As a veteran and an American, I rejoiced last night and through the day each time I heard more information about Osama Bin Laden’s death. Just under 10 years ago, al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, killed 2977 Americans and visitors on 9/11/01. America was led by George W. Bush into a war in Afghanistan in the hunt for Bin Laden. We drove him from the caves he hid in and into Pakistan. He eluded the U.S. Military time and time again. Barack Obama took over leadership of America and continued the hunt. The CIA used information gathered from detainees at Guantanamo Bay to find a courier who led them to a compound in a town in Pakistan. President Obama issued the kill order and the U.S. Military did what they do best. The Navy Seals and Air Force (with rumors of Army Delta Force and Marine involvement) went in, asked for surrender, and killed him when he resisted. I cheered. I was genuinely happy.

Then I got a wakeup call. A friend of mine tweeted a piece of scripture. Sandra Glahn tweeted Proverbs 24:17 and it made me pause. Part of me still rejoiced, and I am sorry to admit that, but part of me mourns. Look at Proverbs 24:17-18, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice, lest the Lord see it, and be displeased, and turn his wrath away from him.” Fells like a bit of a kick in the teeth to me. Here I have been hoping for his downfall, planning for his defeat, and knowing that he would not live through the operation. I have been rejoicing in his death.

I know I’m not the only one, but it doesn’t matter, it is still wrong. It feels like the old question my mom asked, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?” I did with this one, for my own reasons, but just the same, I jumped into celebration. Now I mourn. I mourn that we as Christians rejoice in anyone’s death separated from God. I mourn that we as Christians did not reach Bin Laden and change his heart. I’m relieved that he is unable to direct more evil toward America and Christians, but I mourn that we live in a world where this was not only possible, but that this may have been necessary. I mourn.

As Christian men, you and I should be mourning the world of sin that we live in. We should be mourning our sin as well as the sins of man which led to the death of Jesus.

I rejoice that Jesus lives today.

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

Comments
  1. […] made some very valid points, I just didn’t use scripture. He did and I love reading his blogs I hope you do as well. I stated a few sentences ago that it was wrong of me to say, “I am […]

  2. Brian says:

    It’s a good realization that you have come to. The call of God should come before the call of the American Soldier.

  3. so true! i just wrote a blog similar to this except without the scripture. and thank you for your service, i have family and friends in the military.

  4. Gary Taylor says:

    Yeah, this and those testy “Love your enemy” and “pray for those who screw around with you” invaded my rejoicing this morning. It was a challenge to quiet the one voice as the Navy warrior and patriot when the other voice seemed so quiet, so penetrating, the one with Red Letters as Jesus spoke about praying for my enemy. I resolve to be glad he’s gone while re-committing myself to pray for radical Muslim and terrorist.

  5. Jim F. says:

    Paul – I love all you write on here – I do read it all but do not comment much and with this you are dead on I think. I struggled watching people celebrate and dance in the streets. I rejoiced because someone evil and someone who had the capacity to do a whole lot more evil was taken out. I am prouder than proud of those who went in and did their job. My struggle came like yours – when Scripture and the Word of God began to pierce my heart.

    Thanks for your ministry.

    • Paul S says:

      Thank you, Jim, and thank you for commenting. It’s great to see our readers thoughts and reassurance. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that feels a struggle between my jingoism and faith. God has shown me the right way, but my sinful nature sometimes makes it hard to remember the right way. The conviction of scripture helps me to remember and follow The Man. Thanks for being a Hardcore Christian Man.

  6. Erik Brewer says:

    He was to be put to death for the murders that he committed. Love your enemy does not mean that he does not have to pay for his crime. I wish he would have heard and accepted the Gospel, but even if he had, he still had to pay the price for his actions (we choose the actions but God deals out the consequences).

    • Paul S says:

      Erik,

      I agree that he did have to be punished. However, we should still never rejoice in the death of anyone who does not know the Lord.

      Paul

      • Erik Brewer says:

        I agree with that statement 100%, just wanted a little clarity. Thanks

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