Can Christians celebrate bin Laden’s Death?

Tina Fineberg AP People in New York’s Times Square react to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death early Monday … Continued

Tina Fineberg


People in New York’s Times Square react to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death early Monday morning May 2, 2011.

In the aftermath of the successful U.S. military raid that ended in the killing of the most wanted terrorist in the world, we saw thousands of Americans take to the streets and gather at Ground Zero to celebrate, waive flags, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and sing “God Bless America.” However, some Christians have struggled with how to deal with Osama bin Laden’s death. I have set aside time on my daily radio show to address this very issue because it is a very real debate happening within the evangelical community.

This outcome was the natural consequence of a war that bin Laden began waging against the United States long before the 9/11 attacks. Recall the just war theory that has been discussed here at “On Faith.” Killing bin Laden is like winning a major battle in a just war. His organization attacked the United States; we hunted him for nearly ten years and removed him from the battlefield. It is swift act of justice in an unquestionably just war against al Qaeda.

As Christians, we believe that God has specifically ordained government to rule over a fallen world – to bring security to the law-abiding and inflict swift justice against evildoers. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans, “If you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

As such, when the United States military exercised its right to defend the people of American and bring the most heinous terrorist this nation has ever known to justice, it should be celebrated. As the Psalmist David wrote, “The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then people will say, ‘Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.’”

This is exactly what President Obama meant when he declared late on Sunday night that, “Justice has been done.”

We celebrate the victory of the righteous over those who seek to do evil. Osama bin Laden, a man with the blood of thousands of innocents on his hand, was the definition of evil. Christians should rejoice in the fall of evil. We are doing the right thing when we praise the brave men and women who fight to protect American from evil every day.

  • samlindag

    Yes, I believe God gives us victory over our enemies and Prov 11:10 says , “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” I don’t believe in over celebrating. Ezekiel 18:30-32….For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone declares the Lord. Repent and live.” God calls all to repentance but everyone has a choice.

  • Two-sox

    Rather than celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death, we ought to mourn our own failure to respond to 9-11 in a way that did not result in more death and broken families. Perhaps the world is safer now, but this “victory” comes at the price of thousands of lives. We should give thanks for a renewed sense of security; and we should mourn every death and seek God’s forgiveness for the blood on all of our hands.

    Killing Osama bin Laden may have become necessary, but it is nonetheless unfortunate.

  • Bardy

    No sane person could not help but be relieved that an evil person like Osama Bin Laden is no longer a threat. However, actually celebrating his death, I believe is not in keeping with the Lord’s admonition in this passage from Matthew: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
    King David lived before the Light of Christ entered the world. Christians should live by the Word of Christ not King David’s, whose words and actions were but a foreshadow of the radical, transforming, saving words and actions of the Lord Jesus. Following Christ’s teaching is not nearly as gratifying as cheering the death of our enemy. But, I believe it is what we are called to do.

  • Philip658

    I think we need to be discerning in what we celebrate; the scriptures instruct us to celebrate when God’s justice prevails. I choose to celebrate that God has prevailed once again, and not that a man has been killed.

    2 Peter 3:9 is also relevant in this context: God is not willing that any should perish, so the death of an unsaved man is not something to rejoice in.

    There is also Romans 9:22, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…” Again, I think it is not the vessel’s destruction that is to be celebrated, but rather the coming to fruition of God’s plan.

  • libertymeanslife

    Very good article. Evil must be destroyed.

  • cornbread_r2

    I would think that members of a religion that professes to have an absolute, objective standard of morality would have an easier time reaching a consensus on the question posed by the OP.

  • Shangrila411j

    As people were celebrating, I was thinking about Proverbs 24:17,18:

    Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

  • aeramos11

    “The Only Thing Necessary For the Triumph of Evil Is For Good Men To Do Nothing”. Edmund Burke; James 4:17 …… Wasn’t President Obama the first President to cancel the National Day Of Prayer? Then about a month later celebrated Ramadan in the White House? Who paid for that? ….. In my opinion he will use bin Laden as a success story when running for presidency, and then a stepping stone for what he truly wants ….. a world leader on the world stage. Is this his only success story till now? Is it really ‘his’ success story?

  • BlueSky8

    But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea. Matt 18:6, Mark 9:42,
    It would be better for him to have a millstone1 tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea2 than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Luke 17:2

  • BlueSky8

    But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea. Matt 18:6, Mark 9:42,
    It would be better for him to have a millstone1 tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea2 than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Luke 17:2

  • MattiSimonAhO

    INTELLIGENT SERVICES spend $80 billions/year to identify possible terrorist threats, while UN-INTELLIGENT SERVICES known as “Words of God”, that agaist the Law of God and agaist the teachings of Jesus, spend $160 billions/year teaching children of America to terrorists (sinners).

    “born sinner” : sinner : mentally ill and/or criminal and/or lower value

  • MattiSimonAhO

    “As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans”

    The letter to Efesoans in King James Bible start:
    1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

    What you don’t know is that the letter to Efesoans for example, end with the name of the Pope/Paul. The letter is signed by a man named Tychicus of Tarsos. He is not Roman/Italaian, but as Roman/Italian he persecute the Jews (in origin an Arabic tribe). Tychicus of Tarsos convert to Judaism, and as “a Jew” he persecute the Christians. He is also one of the founder figures of Christianity, that since its existence have persecuted Christians.

    St Simon Peter in 2 Peter 3:16; “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction”

    The letters of “Paul” in the Bible, are in origin written by the apostles of Jesus, but have like other writings been wrested by unlearned and unstable individuals. Parts of the Bible is a hoax, according to the Bible. Those hoaxes are used by both Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church, as “words of God”.

  • MattiSimonAhO

    The Words of God, The Testament of God, The Law of God, is also known as The 10 Commandments. The teacings of Jesus is The Testament of Jesus. Any teachings that by any menings are agaist those, even from the Bible, are ofcourse agaist the law, making the one who teach, not legal (not qualified) as a teacher;

    See The Law of God

    Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven

    but whosoever shall do and teach them , the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    So those who teach agaist the law, are unworthy teachers, not legal.

    You teach children the Law of God “by heart”, but do you teach children who in history have and present time is breaking the law, so the children can avoid the criminal(s)?

  • MattiSimonAhO

    Consistently, a man who don’t teach strictly by the Law of God, and who don’t strictly teach by the words of Jesus, is Anti-Christian/Anti-American.

  • Lv4him

    I had prayed for the conversion of UBL, as I do for all mankind, including our enemies. I prayed for God to draw him to Himself. The fact that UBL continued to plot and plan murders and evil acts invited the justice he received. But we as Christians must always pray for all people everywhere. However, it is right to mete out justice. War is a huge part of satans darkness and we have the obligation to fight him, to resist him, and to put him in his place. God will ultimately destroy him. So, I am glad UBL is gone so that not one more person will die or be mamed at his direction. God bless us all.

  • WBTessore

    I do commend Navy Seal Team 6 & all the support personnel who enabled the successful completion of this mission. On the other hand, I cannot laud the actions of either President Bush or Obama. Bush ordered the issuance of a fighter jet escort out of WA, D. C. the very day the 9/11 attacks occured. Obama, as the Commander In Chief taking over int Bush’s place has had access to knowledge of Bin Laden’s whereabouts from day one of his service. Our military personnel were simply allowed to finally do their jobs because it was no longer expedient to allow Bin Laden to live. I say only our military have the right to celebrate this even. The shame is on us all for permitting justice to be postponed for so long. Americans should pray. We should pray that we change our hearts, & hold our office holders accountable for not doing so.