9/11, Bin Laden, and the Fallen World

By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.                             2 Corinthians 10:1-5 (NIV)

I do not write about political topics but the events of the last 24 hours have left me asking God to examine my heart about my reaction to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

I confess that in the days following September 11, 2001 I wanted President Bush to call out the troops and create parking lots in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had the power to exact ‘judgment’ for what had been done. We should do it. It was just and right. Now the man who (gleefully) took credit for the the terrorist attacks of September 2001 is dead. I am not sad about that. And that bothers me.

Jesus said He came to find and save what was lost (Luke 19:10). He said He came for sinners not those who already had a good relationship with God (Matthew 9:12-13). And I am to go and do as He did (Matthew 28:18-20). It is not for me to judge first and decide who I will share Jesus with. It is not for me to decide who is evil and unworthy.

“But he is evil!” Yes, Osama bin Laden did evil things. Yes, he was evil. But I believe that I still should have compassion that he made choices that put him in a terrible place. I should not be speaking from a place of fear or self-righteous judgment. My anger should be directed toward the spirit he was listening to and that led him down that eternally destructive path where he lived and walked.

Paul reminds me that it is the spiritual weapons that I possess that breaks down the power that directed what bin Laden did. God gives me the power to take capture every thought and put it under His control. And so despite bin Laden’s actions, I can make the distinction between the man and his actions. I can look with compassion and pray for other Muslims who need to meet Jesus. I may be the Jesus they meet. I want to represent Jesus truly. God has enough wisdom, mercy and grace for me to do this.

So as we go about our day today and the subject of Osama bin Laden comes up, may the Spirit of God speak to our hearts and cause us to fight our war on God’s battlefield and with weapons He provides. May God be glorified!



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7 Responses to 9/11, Bin Laden, and the Fallen World

  1. heather joy says:

    Good post.

    I’ve seen alot of articles/status updates/comments regarding the stance you have on this. I have a hard time taking this whole situation with a grain of salt and feeling all “poor, sad, bin laden” about it. But that’s what makes me human, and thankful I’m not God. Because I know I deserve death and Hell just as much as the next person. However, I’m having a bit of a struggle getting over my patriotism to feel lovey-dovey, forgiving, and compassionate towards the man just yet.

    In time, I suppose… in time.

    Thanks for this post.

  2. Jody Neufeld says:

    And that is the point with God. I am a “work in progress”. He doesn’t give up on me. I am glad to hear from you and know I am not alone. “…in time” is right.

  3. BeckyLynn Black says:

    Jody, I will tell you straight out. When I heard the news this morning in my car, I was filled with a horrid sadness. “No hope,” I thought. “No hope for his salvation. All is lost. Now Osama bin Laden has no possibility of knowing the Savior.” What a horribly sad condition to be in!!! I weep as I write…I wish God had sent me to speak with bin Laden, to plead on behalf of the Savior. And how many others are like him…at any moment in time, all Hope is lost. Death has taken them, and they are lost forever. It has nothing to do with patriotism, or righteous judgment….it has everything to do with a human soul that needs a Savior before it is too late! God forgive us for handling His Gospel so flippantly, for “prequalifying” those to whom the Gospel is presented, based upon our own weaknesses & prejudices. When He wipes away the tears in Heaven, will those tears be flowing because we will *finally* see what life on earth was about…the Gospel…and how much we failed in our duty as His followers? I wonder.

  4. Jody Neufeld says:

    I had someone remark in an email to me that Bin Laden was “evil” and that God would no longer contend for him. Maybe he had committed the “unpardonable sin” and the Spirit had left him — but I surely do not know that. It is not my job to make that judgment, is it? MY sin is disgusting before the Lord, but He did not give up on me. I am humbled that because of God’s grace I will not die but live forever. I MUST give away what I was given so freely, Becky. Thank You for teaching me today, Lord. Don’t stop!

  5. Well said Jody.

    There is way too much killing in this world to celebrate another death – no matter how justified it may be. Bin Laden stands for death and to celebrate his death is to celebrate his martyrdom and what he stands for…

    Whereas Christians should be rejoicing for life – for it is within the context of the living Christ today – that we have hope for life.

  6. heather joy says:

    Okay, I’ve had some time to stew a bit about this for the past day, and here’s where I stand.

    For me, it wasn’t that I was excited to see Osama die because I “knew for certain” that he’d spend eternity in a Christless Hell. I don’t rejoice when Hell receives new residents, and I certainly did not walk around saying, “Well, Bin Laden got what he deserved. Fry, baby, fry…” No.

    But I am rejoicing that justice was served. I’m thankful that after 10+ years, this particular episode is behind us and we can move forward in winning this war.

    My God is a just God, and sin has consequences. My Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and in Osama’s case it meant literally.

    What if we had captured Osama? He would have still been put to death… after some time spent behind bars and a long trial. But regardless, he still would have had to answer for the crimes he committed and was involved in behind the scenes.

    So rejoice in some going to Hell? absolutely not.
    But rejoice that justice has been served? every time.

    Just my thoughts on the matter….

  7. Jody Neufeld says:

    Well said.

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