The Cross at Ground Zero
The issue of Bin Laden's death has caused me to think a bit about how Christians need to respond to institutional evil, wars and acting as citizens. On the one hand we hear folks quoting Jesus when He says, "Love your enemies".
On the other hand we hear folks talk about God being Just and demanding justice. Others talk about revenge and that sets Believers' hair on fire because God said, "I shall repay" and that means a nation should never avenge the attacks of evil men.
Both are correct, of course, and when I hear folks say these things I may feel badly because I have not loved Bin Laden like Jesus does; I fear that Bin Laden did not get full justice by a court of law and I want revenge even if God says that is not my job. Oh my! What can I do?
First, a nation must not try to act like an individual Christian or a church. Second, a nation is not always seeking justice or a desire to take every evil combatant to court. However, a nation must protect itself and its citizens.
So, I have conclude that the goal of the USA when dealing with mass murders and bombers is not justice, grace or mercy but SURVIVAL. Bin Laden and his tribe are callous murderers. They were and are a constant threat to our citizens and our national welfare. In order to survive we must take actions that are not merciful, just or vengeful but self protective.
I believe it was in the best interest of the USA in particular and the world in general for him to die. I think the group that will most benefit are Muslims in the Middle East. In that way killing him was merciful toward innocent people that are not Christians and are not citizens of the USA.
One of my readers wrote in response to my last post on this topic and quoted Mark Twain who said something like the following.
I do not celebrate over any man's death but I read obituaries with a lot of satisfaction.
The Bin Laden flap has reminded me of the importance of evangelism and missions. Thanks be to God for His marvelous grace. Evangelism is all about mercy and grace. It is not about justice or getting revenge.
The most merciful, compassionate and gracious thing we can do is lead people to Christ. Maybe, by killing Bin Laden, we are giving an opportunity for thousands of Muslims to come to faith in Christ. Killing him has saved them from the hands of a murder who has killed more Muslim than any Christian or pagan.
God reached out to me and saved me when I was in sin. During all the years I have known Jesus He has loved me with a transforming relationship that has brought me from death. He has given me a life of compassion that does not arise from my nature but His nature.
Praise the Lord!