Christians, Internet and responding to Osama Bin Laden’s death

Now back home after the Baptist Assembly I've been catching up on the news and am struck by the way that Christians are responding to Bin Laden's death at the hands of the US military.

Within a few hours on Monday my Facebook and Twitter feeds had references to Biblical passages, then later in the day the following quote purporting to be by Martin Luther King:

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

It turns out that the quote isn't MLK, or more precisely that the first sentence isn't, but the rest is. Queue a number of Facebook updates. (for details of that what, where and why of the quotation see here )

Then the Ekklesia website posted an article on the 'murder of Osama Bin Laden' here which in turn was countered by Cranmer here and I'm sure that there will be others as well.

What do we learn from this?

1. Christians are as likely to respond emotionally to news stories as anyone else, and use the internet to express this via memes. Whilst factual accuracy is not irrelevant words that capture feeling count for more. (There's a lesson for preaching and preachers here)

2. Christians disagree about what a faithful response to events is but we don't create enough opportunities for people to engage with them. How many churches would conduct a debate round the two blog posts I mentioned, enabling folk to understand the issues and respond to them.

 

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