Opinion: How to respond to the death of bin Ladin

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The question “How should we respond to the death of Osama bin Ladin?” has been addressed to Community Bible Fellowship’s elders on numerous occasions. The elders firmly believe that the Scriptures advocate the death penalty for murderers (Genesis 9:5-6; Exodus 21:14). For an in-depth explanation, you can read the topical study “Capital Punishment.”

The killing of a murderer should never be undertaken lightly. The sentence must be based on properly investigated evidence (Deuteronomy 13:14; 17:4; 19:18; Proverbs 25:2; John 7:51) and the testimony of multiple witnesses (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28).

Once it has been determined that a capital crime was committed, no ransom can be paid to remit the consequences. In other words, it does not matter whether you were rich or poor (Numbers 35:31).

You may ask why God instituted capital punishment. We believe it was for the following reasons:

    1.    Payment – retribution (Exodus 21:23-27; Deuteronomy 19:21)

    2.    Prevention – deterrence (Deuteronomy 17:13; 19:20) This finds continued New Covenant support in Acts 5:10-14

    3.    Protection (Exodus 21:28-29, 35-36)

    4.    Purification (Numbers 35:33-34; Deuteronomy 17:12; 19:19)

Therefore we believe that the death of Osama bin Ladin, an internationally known and self-admitted terrorist, is fully justified.

However, we regret the necessity of his death as we would that of any man who was created in the image of God. We certainly do not rejoice in knowing that an eternal soul was blasted into a lost eternity last week.

Proverbs 24:17-18 HCSB  Don't gloat when your enemy falls, and don't let your heart rejoice when he stumbles, (18)  or the LORD will see, be displeased, and turn His wrath away from him.

We are also not sanguine as to the results of this death. We believe that due to the world’s economic, political, and spiritual environment, for every Bin Ladin we kill, three more will step into his shoes. We are further concerned about the retaliation that will come from the millions of deluded Muslims who consider the man a hero.

His death was necessary and biblically justified, but it is certainly no cause for rejoicing.