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Osama bin Laden – How should the Believer respond?

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden.  Say that name anywhere in the world and some type of response will be elicited.  The fact that the man is now dead, brings a myriad of emotion and strong rhetoric out of many people internationally.  Nearly everyone will have an opinion and a strong one at that.  Most say he got what he deserved.  So many people are moving to the streets in celebration.  Strong emotion, strong language, strong partying…?? 

My initial raw, gut reaction was to move into the streets, laugh and rant and rave.  (Not literally.  In midwest suburbia at midnight that would be strongly frowned upon for other reasons.)  But, then a Voice got a hold of my heart and reminded me that this was folly. 

The fact is the guy was utterly lost and seriously depraved. He served the devil whilst he was certain he was serving “God,” nonetheless we are commanded (!) to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. I, by no means, believe that we let criminals get off “scot free,” but I think there should be a sense of candor and grace in OUR actions, NOT because he was deserving, but because we belong to One who saved us from our sin. God said, “The vengeance is mine.” We act with justice, but we, as Believers, are to be set apart, reverent, and act as though Christ would. Did Christ ever get angry? Absolutely! But, did he revel in someone’s demise? Never… He used sober judgement, warning us of the perils of sin and the eternal judgement that awaits those who refuse to give their lives to Him.

It’s a shame that people have stooped to the same level that much of the Arab world did on 9-11. Just because they danced in the streets, is not a license for us to. I, myself, had to really examine what my response should be and felt that the Lord would not be pleased by the celebration and sheer folly of the termination of any life, even one so graphically vile, as bin Laden’s. 

Further, I think that the celebratory and congratulatory attitudes that are wildly flaunted right now in the media, in politics, and on main street are only fanning the flames of hatred, violence, and plots to destroy American soldiers and civilians.  After pondering the news, I reflected upon the images that were flashing upon televisions and computer screens worldwide, knowing that this was going to further support the uprising that has been continuing to seep across the Middle East.  Radicals will use these images for propaganda to encourage stronger, more complex, violent schemes toward our country.   I am constantly amazed that most in the media are not recognizing this and certainly not urging caution and restraint in the public’s actions. 

Those who were directly affected by the devastation of September 11th will feel this more than the rest of us.  The troops who have been lost, the families who have lost their loved one’s who bravely served in an attempt to eradicate our world from this evil, have a claim at the sense of justice.  The fact is the though that evil never sleeps.  Evil is not thwarted by our desperation for vengeance and glory.  However, this does not mean we simply let evil have a physical presence in this world.  But, we must recognize that there are works that our eyes often do not see and the only way to fight this battle is with the army of the Lord.  Evil doesn’t die in our strength, but only by the power of Christ’s blood.   In fact, if we give in to the same bloodlust, we are tools in the hands of the enemy…

Evil will take reign in us if we aren’t aware, aren’t cautious, and aren’t pro-active.  The best weapons we, as Believers hold, is to recognize the war that we wage is not against flesh and blood, but powers of darkness.

Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version)

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.

As Believers we are commanded to love our enemies.  That does NOT mean to tolerate what they do and allow reckless behavior!  But, it means that our response should not be out of bitter anger, but of righteous thinking, even righteous anger!  Righteous anger comes from the Holy Spirit within us.  The things that anger God and violate his Word, should anger us, but only in the sense that it is HIS authority that is violated, not our own

I don’t have this attitude perfected.  I am merely a lump of clay that He continues to mould and break.  But, these are the reflections that I have had in these last 48 hours. 

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