More than anything else, I am a Christian. And although I do not usually go by the title, I am also a pastor. One of the functions of a pastor is to answer questions. The question at hand, “Should Christians celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden?” is one that is laden (laden, not Laden) with emotion. The emotions that go along with an event like this make it much harder to dig out the answer. I am not even slightly qualified to speak about all the political ramifications of this announcement, so I am not taking that into consideration. With that as a preface, I offer my thoughts. First, I will say this. The execution of Bin Laden is the morally right thing to do. Have no fear the by killing him we have sinned as a nation or by getting vengeance we are somehow all tainted by immorality as Americans. The state has the God-granted right to kill and it was the right thing to do. He was, after all, a self-admitted killer of thousands.
Second, Osama Bin Laden was a man committed to violence and evil. His actions and his ideology were evil and he got no less than what he deserved. In fact, the judgment he will now face, will offer substantially more penalty.
I believe that relief that he is dead is a proper reaction.
I believe that pride in our country that we were able to exact earthly justice is a proper reaction.
I believe it is right to credit our military, our intelligence organizations, and our president for a job well-done
I believe it is right to be hopeful that the reaction to his death will be fear by the rest of the terrorists. Fear that if Bin Laden could not get away with his strategy, they should not attempt the same.
I believe that celebration is the wrong reaction. The Bible makes it clear that God does not take pleasure in the death of a wicked person. If Osama Bin Laden had announced that he read the Bible, was convinced of his sin and need of a savior, and was putting his faith in Jesus, that would be something to celebrate. (Though he would still deserve death for his actions.)
So despite my pride in my country, you will not see me celebrating in the streets. Though I might just watch Navy Seals in the next few days