Is All this Celebration Necessary?

May 3, 2011 at 8:05 am | Posted in God's Love, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

When I first heard the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, I was glad to hear of it.  I do believe justice has been done.  However, on the same radio report, I heard an interview where someone said, “May he rot in hell!”  It grieved me.  Should we, especially those of us who are Christ’s followers, wish anyone to “rot in hell?”  That seems like an underestimate of hell and a misunderstanding of God.  Even some of our Christian political leaders are expressing joy over the news of this past weekend.  What is God’s mind in matters like this?

God is a God of justice.  It can be argued that the Bible supports capital punishment.  I believe it does, though not all interpreters do.  But even if the Bible teaches capital punishment, is carrying out that justice a reason for celebration?

Listen to the heart of God:  “‘As surely as I live,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.’” (Ezekiel 33:11)

“‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’  declares the Sovereign LORD.  ‘Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?’”  (Ezekiel 18:23)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

I might be a small minority voice here, but God’s Word seems clear.  As Christian’s, let’s not be so quick to rejoice over those things that do not bring joy to God’s heart.  Never rejoice that someone might “rot in hell” no matter how evil we perceive him to be.  God grant that we might have your heart of compassion for the lost.

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  1. THANK YOU!!! I was trying to figure out yesterday how to “ask a question” on your forum, struggling much with this. I, too, heard the fireman say, “I hope he rots in hell”. I begged my husband, who disagrees with my ache over those taking delight in murder, to change the channel.

    I have always believed Jesus to have said, “for it once WAS and eye for an eye” in Matthew 5:38 to mean, there is no more modern day eye for an eye once Jesus arrived on the scene. Also, Matthew 26:52 says to me that to take pleasure in this is to desire to die by the same sword. Then again, I always tend to view the old testament only through the new testament…so maybe there’s much I’m missing on this.

    Am I wrong? How do I change what my WHOLE heart feels about this? I felt the same way when Karla Faye Tucker died by the death penalty years ago. I don’t know how to feel it’s great that someone was killed, that they deserved it. I don’t know when to accept that two wrongs makes a right! Help! I would love to agree with my husband, but everything in me is embarrassed how the US has behaved this week and don’t understand how any Christians think it’s our job to judge him. Supposedly there’s this thing called “Righteous Anger”. Gosh, I’m just lost in this… what bothers me most is that it’s not my intellect, it’s a passion of my heart that feels horrible for his murder, horrible that so many are happy about it. It’s as simple to me as, why is it okay for us to kill him, but him, not us? Justice, yes…but murder, no. God created him.

  2. Though he doesn’t address the “rot in hell” comments, Al Mohler has some great thoughts on bin Laden’s death that parallel some of mine, but as usual, Mohler says it way better than I can.
    http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/05/02/the-trial-that-still-must-come-the-death-of-osama-bin-ladin-and-the-limits-of-human-justice/

  3. This week’s Focus on the Family Pastor’s Briefing contains their official statement on capital punishment. I thought it was well done and worthy of mention here:

    First we acknowledge that no Christian can ever find pleasure or comfort in taking the life of a fellow human being.

    Yet at the same time, we know that the Old Testament law made provision for capital punishment as part of Israel’s system of justice. Furthermore, most mainline Christian denominations have historically affirmed its validity as a function of civil authority God has entrusted to the state. (See Romans 13:4)

    Our perspective on capital punishment at Focus on the Family is consistent with this traditional Christian viewpoint. We see it as a measure which is admittedly terrible and extreme, always regrettable, and yet sometimes necessary if we as a society are to express corporate intolerance for certain insufferable crimes and protect the innocent from those who perpetrate them.

  4. I am glad you wrote this. I feel the same way.


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