This is my final post regarding Osama bin Laden. Given what I have witnessed over the past ten days in my deliberate and deep observation and investigation into what I hear and see Christians “of all tribes” speaking and writing concerning the death of Osama bin Laden, I have come to the following conclusions.
A great number of Christians are apparently:
- reluctant to value all human life as equally valuable before God.
- unaccustomed to feeling remorse for, or even grieving, the death of any and all who die outside of a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ, unless they be a close family member or dear friend.
- quick to go with the flow of the cultural and political river that surrounds them, rather than, if necessary, deliberately swimming against the tide with Scripture as their guiding light.
- want to confuse American nationalism and patriotism with Christian faith and worship of God.
- resistant to even the suggestion to pray for all people, especially those who would be rightly construed as “enemies,” even though they are commanded to do so by their Lord.
- quite inexperienced in praying about any and all matters pertaining to war except for offering up pleas for God’s protection on “our troops” and for those troops to come home safely and quickly.
- suspicious or even frightened by the revelation that others might interpret the Bible differently when the subjects of government or military service are raised.
- not above making broad, sweeping statements of judgment about entire populations and ethnics of people on the basis of little or no real knowledge about such people.
- content to have their understanding and perspective of global happenings shaped by a very limited number and kind of media sources; that is, they like to have their news thought out for them and presented from only one angle.
- more concerned about their own national security, yes, even their own personal safety, than they are about confessing and living out the cross-shaped life of Christ, to whatever end that might lead them in this life.
- persuaded the protection of their life is shaped and determined more by Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, Colt, Glock, Sikorsky, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, etc. than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- numb or callous to, perhaps even comfortable with, physical violence and killing.
- unafraid to glory in such undertakings as we have come know as “just war,” surgical strikes,” and “acceptable collateral damage.”
- convinced that anything even remotely resembling a pacifist understanding of the teaching of Christ and the apostles should be immediately labeled, without real investigation and consideration, as cowardly and foolhardy at best, and more likely dangerous, demented, and damnable.
- more enthusiastic about their trust in political and military power than they are about the power, purpose, and purity of the Almighty God.
- Biblically illiterate, being largely unfamiliar with the writings they claim are sacred and will determine their destiny, and so, are unable to converse coherently and correctly with others who inquire of them as what they believe and why in regard to current events.
- ashamed of God, for they rarely think first of, or make mention of, him or the teachings of God’s book, the Bible, when formulating or stating their perspective of major world events.
- divided over even the most fundamental matters of Christian faith, such as doing to others as you would have them do to you, the “Golden Rule.”
- oblivious to the fact the world is constantly watching our reactions to world events and, on the basis of their observations, deciding whether or not there is real life-changing power in Christian faith.
- not mindful of the fact that the only thing that separates any and all of us from someone like Osama bin Laden is a difference not in kind, but only degree, for there is none righteous, no not one; all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
- not much different from those who are yet to believe.
- like myself, have a very long way to go yet in terms of complete imitation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I say these things to our shame and do so with the humble prayer that all who believe – myself first and foremost – would be humbled and repent of all that does not reflect the light of our Holy God. May we come to give greater and more authentic witness of the only true, holy, and living God. May more come to believe, not stumbling over our failings to submit completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Father in heaven, may your Holy Spirit bathe our minds with your will and wisdom. May conviction well up in our hearts. May the blood of your Son Jesus wash our sins away. May every knee come to bow to you before their fleshly knees fail them and die. In the name of Jesus, our Lord, we pray. Amen. And amen.