Images-31 The biggest breaking news of this week has been the killing of Osama bin Laden, the self-confessed orchestrator of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the USA. The execution was carried out by a US Navy SEAL team and watched by a American national security team, including President Obama, via video.This has been the culmination of a 10-year military project of tracking down this terrorist leader.

Response to this news had been wide and varied … jubilation, relief, sorrow, as well as fear of increased in terrorism.

Here are a few quotes:

  • “I think we can agree this is a good day for America. Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done. The world is safer, it is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden.” American President Obama
  • “I just pray that however I’m supposed to feel, I’ll eventually feel. if God wants to forgive him, that’s God. I can’t.” Barbara Minerving – lifelong Catholic whose husband was killed in the Sept.11 attacks.
  • “I’m happy they got him. But there’s always going to be another one right behind him.” Walter Hillegass, a plumber who cleaned the dust-choked World trade Center site for days after the attacks.
  • “This is the fate that evil killers deserve.” Saad Hariri – Prime Minister of Lebanon. 
  • “It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy. It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that guy. But we are winning though. Haaa. (sacrcasm). Chris Douglas-Roberts on Twitter.
  • “Woe to his enemies. By God we will avenge the killing of the Sheik of Islam. Those who wish that jihad had weakened, I tell them: let us wait a little bit.” Assad al-Jihad2
  • “We shall retaliate against the Americans, Israel and Europe, and Christians in Somalia with destructive explosions.” al-Shabab, Somalia’s most dangerous militant group.
  • “Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of revenge?” Brian McClaren
  • One journalist notes how this killing does nothing much to help those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. 
How should a follower of Christ respond to news such as this? Many Christians aren’t sure (click here for recent article on this).

On the one hand, justice is important and it is appropriate for governments to protect people from evil-doers, such as terrorists (Rom.13:1-5). On the other hand, we should never rejoice over the death of anyone, including the wicked. Ezekiel says it well …

“As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live.” Ezek.33:11.

As Christ-followers, we are also called to love and pray for our enemies, to turn the other cheek and to seek to overcome evil with good. Violence only begets violence. We are called to be peace-makers. Love alone has power over all.

What has been your response? What does it say about you? What does it say about your view of God? These are important questions, as an event such as this can become a metaphor revealing for our view of life and God.

4 thoughts on “The Death of Osama bin Laden

  1. Those who celebrate on the belief that most of the danger of international terrorism is now over, are naïve. It’s not how radical Islam works. OBL was a hero to them and they will viciously avenge his death.
    A well balanced, strongly biblical article on the topic can be viewed here.
    Some of the facts of this event are also questionable.

  2. How should Christians view the death of their enemy? David’s example at the death of his enemy, Saul, found in 2 Samuel 1, is quite poignant & instructive: He wept & composed “The Song of the Bow” in honor of Saul & his son Jonathan, commanding the song to be taught to the children of Judah. David had a famously tender heart – a characteristic that set him apart (1 Samuel 16:7) & mirrored God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14)- & at the death of his enemy, he considered all of Saul’s past wrongs as paid for in the justice of death…

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