Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death of Bin Laden

     This is a tough issue, an issue many great theologians dealt with in the 30's and 40's regarding Hitler. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Reinhold Niebuhr agonized over what the Christian response to Hitler should be. Bonhoeffer was complicit in the plot to assassinate Hitler. In doing this he believed he was committing a sin that might keep him from heaven.
     Jesus taught that the greatest gift a person can offer is to lay down their life for a friend. How great was Bonhoeffer's gift in that he was willing to lay down his ETERNAL LIFE for his friends.
       In the end they came to the conclusion that evil must be confronted and if taking the life of one person prevents innocents from dying then it is a valid response. I agree that the same is true of the death of Bin Laden We must also understand that evil was not eliminated and that evil will respond to this act of justice with even greater evil.
     We know as Christians that Christ's love is available to all people and that God desires a relationship with us all.
     Yes, Osama Bin Laden was consumed by evil but he was a child of God who was consumed by evil and who waisted his life and failed to live into God's will. God pursues us all the way to the grave, of that I am certain and for that I am grateful. The role of a pastor is to be God's hands and feet in that pursuit. In dealing with this question we are not just addressing the life of Bin Laden, we are speaking to others who are, right now, consumed by evil, letting them know God still loves them and that there is a way out.
     Think of the parable of the vineyard workers and the story of the 2 believers on the road to Emmaus who turned their backs to Jerusalem, abandoned their beliefs and denied the resurrection. Christ pursued them despite that denial and He did not give up on the chance that their eyes could be opened.Their eyes were opened and they became witnesses for Christ's resurrection to the disciples and to you and I.
     We cry out for justice in this world and in the case of Bin Laden justice was served. 
However, I am thankful our God is a God of mercy.

Yep, this is a tough one.