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God Is Not Rejoicing
2 May 2011
"Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Yahweh. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live" (Ezekiel 18:23).This morning the world woke to the momentous news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by United States soldiers in a special military operation.
"As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yahweh, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live" (Ezekiel 33:11).
In New York, a cheering crowd gathered at ground zero — the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood before bin Laden's terrorist group flew two planes into the buildings on September 11, 2001. Strains of God Bless America could be heard intermittently trickling through the crowd. Last last night President Obama announced:
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
Notice what Obama says: "We can do these things [like kill Bin Laden] because we are one nation under God." It is a long-standing tradition for American presidents to invoke "God" to bless the atrocities our country commits. I don't know which god they imagine they are calling on, but it's much more likely the Mush God than the God of the New Testament. Even Obama acknowledges as much when, in his speech above, he says "no matter what God we pray to". Some pray to Yahweh (the God of Israel, the God of the Bible, the Father of Jesus), while others pray to non-gods, like Allah and the Mush God.
While one would naturally expect pagan Americans to rejoice over this killing, "Christian" joy and celebration over this death is another matter — and a very troubling one at that. I took a bit of time to read quotes on various Web sites; here is a sampling of what I found:
Wow! The words of this pastor are pretty amazing! I guess I'm one of the 0.1% of Americans who question, and even doubt, that killing Bin Laden was "the right thing." But look at what else he said: the verse in Genesis about killing a murderer is "much more relevant" than the words of Yeshua (Jesus) Himself about turning the other cheek!
"There is a sense that justice has been done," said Joel Hunter, senior pastor of the 12,000-member Northland Church in Orlando, Florida, and a spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama.
"There is a scripture, Genesis 9:6, that says, 'He who sheds man's blood, by man his blood be shed.' There is a certain kind of sense of relief that that has been accomplished," Hunter said.
"This man was symbolic of much that threatened our country and our way of life," the pastor said.
Hunter also cited the verse promising that "those who mourn will be comforted," saying they might "find some sort of solace in this event."
Those verses are much more relevant than Jesus' admonition to "turn the other cheek," he said.
"That particular scripture has to do with insult and not with self-defense," he said.
The terror attacks that bin Laden authorized are "not even in the category of forgiveness," so killing him "really is in a category that, for 99.9% of Americans, would be beyond question ... the right thing."
I suppose that for a pagan, Yeshua's teachings about love and forgiveness and letting yourself be killed rather than killing others is pretty hard to swallow. For Christians, who call themselves by the name of Christ (Messiah), and who are supposed to follow Him and live by His example, Yeshua's teachings should be the most relevant words in the universe. When a Christian pastor and spiritual advisor to President Obama dismisses Yeshua's words as "much [less] relevant," it clearly demonstrates how low the state of Christianity has sunk in our nation.
Let's continue with our survey of quotes from this morning's news. Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, past and future U.S. presidential contender, ordained Southern Baptist minister, and outspoken Christian, declared:
"It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead. The leader of Al Qaeda — responsible for the deaths of 3000 innocent citizens on September 11, 2001, and whose maniacal hate is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US servicemen and women was killed by U.S. military. President Obama confirmed the announcement late last night. DNA tests confirmed his death and his body is in the possession of the U.S.What does "welcome to hell" mean? Is Huckabee down there in hell, welcoming Bin Laden? Isn't he just what we need — a "Christian" president, trying his damnest to send all of America's "enemies" to hell?! Mr. Huckabee would do well to pause and ponder Yeshua's words:
"It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless in tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens."
When Yeshua's disciples James and John saw [that He was not accepted by the Samaritans], they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" But Yeshua turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what spirit you are of. For I did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." (Luke 9:54-55)
Let's move on to yet another man who reveals his tender heart for the lost, Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C.:
"I DO mourn death — the widespread death that Bin Laden's life created. Today we MUST celebrate the sacrifice and victory of our troops.Tim Stevens, a pastor at Granger Community Church in Indiana, wrote:
"I unapologetically celebrate multitudes of people who will have an opportunity to live because of this man's death. That is good — THAT is victory.
"The thousands of people who Bin Laden sent into a Christless eternity and forced to endure hell on earth receive all my sympathy.
"Psalm 9:19-20 states 'Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal.'"
"Some suggest we should feel guilty being happy about this, but I don't."Other non-pastor Christians resonded to Bin Laden's death with these words:
"I for one am glad this demon is dead. One less evil in the world. Here's a point: the Pagan nations dwelling in Canaan were made in God's image too. God told his people to wipe them out. Because given the chance they would have destroyed God's people. And Osama knew the truth about Jesus too. He didn't acknowledge him and God turned him over to a reprobate mind. I'm sure Osama is exactly where he is supposed to be this morning."
"Christians should rejoice when justice is done. This was an act of social and public justice. Therefore, Christians should rejoice at the death of Osama bin Laden. And we should rejoice in the fact that President Obama was willing to employ a unilateral, preemptive military strike to kill him. Well done, Mr. President."
"Osama bin Laden chose to reject Jesus Christ while he lived. Instead, he chose terrorism as a way of life. Therefore, he gets exactly what he deserves, i.e. eternal death in hell forever. That is the truth taught in the Bible."Bob Gibson, a retired New York police officer, said the news of bin Laden's death gave him a sense of "closure."
I never thought this night would come, that we would capture or kill bin Laden. Thank the Lord he has been eliminated."Others, like Jack Lynch, who lost his son, New York City firefighter Michael Francis Lynch, on Sept. 11, 2001, took a more reasonable view:
"The first thought I had in my mind was that it didn't bring my son back. I understand that bin Laden was an evil person. He may have believed in what he was doing. I'm not going to judge him. I'm sure some people will look at this and they'll be gratified that he's dead, but me personally, I'm going to leave his fate in God's hands."myth of America being a Christian nation. And let the true followers of Yeshua the crucified reject this patriotic nonsense of rejoicing in American military violence. Let us follow Yeshua in deed by giving our lives for the lost, and for our enemies, rather than killing them — it's always more Christ-like to be killed than to kill. This powerful and provocative photo to the right by Michael Belk — called The Second Mile — expresses the same concept, but without words.
A common thread you can see in many of these quotes is that they justify their idea that God approves of, and rejoices in, the killing of Bin Laden by quoting Scriptures from the Old Testament. This would be acceptable if all we had was the Old Testament. But for Christians, the New Testament supercedes, explains and clarifies the Old Testament. I wrote a detailed article on this subject about a year ago called The Old and the New.
In just one small example of the many times the New Testament itself addresses this issue, the Apostle John wrote, "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). But even in the Old Testament, God makes His nature clear, as in the verses I quoted from Ezekiel at the beginning of this article, where He declares twice that He takes NO pleasure in the death of the wicked.
On my Your Islamic Future Web site, I have written extensively about the issue of Christianity and violence. Some of the articles include:
"If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any should perish" (Matthew 18:12-14).And in the Old Testament, we also see into God's heart:
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:16-17).
"God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change" (2 Peter 3:8-9).
"As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yahweh, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live" (Ezekiel 33:11).God is NOT rejoicing over Bin Laden's demise — He is weeping over the death of the wicked, and His heart is broken over the violence done to Bin Laden by the hands of a so-called "Christian" nation.
"Yahweh observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So Yahweh was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart. God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt" (Genesis 6:5,6,11,12)
This article is 11th a series of articles on this Web site related to Modern Christianity and the Church which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
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