Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Russell Moore on Osama bin Laden & Narcissism

Photo Credit: bitmask
Vanity. Ego. Self-absorption. Conceit. Pride. Haughtiness. These are all terms associated with narcissism and each one of us is in danger of falling victim to this destructive personality trait. Narcissus was a figure from Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection and we, too, can become so consumed with ourselves that great harm can come to others if our ego is not kept in check.

Dr. Russell Moore offers a compelling argument on how narcissism drove Osama bin Laden to become a despot responsible for the murder of thousands. Dr. Moore comments:
"Osama Bin Laden was wicked. Osama Bin Laden was feared. He was also, it turns out, kind of pathetic. Among the items American forces pulled out of the terrorist leader’s compound last week are videos of Bin Laden, wrapped in a blanket, watching himself on television. As ABCNews reports, the warlord is seen to be "a vain pathetic old man." When I read this in the New York Times, I immediately thought of 1990s song "Mr. Jones" by the band Counting Crows: "When I look at the television, I want to see me staring right back at me."

And what the old fox wanted to see was not just himself, but a younger version. American forces confirm that Bin Laden was dying his beard, to manage his image in order to appear more vibrant to his supporters around the world.

We shouldn’t really be surprised. The nature of evil, ultimately, is narcissism. And the end result of our narcissism is always evil. Sometimes that evil shows up in preening and boasting. Other times it shows up in the ease with which one takes offense. Sometimes that offense even morphs into a crusade or a jihad, around the world or in your office cubicle or church foyer."
The same pride that ultimately drove bin Laden to his grave is the same pride that Lucifer displayed ages ago in his rebellion against God. Perhaps more scary is that it is also the same pride that lurks in my heart and yours. There is no greater antidote to our self-absorption than the gospel of Christ that tells us that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

You can read Russell Moore's complete post here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Yeah, that puts things in perspective. I often think about how sinfully narcissistic I can be and how the world doesnt revolve around me. Good to know the HS is still working in my life. Thanks for posting Scott