Should Christians Rejoice in the Death of Osama Bin Laden?

02 May

I have read Facebook statuses this morning by believers who are rejoicing in the death of Osama Bin Laden. They justify their joy by citing verses such as Proverbs 11:10 “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.” But is this right? Is this the reaction a child of God should have? Is this how a follower of Jesus should respond to the death of a very wicked man?

We are to image God to the world, for as believers we are being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. What does Scripture say about a situation such as this?

Proverbs 24:17-18 tells us, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.” We are also asked a rhetorical question by God in Ezekiel 28:23, “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” The obvious answer is that God does not delight when the wicked meet their end. Justice is served, yes, but He does not joy in the fact that the wicked have met their end. There is a difference between the oppressed rejoicing because they are set free (Prov. 11:10), and the oppressed rejoicing in the suffering and death of the oppressor (what God condemns in Prov. 24:17-18).

I would pose a question to those Christian people who are encouraging joy over the death of Osama: How often did you pray for his conversion? If we are to be followers of Jesus then we are to obey His teachings. Jesus taught us, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” To the Christian rejoicing over the death of a radical Muslim, to those who aren’t the least bit taken back by the reality that there is a man who is perishing in hell, an individual created with the intended purpose of imaging and knowing his Creator but failed to realize that purpose; I ask you this – how much of Jesus’ words did you follow while Osama was alive?

I am not claiming to have followed them perfectly, but then I am not rejoicing of the death of this man either. I failed to pray for Osama as I should, to be quite honest with you out of sight is out of mind, and I was wrong for not more closely following the teachings of Jesus in that matter. But my failure to do that doesn’t justify adding more wrong on top of it by rejoicing in the death of this wicked man.

How are you reflecting Jesus today to the lost, especially the Muslim, world? Do they see you being gracious and merciful toward the ungodly? Or do they see you as full of vengeance and wrath? Where is your loyalty – Jesus or America? Your response has already answered that question. It is my experience that there are more believers thinking like a “patriot” instead of a Christian.

The world is taking note – what are you teaching them about Jesus?


Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Culture, Patriotism


Tags: , , , , ,

11 responses to “Should Christians Rejoice in the Death of Osama Bin Laden?

  1. Amanda

    May 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Thank you. This mirrors what’s been on my mind and heart this morning. As far as I know, Osama Bin Laden is at this moment suffering eternal separation from the Father, unending torturous mental and physical agony, and fires that never stop burning. It doesn’t make me want to start cheering like I was at a pep rally.

  2. susanne430

    May 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Great post! I really loved this part:

    “How are you reflecting Jesus today to the lost, especially the Muslim, world? Do they see you being gracious and merciful toward the ungodly? Or do they see you as full of vengeance and wrath? Where is your loyalty – Jesus or America?”

    Some of the things I read from Christians on Facebook made me cringe. And then one of them posted something horrible on one of my threads. Really did *not* reflect anything Christlike at all.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Jesse

    May 4, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Moses’s sister Miriam sang a song in Exodus 15:19 after God wrathfully killed Pharoah’s army.


    I don’t live my life to appease the sensibilities of Muslims. I live my life to Glorify God.

    • danielpulliam

      May 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

      Jesse, I don’t think the other two who disagree with you do not live their life to glorify God. I also believe Miriam’s song was over the freedom from oppression, as I mentioned in the post, not out of hatret of Pharoah. I have read some very awful things said by Christians concerning the death of Osama. Relish in the victory of freedom over life demeaning terrorism, but we need not relish in the death of Osama out of hatred for him. That was my point. I hope that makes more sense. Thanks.

      • Jesse

        May 5, 2011 at 12:12 am

        I never said anything about anybody not glorifying God first of all! You seem to have a problem with implying. You basically are implying that every person who was joyful that Osama was killed was doing so out of hatred. Why would you do that? And yes terrorism is oppression and there is nothing wrong at all celebrating in a non-prideful way.

      • danielpulliam

        May 5, 2011 at 1:03 am

        I think you have gravely misunderstood what I was attempting to say. I’m sure it is due to a communication error on my part. I tried to state that celebrating freedom from oppression and evil is a good thing. I am sorry I was missunderstood. Thank you for your comments.

      • Ed

        May 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

        First, just because you are happy that someone is dead doesn’t mean you hate them.

        The text in Proverbs 24:17-18 specifically refers to destruction as an act of God, not of man. For example, if Japan was our enemy, it would be wrong to rejoice over the tsunami hitting Japan, but OK to be glad if we did something to Japan in the name of righteousness.

        The Bible is a bit idealist. We are told to always hope for redemption of those fallen from Christ. However, there does exist true evil in this world. Are we to pray for Satan as well? I do not recall ever seeing a Biblical text giving Satan a chance at redemption. Followers of God exorcised demons and drove them away, they never attempted to convert them.

        There are clear exceptions to the “rule” here.

      • danielpulliam

        May 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        I’m not sure comparing Satan to a lost man is biblical. We are never told to pray or strive for the conversion of Satan. God did not take on the form of Satan in order to redeem him, nor is Satan created in God’s image. I rejoice in justice beeing meeted out, but I mourn over the death of the wicked at the same time. Some have chosen to tell jokes of Osama being in hell, this is not a biblical rejoicing over the triumph of good over evil. I am not accusing you of this, just attempting to clarify my position. God bless you.

    • KC

      May 4, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      Psalm 139:19-22
      “And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
      And you murderers—out of here!—
      all the men and women who belittle you, God,
      infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
      See how I hate those who hate you, God,
      see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
      I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
      Your enemies are my enemies!”

      • Jesse

        May 5, 2011 at 12:17 am

        Amen brother. It’s good to see some Christians who know how to rightly divide truth.

        Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

        Psalm 97:10

      • Guy

        May 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        Psalm 139 is wonderful….but does it just abrogate Matt 5:43-48? Did we pray for Bin Laden? was he not our enemy and persecutor? how are Christians to be “doing more than others” here? What is “more” in this case? You can’t live your life to glorify God in the New Testament age without loving your enemies and praying FOR them. That lesson was taught from the cross.


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