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Real Answers™
Copyright: ©2011 William Cripe Sr.
620 words


By: William Cripe Sr.

It was nearly a day later that I learned world enemy #1 was permanently restrained from orchestrating anymore death, and despair on innocent men, women and children.  My first words were, "Thank you Lord" and frankly, I was happy. 


As the day progressed I was following threads on Facebook from Christians who were "okay" with the military use of force, but were struggling with the appropriateness of "celebrating" Bin Laden's demise.  More than a Facebook sound bite was necessary.  


Since God has revealed Himself to us through His word, we come to know what God is like; not in totality of course, God is too big for that.  Still, we become acquainted with what pleases Him as well as what angers Him. 


Through the pages of the Bible, God has shown us much about what He is like.  This means that as we become more and more like Him we will "like" what He likes and "dislike" what he dislikes.  We cannot ignore that we have been created in His image and likeness. 


In the glimpses of his personality and character, we see a God who despises injustice, and abhors wickedness.   He is clearly angered by the wanton destruction of those who bear His image and likeness, decreeing that anyone who so defiles the image of God must pay for it with their own life.  That is why the decree of capital punishment--while applied imperfectly--is not the result of a vindictive Deity but a merciful one who knows that there are certain brands of wickedness that cannot be placated, only removed.


As I monitored Facebook throughout the day, the comments became increasingly grating suggesting that any expression of relief, gratitude, or thankfulness were equivalent to the celebrations which took place in the Middle East after the Twin Towers fell. Some sanctimoniously insisted we should even be mourning.


Then, in predictable fashion, of the more than 31,000 verses in the Bible, 2 were posted bearing little relevance to news concerning the demise of the world's most notorious murderer. 


The verses were Proverbs 24:17-18:  "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; or the LORD will see it and be displeased, and turn His anger away from him."  But with equal validity, another could have posted-- "The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance…and men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth!"   (Psalms 58:10-11) 


Confused?  Don't be--"Truth" by cherry-picking verses here and there is rarely truthful. God did not throw a mass of unrelated sentences onto the pages of a book saying, "Now make sense of them however it happens to be convenient."  As I state frequently from my pulpit, you have to let the Bible interpret the Bible. 


On balance, what we know is that God prompts the faithful throughout the ages to long with anticipation--to embrace the day of justice when every wrong shall be righted and yes, to celebrate. It is one of the promises of the Christian's future. 


So if one insists it is improper to experience joy from an earthly taste of heavenly justice, then it is also incumbent on us to have no remorse when we taste earthly injustice, and that simply is not consistent with the character of God.


So while it is true that the news of Bin Laden's death prompted some demonstrations of emotion that were probably not honoring to a God of mercy and love, impugning everyone who says, "Thank you Lord, I am glad he is gone," only demonstrates one's ignorance of the whole counsel of God's word, and perhaps worse, denies the very heart of God. 


"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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