Over the past 24 hours, the world’s eyes have been focused on the announcement by our President that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a raid in Pakistan. This stunning revelation caused a myriad of reactions, from throwing parties to outrage.
How to react to this type of news is difficult. Here are some thoughts I’ve had in the few hours I’ve had to reflect on this from a Christian perspective.
1. The government can execute “justice.” That seems to be the “buzzword” around this event. For almost 10 years, bin Laden has been the single most wanted man in the world by our military. Following several attacks–most infamously 9/11–his death was warranted, as the Bible gives government the right to use “the sword” on evildoers (Romans 13:1-7, especially verse 4). So, when one does as many evil acts as this man did, it is justice being served when such happens.
2. I feel some sadness. Really? Yes. I am always sad when someone–famous, infamous, or otherwise–dies without Jesus Christ. As evil as Osama bin Laden might have been, he still was a man with an eternal soul. It saddens me to read or hear of someone dying without knowing the real Lord.
3. I am upset when I see people using this event as an excuse to poke fun at Islam. I do not agree with that religion, but religion is such a deeply personal thing that making fun of it is not the way to win people over to the Truth of the Gospel. Specifically, people have been making fun of some of the promises of the afterlife made in the Quran, and are now saying that bin Laden “wasted his life” and is finally realizing that these promises were not real. Such, in reality, is not something to be made fun of.
4. Evil was not ended last night. On May 1, 1945, the world learned that Adolf Hitler was dead via suicide. As evil as he was, evil continued. The announcement on May 1, 2011, that Osama bin Laden is dead will not end evil. Our adversary, the devil, continues to work, and continues to be effective in what he does. In other words, bin Laden, as evil as he might have been, was not the “face of evil.” Only Satan is that, and he continues to exist and work.
5. Patriotism is wonderful, but we are citizens of heaven first! I love America. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am thankful for our history and I often pray for our future. But we must remember that we are citizens of heaven first and foremost. Our greatest celebrations should not be over the killing of a physical enemy, but over the winning of a lost soul. Be thankful for our nation, and love her dearly, but love heaven more.
6. With the military taking this length of time to find one man, I was also reminded of the power of human focus and dedication. Many of us cannot focus on something for 10 hours, much less 10 years! Yet, our men and women in uniform continued steadfastly on one task for all this time. They are to be commended for that, and should serve as a sterling example of what can be done when we are steadfast and focused.
7. The real war is never over. It is possible that one of these days a President will declare “the war on terror” to be over. That President will give fascinating details and we will welcome home troops from years of fighting. But there is always a war going on. It is the war over the souls of men and women, and it will not end until our Lord returns.
I am thankful that our government used “the sword” against bin Laden. I truly am. I do not celebrate his death, but I see it as a necessary step of protection and of doing what is right.
I am also thankful for our men and women who have been fighting in this conflict and who continue to do so. They are amazing, and they are truly heroes. Never forget them, nor their families.
I am thankful to live in America, and I pray that this nation will remember her true history–one grounded in God–so that she may continue to be, and continue to be great.
May God bless this nation, but may He do so because we are seeking Him first and foremost.