Big news has hit the media, Osama (or Usama) Bin Laden is dead. With that news people are rejoicing a lot. My facebook page is flooded with messages celebrating the death of the Al-Queda leader.
But personally, as a Christian, I have mixed feelings on it…
Which leads me to ask, is it okay for Chrisitans to celebrate the death of Bin Laden?
Why all the celebration in the first place?
The first thing that needs to be asked, is why is all the celebration happening in the first place? Osama Bin Laden is the leader of a terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, according to the FBI most wanted poster. For this reason, I think it is a good thing that Osama was taken out. This is not to say that this will stop or even slow down terrorism, but the fact that someone who would take the lives of innocent people, or command others to take lives, overwhelmingly shows that such a person must be stopped.
In the Old Testament we even see God ordering the death of the unjust and declaring judgment on those who are against God.
Because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you. (Proverbs 1:25-26)
Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her! (Revelation 18:20)
As the Lord took delight in doing you good . . . so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. (Deuteronomy 28:63)
So yes, the celebration is called for.
Does Osama deserve Hell?
Now for the tough question which I am sure will stir a lot of emotions up, but bear with me for a minute.
Does Osama deserve hell, any more than you or I?
Our instinct is to declare “Yes, he does! I am not like Osama, I am not a terrorist!” but that is side-stepping the question. Osama committed horrible crimes against humanity, and for that he was dealt punishment by human hands. But when it comes to acts against God, you and I are no better off than Osama.
Every single time you or I tell a lie, look with lust, hate someone, or covet what we do not have, we are committing a sin against God. Romans 3:9-20 states:
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written:
“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“ The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “ Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
When it comes to our standing before God, we are all guilty. The only reason we have been forgiven, is completely because of the works Christ did on the cross, and completely because God called us. Not because we are any better.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. – Romans 3:23-26
We need to be careful when we try to pass judgment on someone eternally. We should be praying for our enemies and hoping for their repentance more than trying to destroy them.
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? . . . For I do not pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live. (Ezekiel 18:23, 32)
So yes, we are thankful that a terrorist can no longer harm others and thankful for the American troops who did their job to stop this criminal who acted against humanity, but at the same time we should be sorrowful that another person must spend eternity in hell. And no matter how much we think that person deserves hell, we must stop and realize that we, you and I and our loved ones, deserves hell just as much as Osama Bin Laden.