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Jaclyn and I were wrapping up disc 1 of LOST: Season 2 when I hopped on Twitter to begin reading what would cause me to immediately turn on the news. Osama Bin Laden is dead. This has become a household name in ever American’s life. For nearly 10 years there has been a world-wide man hunt for Bin Laden. So when I heard the news, I was more shocked that it actually happened. And then, as it sunk in, overwhelming emotion struck me. I wanted to see how people were responding on Twitter/Facebook to the news. To be honest, I was both shocked/disappointed and not shocked/disappointed.

My initial thought was that the death of Bin Laden has revealed two, vastly different perspectives of Christians. One being a Christian who considers themselves an American first, and a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven second. The other being an individual who considers themselves a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven first, and an American second. The latter of these two individuals keeps in mind that this life is not all there is. That, yes, while we may freely choose to reject our Creator, it is still not His intention that any…ANY…should perish, but all to come to repentance. Those who hold to a Kingdom of Heaven perspective see not the death of a terrorist, but the death of one who is lost in his own darkness. Those who keep to this perspective do not celebrate at the destruction that has come upon another’s soul…but weep over it.

Some may object and say, “Well he got what he deserved! God is a God of justice!” My question in return is, “How can we consider ourselves the Church, who’s responsibility it is to bring the message of redemption, when we celebrate over a lost soul who has died in spiritual darkness?” I can’t make sense of this. It seems that all heaven rejoices when a lost soul comes to redemptive knowledge, but Christians rejoice over a lost soul who “got what he deserved” in this life because he did really, really bad stuff? Maybe Bin Laden did get what he deserved, maybe he is yet to get it – but are any of us in such a position to determine that? I find this to be very inconsistent for Christians. If people are so apt to quote scripture speaking about justice, judgement, and hell being good, my question is why don’t they apply that same response when their friends who are lost die apart from Christ? These people get what they deserve as well. Instead, Christians weep over the lost soul of a loved one or friend even though they are rightly getting what they deserve for the rejection of Christ. I suppose b/c this man’s sins were so much greater many feel less of a need to weep. I, however, simply see an inconsistency in the action.

Some may object further and say, “Well I’m not happy about his eternal destination but I am happy that he’s dead so that he won’t be around anymore to cause other people harm.” But the truth is we can’t know that to be true, can we? We don’t know what the future holds. And some have commented, “If he hasn’t accepted Christ in the last 10 years, he probably won’t.” But who are you to make such a claim?

Now please understand, for those who have decided to keep reading, I’m not a pacifist. I believe in just and righteous causes that are taken up by the armed forces of nations around this globe. I honor America’s armed forces for their sacrifices that have been made to keep me, my family, and the people of this nation safe for the past 10 years! I’m not saying that sin should go unpunished. But that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about the sloppy, honest, revealing thoughts that Christians have when they don’t think through their remarks to the logical conclusion. I’m ashamed that some have excitedly rejoiced that Bin Laden is “burning in hell.” My goodness, are you kidding me!?

I worked with a Pastor in Oklahoma who, when we would pray together as a staff, could within moments begin weeping for lost souls. Weeping! That has forever impacted my life. It has reminded me of why I’m on this earth. I’m not here to be a good citizen (though as a Christian I should be), I’m not here to pay taxes (though as a Christian I should), I’m not here to take care of the environment (though as a Christian I should)…I’m here to reflect the glory of the God who has adopted me into His family and called me one of His own. I’m here to share that message of hope and redemption. I’m reminded that, but for the grace of God, I’m no different than Bin Laden.

My thoughts are to inspire you to see past acts of evil that have been carried out against this nation, and the retribution against the one who organized it, and to see from a much greater perspective…the perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven. To see that, but for the grace of God, there go I…there go you. To see that there are people each day that we pass, that though they’ve not blown up buildings, have they not still rejected their Creator? Would a Christian rejoice over any one of their deaths if they only knew the crimes that had been committed? Do we feel a sense of justification for rejoicing over this man’s death simply because his sins are so appalling in nature to us?

The world may be better off without Bin Laden…maybe it isn’t. No man can say either way because we simply aren’t in a position to make such a claim. But what we do know is that unless, before his death, Bin Laden freely choose to turn to Christ, his eternal destiny is set. And that my friend, is nothing I can rejoice or celebrate about – whether it be Bin Laden or the rapist or the murderer or the liar or the cheater or the man who lives across the street from me. But for the grace of God, there is no difference between me and him. Therefore I will not rejoice.

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