But that's ok.
I don't normally make my opinions known on matters of this kind of controversy but I'm tired of the messages of hate being louder than those of love.
Twitter was what alerted me of the the President of the US's statement last night. And twitter was where I saw the opinion flood rise. It is possible that this is a moment in history that you will remember (more certainly so if you are American) much like the death of Lady Diana and the planes that crashed into the world trade centre.
It was that event, the attack on New York City, that hurled this man hunt for Osama Bin Laden into full gear almost 10 years ago. I'm not going to get into what I think about war, or what was happening in Pakistan.
But what I do want to say is that this message, from some people in the church, about how we should be happy and joyful and celebrating the murder of this man, is sadly familiar. It's the same kind of hate (or lack of grace) that we see in the "God hates gays" signs and the "repent or burn" one liner street corner sermons. It's a message to the world saying, "sure we believe that Jesus came to save us, and that justice is not ours, it's God's. But not in this case... not this guy. We'll take care of him ourselves."
And yes, I've heard the argument that God puts people into power. But President Obama is still just a man. A man that had a decision to make and chose a kill mission. He is just a man that has power that NONE of us will ever experience. And I don't know about you, but I've seen men and women with far less power fall. He made his choice, the job was done, the man is dead, we can't change that. But it's the response to the news that is important now.
I understand that America was hit hard with terror attacks lead by this guy. I understand that thousands lost someone directly and that every citizen was affected. The world was too. We cried with you. We prayed with you. And though I'm just a neighbor, I will never forget what happened that day. But the world is still watching. And now the world is seeing a part of the church react without grace. I have read the scriptures that people in the church are quoting to justify their rejoicing. Jesus came with a message though, not of death, but of life. "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." He talked about unconditional forgiveness, not forgiveness that rests on people who have only hurt you moderately. He told us that God is the only righteous judge.
It was God who took a murderer like the apostle Paul and turned him into one of the most successful ambassadors of peace in the name of Jesus. It was God who took adulterous and vengeful kings and changed them into great rulers and men of virtue. It is God who takes every day sinners like me and transforms their lives to impact the lives of others for good.
I'm not saying that given an encounter with Jesus that Osama Bin Laden would become a missionary or pastor or leader of the Christian church in a Muslim nation. But it's also not impossible. Was prison not an option for him above death? I'm not expecting any government to act on behalf of Christ. But I do hope to see more of the church reacting with the love of Christ.
I'll end there.
You may agree with me, you may not. I am not speaking out of disunity with the church. I love the church.
I only wanted to give love some volume.
Sometimes the global church family (and even the local church family) can look a bit like a lot of families over turkey dinner. We may not all agree on little family issues but we are still called to love each other and be united under the head of the family, which is Jesus.