Friendly Fire – Not so Friendly

Galatians 5:13-15 (14)

    The news reports flooded into the United States.  Pat Tillman the safety for the Arizona Cardinals who turned down a 3.6 million dollar contract in order to join the army following 9/11 made us proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  According to initial reports, this Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004 as he charged the enemy, saving the rest of his platoon.  In honor of his  heroism, Arizona Senator John McCain presented the Silver Star for Combat Valor and the Purple Heart to Tillman’s family.   

Then other news stories began to surface.  Our hero, Pat Tillman was not killed by enemy fire after all.  Instead there was a mine explosion that was mistaken for mortar attack.  Another group of Army Rangers saw Tillman and the four Afghan fighters who were in his group and thought they were the enemy.  When the smoke cleared, Tillman lay dead.  Three other American soldiers were wounded as well.  There were no enemy forces in the area.  He was killed by “friendly fire.”

Unfortunately friendly fire is too common among Christians.  Paul addressed this problem when he said that just because some Christians are not bound by the traditions of the elders, and the interpretation of the law that is specific to their congregation they should not feel free to condemn or criticize those who are still in this spiritual bondage.  Rather, the love of Christ should always be expressed by those who serve Him.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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