Some Thoughts on Osama bin Laden’s Death

“…theUnited States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden” -President Obama

I thought I would react to hearing such news in a different way. I thought I would be happy, but I’m not. Sure, Osama was an architect of mass murder that put Manson to shame. Thousands of American troops have been and still are in harms way in response to his actions. I respect the work they do. Thousands have died both military and civilian. I mourn such loss. Was this an act of justice or an act of national vengeance? I tend to think the latter.

So now America rejoices. I get it. I just cannot and will not participate in it. This has solved nothing. Osama reaped what he sowed. Will the violence end with his death? I doubt it. He was considered the head of the snake; destroy the head and terrorism dies. But what if it is a hydra and not a snake? Could this action by America make things worse? Possibly…We just made a martyr.

Now I would like to be a martyr not in the sense of me dying right now for my faith, but rather to be a witness to the living God. Any notion of divine justice must go back to the cross of Christ. Any evil, human or demonic; any suffering, personal or massive must be seen in the light of the cross. The power of satan was defeated at the cross, Jesus Christ exposed the powers that be for what they are, the monstrous system and actions that seek to dehumanize and destroy humanity. This is why I cannot rejoice over Osama’s death. The power that is America was subjected to the cross just as much as Al Quaeda. So as a Christian, where does your loyalty lie?

I hear the reports of chanting in the streets. This is the sound of Empire. America is in a dangerous place and the church in America even more so. Many an American church has co-opted to politics to justify certain political agendas. This has occurred on the Right and the Left. If the church is to be an expression of the Kingdom of God in the earth, she should reflect the values and attitudes of God’s Kingdom. Don’t get me wrong, I love and pray for the American people. I also love and pray for the people of Venezuela,Iran,China,Sudanand so many others. My ultimate allegiance lies with the Kingdom of God. The kingdoms of this world will eventually fade, includingAmerica. When? No one but God knows. In the meantime, I will seek God’s Kingdom and yield to the peaceful and suffering Lord who has called me to it.

May the peace of Christ be with you,

JWR

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Why?

Why ‘Church Blogmatics?’

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is facing some interesting times ahead. Between the charismatic renewal, organic churches and the emerging church the church in Western culture is in transition. ultimately, I believe the church is God’s eternal purpose in the earth. The church is that beautiful bride comprised of brothers and sisters in Christ as a community reflecting the divine holy love of the Trinity. I believe in one holy catholic apostolic church but not as traditionally understood. This shift in understanding leads to the blogmatics aspect.

In light of these changes facing the church, how do we as brothers and sisters in Christ, respond to the ever changing landscape of culture, technology and life in general? How do live by a life not our own? What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ in today’s world? How does one seek the Kingdom of God in the present tense? What is the relation of the church to the world and God’s Kingdom? How should the church relate to the world? These questions, among many others, will frame this dialog. Hopefully a space can be opened to address the Christian faith, in belief and practice, that can hold to dogma without being inflexible. I consider myself somewhat emergent but also somewhat dogmatic. Certain fundamentals of Christian faith I cannot shake, yet I do want to communicate the message of the cross of Christ in terms of today’s culture. So this is the tension I find myself in and I continue to wonder, ‘why?’

Grace and peace,

JWR

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