The past few days have been filled with commentary on the killing of Usama Bin Laden, the terrorist behind the 9/11 attack on the US. Was the killing just or unjust? Should Christians rejoice in the killing of man who was filled with such violence and hatred?
Tonight I heard an interview with Edward Beck, a Catholic Priest and "religious" contributor to various news outlets. Beck indicated his frustration with the rejoicing and jubilation over the death of Bin Laden. Beck also continued, "killing one man (bin laden) is not justice. If you want justice then you would have to kill 3000." Beck was insinuating that for those who feel justice has been served by Bin Laden's death, there would need to be a one to one killing that had to take place.
Beck's whole argument was based on his misunderstanding of the justice of God. He seemingly has no concept or understanding of God's justice and blurs the lines for those who hear him. Beck indicated that a Christian should never condone killing and that as Christians, we are called to "love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us."
Although Beck is correct in his statement, he is way off in his understanding. Christ command to love and pray does not negate the penalty of sin and God's establishment of governmental authority to bring justice (Romans 13). God established the penalty for taking a human life in Genesis 9:5-6 and contrary to what many would want to believe, Christ did not undo this call for justice. Christ established His church and commanded that they be submissive to governmental authorities and the apostle Paul reiterated this in Romans 13. Our governments have been given the authority to wield the sword for our own protection and benefit.
I would agree with Beck that we should not rejoice of the destruction of a man, but we must not neglect rejoicing in the justice of God being fulfilled. Dr. John Piper wrote an excellent piece on this on the Desiring God blog (click here).
As Christians we do not rejoice in the destruction of the wicked, but we do rejoice in the satisfaction and justice of God.