frank – completely honest

Ok, so I am reaching a bit on the title of this one.  Forgive me, please?

These are simply some honest thoughts that have been on my mind today.

Over the past 18 hours or so (minus the 6 hours or so of sleep that I got) I have witnessed the announcement about Osama bin Laden’s killing and the subsequent media blitz regarding the topic.  As I finished my last post I could not help but connect what I had been reading and thinking about (Heaven/Hell) with current events.

Let me ask you again…What do you believe about Heaven and Hell?  The traditional belief seems to be that Hell is eternal punishment for all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Honestly, I cannot think of many Christians that would disagree with that definition.  I have also heard it described as eternal separation from God.  In which case the next comment is usually something like, ‘Separation from God is eternal punishment.’

When someone leaves this life, those of us that are left behind tend to make a judgment based on what we know about the deceased.  The judgment usually relates to whether or not the deceased was ‘good’ or ‘bad’; ‘saved’ or ‘lost’.  Think about it for a second…How do you respond when someone dies?  Do you make those judgments?  Should you make those judgments?  Can you make that judgment?

Getting specific to the moment, How did you react when you heard that Osama bin Laden had been killed?  Was he a ‘good’ person or a ‘bad’ person?  Is he in Heaven or Hell?  Are you celebrating his death?  I ask because the response I am seeing from many Christians that I am friends with is one of celebration and joy.  As a Christian I am struggling with this response.

Should we really be celebrating the death of a man who, based on what we believe, will spend eternity separated from God?  I know this particular man is accused of many atrocities against the United States and all Americans.  I know that he even claimed ownership of many of these atrocities.  I will agree that this particular man made choices in his life that were not what I would consider Godly choices.  All that being said, as followers of Christ I am not sure we should be celebrating that an individual has died and is possibly destined for an eternity in Hell.  Did that even cross our minds when we heard the news?  Shouldn’t our hearts be broken that this man’s life may have ended without hope?

I hope some of you reading will comment on this one.  Like I said, I am struggling with many of the posts I am seeing on facebook and twitter.  Maybe it is just me, but it is difficult to see God’s love and grace in the comments and images that are being posted.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Michele Arnold says:

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” -Martin Luther King, Jr

  2. Jon Arnold says:

    Jan – thanks for checking in!! No, you are not alone. I would say we have both been blessed with some wonderful mentors in the Gentry/ONeal family.

  3. Jan says:

    I had the exact response, Jon. Although I was glad, in one sense, to see justice served. It saddened me deeply that something God created died. Yes, he did some of the worst evil ever. But does that mean we “rejoice”, “party”, etc? I’ve really struggled with this today.

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one struggling with this today. Hmmmm maybe we come from the same “Gentry/ONeal” gene.. 🙂

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