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A Christian's View of the Death of Osama Bin Laden

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When I think about the deaths of so many innocent people because of senseless terror attacks in the name of religion I feel sick and sad but I feel unaffected by the death of Bin Laden. Possibly some added measure of safety was achieved by his demise, but that will only last for as long as it takes for someone new to fill the vacuum, and the vacuum will be filled. For unlike Christians who are commanded by Jesus to treat even their enemy as their neighbor, those who kill in the name of Islam will always view anyone who does not adhere to their beliefs as the enemy.

I cannot imagine how anyone who lost a loved one as the result of terrorism might have felt upon hearing the news of Bin Laden's death and therefore, I am not in a position to judge their response, but the sight of so many who were tangentially affected by terrorist attacks rejoicing over the taking of any life was disturbing, especially if they claim that they are followers of Christ.

Bin Laden's death would not be considered “eye for an eye” justice by Christians. The commandment was given only to the Israelites and was meant to moderate vengeance -- no longer could anyone seek any sort of retaliation for a crime committed, but instead, all justice sought must be limited to the extent of the crime perpetrated. Christians are called to a higher standard: We are instructed by Christ in his restatement of the law to not seek vengeance against those who are evil.

Christians would also not view Bin Laden's death as martyrdom. The label “martyr” is reserved for those who willingly die rather than renounce their religion, and there does not seem to be any evidence that Bin Laden died willingly nor that anyone demanded that he renounce Islam.

So, what are we to think about all this?  We are to trust in the justice of God.  Man's justice is never perfect but we can trust that God's plan is worked out in all events and that if justice is needed on anyone's part, that God will provide that justice in His own time and in His own way.

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