On Tap this Week (05.04.11) - "Christians and The Death of Bin Laden"

Hello Theology on Tappers, yup, you guessed it, once again, tomorrow's topic will be a little off subject - we've been going through Chris Wright's awesome book The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith.  But with the death of Osama bin Laden in the news and all the hoopla surrounding it, I felt it would be a good discussion topic for Theology on Tap (...and so did Haley Lucas!)

Here's a quote from a web posting addressing the Christian response to the death Bin Laden be:

"When a Christian points her finger in the face of the wicked getting what they deserve and shouts for joy, she is only revealing that she has forgotten her own need for grace. How can we celebrate God’s saving grace in our own lives on Sunday morning and celebrate retributive justice for others on Sunday evening? Is this not the ultimate hypocrisy?"

Read full article here - http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/current-events/op-ed/25463-should-christians-celebrate-the-death-of-osama-bin-laden.

Also, here's another web article worth reading and thinking about - http://www.redletterchristians.org/whose-death-does-god-cheer/

And here's one representing a slightly different perspective - http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/05/02/grieving-rejoicing-that-osama-bin-laden-is-dead/

By all means, Bin Laden was a terror to human safety, a notorious murderer, and he needed to be stopped, caught, and punished.  And though I was glad to hear the news - glad for the thousands of families that lost loved ones due to his inhumane actions and glad that a sure terror to human well-being was eradicated - I personally struggled with all the cheering that went on at the news of his death.  What were they all cheering for?  It reminded me of the vindictive and hateful cheering and flag burning I saw in certain Middle Eastern countries after the tragic 9/11 events.  I do not presume to know them or their reasons for celebrating; but the vibe I got from most of the ranting was that of vengeance and irreverent nationalism. Don’t get me wrong…I’m glad we got Bin Laden.  But isn’t there's a big difference between being grateful that people may be safer because a dangerous terrorist has been disposed of verses rejoicing vengefully over someone's death? 

Join the discussion tomorrow night (9pm) at Theology on Tap!

Discussion Questions:
Using Bin Laden as a case study...

#1  Is it ever correct to celebrate the death of a wicked person?  How should Ezekiel 33:11 shape or influence our answer?

#2  What's the difference between vengeance and justice?  Should Christians ever be vengeful?

#3  What part should mercy and grace play in the administration of justice?

#4  Our great hope is that God will one day triumph over and ultimately eradicate evil and injustice (Rev. 20:10-14).  God’s just punishment and disposal of evil should excite us and give us a sense of security knowing that he will ultimately take care of all wrongs done against us (Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:35).  Should God’s promise of ultimate justice weigh in on how we interact with our enemies?  How so?


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