Mourning the Death of Osama Bin Laden… and the Loss of Every Other Life

Mourning the Death of Osama Bin Laden… and the Loss of Every Other Life May 1, 2011
Source: Greg Boyd - Christus Victor Ministries

When the news came in that Osama Bin Laden died, I didn’t know what to feel.  To be honest, my initial reaction exuded a sense of triumph, but that soon faded.  Then, a thought came to me: “I don’t know if today is one worthy of joy or mourning?”  Certainly Bin Laden created chaos in the world.  He definitely chose a path of evil rather than the common good.  Hatred towards this terrorist is not only justifiable, but a way to counter the pain he caused the families of the 3,000 innocent victims of 9/11.  He will forever live on in our history books in the company of Hitler, in infamy.

But, should we find joy in this? That is my question as I watch new reports of young adults waving flags and dancing in the street.  That is my question for those who will go to the local club, pub, or bar tonight to get a drink on this epic day.  Should we, specifically followers of the crucified Jesus, find joy in the death of this evil man? Consider this potent verse from the prophet:

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Ezekiel 33.11

It seems that God takes “no pleasure” in the death of the wicked men and women of the world.  This includes the worst of the worst, namely Osama Bin Laden.  And if God feels this way about the death of the wicked, about those we consider the enemies of the common good in the world, Jesus takes this teaching to a new level.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5.43-45

Question: Should we pray for our enemies or rejoice in their death?

Here is what I feel after having a moment to reflect on my response to this historical moment.

I mourn for the families who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  This grieves the heart of God.

I mourn for the soldiers who gave their lives in the subsequent wars.  This grieves the heart of God.

I mourn for the countless civilians who died because of misdirected military action.  This grieves the heart of God.

I mourn the loss of Kaddafi’s family members who were attacked by NATO a couple days ago.  This grieves the heart of God.

I mourn the death of every other person in human history believing that death does not have the final word.  All death grieves the heart of God.

And, yes, I mourn the death of a terrible man.  A man who deserved the title enemy.  But this is the mystery of the Christian Gospel: God died for his enemies! “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5.10

I mourn the death of Osama Bin Laden, a man created in the image of God.  A wretch whom God loved enough to die for.  For the God of the Bible takes “no pleasure” in the death of evil people, even the death of a terrorist.

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  • Anonymous

    The power struggles we live in and somehow justify only serve to demonstrate how great God’s grace is on all, even those judged undeserving by other men

  • Ian

    My sentiment exactly. Romans 12:19 also came to mind for me.

  • In the wake of today’s monumental announcement from President Obama, I’m not going to lie, I felt a little glad. Perhaps it was misguided or perhaps it was in response to an act of justice against a man who would not turn from his ways – nonetheless, I felt a small sense of gladness. But reading your post, I’m thinking it was a little misguided. I believe God to be a just God, but I don’t think He smiles when that justice is carried out. As tough as this post is to read with my heavily-ingrained American mindset, I needed it. Thanks man.

    • Jeremy, I am no saint. I admitted to being initially excited… perhaps overwhelmed by the news. Then the thought I expressed above set in: Is this a moment to rejoice or to mourn the loss of God’s image bearer? I think that living in the tension that this issue raises for us American Christians is the first step to discovering God’s heart for his enemies.

  • Amen.

  • jeremy, I initially felt the same way. I think that we want to rejoice because our identity as Americans and the myth of redemptive violence tells us that the “bad guy” is dead and the world is now the way it should be. But, the more I think and contemplate and pray (instead of studying for my law school finals)… I am saddened. Death is not to be celebrated. There might be good that comes out of this. But only Christ brings the peace that we are seeking.

  • Hillary04

    Agree. Well said and the picture is worth a thousand words.

  • Stacyaok

    thanks for giving words to my feelings too!

  • I agree with the sentiments in this piece. But I think that whether or not they realize it, people aren’t so much celebrating the death of the man, as much as a sense of “maybe there really can be some kind of justice in the world after all. Maybe people *can’t* really do things like he did and get away with it.”

  • Adam

    ‘when the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.’ proverbs 11:1

  • Yshekster

    Amen. That’s how I felt – exactly.

  • This is exactly how I feel. Thanks for posting this.

  • Awesome post, Kurt!

  • Llrwatts

    I think it is possible for a heart searching God’s way to be saddened and feel mourning for the death of one who never turned from wickedness to Christ and to also feel a certain satisfaction in justice for an evildoer; in the same way that our God is both all love and all just, we can experience emotions from each outlook. I was deeply concerned to see our young people dancing in the streets and celebrating. It reminded me of the celebrations which so insulted us following 9-11. However, no matter who one thinks may have shared in the guilt on that horrendous day, those people who died in the towers were innocent; a contrast to the death of one guilty of their murders. My conclusion, sin has convoluted this life, only our omniscient God can bring peace.

  • Thanks Kurt! Now I don’t have to put up a post on my blog about this because you said exactly what I wanted to say, only you said it much better!

  • Anonymous

    “They will have justice without mercy who have shown no mercy; but Mercy trumps Justice.” (James 2:13) — UBL’s death shows, it seems generally agreed, the first of these principles in action; what of the second?

    I found myself first joining in, then saddened by, the self-congratulatory tone all over the airwaves this morning; is this the only way we can transcend partisanship? Is it really a proud day? Yes, it’s a brilliantly planned and well-executed high-stakes operation, and will inevitably make a great action movie. All the cathartic elements are there: secrecy, danger, suspense, confrontation, the invincible bad guy taken down, and even a big explosion before it’s all over.

    But my spirit is troubled because more of us are not troubled. Vengeance belongs to God, the scripture tells me; we are to leave room for it, while human beings are commanded to enact forgiveness. All too often, those respective roles of the divine and human are reversed in our minds. This story will not come to a happy ending until we, in this world, find a pathway toward the mercy that triumphs over justice.

    • Thank you so much for putting into words what I have felt. This brought me to tears. I do not like the way we behaved in this endeavor…should we be celebrating an assassination, which makes us no better then those we condemned? I feel the same as you…that more people should be troubled by this and don’t appear to be. I find it hard to celebrate anyone’s death. Again, thank you therevr.

  • Thank you for posting this! I thought I was the only one feeling this way.
    I understand why people are so happy, but the immediate response of vicious celebrating sickens me. I am glad that he was stopped from spreading evil, but to respond to that with such hatred and blatant ethnocentrism seems backwards. This would have been an incredible opportunity for America to show the world how it can forgive and accept victory with humility. And that saddens me.

  • Jaigner

    Thank you for having the guts to say this. Bin Laden did horrible, unspeakable things, but as an image-bearer, his life had the same value of yours and mine. We can debate about whether this needed to be done, but it’s unconscionable to me that so many Christians are throwing parties.

  • I had mixed feelings at first. You put into words exactly how I feel.
    My heart is torn, knowing the aftermath that is to come. I am not speaking of terrorist attacks, though I know they will continue. The aftermath I speak of is the hostility towards the Muslim people, especially those in our country. Rather than spitting, insulting and hating Muslims, we (speaking to the body of Christ) should be moved with compassion for them.

    Here’s a thought: Let us pray for our enemies. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves. Like Christ, may we lay down our lives for those who don’t know Him.

    Thank you for your words. Thank you for reminding us all that Osama and all Isalmic believers were/are created in the image of God, Jesus died for them too and God yearns for their hearts.

  • I had mixed feelings at first. You put into words exactly how I feel.
    My heart is torn, knowing the aftermath that is to come. I am not speaking of terrorist attacks, though I know they will continue. The aftermath I speak of is the hostility towards the Muslim people, especially those in our country. Rather than spitting, insulting and hating Muslims, we (speaking to the body of Christ) should be moved with compassion for them.

    Here’s a thought: Let us pray for our enemies. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves. Like Christ, may we lay down our lives for those who don’t know Him.

    Thank you for your words. Thank you for reminding us all that Osama and all Isalmic believers were/are created in the image of God, Jesus died for them too and God yearns for their hearts.

  • cjm

    As I watched the news last night I found myself reflecting on heaven and hell. At times, I wonder about God punishing us for a finite number of sins for eternity BUT then I look at a man like Bin Laden and although I consider myself more on the side of pacifism, I felt a sense of relief and that justice was delivered. He was evil and a mass murderer having taken the lives of Muslims and Christian Americans. Times like this it does make me reflect on my own depravity, I may not be a murderer but I have selfishness and sin within me. If I can in my own sense of justice feel although God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, he does punish the sin. All that to say, if in my sense of justice which I believe comes from being created in the image of God, can look at Bin Laden and believe he deserves hell…well, in God’s eyes, sin is sin and the Scriptures seem to say looks at sin the way, I view Bin Laden. Disgusted at the evil. It is making me re-evaluate my sense of “fair” for how God punishes sin. These thoughts are in process so maybe I shouldn’t have posted yet but Thank God for the Cross of Jesus!

  • I can only mourn that he chose to deny God’s teachings. He chose the path of evil and would not be swayed from it. He chose his path and I will not mourn his passing for it spares countless others pain.

    • I mourn those things as well. I am convinced however that death does not heal pain or bring back loved ones. And understand “mourning” in this post is relative. I am not experiencing deep pain or sadness for a man I never met and never hoped to meet, but am worried that the reaction of the church to the world must not be compromised in this matter. He was the epitome of depraved, but this never meant he wasn’t an image bearer. Everyone who dies is worthy of being mourned. Death is demonic according to the new testament… but we have a Savior who conquered the grave!!!!

  • Thank you for your honesty and calling others to reflect on what happened today. Family members of Osama bin Laden and those who died with him are grief stricken today. Freedom fighters usually have a very good reason for their actions – the USA did not bother to follow up on the reasons that caused 9/11 and any other ‘terrorist’ activity. Exploitation of poor countries is bound to have repercussions. May God have mercy on the killers – they probably do not know what they are doing.

  • Ian

    After more thinking about this I would just have to say that yes I certainly glad that whatever terrible plots that would have been devised by this man are now going to be averted (though it’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t mean the end of terrorism). I’m glad that our God is a God of justice, but let’s consider of few things.
    What about Paul? He murdered thousands, just like Osama did, but was redeemed and went on to write half the New Testament. Imagine if Osama had repented? I’m sure he would have been killed anyway (in this case by his former followers) but wouldn’t that be a powerful testimony of the redemptive power of Christ? I would like to point out that Osama has been the head of Al Queida for 20 years or so. That’s a long chance to repent. Justice may have been served, but it was a plan B.

  • I agree but just so you know that illustration at the top of this post will perturb many. It disarmed me and that is a good thing. Posted some thoughts as well…Didn’t know I would feel like I do hearing this news.

  • Philmmaclean

    Great thoughts Man! I love that Ezekiel passage. To me, what would be interesting is to hear a voice from a family member who lost someone in 9/11 speak honestly about how the death of Bin Laden does not heal their pain or even give them a true sense of satisfying justice; this however would probably take time to realize. Thanks again for your perspective Kurt, always enjoy it!

  • RevMayes

    One of the greatest mysteries off all is that God loves us at all and I include myself (an ex-atheist). In Romans 3, Paul argues that there is no advantage of one person before God over another. In v. 10-11 we learn that no one is righteous and no one seeks God, but have turned from him and are worthless. Further, we are all swift to shed blood (v. 15) and therefor have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (3.23). As an ex-atheist and once an enemy of Christ, the idea that God loved me to give his son for me still brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. The fact is the idea of being good falls far short when the standard of goodness applied is Jesus. While I don’t like what Bin Laden did, I grieve for the loss of another soul.

  • YES! THANK YOU for this!

  • Sarah

    Thank you. This is beautiful.

  • Upon reading your post, I felt compelled to drop my input.

    While I agree that a party for this action of “death” may be over the top, I am hard pressed to define this action as wrong. Rejoicing in the triumph of good over evil is the nature of our God. When Christ took the keys of hell from the devil, do you not think that there was rejoicing in heaven?

    I believe in your scriptural reference you have pulled Ezekiel 33:11 out of context – if you continue to read the scripture in context you will find in the scriptures that surround Ezekiel 33:11, that God would much rather the wicked turn from evil – it was God’s will that bin Laden turn from evil and turn toward God – however, in continuance of wickedness, death is in the inevitable…continuance of verse 11, “Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die…” While bin Laden was by all means a sinner, I will say it is not for any one of us to judge this man. He will be judged by God.

    But there is also another angle here – Proverbs 11:10 speaks toward the rejoicing in the triumph over wickedness, “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.” Some text interpret the word shouting as “jubilation”. Where’s your heart in the matter? Rejoicing over the death of a man, or the triumph of righteousness over wickedness?

    I don’t want to stand in complete opposition to your post, because I seriously doubt that the “dancing in the street” that occurred last night was less in triumph of good over evil in that our “God is an awesome God”, but rather more fleshly excitement based in revenge, motivated by uninformed hate and unforgiveness?

    …just my input.

    • With respect, Joshua, while justice may have been served on Bin Laden, you’re reaching to call it “the triumph of righteousness over wickedness.” If we hypothesize (as I am willing to do) that God used American forces to serve “justice” on OBL, I would suggest America as the tool in God’s hands would be closer to Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon: used by God but evil nonetheless.

      Consider, further, that mourning the death of a sinner is not synonymous with saying that effecting that death was wrong. I tend to think that it is wrong for humans to presume to wield the sword of God’s justice…God is, after all, quite capable of killing a man without another man’s assistance. Nevertheless it is quite a different act entirely, to visit the penalty of death on one who “deserves” it, than it is to celebrate that death.

    • I have to echo Dans rebuttal to you Joshua.

  • JB

    Who wrote this?

  • Kurt, I appreciate this post. I share your ambivalent response. I am most concerned, as are you and some other commenters, by the gloating and jubilation that bin Laden’s death has received. Others have said it more eloquently than I, but even if, despite what I know and believe about Jesus, I can see no way other than violence to respond to certain evils, that violence must always be accompanied by tears of regret and prayers for forgiveness.

    My other thought, which I have felt long before OBL was actually found and shot, is that both those “others” and we have invested in him far too much significance. The cause of the terrorists–whether legitimate or not is beside the point–will continue without him, and so will the methods. Nothing, really, has changed.

  • Tiffany Lucus

    It is infrequent that I feel so confused on an event that happens in our country. I feel sick today. There is a part of me that says “thank God he is dead” – then there is a part of me that says “is his sin different than your sin; is his sin beyond forgiveness?” – then another part fights back with “did he ever want forgiveness? WOULD he ever want forgiveness? would the killings have ever stopped?” – then another voice pops ups with “whose right is it, besides God’s right, to judge his heart, or his future actions” – but the voice, in the end, that feels the most confused is the one that says “was there another way to bring justice to a little girl who no longer has a daddy? or a wife who no longer has a husband? or parents who had to bury their children?” Thank you for this post. I’m thankful for absolutely any clarity I can find today.

    • Tiffany, I always love the honesty with which you wrestle with the difficult issues of faith and life. I encourage you not to get too bogged down with anything but the heart of Jesus towards his enemies. all the other stuff is secondary to that. Important questions… I share many of them with you… but enemy love is the way of Jesus so I suppose I start there and then let the “pragmatic” questions fall into or out of place from there. Peace to you my friend!

  • Charlie

    Kurt, thank you so much. You put into words quite what I have been feeling since learning the news. I thank you for this piece.

  • Might like my own blog response to this.

  • Dan C

    Question: Should we pray for our enemies or rejoice in their death?

    Answer: Yes, both.

    • Dan… the problem is that there is never a moment in the New Testament that rejoicing is connected with death. Death is a demonic power, even when applied to our enemies…

  • sara

    I don’t mourn the death of Osama bin Laden but rejoice in the LIFE of those that may have been killed by him had he not been killed.

  • clueta2

    I can only think of Dietrich Bon Hofer, a pascifist, who ended up plotting an assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Now, I will not go out and cheer and celebrate OBL”s death but I won’t mourn for him either.

    • The point of the post is not to put on ashes and become downcast about the fate of Osama, but to recognize that no matter how evil, he was valuable enough for Christ to die for… just like ever other human being…

      • Grant1626

        i completely disagree, christ died for the elect not osama bin laden. john piper spells this out perfectly here

        • As an Arminian Anabaptist evangelical, I have to say that the doctrine of TULIP is an innovation that post dates the early church of Jesus and the apostles and quite frankly, counter to the God revealed in Jesus. Of course there is room to disagree on these disputable matters, but I do get a bit uncomfortable with especially the “L” of the acronym as I do not see “limited atonement” taught ANYWHERE in Scripture. PS – the elect in the New Testament is a corporate image of the church / covenant community, not an individualistic word. Grace and peace to you Grant.

    • Daniel

      But don’t you see, clueta, it’s not that you WON’T mourn for him it’s that you CAN’T?

  • Daniel

    But do you really mourn them? Are you really that transformed? Are you really telling us what you feel or just what you think you should feel? See, this is why if Christianity is ever to transform our politics it will have to be in a much more unconscious way than the Evangelicals pursue. The most public representatives of faith are always the first to ignore its plainest directives. There’s nothing complicated about loving your enemy as yourself–just hard.

    • Daniel, I am on a journey as all of us are. Feeling a bit like you threw a stone my direction 🙂 I believe that mourning fits because it fits our notions of death and funerals. I am not depressed over this, but I do not believe that Christians should glory over the death of anyone for whom Christ died. That is the point of this post. If you read the beginning of the article, I try to come clean about my initial reaction. And yes, I fully agree “Loving your enemy as yourself” is “just hard.” I am trying to learn how each day, including through this article.

      • Daniel

        Sorry, no, with ‘public representatives’ I actually had in mind politicians. But my question to you was sincere, as it’s a tendency I find in myself. My detection of it derives more from a sensibility than from moral radar. I know how easy it is to slip into this tone that allows unbelievers to cry BS. In a way it is.

        • I see where you are coming from Daniel. You have an authentic approach from what I can tell. I am not over exagerating or anything like that, just naming all death as evil and worthy of morning. have a great rest of the week bro!

  • Clint

    I see your point but ask this question.You mention mourning a lot.Are you really mourning,or are there different levels of mourning perhaps?
    .Like I would mourn for the death of family and friends but that is different than mourning for those I do not know.
    Personally I have no feelings for Osama who used a women to try and shield himself from death.
    I have feelings of sadness for the women and kids involved and it must have been terrifying for them.
    I agree it is one of the mysteries of God that he can love us on all levels including the very wicked and evil ones.
    Its interesting to note that one of Gods attributes is anger.
    I wonder if he mourns and is angry at the same time
    If so perhaps its OK to for us to do the same.
    Interesting also that you say death grieves the heart of God yet he himself can and has caused death to his enemies.
    Therefore he gets angry,kills and then grieves.
    Thats a little hard to understand I think.
    Clint (NZ)

    • Clint, good thoughts. Mourning here is used in a general sense and death in the way that it is always a sign of depravity. See some of my discussion a few comments up. But yes, we should mourn the death of anyone, in that death is the “last enemy” and it is a demonic power. when death happens, it reminds us that we still await the coming new creation.

      Also, God certainly reserves the right to kill his enemies… I am not sure that the USA has the right to discern who those people are. Nevertheless, even when God in his wisdom chooses to take life, he does so against the grain of the eschatological grid that is moving towards a death-less reality. All death is counter to the way of God and therefore by extension grieves him from what I can tell.

  • So my cousin liked this blog post on her Facebook. I have an open mind, so I read the entire post. I understand it all completely. However, I don’t feel any guilt regarding the sigh of relief I displayed once I heard the news. What makes me happy and rejoice and praise the Lord for this event is that the Lord finally saw it to be a good time to get him out of our lives. Can’t we just be happy about that? No one likes to rejoice in the death of another human being. As Christians, it’s just not in our nature. But we do, however, rejoice in the all the wonderful works of our Great Creator; can’t this be one of those great works? He finally has forsaken us by cutting the head off the snake. I don’t know too many quotes of the Bible. In fact, the Holy Bible and I are perfect strangers anymore. But I do know that there is, somewhere, some lines praising the wonderful works of our Lord. And maybe, just maybe, I think, hope and pray, this is one of those great works. He took a piece of evil out of our world for our benefit because he loves us all that much. Just my two cents, I could be wrong.

  • guest

    I saw from friends on facebook thast Osama Bin Laden had been killed, and when I realized it was true, I felt an almost overwhelming sadness. As I watched TV and saw so many people dancing in the streets,and celebrating, I just felt sad. In fact, I told my husband,”I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel a sadness,and I don’t want to celebrate. ” I still felt bad about it the next day. It wasn’t until a young friend of mine on facebook had posted that,” I will never celebrate a death, when that person didn’t come to know the love of Jesus Christ.” When I read that, it hit me, that that’s what I had been feeling. I won’t know why he hated Americans so much, if we had done something that made him so angry, etc. And that he was doomed to an eternity separated from God.

    • Daniel

      The only substantial threat al Qaeda holds over us is of a psychological kind. Celebrating reveals how well he got into our heads. It clinches his victory and gives expression to our defeatedness. Americans have no notion of stoicism or how to carry the burden of greatness. It is why we are no longer great.

    • Daniel

      Sorry I meant that in reply to someone else.

  • Mwangalifu

    I am going to look at this from a slightly different viewpoint.

    Ezek 33:14-16: Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

    As far as we know, he did not turn from his evil deeds, he did not stop committing iniquity and he died.

    Matthew 18:6-7 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    By his actions, he brought offences unto many. He shattered the faith of several: children not understanding why they will never see their parents and friends; misguided some followers of Islam etc.

    Should we celebrate his death? Absolutely not. Was his death justified? Yes. In fact, death is a blessing to him: he will not be responsible for more bloodshed (those who continue in his quest will be responsible for their own guilt.)

  • Greg

    Osama lived his life with a cause
    Hitler killed jews for the sake of killing jews

    If you really can’t tell the difference between the two, then you really are lost

  • Anonymous

    Like fresh air.

  • Julie

    I wish i could piss no nhis grave and all muslims should be wiped off this worls there all evil and bad

    • Mwangalifu

      @1eccff3c3aa5d4c7693975bde6c1cbdb:disqus I beg to differ. Not all Muslims are evil and bad. There are extremists who have flawed ideas that tend to bring harm and evil to society. The Crusade Wars of 1095 to 1291 were fought by “Christians”. Did that make all Christians evil? Some Germans perpetuated the Holocaust, did that make all Germans evil? If you look at practically every war and conflict in man’s history, even if it seems one group/ideology against another group/ideology, you will notice that it is always the extremists who start the conflict.

    • JNSal

      The intelligence here underwhelms me. “They’re”, I said it.

    • JNSal

      Jesus is shown in an average color of someone from Nazareth. More over, He is probably shown in a way that most people would quickly and automatically recognize as Jesus. Note: you automatically saw him as Jesus. The illustration does not even say who it is.

  • Hildebrand_matthew

    Great fude for thought. Here’s a question for you though.. why is Jesus white/caucasian in this picture?? =)

  • Jesse C.

    Good thoughts here, Kurt–I love the idea represented by the picture.  As I thought this over (and have often reflected on Jesus’ teaching to “turn the other cheek,” “walk the second mile,” etc) I can’t help thinking that His instructions to us on how to live our personal lives can’t necessarily be transferred successfully to running a nation.  This is the same God who commanded His people (nationally) to wipe out entire cities of people in ancient Canaan.  I’ve wrestled with this idea often.  In the particular case of responding to the 9/11 attacks, anything other than strong and swift retribution would seem to have invited more attacks.  Hope this doesn’t come across as arguing–more thinking out loud about something I’ve often questioned, and continue to think about.  Your post just brought it up again… 🙂

  • Mike Dunger

    I actively prayed for Osama Bin Laden’s salvation while he was alive. He was no less deserving of forgiveness through Jesus Christ than I. His salvation would not have alleviated his social guilt or atoned for his crimes, but he’d have been clean in God’s eyes.

    Imagine if he’d posted a video of him coming out of his cave or compound, tossing his Koran in the dirt and saying “I no longer believe that Muhammed is the prophet of God, nor do I believe that allah IS God. I am a Christian saved by my faith in Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God. I am now His disciple.”