Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Death Of Osama Bin Laden & One Christian's Response

Photo Credit: QuinnDombrowski
Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, has written a thoughtful response upon reflection of the death of Osama bin Laden. You can read it here. Here is a highlight:
"Pumping our fists in victory or celebrating in the streets is probably not the best Christian response to anyone’s death, even the death of a dangerous and violent enemy. The world can be relieved that a leader as evil as Bin Laden can no longer plot the death of innocents. We can be grateful that his cynical manipulation and distortion of Islam into a message of division and hate is finally ended. Even if we sharply dissented from the moral logic or wisdom of the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan of the last decade, we can be glad that a mass murderer has been stopped and brought to justice. And we can be hopeful that the face of the Arab world might now become the young nonviolent activists for democracy rather than a self-righteous smirk of a self-promoting video character who tells us he is going to kill our children if we don’t submit to his hateful agenda.

But the book of Proverbs clearly warns us to "not rejoice when your enemies fall" [Proverbs 24:17,18]. And, in the hardest words of the gospel, Jesus tells us to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" [Matthew 5:44]. Neither of those texts have been very popular pulpit texts during the years since 9/11. So as people of faith, we don’t celebrate the death of other human beings, regardless of how twisted or evil they have become."
As the picture accompanying this post illustrates, our American patriotism should always be overshadowed by our Christian faith. For those of us that are followers of Christ, it is not our political leanings or even the country that we claim citizenship that it is of utmost importance. It is our faith in Christ that supersedes everything else. Let's not forget that.

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