November 13, 2015
The apparent death of ISIS executioner Jihadi John is an occasion for both rejoicing and mourning.
Such a succinct, challenging, and (I think) very appropriate response to this news story. I especially like your words here:
"Mourning the death of such a wicked person feels wrong when their deeds demand justice."
You're right. It does feel like if we mourn the death of the murderer, somehow we're putting his life on equal footing with those he cruelly took from others. That feels UNJUST to us, as well it should. But it takes the lens of the cross to see that mourning a murderer's death in no way demeans the death of the innocents. Only at Calvary do we see that we're really all equal, all deserving the fate that was meted out upon this terrorist.
Indiscretion would be inappropriate. But mourning death--ANYONE's death--is never inappropriate.
This article makes the excellent, can't-be-said-enough point that these sorts of issues (involving killing and force) are complicated, that, "Rejoicing and mourning are not mutually exclusive; we can rejoice over justice and mourn over death."
Too often, Christians take one side or the other (become overly aggressive hawks or pacifists), or just refuse to deal with it (cloistered Amish who leave international matters to the "English" in order to keep themselves more righteous).
The biblical message is that we should love, but also that there is a time to kill. Especially killing is a tricky thing to do right, to do Biblically (even if saying that is revolting to some). I think this article helps us think well about these difficult issues.
I have found myself in the crosshairs of some of the articles posted reflecting more political ideology than Christianity. Today's message nailrd it by articulating the conflict within since the Paris bombings. As a believer, I am grieved by the carnage, the evil deeds perpetrated by those intent on murdering innocents under the guise of "religion." I never gloat when I see people reaping the consequences of bad decisions. I always have a sense of regret. Regret that they weren't sufficiently evangelicalized or they wouldn't have pursued a belief system yielding pain, oppression and death. Or did they ever hear? Yet the relief was tangible when jihad John was reported dead. Therein lies the conflict - heartbreaking that the Gospel did not penetrate his world. Now it is too late.
Yes. Not just in this situation, but let's say a child's abuser dies -- could we let that child feel some relief? In Reply to Walli Daniel (comment #27635)
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