As an American on 9/11 I wanted death to come to all who planned or contributed to the attacks. As a Christian, I felt conflicted. Should I be feeling this anger? Am I right in thinking that Osama bin Laden should be killed? As well as brought to justice.

As a Christian should I have these views? Or should I leave it up to God to handle, to decide whether he should die or live?

  • I took a bunch of quotes from various friends (Christian and non) in relation to the killing of ObL. There was a lot of variety.
    – TRiG
    Oct 2 '11 at 2:46

First of all, this is definitely something that should be left to God. A great example is in Jude:

Jude 1:9 (NLT)

9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.)

Satan is certainly the evilest being in existence, but even Michael left Satan's punishment up to God.

Also, consider these verses in Romans:

Romans 12:19-20 (NLT)

 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
   “I will take revenge;
      I will pay them back,”
      says the Lord.
 20 Instead,
   “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
      If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap
      burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Again, leave it to God. He can do it way better than we can.

Also, instead of hating our enemies, we are called to love them instead.

Matthew 5:44 (NLT)

44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

That being said...when the current event was Osama's death, a few of my Christian friends (and I) said that while they had not wished for Osama's death nor were they happy about the death itself, they were glad that Osama had been removed from his position at the head of Al Qaeda.

  • So is this to say that if a man kills 50 people close to you. In front of your eyes, that as Christians we should not seek revenge?
    – Nick122
    Oct 2 '11 at 10:12
  • 3
    @Nick122 - yes. We should seek to stop him, and defend those he is attacking, but not to take revenge
    – warren
    Oct 2 '11 at 12:39
  • But by what means should we use to stop him?
    – Nick122
    Oct 2 '11 at 12:39
  • 2
    @Nick122: Whatever it takes. If you absolutely need to kill, then so be it. The key is that you don't do it out of anger and/or a desire for revenge. James 1:20 Oct 2 '11 at 13:08
  • 1
    @Nick122: Not necessarily. There's a subtle difference between "I want you dead." and "You need to be dead.". Also, I never said that would be easy. Heh, very little about being a Christian is easy in the first place... (By the way, we should take this to chat.) Oct 2 '11 at 13:24

I heard a good comment after Osama bin Laden was killed. They were commenting how people were celebrating his death, but he said that as a Christian he didn't feel like he should be happy. He would have rather that bin Laden had become a follower of Christ.

I agreed with him, and believe it applies to this question. As a true follower of Christ, we should wish for others to believe in him and repent of their sins, rather than wishing for their death.

We should also remember that we will be judged as we judge others. Since we are not perfect, we should not be judging others.


There are many Christians that wish for the death of particular politicians.

These Christians unfortunately don't understand what Jesus taught about loving others, being willing to die for those that hate you, or following the example of Jesus when he healed the ear of the soldier that was arresting Him.

These Christians are choosing to follow the teachings of other ministers that have chosen to ignore what Jesus taught, and re-interpret it with their corrections.

So, since 1 Cor 13 is quite clear on this, in that if you don't have love then what you say is like a clanging gong. Without love nothing you do means anything to God.

Unfortunately there is no way to really sugar-coat this response, as these Christians are damaging the teachings of Christ by preaching a doctrine of hatred and intolerance.

One book that heavily influenced me, in that it showed me that there are others like me was "Jesus Freaks", both vol 1 and 2 (http://www.jesusfreaks.net/), to see not only stories about people willing to die for Christ, but those that made the huge risk to be willing to live for Christ, risking a great deal while they do that.

When Osama bin Laden was killed I was actually torn, as I felt guilty for being happy he was killed, and I struggled with how I should feel. If he was captured it would lead to more deaths, so I don't see any good solution other than what was done, but being happy seems to be wrong.


1 John 4:11-12

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

and again 1 John 4:19-21

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Now, here 'brother or sister' may be referring specifically to members of the church but I think that the take away can be applied here. Remember that "... While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. The same applies to everyone, including ObL. I do not believe that Jesus would want us hating or wishing ill will on those that he died for.

At the same time God also loves those who ObL might have killed, so wishing that he be brought to justice, not for revenge, but for law and order, peace, etc. I warranted. My view on him as well anyone who commits crime was (and is) 'I hope that he finds Christ soon, though one day he may need to face man's justice.'

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