To celebrate or not to celebrate?
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Various Christians discuss how we should respond to the death of Osama bin Laden.


Moreover, in the voyage to Malta, Paul not only passively accepted the protection of the Roman state but actively assisted by warning the centurion of a budding mass desertion. On another occasion, a boy who overheard an assassination plot was told to warn the centurion. In neither case was Paul condemned.

As for the Roman government turning on Christians, well yes this is true. However it is arguable that Christianity has more to thank the Roman state for then it has to resent it for. In Paul's time it was a protector at least as much as a persecutor, and kept enough peace to allow travel. And Christian civilization in Europe if not Christianity, would not have developed if it had not been sheltered by the Walls of Constantinople for a thousand years.
The problem with that argument, Jerryh, is that it ultimately says either that Christianity demands anarchism, or that Christianity demands parisitism on heathens. There is a certain inconsistency in relying on others for protection while condemning them for supplying it.

In any case, if Christianity indeed demands absolute pacifism then all government officials in the New Testament would have had a resignation demanded of them. Moreover the trend in the Old Testament was hardly pacifistic; not just Jewish warriors were praised, but Nathan the Syrian. And while that is not conclusive as we live under grace, it would be an important enough change to be mentioned.
Jordan Sekulow's Viewpoint
Titled, "Can Christians Celebrate bin Laden's Death?"
Celebrating a terrorist's death
The people of ancient Israel celebrated David's military victories (which is why Saul became jealous of him). And we can assume they definitely celebrated when David killed Goliath.

I recall seeing Romanians on television joyfully celebrating the execution of Nicolae and Elena
Ceausescu, who had terrorized his people for a generation. It seems to be a natural reaction to celebrate the death of evil-doers--because they can harm us no more. If we take joy in good winning out over evil, I don't think that's a bad thing. One day we will all rejoice when the power of Christ forever vanquishes the power of Satan.
I can recall examples in the OT where victors celebrated, and where they did not. The NT has no battles except where Peter took of Malchus's ear, and then there's that one at the end. ;-) So it seems we don't have a clear Scriptural guide one way or the other.

My wife's uncle is a much-decorated Navy SEAL who served several tours in Vietnam. I'm happy the mission was successful and no American lives were lost.

I know people who lost loved ones, and people who had to scramble to replace not only computer hardware, but people, due to the WTC attack. ("I was just on the phone with him, and then he was gone...") This feels like some equalization, even though it could never be truly made equal.

I fly a lot. I'm thinking about that - a lot.

Christians know that this is neither a happy moment nor a sad moment, but a complex mixture of both. We know this is hardly the last battle, and that justice is served only temporarily. But even as we're not of this world, we're still in it.
I’m With You Ginny
I devoured Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer last Fall. But even before that my cup was already running over with admiration for this leonine lamb, as may be gathered from my periodic, irrepressible outbursts elsewhere here at BreakPoint:

1) “Was Bonhoeffer Right?”

2) “More on Bonhoeffer”

3) “When Does a Photo Go Too Far?”

4) “Grace That Demands Everything”

5) “Thought for the Day: Bonhoeffer on Intercession”

6) “Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas”

7) “Eligible Non-voters Deny Their Faith?”
Hitler and bin Laden
Exemplary Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose life ended as a martyr for Jesus Christ at 39, struggled greatly over what God expected of him concerning Hitler's evil. He gradually came to believe that God expected him to be part of an assasination plot to end Hitler's life. Today, tomorrow and Wednesday on Focus on the Family's daily radio program, Eric Metaxas is discussing his excellent book on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Coincidence much to have this program scheduled for this week immediately after the demise of another evil in the person of Osama bin Laden? I don't think so. Pick up a copy, and decide for yourself whether or not it's right to snuff out such evil from among us. It's one of my favorite books of all time, and I've been an avid reader since the age of six, when my picture was in the local newspaper for reading the most books that summer in my dear VA hometown!
I Do Not Celebrate the Death of the Evil King
…for I am commanded to love even my enemies. But I celebrate the incipient dissolution of an evil kingdom which in this case necessarily required the king’s demise.

The prior, well-advertised commitment of a just society is to destroy evil; but when a man gives sanction to evil in his own body, knowing that duty requires the destruction of evil, he invites the destruction of his own body.

In that sense Osama was not killed; he killed himself by pitting himself against the sworn duty of justice.

I mourn, then, not his passing but his choice to love evil, which eventuated in the murder of others and ultimately himself.

But the taking of Osama Bin Laden’s life was an act of justice ordained by God for the protection of the innocent. To not prosecute his death would have been to compound his evil.

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
Longish ramble, but ...
To incorporate a great American pastime/saying - life can throw you a curveball when you least expect it. Who expected this?

I like the way Canada's Prime Minister responded (though, for how much longer? - as there's a federal election today):

"Canada receives the news of the death of Osama bin Laden with sober satisfaction. We will continue to stand firm with our allies against the threat of global terrorism."

( )

Sober satisfaction. A job done, but at what cost? What does it mean now? What will it mean? These aren't questions to prod but to cause us (me) to reflect.

The second link has a list of what some Christians have said. Derek Webb's (take him as he is): "don't celebrate death, celebrate justice" is the first response listed.

The first link ( has advertisements on the side. The one showing when I opened it was from an organization called "Food for the Poor" showing a picture of a dessicated 1 year old named Milvia starving in Guatemala. I barely looked at the article. Now the ad is: "Kingdom Builder Certificates" (earn up to 2.8% APY).

How are we changed?
Will this "change everything"?
Have we slid back to pre-9/11 malaise?
I'm not talking about terror-alertness. I'm talking about a life well lived.
Do we seek Justice in all of life? Are we actively pursuing the Shalom of God's Kingdom? How much do we give to our Kingdom Builder Certificates, go out and celebrate something over drinks with our buddies, and ignore the myriad injustices within our grasp? I'm not being flippant. I'm looking at my life and thinking about what others have said so far. "Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me"...

"In Focus" from the Atlantic has pictures of this news event.
One of the comments is the following:

“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” - Mark Twain

(That's pretty, typically, funny). But, you know, I want to look at my "old self" (since I died with Christ) with great pleasure. I want to celebrate this - my new self, in Christ. Have I forgotten Easter just passed?
"Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord". Through whom "there is now no condemnation". Spirit of God, who helps us in our weakness, show us what to pray for, what injustices to defeat, what to celebrate, how to celebrate. Amen.
It's fine to celebrate a military success as such. It is unseemly to celebrate the death of an individual.
Osama's death. Why do we celebrate? We are no bett
A friend of mine posted this on fb. I couldn't agree more. I don't really understand the celebration of his death.

While I'm glad his physical threat is over, I'm sadden. I realize if it wasn't for Jesus, I'm no better then Bin-Laden.

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 18:33

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