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Osama bin Laden's Death

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Osama bin Laden's Death

I'll admit, I let out half a sigh of relief when I heart Osama Bin Laden was dead before I stopped to think. While America is either cheering Osama bin Laden's death or fearing terrorist attacks that might result from his death, for those who believe in God, especially Christians, it's not really something to cheer about. Why? Let's see.

Ezekiel 18:23 (King James Version)

 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?



Here it is in NIV.

Ezekiel 18:23 (New International Version, ©2011)

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?



Proverbs 24:17-18 (New International Version, ©2011)

   Saying 28

  Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
   when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
or the LORD will see and disapprove
   and turn his wrath away from them.



Matthew 5:43-48 (New International Version, ©2011) Love for Enemies

    You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor[a] 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. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Footnotes:

Matthew 5:43 Lev. 19:18



He may have lived to regret the harm he did and caused to others and may have ended up being a voice that would have prevented further wars. While this may be unlikely in his case, it's not impossible. We will now never know what may have been possible because the man is did. It is certain, though, that he had great influence over a number of people. A number of people looked up to him and obviously would follow him to death if the stories were true. How great could that influence have been if he had turned it to good? If our actions and reactions had been different, could he have become a figure for peace rather than war? Now he will never have the chance and we will never know for sure.


Leviticus 19:18 (New International Version, ©2011)

  Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

1 John 2:9-10 (New International Version, ©2011)

  Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[a] is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister[b] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.

Footnotes:

1 John 2:9 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of Gods family; also in verse 11; and in 3:15, 17; 4:20; 5:16.

1 John 2:10 The Greek word for brother and sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of Gods family; also in 3:10; 4:20, 21.



Who are our brothers?

Matthew 12:48-50 (New International Version, ©2011)

  He replied to him, Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Pointing to his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

A brother doesn't have to be of the same faith. A brother is anyone who does God's will. Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Luke 10:25-37 (New International Version, ©2011) The Parable of the Good Samaritan

  On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. Teacher, he asked, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

    What is written in the Law? he replied. How do you read it?

  He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind[a]; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.[b]

    You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Do this and you will live.

  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

  In reply Jesus said: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.

    Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?

  The expert in the law replied, The one who had mercy on him.

   Jesus told him, Go and do likewise.

Footnotes:

Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5

Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18

Luke 10:35 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).



God has already shown us that it is not his will that an enemy be killed, but he would rather them live to regret their actions and change their ways. For that to happen, their hearts have to change.

Luke 6:27-28 (New International Version, ©2011) Love for Enemies

    But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.


You can't force someone's heart to change, though. The best you can do is lead by example and hope they understand.

Romans 12:17-21 (New International Version, ©2011)

  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for Gods wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay,[a] says the Lord. On the contrary:

   If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.[b]

  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Footnotes:

Romans 12:19 Deut. 32:35

Romans 12:20 Prov. 25:21,22


1 John 2:9-10 (New International Version, ©2011)

  Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[a] is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister[b] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.

Footnotes:

1 John 2:9 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of Gods family; also in verse 11; and in 3:15, 17; 4:20; 5:16.

1 John 2:10 The Greek word for brother and sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of Gods family; also in 3:10; 4:20, 21.


For a follower of God, especially Christians, the death of an enemy is not something to rejoice over. Here are some words of a mother of a 9/11 victim.


As a family member of a young woman killed in the attacks, I want the response to the death of bin Laden to be one of somber reflection, one that marks how far we have come from the days of that attack and accounts for all we have lostour civil rights, our trust in our government to act ethically. I want our civil liberties back, our reliance on the Constitution and the rule of law. I want, again, for my children to feel free.


September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows released the following statement:

As we consider the killing of Osama Bin Laden, our thoughts turn not only to our family members who were killed on September 11th, but to  all of the innocent people around the world who have died, and continue to die, as a result of the events of  September 11th, 2001

It is our hope that the rule of law underpinned by our Constitution that was so terribly strained in the name of September 11th will again become the guiding light of our policies at home and abroad. One person may have played a central role in the September 11th attacks, but all of us have a role to play in returning our world to a place of peace, hope and new possibilities. We hope that process will begin today.


Yes, Osama bin Laden may have been a bad man and needed to be put away, but that doesn't mean we should cheer over his death. 

Yes, 9/11 killed some of our people. Here are the figures from nymag.com.


Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819

Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343

Number of NYPD officers: 23

Number of Port Authority police officers: 37

Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60

Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402

Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614

Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658


What is that like compared to the lives lost in the War on Terror?


Casualties in Iraq


The Human Cost of Occupation
Edited by Margaret Griffis :: Contact

 

American Military Casualties in Iraq


                         Date     Total          In Combat

American Deaths Since war began (3/19/03):   4452                3509

Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) (the list) 4311                3401

Since Handover (6/29/04):                                   363                2876

Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09):                   224                  105

Since Operation New Dawn:                                 34                    15

American Wounded Official Estimated

: 33023 Over 100000


Iraqui Deaths Due to Occupation 1,455,590 Estimated


In Operation Enduring Freedom:




Afghan troops killed  [1]

8,587




Afghan troops seriously injured  [2]


25,761



Afghan civilians killed  [3]

8,813




Afghan civilians seriously injured  [4]


15,863



U.S. troops killed  [5]

1,140




U.S. troops seriously injured  [6]


3,420



Other coalition troops killed  [7]

772




Other coalition troops seriously injured  [8]


2,316



Contractors killed  [9]

298




Contractors seriously injured  [10]


2,428



Journalists killed  [11]

19




Journalists seriously injured  [12]


unknown



Total killed in Afghanistan

19,629




Total injured in Afghanistan


48,644




About 303 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the ghastly attacks of September 11, 2001.


You can see that we are responsible for far more deaths than the number of lives lost. That is far more than An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and what did Jesus say about that?


Matthew 5:38-42 (New International Version, ©2011) Eye for Eye

    You have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.[a] But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Footnotes:

Matthew 5:38 Exodus 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21



By responding with violence far greater than what was done to us, we ended up not only killing far more of their people, many of them innocent, but also killed more of our people than were killed in the attack. Our response also took away the freedoms and liberties of Americans which we had so proudly celebrated. It also has driven America to the edge of bankruptcy.

Our leaders have pushed war for profit for some time. Many of them have promoted vile hatred and division between the American people. Ezekiel offers some words of warning for leaders who promote violence and evil.


Ezekiel 11:2-12 (New International Version, ©2011)

The LORD said to me, Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, Havent our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it. Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.

  Then the Spirit of the LORD came on me, and he told me to say: This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead.

  Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: The bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you. You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. And you will know that I am the LORD, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.

We should reflect on the cause of the events which led to 9/11 and the cost of our response to it. If we want to call ourselves One Nation Under God, perhaps we should consider God's will rather than our own. We should turn from our war-for-profit ways and turn to finding ways to make peace


Sources

Bible verses, http://www.biblegateway.com


9/11 Victims Family Members React to the Killing of Osama Bin Laden - Family Members Available for Comment, CommonDreams.org, May 2, 2011 10:51 AM, http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/05/02-0


9/11 by the Numbers, New York, Nymag.com, http://nymag.com/news/articles/wtc/1year/numbers.htm


Casualties in Iraq, ANTIWAR.com, http://antiwar.com/casualties/


At least 919,967 people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since the U.S. and coalition attacks, based on lowest credible estimates, Unknown News.net, http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html


Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years - and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?; Mail Online, Last updated at 10:59 PM on 11th September 2009,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1212851/Has-Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-seven-years--U-S-Britain-covering-continue-war-terror.html


SpaceEagle Uploaded 05/04/2011
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