Leaders Respond to Bin Laden Death

The Sunday-night announcement by President Barack Obama that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals in a top-secret operation led to a flurry of comments, scripture quotations and even celebration from pastors and church leaders on Twitter, Facebook and blogs—some even correcting one another for their perspectives on the momentous occasion.

Rick Warren tweeted, quoting Proverbs 21:15, "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."

Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, praised the military's actions: "If anyone ever deserved the forfeiture of his life for crimes against humanity, it was Osama bin Laden."

North Carolina pastor Steven Furtick tweeted, "I unapologetically celebrate multitudes of people who will have an opportunity to live b/c of this man's death. That is good—THAT is victory."

Author and church leader Brian McClaren was a bit more subdued, expressing in a blog post concern over the glee of celebrants surrounding the White House drinking beer and waving American flags late Sunday night: "Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?"

On Monday, the implications of bin Laden's death moved beyond the blogosphere as the U.S. State Department issued an alert warning American citizens traveling and living abroad of the increased potential for anti-American violence. This was a move that will have obvious implications for missionaries and aid workers serving in Muslim countries, as well as Muslim-background believers often targeted for anti-Christian violence. {jcomments on}

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