I was surprised when I read that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, died this week. No doubt you've heard. His death was front page news. Maybe it was because I thought he was invincible. I did think he was crazy, but I didn't expect him to die. He loved what he did, and I loved that about him.
I hadn't seen his show in several years and don't call myself a big fan (although I gave out Crocodile Hunter valentine cards in high school), but I was really sad when I read the news. Death is permanent and that makes it sad, but I was also sad because I doubted whether he was saved. Because of his intense naturalism and naturalistic explanations of the world, I expected that he was an atheist or agnostic but hoped that he was a Christian.
Yesterday, I saw a program titled, “Confessions of the Crocodile Hunter.” I sat down with a couple of other students to see what he said about himself and his life. While they talked about a controversial event involving his baby son and a crocodile, Irwin talked about having Buddhist nuns bless his newborn son.
“See, that's proof enough for me,” the man to my right said. “That shows me he wasn't saved.” He proudly quoted, 'You will know them by their fruit.'
I got angry when I heard this man speak arrogantly about Irwin's beliefs and death. I agree that it sounds like he didn't know or follow Jesus. I agree that the destiny of everyone dying outside of Jesus is hell, but I hate that and wish it were different. I wasn't filled with pride or satisfaction.
I'm sad that the Crocodile Hunter died. I'm sad that he's probably in hell. I'm sad that some Christians feel vindicated by Irwin's destiny.