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.