Sandals and Osama Bin Laden

I’m not sure if I learn something new everyday.  What I mean is that I am not always consciously aware of what I learn in a particular day.  But I have learned a few things about myself recently.  Especially when it comes to people who wear sandals.

Here they are with the help of a few if/then statements.

1.  If you wear sandals, then I will look at your feet.  It’s going to happen.  This isn’t because I have a foot fetish or anything; I actually think feet are pretty disgusting.  I’m really not sure why I do this.  Maybe it’s because when a person wears sandals they are essentially saying, “Hey–Look at my feet!  LOOKATTHEM!!!!” 

2.  If you wear sandals and your toes are painted a bright  color, then I will comment on them.  It won’t be a rude comment, but there will be a comment.  Unless the color is so bright that they cause my eyeballs to fall out.  If that happens, all bets are off.  You know–after I quit screaming about my eyeballs falling out.

3.  If you wear sandals when it is cold and then complain about how cold you are, then I will openly question your intelligence.  I apologize in advance.  If it is cold enough for jackets and toboggans, then it is cold enough for YOU TO PUT SOCKS ON!  (See what I did there–a bonus if/then statement.  You’re welcome.)

4.  If you wear sandals and have hairy toes and/or ugly toenails, then I will feel better about myself and possibly wear sandals the next day.  And I will blame you if anyone sees my feet and vomits.

While these if/then statements are about something a little silly, there is a far more serious if/then statement that has been on my mind the past 24 hours or so.

If God creates a person, then that person is created in His image.

And God said, let us make man in our image,
after our likeness….
Genesis 1:26

There were two main thoughts that entered my mind upon learning about Osama Bin Laden’s death: I am thankful for  justice and I am sad that someone made in the image of God died without accepting the gift of salvation offered by Him.

Rejoicing in justice is Biblical (Proverbs 11:10); being gleeful about anyone being in Hell is not (2 Peter 3:9). May we be wise enough to discern the difference and express joy in ways that honor God.

If we have been brought from death unto life by the power of the Gospel, then we should refrain from speaking flippantly about Hell and those who go there.

After all, Hell is what we all deserve.

It is only because of God’s grace than any of us ever get anything better.

(What are some other if/then statements that can be made?  What was your initial response to Bin Laden’s death?  Has your initial response changed since then?  Share away!)

57 thoughts on “Sandals and Osama Bin Laden

  1. My initial reaction was anything but Christ-like. “Finally.” “Live by the sword; die by the sword.” “I bet Obama is going to take credit for Osama.” When I stopped to think more clearly, I was saddened that another died without Jesus.

  2. “May we be wise enough to discern the difference and express joy in ways that honor God.”

    Wow, that’s so good man. My initial reaction was a sigh of relief. I’m happy more for those who lost family members and feel some sense of justice in this. I definitely don’t dance on his grave.

    My friend wrote this yesterday:

    “The only death you’ll ever catch me celebrating is that of my blessed Savior and consequently, my own”

    I think that sums it up for me.

  3. My initial response was to make jokes…and I did on Twitter. But after reading some comments like Osama is where he belongs in Hell, I started feeling bad about it. I think you put it very well!

  4. If you mention Osama Bin Laden … Then I will feel compelled to mention my post from yesterday.

    But I won’t. 😉

    Also, if you wear sandals … then I will definitely not comment on your feet. Ever.

    • Finally able to look at it–thanks for sharing your heart and for taking the words of Jesus seriously.

      As for not commenting on my feet–that’s a good thing. Such things shouldn’t be spoken of 🙂

  5. I found out through a tweet to a post that was praising God that he was dead and they wished other’s would die too.

    It broke my heart that we would react that way,especially when someone is dying a sinners death.

    I rock flip flops all the time by the way.

  6. If I could wear flip flops all year long, I probably would…

    My initial reaction was mixed: on one hand, I was happy. I was joyful that justice was served and progress was made. But on the other hand I was sad (like you) that someone will spend eternity apart from their Maker.

  7. If you play Words With Friends, then you will probably beat me (alise.wright – always up for a game!).

    My initial response was really, really inappropriate (I love Matt Stone & Trey Parker and Team America SCREAMED into my mind as soon as I heard). And honestly, I don’t feel that sad about his death, since he was a pretty frakkin evil guy. But I’m sad any time anyone dies without knowing Christ.

    My primary shift in reaction was to irritation at people who seemed to be pretty flippant to almost gleeful about him being in hell. When your message (general you, not YOU) is that anyone who dies without Christ is going to hell and then you act like you’re not all that sad to see that happen, that sends a really, really horrific message. And when it comes right on the heels of Easter, it’s magnified a million times. THAT I’m not okay with.

    And if we meet when it’s even close to a nice day, I will be wearing sandals and I will have brightly painted toenails. So get a good comment ready. ;-D

    • I will begin compiling a list of brightly colored nail comments after typing this reply 🙂

      The flippant/gleeful comments are what I was seeing/hearing more of yesterday than anything. And it caused me to flinch each time. Thankfully there were some trying to take a more thoughtful approach. Sadly, many were ridiculed or misunderstood.

      I’ve never played Words With Friends—maybe I will start. Sounds like good, clean, nerdy fun.

  8. Matt, I just wanted to say “thank you” for waiting a day before posting this.

    As the son of two veterans, with family in NYC and friends currently serving overseas, I was not ready to hear all the postulating about the “christian” response to OBL’s death yesterday. In fact I got really pissed off. There is a time and place for everything.

    However, today I’ve had time to process the event and really appreciate your perspective. In fact, I might even be capable of having pity on OBL.

    God bless you, Matt.

    • Thanks, KC. I think that I was a lot like you. It took me a while to be able to form coherent thoughts about it. I was really a jumble of emotions as I thought about all those that died during 9/11 and those that have died since then trying to capture Bin Laden. Can’t imagine how those who lost loved ones during the attacks must have felt.

  9. Oddly enough, our family was discussing exactly that this morning. I have the same mixed feelings. Glad there’s one less person in the world that wants to kill us all. Sad there’s one more soul in hell. He finally knows he was wrong, but it’s too late for him to do anything about it. That’s a sad thought.

    It has often struck me, as someone who loves WW2 history, that when the Bible says “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father”, it means that Adolf Hitler will bow before a Jew and acknowledge him King. The same goes for Nero, Mohammed, and all the others that have persecuted and killed Jews and Christians. It applies to all the great founders and leaders of every other religion. Every human being who ever has existed or ever will exist will someday know the Truth and bow the knee to the King of Kings. But only for those who chose Him while yet alive will it be a time of rejoicing.

  10. “Rejoicing in justice is Biblical (Proverbs 11:10); being gleeful about anyone being in Hell is not (2 Peter 3:9). May we be wise enough to discern the difference and express joy in ways that honor God.”

    There’s a lot of wisdom in what you wrote.

    I was actually kind of put off by a lot of Christians’ responses to Osama’s death. Was justice served? I’m not so sure. He wasn’t the only one involved in 9-11. From what I hear, the guy who actually planned the attacks is still alive…and there are threats of another pretty big attack.

    I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least relieved that Osama is dead. At the same time, I’m not going to be out in the streets celebrating it either.

  11. Firstly, I like to wear sandals in the summer…but I try to make sure I give myself a pedicure first, so my heels are smooth and my toes are all polished nicely.

    Secondly, since they announced they buried Bin Laden’s body at sea, I became skeptical…I mean, they “say” they did a DNA test. They “say” it was him. But, they got rid of the body, so where’s the proof? How do we really know it was him who died…

  12. So, we pretty much have the same response…both to Bin Laden (see yesterday’s post) and sandals except I would add that if I ever see sandals being worn with socks and/or pantyhose, it is likely to cause spontaneous vomiting. That’s. just. wrong.

  13. Aw… you called them toboggans. Brings me back to my college days in Tennessee. 🙂 Up here in Canada, you really have to wear sandals in spite of the weather, or you’ll never wear them.
    Once I wore flip flops when it was -45 out. I’m going to recommend not doing that. My skin stuck to my pants. Pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen.

  14. Back on the toboggan issue- Canadians can’t figure out why you would ever call something you put on your head the same name as what you use to slide down a snowy embankment. They always looked at me like I was a moron.

  15. As a New Yorker who was personally affected by the events (I worked in 7 WFC, but was in my honeymoon when the events happened) I am personally glad that justice was done. As a Christian I was disappointed that people were throwing verses out of context to support their position. I am also really disappointed at people’s perspective of God’s love.

    However, what I think disappointed me the most was that the very people who were condemning the hate that his man had for “Christians” and how he was a murderer are the same people that have hate for their brethren, says ‘Raca!’ to him/her and are guilty of (dare I say it?) the same hell fire (said Jesus) as Bin Laden. Yeah, that plank in my eye gets me every time!

    Oh and about the sandals… I hate wearing sandals.

    • Didn’t realize you were so close to being there. Yeah–the amount of vitriol being spewed from professing Christian to professing Christian was disappointing as well. We should be able to disagree with grace.

      Glad your with me on the sandal hating bus!

      • Imagine yourself trying to have fun in the Caribbean when your home is in pieces. Not cool. But to be fair, we missed 9/11 and we also missed the blackout (We were also on vacation in Mexico). So disasters happen when we are not around.

        P.S. I’ll be on vacation in July. Stay home! 🙂

  16. I was happy to hear that he had been “found, caught” but I am very skepetical about his death because matyrs become very dangerous people,
    I am happy for those who found peace and justice in this because 9/11 was horrible…we lost alot of Good American people some so very innocent, I grieve for the firefighters families, and anyone who lost someone that day,
    I am having a hard time understanding why his wives and children were arrested, it was his crime but at the same time I think I do or at least the “older” children who knew right from wrong, but did the wives “help” him in anyway? Or is it their silence that condemned them by being totally complacent?
    I was happy to see maybe the economy picking up a little since the news?
    I felt American Pride when I recieved a text message that shown the American eagle with the flag flowing in the breeze attached lee greenwoods god bless the usa playing….
    Wondering what makes people follow leaders like that? Is it because they truly die for their beliefs because they do believe that strongly? Is it because people need something of that magnitude to believe in and why would they not turn to Jesus, God, and the holy spirit? I just dont understand…I guess you can lead a horse to water but cant make him drink and maybe, there are too few people who are tired of trying and just keep the members they have…I dont know…but these are some thoughts and things to think about….

    • Thanks for commenting. Seems that people may have followed him because they believed strongly that he was right and fighting for a righteous cause. People can become very deluded very easily.

  17. My first though was “YES”. Like others mentioned above I then got to think about another non believer dying without finding Christ.

    I would wear flip flops to work if I could! Love them.

  18. My thoughts exactly, except for the sandal bit. I am a big supporter of sandals or more specifically flip-flops.

    My first reaction was a bit underwhelming. To tell the truth I had forgotten about Osama and had to rediscover what it was that I felt about him before I could react to his death. Lucky (or maybe unlucky) for me, I heard about it from the stream of twitter outburst and I got to read all the emotions I would have inevitably felt from those that I follow. I got to skip to the end result. Yes rejoice in God’s justice, not because he destroyed an evildoer but because he has show and evildoer, me, grace.

  19. I have to admit my mind went sideways on this, got cross-pollinated with CS Lewis’ Emeth character from the last battle, and the result was the post on my blog today.

    Maybe I’m just weird.

  20. A great post, Matt. You have reiterated my thoughts…better than me, I might add.

    “Rejoicing in justice is Biblical (Proverbs 11:10); being gleeful about anyone being in Hell is not (2 Peter 3:9). May we be wise enough to discern the difference and express joy in ways that honor God.”

    My initial thougths and feelings were “satisfied” that Osama had finally been found and stopped, “saddened” that a man had to be killed and face eternity…likely unprepared to do so.

    I wrote about it here today.

    BTW…I love wearing sandals and flip flops…you’ll likely find me in my office in a pair during the warmer months. If we meet while I’m wearing them, however, I’ll do you a favor and sit no my feet.

  21. Good post.
    I would like to give 2 scriptures to support my position: Pro 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him
    (When the disciples wanted to call down fire on those who did not welcome Jesus) Luke 9:55-56 ‎”You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.

    I found this article helpful as well.

    I love flip flops and sandals. They come out of the closet in the spring around 60 degrees and go back just before the first frost.

  22. First of all, I wear flip flops pretty much from the time the weather is warm enough until the cold gets here…it leads to lovely tan lines on my feet. So stare away at my feet I say.

    Secondly, my initial reaction would have been far different 10 years ago than it was on Sunday night. Sunday night I was not celebrating this death. To be honest I’m OK with it, if for no other reason than I don’t believe it could have ended any other way. But in the end, I am saddened by the thought of people rejoicing and celebrating the death (and the violent death at that) of another human.

    Sadly, it has been very unpopular to voice that opinion very loudly. But no, my initial response has not changed in the hours and days since the news broke.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s