Sermon Illustrations

Pat Tillman played safety for the Arizona Cardinals for four years and was offered a 3.6 million dollar contract to return in the fall of 2002 when he decided to LEAVE his LUCRATIVE FOOTBALL CAREER to join the ARMY in response to the 9/11 ATTACK on America. He was trained as an Army Ranger, an elite force EQUIPPED for SPECIAL OPERATIONS.

Tillman was sent to Afghanistan to fight in the WAR on TERROR in Operation Freedom. He was killed on April 22, 2004. Reports said that Tillman was killed while charging at the ENEMY up a hill after being fired upon in a mortar attack, allowing the rest of his PLATOON to escape alive. He was awarded the SILVER STAR for Combat Valor and the PURPLE HEART. Arizona Senator John McCain presented the metals to Tillman’s family at a special CEREMONY.

Within weeks of his death, however, other reports began to surface which revealed that Tillman was not KILLED by ENEMY FIRE after all, but by FRIENDLY FIRE. Apparently there was a MINE EXPLOSION that was mistaken for a MORTAR ATTACK. One group of Army Rangers began to FIRE upon Tillman’s GROUP who had mistaken four ALLY AFGHAN FIGHTERS who were with Tillman as being the ENEMY. After the smoke cleared, Pat Tillman was killed along with an Afghan Fighter and three other American soldiers were WOUNDED. There were no ENEMY FORCES around.

Since Operation Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, dozens of American Soldiers have been KILLED by FRIENDLY FIRE. Undoubtedly, nothing HURTS military personnel more than to hear of their own COMRADES being KILLED by their FELLOW SOLDIERS.

Are we also guilty of friendly fire in the church?