Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Osama bin Laden and the Kingdom of God

Time Magazine's Cover
I talk sometimes about my dual citizenship: I am a natural-born citizen of the United States of America, and I am an adopted child of God through Jesus, the Christ, and, therefore, a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Sometimes my loyalties to those kingdoms clash.

This was the case Sunday night when the world heard about the "killing" of Osama bin Laden. As a citizen of the United States I cheered for the "justice" that was served our nation's Public Enemy Number One. I wanted to be in Times Square, Ground Zero, or outside the White House to cheer with my fellow citizens for the demise of one who brought so much suffering and death to our country. 

I was proud of our leaders who never gave up on tracking him down and for the Navy Seal who served the kind of retribution the rest of the world would understand with a "double tap" to the head and chest of the leader of Al Qaeda .

As I watched the nation rejoice and the images of the raid flash into my living room, the Spirit of the Lord, my Leader, whispered in my ear, "He's one of mine, you know." I pushed pause on the remote.

In a millisecond, the Spirit reminded me of my King's orders to "love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." (Matt. 5:44)  

The Spirit led my heart to empathize with those who had lost love ones on both sides of the war on terror and how military machinery-improvised or manufactured-tear families and flesh apart.  

The Spirit reminded me that hatred and retribution lead to more hate and retribution.

The Spirit reminded me evil is real and people are capable of the most evil acts.

The Spirit reminded me that the weapon of choice for Christ's Kingdom people is forgiveness.

While my curiosity of the raid and espionage that led to bin Laden's death still simmered, my citizenship in Heaven and the call of my Leader sent me to bed saddened I get excited about such things and with the prayer of my King on my heart,

"May your kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."


vee gee said...

I've been reflecting on how do I react to this event. I was led to Matthew 5:43-45 "43 “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, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven." I have struggled with loving my enemies. It is difficult. But what if I start with loving my neighbors, then they will have no chance of becoming our enemies. So to quote Martin Luther King "I choose to love". If we love the unloved, the neglected, the lonely - what affect will that have on someone with an empty heart. So I encourage all to love and serve and be prepared. Be prepared to tell His story and your story with Him. When they ask you why you love and serve, you can tell them the glorious story of Our Savior and His love for us.


Antwuan said...

I had a similar reaction. (my thoughts here: http://antwuanmalone.com/2011/05/02/osama-dead/

I thought about it all day actually... the place where justice and love collide... the gray area. It really took me to a lot of different places. Wish I had more people to bounce it off of... I think it might have led to some good conversation.

Anyway, well Doc-G-Dub. Well said.

faithrunner said...

Victor, you are right that if we would begin by loving our neighbors and serving the needs of others things would be different--that is not an idle dream but the promise of our Leader. It IS difficult.

Antwuan, I like the phrase "where justice and love collide." That is where the gray areas of life form and where being a follower of Jesus is most challenging. As you said in your post, it would be great to have a real time dialogue over this one.

Graham and Storey said...

Good word, Daddy... as always :)

Brian Hearn said...


I just found your blog from a link on Andrew Szabo's FB Page.

I really like what you have to say.

When I heard about Osama bin Laden's death, I began to think about what would it be like if the tables were turned and we were celebrating the death of one of God's servants.

I then began to think about a similar event in the Bible.

The death of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-13.

The whole world in that day will view them as terrorists.
They will reject what they have to say and will ultimately kill them.

In that day Americans will again be glad that terrorists are dead.

We will not be alone.

The Bible says that whole world will be joining in the celebration of their deaths.

People everywhere will give gifts to each as part of that celebration. It will go on for three and a half days.

Boy are they in for a surprise!

Let's just be glad that we will not have to deal with Osama bin Laden again.

He can now face God's justice.

We will all someday experience the same.

Thanks for the good word,

Brian Hearn

Acts 21:19: When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things God had done.

1st Gen-3 Vine said...

Thank you....This too was my reaction.