Many Americans went to bed last night or awoke this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. This news showed that America had finally delivered on it’s promise to get the mastermind behind the September 11 attack on America.
As many Americans I remember 9/11 and the days following vividly. One of the most vivid memories I have of the days that followed is standing at Ground Zero just 10 days after the attacks. I stood amid the flames, the foul odors, the thick dust and the F-16’s overhead trying to wrap my mind around what I was seeing. To say it was an emotionally exhausting day is an understatement as was wave after wave of emotion engulfed me as we stood amidst the chaos and destruction.
There were a lot of things I saw and heard that day that I was not expecting. Among all of them however came from the mouth of one of the pastors I was with as he said “we need to pray, not just for America, but also for the people who did this.” I was incredulous. How could he utter these words? Was he not seeing the same thing I saw? How could he pray for these folks and ask God to bring them to a place of the saving knowledge of Christ? My response was something to the affect of “you pray!”
What I could not see then through my immaturity and emotion was that this pastors response was the right one. His response of asking God to save these evil men was the only proper response in the paradigm of God’s Kingdom.
Why was it the proper response? Because there are several inescapable truth’s that God details for us in Scripture:
- ALL men are created in the image of God
- God wishes that NONE should perish
- Jesus dies for ALL men
- His Kingdom that is here and now is open to ALL.
As I woke this morning and looked at the multiple Facebook status updates, I could not help but notice the “celebration of triumph” in the various status updates. Many these updates equated or credited God and His blessing with the killing of Bin Laden. As I read these a few questions sprang to mind given what we know of God and His Kingdom:
- Is God really that happy over this?
- Is God really carrying out His blessing by the killing of one created in His image?
- Does God have red, white & blue as His kingdom colors?
- Did God change the rules and wish that at least this one, this Bin Laden, perish?
- Be in a posture of love or one of vengeance?
- Be praying that God reach the hearts and souls of these men, or pray that death come swiftly?
- Be praying that His Kingdom Come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven or be praying that America get’s her revenge?
- Be moved because one created in God’s image has perished and this makes God sad or should we be celebrating because after 10 long years we finally got the bastard?
- Be so accepting of God’s grace for us which covers our evil but not want it to be spread for those who are really evil?
Several years ago I went with a team from our church in Dallas to Nigeria. The trip lasted two-weeks and was in a word, incredible. During our time there we heard from many who had sacrificed greatly to come to know Christ. They had been disowned by family, had to flee for their lives and some recounted for us friends and family who had been murdered at the hands of Muslims. During one such conversation one of the men looked at us as tears filled his eyes and asked, “would you please pray for our Muslim brothers? They are lost and need Jesus.”
A poignant lesson in God’s politics and Kingdom living.