Random Osama Thoughts and Questions

May 02nd 2011

1.) Shortly after 9/11 I remarked in a sermon how similar were the lives of Paul — pre-Damascus Road — and Osama Bin Laden.  Both grew up with a great passion for their religion, both were persecutors of the followers of Jesus.  Of course one had an awakening event that led to total conversion.  I wonder if the difference between the two was that Osama never had a Stephen — a person who would so completely reflect God’s amazing grace.  Acts 7:54-60

2) Does anyone really believe this is the most important event in the war on terror?  Or is it more like the celebration of a touchdown that finally comes — long after the game is decided?  Maybe that’s a bad metaphor, the game isn’t over — and I guess that’s the point.  It’s not over.  We still live in a Good Friday world.  It’s a world where bad things happen to good people and good people do bad things.  It’s a world that groans with anticipation for what is to come, but is not yet here.  Bin Laden is gone.  Evil remains.

3) I wonder if we will now disband Homeland Security or stop the TSA pat-downs?

4) My facebook news was filled with people using scripture to support their celebration or lack of celebration over Bin Laden’s death.  So far I’ve seen a lot of Proverbs 11:10 — “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”  A lot of Ezekiel 33:11 — “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live…”  A lot of Proverbs 24:17-18 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.”  And a lot of Proverbs 21:15  “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”

5) Three favorite related facebook updates so far — a) “Collateral Benefit of Osama’s death — no Monday morning talk about the Royal Wedding.”  —  b)”I’m wrestling with two citizenships.  My American citizenship wants to cheer for the death of Osama.  My citizenship in the Kingdom of God makes me grieve over a person who has died without Christ.” — c) “Bin Laden’s body buried at sea. Greenpeace to protest the toxic waste disaster!”

6)  On May 1, 1945, the death of Hitler was announced.

7)  Which reminds me of the struggle of spiritual conscience that Dietrich Bonhoeffer went through before joining a plot to assassinate Hitler.  In the end Bonhoeffer felt that Hitler was like a madman driving a truck through a schoolyard killing children.  If you can do something to stop it, you have to stop it.

8)  I appreciate the sacrifices that military and their families have made for us over the course of the last 10 years and I will continue to pray for the people that God has put into government as our leaders.  That is what the Bible instructs us to do.  Romans 13

9)  I am reminded how truly radical it is for the followers of Jesus to live like Jesus.  Forgiving those who persecute us.  Loving our enemies.  Practicing mercy.  Not an easy path in today’s world, but the only path that will lead to peace.

10)  Having prayer-walked downtown State College during Arts Fest Riots, and State Patty’s day riots, — I’m was somewhat amazed to watch the video below.  Singing the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America, and mixing in chants of U.S.A. 5-6000 students filled Beaver Canyon.  Remember these students were between 9 — 11 on the morning of 9/11.