Should Christians celebrate bin Laden’s death?

When we see people in the Middle East rejoicing in the streets over the death of Westerners in a terrorist attack, we feel outraged. We struggle to understand the world view that would cause one person to celebrate the needless death of another.

And while it may be a poor comparison, seeing Americans cheering in the streets over the death of Osama bin Laden doesn’t sit well with me either. While it could be argued that his demise is a justified casuality of war or a  just result for a terrorist, surely it is still an overwhelmingly sad moment.

Sad that it continually comes to this in human history – someone must die for others to feel safer, freer, stronger.

15th century depiction of Cain and Abel, Specu...
15th century depiction of Cain and Abel

I don’t judge those that are cheering – so many were touched by the 9/11 attacks and many other tragic killings around the world, it is understandable that there would be a sense of relief and victory and yes, even celebration.

But in the cold light of day, people will soon realise that the world’s problems, America’s problems, have not gone away and the struggle that has gripped humanity since Cain and Abel goes on unabated.

President Obama said that people who love peace and human dignity would welcome bin Laden’s death. Maybe so.

But only One Man’s death has ever truly provided for peace and human dignity in a profound, eternal and ultimate way. And his undeserved death was for thieves, murderers and, yes, scandalously, even terrorists.

See how some of America’s Christians are responding:

Christianity Today
Christian Post

Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below.

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5 thoughts on “Should Christians celebrate bin Laden’s death?

  1. Great article Peter and I agree. Revenge is not ours to take and Jesus did say that we must love our enemies and forgive those who trespass upon us. It’s a hard, hard call at times, but better than the alternative which is satan’s way.

  2. “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

  3. Couldn’t agree more, Peter. It is reassuring that there are Christians willing to say that this doesn’t set well with them – myself being one of them. You really cut to the chase by pointing to The Only genuine source of peace and human dignity. It should cause believers everywhere to mourn for anyone who doesn’t have the assurance we do. It shouldn’t cause celebration.

  4. Well said Peter. I have posted my own comments on facebook, although not as articulately. I was actually saddened by the reactions of people as you say not in judgment of them but because a man died. I would have loved to see headlines of Bin Laden’s salvation rather than his death as this would have been a great testimony to the love of God. Great article.

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