of lives (and life as we knew it) in the days/weeks/months following the horrific acts of terrorism that day. I breathed a sigh of relief that the elusive Bin Laden had been found--and that 'justice' had been done. Yet, something about seeing Americans celebrating in the streets and rejoicing all over facebook and twitter about the death of a human being (and what his probable afterlife would look like) did not sit well with me. I cannot imagine Jesus relishing in the assassination of anyone--regardless of what they had done.

I sincerely hope I am not misunderstood as being unpatriotic or un-American. That is absolutely not the case. We can be exceedingly appreciative of our brave servicemen and women and the great sacrifice they make in the defense of liberty without delighting in death, can't we?

As I was processing all of this, I came across this post, from a blog that I had never read before. It is a very interesting and challenging read...meaty food for thought.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

May we never forget to "take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ"--being a Christ-follower often requires stepping away from 'the crowd' of public opinion and listening for His heart instead.

17 comments:

maya said...

Could not agree more. Thanks for your honest words.

I loved this quote that a friend posted on facebook:

‎"I will 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."

Pam said...

Well said. I to have struggled this week with rejoicing over the "killing" of another human being. I hope many people read your post.
Pam

Renee said...

I agree. I didn't know how to respond that night so I just prayed.

Kate said...

My cousin posted a quote from Proverbs 24:17 on Facebook that was exactly what I needed to see.

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice"

Ashley said...

Well written b/c I struggled with all of this as well! The excitement over a death (even though I felt it was justice) was just hard for me to see! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Ashley

Jacqueline said...

Here is another good read on the subject:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pamela-gerloff/the-psychology-of-revenge_b_856184.html

Jill said...

Thank you so much for sharing this commentary with us. I wish I could have come up with those words myself because they are exactly what I've been feeling since Sunday night. I love justice, but God's justice is often Mercy. Too often my justice is punishment. What a lesson.

Jawan said...

Thanks for sharing....here's another good read.

http://theresurgence.com/2011/05/02/love-your-enemies

Tara said...

I have struggled so much with this and how to explain this to my kids. Revenge, war, justice, protection, and the like are all things we've talked about this week. We all concluded that celebrating when someones dies (whether justice was served or not) was something that just didn't seem right. While I cannot honestly admit that I'm upset that he is gone, I cannot cheer over his death.

Cory said...

Part of the quotes I have seen are from a MLK speech I believe. But I too could not agree more. I actually told God that I hoped Bin Ladin had developed a relationship with him (God) before his demise. I don't have a grand way of speaking, and feel that I am always rather simple in thought, but my line of thinking went something like "bigger things are at work here. And this is all working toward a higher purpose. Praise God." But, I don't know if I actually believe that OBL is really dead. Too much secrecy. I just keep looking up! Whatever brings God back soon is what I want. :-)

Chelle406 said...

Completely agree with you. Thanks for sharing.

Christina said...

I agree with you 100%. I couldn't have said it any better myself!!

D said...

Proverbs 24:17–18 says, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.”

In Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11, God says that he does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Instead, he desires that those who practice evil repent and change their ways.

Ezekiel 18:23 – Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

Ezekiel 33:11 – Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Yevette said...

I think this post gives a truly Biblical response:

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-and-the-devaluing-of-justice/

JMom said...

Yevette- Another great read. Thanks so much for sharing.

My issue is really not that we went after him--He was a dangerous man. My issues was with the public displays in the streets over his death...the gloating doesn't seem to match anything Jesus would advocate.

JMom said...

*my issues WERE with* pardon my grammar!

LaQuetha said...

I agree with you. I have struggled with this and this is great perspective. Thanks
LaQutetha