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.