Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is There No Shame, America?

The Scripture means so little to people these days. I am not referring to unbelievers who have no regard for the Bible as the Word of God. I am referring to evangelical bible-believing Christians. Maybe we as believers simply have selective memory?

Yesterday we learned that a major terrorist, Osama Bin-Laden was killed. It is no secret that we have been trying to kill him since September 2011. (That makes me nervous in and of itself) Our president interrupted regular television programing to deliver the news that Bin-Laden was both killed and his body positively identified by DNA testing. It seems that the United States has gotten its man.

Today celebration is rampant. America and much of the world is celebrating the death of this monster. References in a celebratory hue of his death can be found in places ranging from Facebook, multiplied blog postings, and to radio. One blog entry today imagined what Bin-Laden's death would look like in Jack Chic comic book.(If you don't know who and what Jack Chic is-no worries, you aren't missing a thing) Jokes are rampant.

Is there no shame America? I can't blame the non-Christian segment celebrating the demise of this terrible monster. But Christians? Have you forgotten what the Scripture says?

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles. Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him." (Proverbs 24:17, NKJV)

It is no secret that God hates sin and unrighteousness. Psalms 5:5 tells us that God hates sinners. Yes, Mahatma Gandhi was wrong. Ezekiel 33:11 says, "...as I live, says the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live..."


Seams Inspired said...

I thought the same thing, Gregg. I even had a conversation with my children as to why we shouldn't be celebrating the lost soul of UBL. Thanks for the scriptural reference. I knew it was in there, I just couldn't remember where. Now I have something to back up my words to my kids. Happy Tuesday.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Terrorism was bad when he was alive,9/11 showed he had no mercy, but don't people realise that now he is dead terrorism can and will rear it's ugly head.
It was a terrible day for America and the world on 9/11/2001 there's no deny that but what have they gained by his death????? only time will tell.

Have a good day Gregg.

Susan said...

I posted about the weirdness of this whole thing yesterday. His body was quickly disposed of and a DNA test that usually takes a couple of weeks is accomplished in a couple of days. None of it, just like 9/11 adds up. Was all this done to get our minds off the fact that there are multiple bank closures every month, and gasoline prices continue to climb? Or is there more that our attention is being diverted from?

I still remember President Bush with his diagrams of what Bin Laden's caves look like, and I'm reminded of Mount Weather and Ravenhill, and it makes me think that if Bin Laden had anything that elaborate, the U.S. built it for him. Sigh.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for your comment Gregg,
The world's a crazy place, we get excited about many US happenings guess a bit of happiness in one part of the world albiet only a day rubs off on the rest of the world, though I believe many in your country was going through tornado's, our news coverage did mention the fact and we saw the awful extent it did .

Scott said...

I agree that the overjoyed celebration is a bit much, but we also do have evidence in Scripture for seeking the death of an enemy in war, satisfaction in the punishment of the wicked, and of course Paul's admonition that the government has been given the "sword" by God to mete justice.

We told our children that it is good to see such a violent threat ended, but at the same time to grieve this man's lostness and the end of his chance to repent.

There are a couple good posts out there about this balance between satisfaction and grief. May we find the proper balance.



Trisha said...

I have to agree with Scott on this one.

Gregg said...

@ Scott - the scripture that relates to the satisfaction of the death of an enemy or the wicked is in the context of satisfaction that God's will was done for His glory, not in the joy of the death. I fear much of the joy is not for God's glory or satisfaction God's justice being served but our own fleshly bent on revenge.

*The Old Geezer said...

A good reminder Gregg

I try not to rejoice in the death of a Bin-Laden, a Hitler or someone being executed for the cold blooded rape and murder of a child... but it ain't easy.


Michael Wright said...

There is a fine line that many have crossed between rejoicing in the death of a man and boasting in the Justice of God shown to us. His death was wholly in God's Providence, thus I am convinced that I should not weep over his soul. He is in Hell, yes, that is a terrible thing, but God is the one who appointed that time for his death and the way he died. I am satisfied that God has accomplished what He has planned. We can boast in God.

Also, in the people who have been delivered from the shadow of terror he has been casting for so long. This is a freedom from bondage for people, the bondage being fear. God has liberated them, let us boast in that as well.

Just my thoughts.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Joel the Immerser said...

To be fair, sir, that is not an appropriate use of that Scripture -not directly. For, it is not speaking of death, as it mentions the possibility of God's anger turning away from the man. This cannot happen if he is dead.

I look at this with soberness; not with sadness, nor really rejoicing. Were it not for the grace of God, I could be on the road to becoming him or worse.

God bless.

Kansas Bob said...

Good post Gregg! One commenter on my blog yesterday validated the celebration with this verse:

"When it goes well with the righteous the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting." [Proverbs 11:10 NASB]

I think that it is a bit dicey to use the scripture to justify and validate uncivil behavior. It presents a dark image of believers. My response to the commenter was:

"Can we pray for and love our enemies then rejoice when they die? Can we rejoice that another lost soul needing Jesus has died? We who believe in the torments of hell can only rejoice that Jesus is Lord over these circumstances.

Arlee Bird said...

You make a good point and I certainly agree with you. These celebrants don't look much different than those in the muslim countries when they are celebrating the deaths of those they consider the infidels. We should probably be setting a better standard for the world to see.

Tossing It Out

JD Curtis said...

I think the very fact that we are debating whether or not to rejoice over this development says alot about the contrast between different civilizations.

Me personally? I would break out the ice cream and cake, dance the watusi over his grave and sing Sweet Hallelujah.

Baptist Press had a good article about this topic yesterday.

Link: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=35190

Cathy M. said...

I'm pleased that he's gone, but I'm horrified too because he died in his sins and the Bible tells us what that means, Rob Bell not withstanding.

Mike said...

The Hebrew words for "falls" (falleth) and "stumbles" (stubmleth) both imply two meanings: physical falling and emotional/spiritual falling. Both lines of that first part are paralellism, so they are interpreted alike. Within the context of this wise saying, it appears that the writer has the spiritual aspect in view since he's talking about the wrath of God.

Therefore, it seems that the rendition of this proverb is: Do not be elated when your enemy faces the spritual condemnation of God.

I unabashedly celebrate bin Laden's PHYSICAL death! I do not have a regret for that feeling. He was a tyrant who needed to have his candle snuffed out (by a SEAL's MP-5, by the way). The world is already a better place without him in it. Same with Saddam, and Hitler, and Pol Pot, and Stalin, etc.

However, I do not in one bit celebrate his SPIRITUAL death. Unfortunately, he chose the wicked life and demonic religion that he did, and he will face the wrath of God alone. And that would be a heavy burden to bear! I wouldn't wish that on my vilest enemy.

Those who are wishing him to "Burn in Hell" or "Rot in Hell" probably do not fully understand the heaviness of the wrath of God. Unlike you, I haven't seen any (not saying they're not out there) Christians who have said these things.

Thought-provoking post, though, brother!

Stormbringer said...

If I am out of line, feel free to delete this comment, no hard feelings here.

I found your Weblog today. Last night, I wrote an article on this topic on one of mine, and I would like to share that. http://asoldierforjesus.blogspot.com/2011/05/rejoiceor-not.html

Not normally this self-promoting (I hope), I do think my article is relevant to the discussion.

Gregg said...

@ Stormbringer - First, let me say thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I hope you come often and are blessed by what you find here.

Second, I am no radio host, with the ability to cut off, or hangup on everybody that disagrees or has a differing view. I welcome all comments that are not blasphemous, disrespectful, bigoted, or degrading. So, opposing views are always welcome for several reasons:

1) I don't have the corner on wisdom, understanding, or exegetical skills
2) I can always learn, be rebuked, corrected, instructed, encouraged, and edified by almost every comment
3) I have not fully or completely studied this "topic" or subject about rejoicing over the death of anyone, least of all an enemy and I may have gotten it wrong
4) I may not have said what I wanted to say well enough to be understood

So, I went to your site and read your post carefully. I need to look at it and mull over it which maybe I should have my own post. I may come to the same conclusion or I may change my view. I truly wanted to convey the distaste I had for the "revenge-driven" celebrations that I had come across. I think rejoicing a the death of any one is a serious thing, especially if we take joy in their punishment.

You made some excellent points.

1) It matters not if a scripture comes from the law or the wisdom writings. All scripture has been inspired by God and therefore gives us profit.

2) You are right, building a doctrine on one verse can be dangerous. However, I was not attempting to build an authoratative or binding teaching (doctrine) but a warning against adopting improper motives.

However, how many times does God need to record it in Scripture before it is binding upon us? I think God can say something one time and that is enough.

Yes, anything can be taken out of context and false doctrines can be developed.

3) I agree, there are verses that should always be considered when available. They should always agree with no contradiction, allowing for progression of understanding and revelation (not today)

4) I will have to study each of these passages and see what they are saying in their context.

5) I also will have to see if there is a distinction between national enemies and personal enemies, which may or not be.

6) I do agree that we must guard our hearts and not act foolishly.

Stormbringer said...

Thanks for your comments. That Weblog is rather new, and I make no pretense at having great wisdom, either. Hopefully, it will grow enough so that I can have some decent exchanges with people in the comments section. (Hint! Hope you leave some.) Why do people keep giving me comments on Twitter and Facebook???

By the way, Google has not been co-operating with me on the ID area. It used to accept my "soldier" ID for a login, but now I have to use the "parent", multi-purpose site. Until they fix it.

Sorry, going on a bit, I'm tired.

Anonymous said...

I had some of the same thoughts as Susan, but I confess, I really don't keep up with much news these days.
I have to wonder if his death really changes much in the whole scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

I had some of the same thoughts as Susan, but I confess, I really don't keep up with much news these days.
I have to wonder if his death really changes much in the whole scheme of things.

Stephanie Hodges said...

I greatly appreciate this blog post. I've been very unsettled by some of the things I've heard and read over the past week. I still get very emotional when I think about all the people needlessly murdered in 2001. It seems grotesque to me to be gleeful about anyone's death, especially when their place in heaven isn't secured.

hannah DeForrest said...

I had this same talk at youth group of the wensday of the week that that happened. I completey agree with you.