Where were you when you heard the news? I was sitting on my living room couch about 10:30 pm. The phone rang. It was my son, Nate. He said, “Dad, did you hear the news, they got Bin Laden.” Usually nothing beside the weather channel gets watched on the Lord’s Day at our house, but that news seemed important enough to turn on one of the news stations. Shortly, President Obama was on with his short speech confirming the reports that US military had killed Osama Bin Laden.
All during this time the news channel kept cutting away to the growing crowd outside the White House and in Times Square in New York City celebrating the news of Bin Laden’s death. Clearly, people felt a need to celebrate the death of public enemy number one. Other things caught my eye this week. There was the couple whose son was killed on 9/11 who sat in silent celebration for 20 minutes after they heard the news. There were the newspaper headlines which voiced what surely were the feelings of many. They simply read: Rot in Hell!
To not a few Christians all of this seems entirely inappropriate. When I asked one of my religion classes at KWC if Christians should rejoice that Bin Laden was killed, the general sentiment was that Christians should not rejoice. One Christian organization seems to agree and put out these thoughts:
Gloating over death and destruction of an enemy is not the proper response. It should never be the Christian response. While our nation sought and accomplished justice with Osama bin Laden, it is unfitting to celebrate.
I suspect, however, that this level of Christianity may seem a little difficult to attain for some of us. Even though we wonder if we should feel this way, we are glad that they finally got him!
Last Lord’s Day evening I preached on Osama’s death (you can listen to or download my message from our church’s web site). Even though I am not much of an occasional preacher, Mark Redfern, one of my fellow pastors, suggested it to me and I followed his counsel and even took the verses he suggested as my text. They provide a balanced, biblical response to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. In these blogs I will look at these verses as follows: I. The Verses Contemplated; II. The Verses Compared; III. The Verses Considered.
Dr. Sam Waldron is the Academic Dean of CBTS and professor of Systematic Theology. He is also one of the pastors of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Owensboro, KY. Dr. Waldron received a B.A. from Cornerstone University, an M.Div. from Trinity Ministerial Academy, a Th.M. from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. From 1977 to 2001 he was a pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Waldron is the author of numerous books including A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, The End Times Made Simple, Baptist Roots in America, To Be Continued?, and MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto: A Friendly Response.