Blog, Thoughts

Should We Rejoice in the Death of Our Enemies?

Relevant Magazine published a timely piece online today about the death of Osama bin Laden that has generated quite a bit of conversation. Here is a brief excerpt:

After the announcement was made that the world’s most infamous terrorist was indeed dead, the Twitter-sphere blew up. As many as 4,000 tweets per second posted to the social networking site—each one a 140-character reaction to an event that undoubtedly deserved more. For many Christians, it seemed they were not wrestling with how they should feel. Celebration was their clear choice.

Pastor Rick Warren sent out Proverbs 21:15, which says, “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” Coincidentally, The Atlantic reported that Warren’s Scripture choice became the #3 most tweeted verse on this subject. Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice tweeted: “Crank this up as you celebrate the termination of bin Laden.” You can read more of Jonathan Merrit’s op-ed here:

When I heard the news on Monday morning, I immediately thought of the hotel room in Chattanooga, Tennessee where I cancelled my sales calls and sat at the edge of my bed watching the horrible events of 9/11 unfold in real time.

I thought of how New Yorkers who witnessed the attack firsthand might feel at this moment.

I could never imaginethe emotions of the families who lost loved ones on that tragic September day upon hearing the news of bin Laden’s death.

I thought about justice.

I thought about one of my heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who willingly took part in an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler.

When Iconsidered the celebrations I watched on the evening news, I was also reminded of the powerful words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Only light can drive out darkness. Only love can drive out hate.

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