Appropriate Christian Response to Usama Bin Laden’s Death

       Like some of you I’ve had many thoughts related to the death of Usama Bin Laden (UBL). As a Christian how should I view his demise at the hands of US forces?  Here is where I landed — at least to this time.  There is no doubt that Usama Bin Laden had many opportunities to consider the claims of Christianity and to accept the gospel.  He was responsible for the deaths of many Christians and Muslims while knowing exactly what he was doing.  He did not act in ignorance.  He was evil and had a low regard for life.  He attacked people who were only seeking to live in peace.  Not exactly a poster child for righteousness.

       Psalm 35 was included in the worship of Israel and is quoted in the New Testament by Jesus and the author of Hebrews.  In the Psalm we can see that David celebrated the death of his enemies.  Can we?   As the anointed king of Israel, David’s enemies were obviously God’s enemies.  But more than that, they were the enemies of God’s people.  Islamic terrorists and militants are explicitly opposing God’s people.  Therefore, I believe that David’s words are worth hearing and applying:

 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me. {2} Take hold of buckler and shield And rise up for my help. {3} Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” {4} Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. {5} Let them be like chaff before the wind, With the angel of the LORD driving them on. {6} Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the LORD pursuing them. {7} For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul. {8} Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall. {9} And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD; It shall exult in His salvation. {10} All my bones will say, “LORD, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” {11} Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know. {12} They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. {13} But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. {14} I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. {15} But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing. {16} Like godless jesters at a feast, They gnashed at me with their teeth. {17} Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions. {18} I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. {19} Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously. {20} For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. {21} They opened their mouth wide against me; They said, “Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!” {22} You have seen it, O LORD, do not keep silent; O Lord, do not be far from me. {23} Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right And to my cause, my God and my Lord. {24} Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me. {25} Do not let them say in their heart, “Aha, our desire!” Do not let them say, “We have swallowed him up!” {26} Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. {27} Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” {28} And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long.

       It seems that as long as the death of an evil-doer leads us to praise God for His justice and righteousness and does not  turn into vindictiveness, hatred, or anger, then rejoicing is appropriate.   If victory over evil does not lead us to deeds of the flesh (i.e.,  hatred, strife, outbursts of anger, drunkenness, carousing, etc. Gal 5:19-21 ), and if victory over evil is consistent with the fruit of the Spirit ( i.e., joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, self-control, etc. Gal 5:22-23) then there seems to be no reason to feel guilty for celebrating victory.

I also believe we can take comfort in the fact that our country did not take a “nuke all of them approach,” (as some may have preferred), or inflict suffering or death beyond the measured approach that was taken.  We can can and I believe should give thanks for the skill and dedication of our military and intelligence community men and women who risked their lives to protect the lives of other innocent bystanders while acting as instruments of God’s judgment.   It is well for the world to get a glimpse of God’s grace through the restraint displayed in the manner of UBL’s death.  It is also a reminder that there is good and evil and that ultimately God’s wrath will prevail in His righteous judgment of evil.  The precision strike against the UBL compound which clearly spared many lives may result in those lives being saved for eternity should they seek to accept Jesus as their Savior and follow Him.   Also, it is possible that other potential terrorists will reevaluate their relation with God and turn from their wicked ways.   In all this, I am reminded forcefully of my own weakness and fleshly inclination to sin and the power of Jesus to save me and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead me into paths of righteousness.


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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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2 Responses to Appropriate Christian Response to Usama Bin Laden’s Death

  1. karen says:

    Nicely written. Great points!

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