Monday, May 02, 2011

Feeling like a freak

It's days like this where I feel totally out of step with the world. While throngs of people are celebrating and partying in the streets, I am weighted by sadness.

I'm sure you know I am talking about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I saw it on Facebook just before I went to bed last night, and was bombarded again this morning with status updates almost all entirely praising the people who killed him. What a military we have - it only took us 10 years to find 1 man. Fortunately I have not even had the tv on so I've been able to avoid a lot of the carnage.

You know, here's the thing... I just don't understand how people who believe in some form or concept of hell can be so elated over the possibility that another human being might have just been eternally condemned there. I keep going to my sidebar and reading Ezekial 33:11: "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in his conversion, that he may be saved."

And, I know... I understand the concept of 'just war' principles and all that. And I am willing to accept - even as a pacificist - that this was a matter of justice being served. I don't agree with it, but I can understand that logic and reasoning. But there is a fine line - and a big difference - between justice and revenge.

What makes me so sad, and a little bit embarrassed, is not really even the fact that Bin Laden was killed in the line of duty (even though I personally do not feel killing is ever justified); and it's not even the ecstatic response of un-believers that bothers me... What I find sickening is the celebratory response of the Christian community to the death of another human being.

I just don't know what we do with Bible passages like Luke 6:27-28...
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Jesus said this, by the way).

Or Romans 12:17-21...
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Or at least Proverbs 24:17...
Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice...

I don't know... I just hate it when I feel like such an oddball. I don't want to be a party pooper, but... geez, I honestly just don't see this as a celebratory moment. I mean, does this mean the war is going to end? Does this mean there will be no more terrorist attacks anywhere? Does this mean evil has been wiped out? Will this bring back any of the people he is responsible for killing? I don't think so. Another man has been killed. At most, justice has been served. But if we believe OBL was as evil as he probably was, and if we think that means he is condemned to spend eternity in hell (whatever that means)... do we really think Jesus is throwing a party and dancing in the streets? Do we think he WANTS people to go to hell? I hope not.

I know, I am a freak. That's why I haven't put anything on Facebook. I'm probably a coward too. Such is life. Just another day of feeling like a weirdo that doesn't fit in. Meh...

Peace out, my friends; and in.

10 comments:

Tom said...

I don't understand the celebration either. Even if someone felt that it was something that had to be done I don't know why it would be celebrated. I want to believe that even those soldiers who are trained to kill still have respect for human life enough that they find what they do sobering.

However, to be fair, I also don't know what it is that causes people to feel euphoria over it. It is quick to say they shouldn't feel that way but I haven't asked them about it or heard their story about it either. I know that there are some who have carried a heavy burden about this because they were directly impacted on 9/11. I don't want to say I understand what they have gone through because I really don't. And I think I need to be careful not to misinterpret their emotions on this either. Sometimes these events cause emotions to bubble to the surface in strange ways.

dan horwedel said...

Yeah, I didn't mean for this to sound judgmental or like I am 'holier-than-thou.' I know other people feel differently about things, and that doesn't make them wrong (and me right). I was just sharing what I'm feeling.

Anonymous said...

I'm a freak with you today...


Lance

Jim said...

Ditto.

-Jim

Linda said...

I am disturbed that Americans and Christians are celebrating this event. It makes me sad that the lie is being so widely perpetuated, particularly to grieving families, that the death of Osama accomplishes justice. Justice and healing cannot be found in the death of an enemy, only in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We, as Christians, should know this. It is our message.

dan horwedel said...

Well said.

Jim said...

Then we're freaks together, Dan. Thanks for writing this - you put some things I've been thinking into better words than I would have.

On a Facebook thread (of another pastor) someone posted in part:

‎"Should Evil be confronted and dealt with, absolutely..."

My response was that I have been pondering that sentiment for the past day. The thing is, I can think of no passage in the NT that has HUMANS dealing with evil in a "warfare" kind of manner. I always read it as that is *God's* job, not man's.

Finally, per Tom's point, I've read some of the most subdued, rational, well-thought responses from people who WERE impacted by 9/11. The ones who are rejoicing seem (to me) to be ones who have no real skin in the game, other than a knee-jerk "USA is the best team EVAR!" sorta tribalism. Judgmental, I know.

Joan B. said...

Count me with the freaks.

JAH said...

Reading through comments here makes me realize that being counted in with the freaks puts one in good company.

patti said...

You know I, too, was thinking of the passage from Ezekial.