jesus loves terrorists

I think God mourns the death of Osama Bin Laden for one reason, because He loves him.  I do agree that the man was evil and assuming that he did not make a decision to follow Jesus then I think we could say that he is living in separation from God. I do agree that he is a murder and I abhor all that he has done.  However, this is the main challenge of Christianity, How can God love a murdering terrorist? This is a problem for a lot of people and it was for the early church too.  The apostle Paul wasn’t always an apostle; he was the Pharisee Saul who breathed out murderous threats against followers of Jesus.  In fact he was present at the murder of Stephen and was on his way to kill others in Damascus when God supernaturally changed his course.  He was a terrorist until Jesus intervened in his life, now we look at his writings as profound and sacred.  Bin Laden was an evil man, it does not change the fact that Jesus loves him.

A few years back a friend, Holland Prior was teaching at a worship service where I serve as a Pastor.  She taught on the violence in the bible and what she had to say was very relevant to this topic.  She talked God’s wrath being played out over the course of history.  First with Noah and the flood, second with some nations, then with some people groups and finally, God’s wrath on mankind was satisfied in one person, his Son. If you accept this reading of the Bible then it affects the way that we would look at the death of Bin Laden today.  If the death of Jesus satisfied the wrath of God, then we couldn’t really say that God killed Bin Laden, or that this is God’s justice. God’s wrath was satisfied in his son, and that is great news for us.

I believe God has a lot of compassion for those who do not love him.  I think He want’s all people to be with him but is way too loving to force anyone to choose.  These two verses show God’s love and patience for those who do not love him in return.

Ezekiel 33:10-11 God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but he would rather that they be saved

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

So how do we respond to the death of an international terrorist who had murdered thousands of innocent men women and children?  I believe we remember those who died from the USS Cole, 9/11 and other attacks.   Those who have lost family and friends will miss them long after Bin Laden fades from the American memory.   I think we look at this man and ask questions that will force us to remember honestly.  Why did Bin Laden so hate the western world?  How do we create more allies rather than enemies?

As Americans we must face the harsh reality that there is an entire world out there that hates America. However, If our enemies stay enemies, how many more 9/11’s, USS Cole, Madrid bombings and shoe bombers will we see in our lifetime?  If we accept the reality that these people are our enemies and there is nothing that we can do about it, then they will always be our enemies.  But what if all that changed? What if we showed the rest of the world that Americans don’t want to be enemies with the rest of the world

 

 

***I want to clarify that when I say “God”  this is who I mean.  I believe God is one made up of three eternal expressions of the Father, The Son (Jesus who is God revealed), and the Holy Spirit.  I believe that the Bible reveals this God to humanity.  I believe the contents of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments contain all that is necessary for salvation.  It is extremely important that my readers know this while reading.  First, many people do not agree with what I just wrote and serve a god that sounds similar but is all together different.  Two when you say God, which can mean a lot of things to people with different cultural and religious upbringings.

 

 

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  • “I think God mourns the death of Osama Bin Laden…” … Really?

    That only gets a “think.” Thats quite an “emergent” thing to say isn’t it. When there are things that scripture is not the least bit vague about like the Father’s absolute love for every member of creation.

    I was in Malaysia in August of 2011. We were walking through the street in KL and saw these posters with a bunch of faces on them and the name of Jesus in Arabic crossed out. The rest of the poster was in Malay so I ask the guy I was with what they were about. He said, “Those of the Christians they killed this year so far. The posters are a warning to people like you.” I was young and not very mature. It made me mad. I remember praying and being so upset that God would allow something like that. The next week as we were getting use to being in a Muslim country I got angrier and angrier about the whole thing. One day I was walking through a rougher part of the city and this little Muslim kid around 8 or 9 years old came out of building and was walking a couple feet in front of me. I prayed to God, ” what are we even doing here. They are going to teach that kid to hate me, You and everything we believe before he is even grown. It just seems so pointless.” And I remember hearing back in the moment… “Ya, but I still know how many hairs are on his head.”

    If God can love me who knows the Way, the Truth and the Life and still messes up. I know he loves Bin Laden too. And thats why I choose to love him back.

    • Eric,
      thanks for your comments. I do think God mourns the death of people who die who continually resist him. I think there is a genuine sadness in the heart of God for people who are far from him. I look at Jesus weeping over Jerusalem as an example of this and there are multiple verses in the Bible where it appears that God wants the wicked to come to a point where they are saved.
      The beauty of all of this is that you don’t have to agree with me!
      Peace,
      Dave

  • James

    As difficult as it is to conceive that anyone can even like, let alone love, a man with such evil in his heart, that is the God we serve. There are so many examples in scripture that show the love of God on all man kind, regardless of what we have done, not done, etc. His justice is perfect, He does not grade on a curve. His mercies are endless, and His grace is for all. I know many people are happy Bin Laden is dead, and are celebrating the thought of him in Hell. I have to admit, there is some of that in me. However, the fact is that God is grieved at not only what Bin Laden has done, but that he is in hell. That fact alone speaks volumes of the love God has for us. And for that I am eternally grateful. I am so thankful that God’s Grace was extended to all. There is nothing that I can do to deserve it

    • Well said james

  • Morgan

    Hey Dave! First blog visit 🙂 My thoughts…….
    From what I have read and been taught, I assume our God loved the guy in his own, unique God-loving way. I assume God would have loved for his soul to seek and find the one true God so that he could experience His love.
    Did God kill him? I’m so not going there, because I think it depends on how much (or how little) we believe God’s sovreignty impacts our daily lives. And I’m thinking we don’t need a Calvin/Arminian discussion at a time like this! (Basically, my answer is: I don’t know, Lol.)
    Re: God’s wrath… I actually used to be more pacifist. I didn’t know much about the military growing up, and only really saw “less intelligent” kids from high school enlisting. I said things like “Killing people is not loving your neighbor, no matter the context.” It was only the past few years that I was exposed to a different perspective and gained a more accurate and mature knowledge of what it means to fight for and defend a nation. I do think it’s in line with the Bible, and from Jesus’ interraction with a centurion, I don’t see any disapproval. If we would have turned the other cheek over 2 decades ago, we probably wouldn’t be here blogging about whatever we wanted. I liked what Dallas Willard said at APU a few months ago, “Loving others sometimes means preventing others from hurting your neigbors or themselves.” Or something like that. Here is a cool article of his on love. http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=147 Obviously, my hubby can go into more on this subject 😉
    We must remember that God, in His nature, is also just. What I do know is vengeance does belong to God, but I am no one to say how he should or shouldn’t (can’t/couldn’t) carry it out. We can’t impose our way of thinking and living onto God and His thoughts, feelings, and actions. He is the Judge.

    • Hey Morgan, I was there when Willard spoke as well and I absolutely agree with him. I’m not making a moral argument whether or not our military action is right or wrong.
      Love and appreciate your thoughts.

  • Great post Dave. took a lot of my thoughts and you put them on paper. Thanks. 🙂