Monday, May 2, 2011

Love Wins - a response to the death of OBL

Last night as I hovered over my iPhone, receiving tweet after tweet in anticipation of Obama's speech, it became apparent that the military had killed Osama Bin Laden. The responses were varied, but the majority were overly celebratory. After Obama's speech the floodgates opened. Apparently fireworks went off as groups gathered across the country to celebrate the death.

The tweets were joyous. You'd think everyone's home team had just won the World Series. Rather, we were a nation celebrating death. And though the death was of a vile man, an evil man, a man that brought about death and destruction, he was still a man - made in God's image; and a man worth Christ dying on a tree.

I understand everyone will not agree with me. And my intent isn't to persuade you of your reaction(s) or stance(s), rather its just to voice where I am at in all of this.

In my opinion, a Christ follower's response on death is initial sadness, because I believe that God is the giver of life. And life is good.

The notion that America brought about God's will and justice seems a bit presumptuous to me as well. Assuming God did want OBL dead, couldn't God have willed OBL to catch pneumonia or fall into a crevasse and die? Why involve the Navy SEALS? Are we assuming that God's will and America's will are the same? Is God's justice and America's justice the same?

I surely hope not.

I seem to remember scripture warning us of placing our hopes and futures in the hands of governments, militaries, and men.

And if I'm correct, just after that warning, crowds gathered to celebrate the killing of men. (Good Friday was not even 2 weeks ago - I haven't forgotten the story just yet)

So how do we respond?

That's for you to wrestle with.

I will continue to wrestle with you.

My wants and desires are much like the populace. I will surely sleep better knowing a bad guy is gone. Then again, I can tend to be a bad guy from time to time. I'm glad my will is not God's and that my judgement isn't His either.

I'm glad that judgement doesn't define me and my life (today and into the future), but that the grace bought through the cross does. And I believe that the grace of the cross is mystically rooted in a type of unconditional love that we'll never quite understand. Its a type of grace that bought the sins of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Atheists and Polytheists. This type of grace seeks out all and destroys the trappings of sin!

So in the end, does justice win?

Does love win?

Or perhaps, in God's infinite wisdom and "being love" do the 2 intermingle in a way that we cannot fathom?




Phil and Lacy said...

No comments yet? Really surprises me. Couldn't have said this better myself. Thanks for taking the courage to write about your honest feelings. I'm feeling very much the same way.

Nate said...

Cousin, Im torn on the issue. I commend your courage to write how you feel. I personally cannot celebrate the death of a man that Im sure will now spend eternity apart from Christ, for if we know the Bible we know that Christ grieves the death of the unsaved. I do celebrate the justice that was carried out for a this country and the men that risked their lives, and all that to protect our freedoms. I also went to my Bible for direction on how I felt about the "parties" that have been going on since the news. Proverbs 11:10 reads- When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Again I am torn, the flesh in me feels gladness, the Jesus in me feels sad to know that Osama even as bad a person he was has come to eternity without the possibility of Salvation.....

Ross Christopher said...

i guess i just wonder how powerful the cross was. either its only as powerful as human belief, or it was bigger, more inclusive, and paradoxical.

just as OBL committed grave and unrepentant sins (as i assume), so too did judas, peter, and paul. paul (post-christian) referred to himself as the chief of sinners. yet i doubt any of us would argue the cross didn't save him. i'd throw myself in that catergory...i surely have unrepentant sins that i am confident that Jesus covered.

that being said, the bible is far more grey than just john 3:16 (believing). though believe is 1 way of salvation, it gives dozens of other paths, and i wonder if sometimes we water down the complexities of the bible to fit a Western/Americanized version of the bible. it sure does make carpet-bombing middle eastern countries a whole lot easier.

I don't have it figured out, and yes, my human/prideful/self perservation side says celebrate and bomb so as to protect, but I wonder if the same Jesus that heals amputated ears off of his captors would have gone about things this way?


Nate said...

again, great points. I too am assuming when I say he wasnt saved. Only from what I see/hear/think do I come to this conclusion. We both agree had or better yet if Osama asked for Jesus to forgive than it was granted. The reality of the situation hits differently than expected. I do not feel sorry for him or his "followers" , I feel sad that we live in this type of world. Im sure this wasnt the masters plan....

Ross Christopher said...


Sarah said...

I am heavy with this too. I cant celebrate the death. But I am so appreciative of our military. And this feels like a beginning much more than an ending. It makes me very uneasy, what if the next leader of this group is far more radical than the one we eliminated? said...

Osama was a vile, evil man. And just like all vile, evil men, when they refuse to repent, and trust Jesus to save them from the results of their sinning, they enter Hell and the Eternal lake of Fire forever.
He deserved what he got, and so would I if Jesus had not saved me. Osama is in Hell, unless he repented before they killed him. There is no indication he did.

This is the truth, like it or not.

So, how will YOU do? If someone killed you in your sleep would you be going to Heaven or Hell?

Better be sure:

Patrick Burwell,

doc misterio said...

Approximately 100 years in the future and 3 minutes ago Osama has figured out if his religious efforts paid off. If they have, kudos to him, but I don't wanna be a part of anything that rewards evil.
If they haven't I also can't be sure he's undeniably suffering in eternal torment.

I don't think he's in heaven, if there is a heaven. Of course perhaps he's just dead and that's the end of it.

We can be sure of none of these things; heaven, hell, the existence thereof... what we can rejoice in is that an evil has been vanquished, evil that just so happened to take the form of a man. It may be easy to celebrate the man's death (I won't blame you if you do, I gave my girlfriend shit for not staying up with me to watch the president speak because I wanted to feel connected, feel justice, feel if I felt anything from hearing people say that a man is dead) I think I did initially but it's a lot like stubbing your toe, the first thought that comes to mind is "SHIT!!" then it's well that's what I get for stumbling around in the dark.

I think this has been more of a ramble than any one thought... sorry.

Ross Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ross Christopher said...

Thanks Patrick,
I remember the same scare/speech from the 7th grade campfire...oh the memories.

Nothing says "I love Jesus" like fear of burning's the same way I convinced my wife to love me...errr, perhaps not...

My 2 cents,

David Rupert said...

The Rob Bell nonsense that you used in your title is especially poignant.

No hell? Christ is willing that none should perhsih -- but some do.

Ross Christopher said...

Its interesting that people assume Love winning = no hell. I am not making that claim. Rob Bell doesn't make that claim. As a matter of fact, he has an entire chapter dedicated to it - Ch. 3. You should check it out and pass it along to all those that haven't check it out as well too.