Osama bin Laden is dead. The world is celebrating?
Let me start by saying that, as the wife of someone who lost his grandmother in the 9/11 attacks, I know full well the devastation this man has caused. He did many evil things and was responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. Our society tells us that he most certainly deserves a torturous death. Our Americanism tells us “justice has been served.”
But I have to ask, since when are we, as Christians, supposed to conform to the world around us? Our Jesus taught us another way. He taught us to turn the other cheek and to love our enemies. Why is it that we can preach this in such shallow contexts, but when it comes to something that challenges our country, we get lost in our patriotism? I am afraid far too many Christians were praying for Bin Laden’s death instead of his salvation. Didn’t Jesus love Osama bin Laden? Didn’t Jesus die on the cross for him, too? If we don’t believe that God is big enough to save even the most heinous evildoers, then what’s the point? We should be lamenting the likely possibility that bin Laden did not choose the love Christ had for him.
This is a blog about immigration. So are you ready for the connection? Here it comes….
We are Christians first. We are to adhere to the life God has called us to rather than giving in to our human flesh. Our human flesh is to protect our own, look out for ourselves, and stand against anyone who challenges our comfort. I am afraid this is the biggest stumbling block for Christians when it comes to embracing Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Simply put, people are scared.
Perhaps what we should really fear is the meaningless and self-absorbed life that happens when we lose sight of the revolutionary way God has called us to love and live. As someone who has been trying to love the “enemies” of so many Americans for a few years now, I know I would not be the person I am without these relationships. God has used my feeble attempts to love my neighbors as myself to draw me deeper into His purpose. I am so thankful for this because I have seen a small glimpse of God’s Kingdom on earth. It has helped me to hope for a better way that I so desperately want everyone to see. What if we surpassed fear, ignorance, slander and mass-hysteria for the depth that comes with true faith? What if we looked at our so-called enemies as Christ does?
Maybe I am idealistic—I think I am okay with that—but I am pretty confident that if we, as the Church, loved as Christ did, we would treat the “strangers among us” very differently. I also think we would not celebrate the death of someone who most likely will spend his eternity separated from God.
Bethany Anderson is a Christ follower, wife, foster mom, activist, and neighbor and is blessed to be all of these things in the context of her Christ community and a non-profit organization, called Solidarity (www.solidarityrising.org). Bethany dreams of loving children who are hurting, traveling to every corner of the world, the Church actually being the Church, and seeing people truly fall in love with Jesus Christ. You can read more about her journey towards depth with Christ and unity with her neighbors at www.whyifight.com, where this blog originally appeared.
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