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I'm looking for a Biblical response to this question. And it's not specific to bin Laden but I'm just using him as an example.

I know Jesus said love your enemies. And Paul even showed how this can be a form of revenge.

But I can't help but wonder if a Christian could at least be relieved that the bin Ladens and Hitlers of the world were killed.

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My facebook status, May 2, 2010: Okay, I know everybody's happy that Osama Bin Laden is dead - and don't get me wrong, I'm not in tears - but let's remember people, he was still a child of God. Misguided, wrong, and evil, but one of us. –  Yuletide Geek May 4 '12 at 12:35
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@AffableGeek: indeed. When I wrote the question, the second sentence was nearly, "And it's not specific to bin Laden but I'm just using him as an example of a bad person." Then I realised that - compared to God - we're all in that category. –  Wikis May 4 '12 at 12:52
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@AffableGeek: AFAIK, "child of God" is a term, in scripture, used to describe believers. I don't think bin Laden was a believer. Even so, the spirit of your quote is accurate, I believe; bin Laden, "child of God" or not, was surely loved by God. –  Flimzy May 4 '12 at 19:24
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@MarcGravell: I suspect Flimzy meant, "not a Christian". After all, everyone is a believer in something. –  Wikis May 4 '12 at 21:18
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@Wikis: Yes, that's what I meant, although I chose not to use that language for 2 reasons: 1) to not be confused with this site's definition of "Christian" and 2) because the Bible doesn't actually use the word 'Christian' in that context :) But yes, that's the point I was getting at. –  Flimzy May 4 '12 at 22:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

In one sense, I don't think we should be "pleased" that he is dead. God is not "pleased", which should be our ultimate example:

Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV)

11  Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

However, just because we should not take pleasure in his death, does not mean we cannot be pleased with the net outcome of the situation. We can be pleased that future lives will be spared.

For example, even though God did not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, he still ordered sentences of death for certain offenses (and he does all that he pleases). This was for the net benefit of the society. So, although God did not take take pleasure in the death of the individual, he took pleasure in the protection of the masses.

So while we ought to grieve his individual death, for his sake, we can still be pleased overall for the sake of others.

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Excelent answer @Eric! Wish I could +2 this one! –  Nathan Bunney May 4 '12 at 15:29
    
Amen! That's the perfect reference and an excellent summary. Thanks! –  Yuletide Geek May 4 '12 at 15:42

The most important reaction to this should be that Osama bin Laden died without Christ, at least we presume he did, as he gave us no evidence of accepting Christ as his Savior before his death.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

So we too should be longing for the salvation of all the "Osama's" of the world. We should be sad that another lost soul went to Hell but similar to Eric's comment, we can take comfort that Osama bin Laden will no longer deceive others and cause them to turn from God. Furthermore, we can also praise God for keeping His promise:

Genesis 12:3

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed .

As we all know Osama bin Laden was an enemy of Israel, therefore, I believe God fulfilled his promise against Osama bin Laden. So we can praise God for keeping His promise.

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Welcome to Christianity.SE. –  Caleb May 5 '12 at 7:56

We are taught to hate the sin and not the sinner. We are called to love every brother. This would include Osama.

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care to detail the downvote reason? –  Andrei Rinea Aug 10 '12 at 16:11

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