the weblog of Alan Knox

Why am I not rejoicing that Osama bin Laden is dead?

Posted by on May 2, 2011 in personal | 14 comments

Why am I not rejoicing that Osama bin Laden is dead?

Saturday, I read on Dave Black’s blog (from Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 7:52 p.m.) that he was teaching a series Sunday through Wednesday evening for a church near us. (Well, 30 minutes away, but that’s still near enough.) A friend and I decided to drive out to Louisburg to hear him teach Sunday night.

It turns out, he’s “teaching” a revival service, but then he doesn’t do the normal “revival service.” That evening, he was talking about missions with Jesus as our example. He taught from Matthew 9:35-38, and he showed several slides from Ethiopia. It was great to hear him talk about Ethiopia again, and to see the pictures of people that I met there.

At one point, Dr. Black made a statement about terrorists in general and Osama bin Laden in particular. He said that God wants us to love our enemies (including terrorists), and that he was willing to travel to Pakistan or Afghanistan (if an opportunity presented itself) in order to share the gospel and demonstrate God’s love to terrorists and Osama bin Laden. (By the way, I have personally seen Dave Black love Muslims in word and in action.) (And, no, I’m not saying that all Muslims are terrorists.)

Then, when I got back home, I saw the news on Twitter (then confirmed by the president) that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I also saw the response of several Christians. They were rejoicing over the fact that bin Laden was dead.

I could not bring myself to rejoice. I did not agree with Osama bin Laden – neither his theology nor his politics – and I certain did not like his methods. I do believe that he was responsible for the death of many, many people – probably more than we know. I believe that he would have though of me as his enemy, and I believe that he would have wanted me dead if possible.

But, I could not bring myself to rejoice that he was dead. Instead, I was sad that, as far as we know, he never received Jesus Christ as Lord during his lifetime. Osama bin Laden was created in God’s image – just as much as I was and just as much as you were. While I may not yet have learned to love my enemies like I should, I think I am learning not to rejoice when my enemy is destroyed.


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  1. 5-2-2011

    Well said.

  2. 5-2-2011

    Amen Alan.

  3. 5-2-2011

    Exactly my response as well. I have prayed for him many times.

  4. 5-2-2011

    brings me to the mercy seat once again..

  5. 5-2-2011

    Amen x infinity. I intend to write a short piece along the same lines at some point today, perhaps not as tactfully worded. 🙂

  6. 5-2-2011


    Thank you for this. My thoughts exactly. When will we ever learn?

  7. 5-2-2011

    Great post! What I think I found most disturbing about mainstream Christian reaction to bin Laden’s death was not that they were happy he was dead, but that they were rejoicing that he was in Hell!

    How can anyone rejoice that someone else is in Hell? It makes me sad.


  8. 5-2-2011

    Well said and I agree.

    Can I pushback just a bit? I’m not rejoicing either. I cannot bring myself to join or endorse the celebrations of this man’s death. But is there a sense, considering that he did orchestrate the attack against the USA on 9/11/01 which killed thousands of people, that there is a need for justice? Can a nation (not the Christianity community) just turn a blind eye to this? Or is this something we allow God to deal with in His time?

    Again, and I want to be clear, I am not rejoicing either. But these are some questions I have.

  9. 5-2-2011

    I cannot bring myself to rejoice in Bin Laden’s death either, not just because I do not rejoice in the death of anyone, but because of the simple fact that he could not possibly have perpetrated the atrocities of 9/11 in the first place…

    “Terrorists” did not bring down the Twin Towers using hijacked planes…

    There is no way that steel-framed structures can suddenly collapse into their own footprint, at almost free-fall speed, due to fires, no matter how hot they were burning…

    It was even MORE impossible for “building 7” (a 33-story building!) to collapse in such a manner, several hours after the twin towers fell, even though it was hit by nothing, and had no jet fuel burning inside of it

    Watch the footage. Prove me wrong…

    They were controlled demolitions, there is no other possibility…

    Steel-framed buildings do NOT suddenly collapse unless every steel beam is severed at precisely the same time. That is why it takes weeks of preparation to execute the controlled demolition of a modern building.

    Christians have been duped along with everyone else, because they will not allow themselves to believe that such a heinous act could be done by people on the “inside”…

  10. 5-2-2011


    Thanks for the comments.


    Yes, this post is not about whether a government can or should kill someone. Instead, it’s about my personal reaction to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.


    I don’t think my reaction to his death would change whether or not he was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.


  11. 5-2-2011

    Alan, So if Bin Laden wasn’t responsible for the 9/11 attacks, would that change your reaction to anything…?

    obviously, if he’s dead, he’s dead, and he has to face eternity and His creator regardless of the events which led up to his death…

    But what about everything else…?

    Was Bin Laden the only one who has been impacted by the way the U.S. responded to the events of September the 11th…?

  12. 5-2-2011


    I do not know who caused the attack on 9/11 or who caused the buildings to fall. I know that I was disappointed in the response of many Christians to 9/11, and I’m disappointed in the response of many Christians to Osama bin Laden’s death. I do not think we should rejoice over anyone’s death. That belief would not change based on who caused 9/11.


  13. 5-2-2011

    Good post. I’m reminded that outside of the grace of God, I am as wicked as the most evil of men.

  14. 5-2-2011

    I am rejoicing


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