Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    The Killing of Bin Laden & Youth Ministry: Are We Asking the Wrong Questions?

    In our rush to judgment as Christians regarding whether the faithful can celebrate the death of an enemy, have we missed the most important issue of all?

    Yes, I know. I'm very late to the game on this whole Bin Laden issue.  That was last week's news, right?  What more could there be to say about it all?  In my latest column at the Patheos interfaith website, I wrestle with that question and wonder if, now that the air has had a little chance to clear, there might be something more important to talk about than whether or not it's okay for the faithful to cheer on the murder of an evildoer:

    This week I invited the youth in my church to respond to this debate. I was pleasantly surprised to find that none of them were eager to charge up the hill of faith with either the banner of pacifist peace or the banner of righteous judgment. Instead they clearly felt the whole situation was too complex for quick and easy answers. The questions they offered suggested they were struggling with some ambiguities: Was bin Laden actually still a threat to us or was he just a figurehead? And if it was he was just a figurehead, were we justified in assassinating him? Did killing him actually solve anything? What might the other side do now in retaliation? Can our government get in trouble for murdering a foreign citizen? What happens next in this seemingly unending war on terror? 
    You can read the rest of the column here and share your thoughts on what I think the real issue is at hand for Christians (and Christian teens) in this debate. We'd also welcome your responses to this post from awhile back in which we take a look at how often youth ministries use the lure of violence to attract teens.