Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friendly Fire

Friendly fire is inadvertent firing towards one's own or otherwise friendly forces while attempting to engage enemy forces, particularly where this results in injury or death. It is usually caused by the confusion and ‘fog’ of war. Friendly Fire, while a painful and embarrassing event is usually unavoidable and has happened in every war mankind has fought in.

The best known case involved former NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman. The Army initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush on a road outside of the village of Sperah about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Khost, near the Pakistan border. An Afghan militia soldier was killed, and two other Rangers were injured as well.
The Army Special Operations Command initially claimed that there was an exchange with hostile forces. After a lengthy investigation conducted by Brigadier General Gary M. Jones, the U.S. Department of Defense concluded that both the Afghan militia soldier's and Pat Tillman's deaths were due to friendly fire aggravated by the intensity of the firefight.

Friendly Fire exists in the christian realm also. We are in a war against evil and all believers should be on the same side. The bible tells us in Ephesians 4, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” The sad fact is many christians are “killed” by friendly fire” from those that should be fighting along side of them.

In Mark 9:38, the following story is related. ““Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” A few facts need to be presented here;
# The disciples themselves failed to cast out a demon in verse 17-18
# They has just seen the transfiguration and were full of spiritual pride.

Why were the disciples ready to rebuke those who were fighting evil? Remember, it said they were driving out demons in the name of Jesus (vs 38).

Friendly fire in the church is when ministries, ministers or christians attack one another over petty and things that have nothing to do with our faith. Evil stands on the sideline while christians battle each other over doctrines of baptism, laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, types of dress, music or even versions of the bible.

What causes us to turn on each other? Galatians 5 tells us one reason “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Gossip, slander and what they used to call “poor mouthing” fellow believers leads to this. Warriors are one body, and the soldiers creed says:
I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.
If we placed the mission to overcome and “destroy the works of the devil” first, then we would welcome all allied help we receive. Soldiers on the ground in a firefight will gladly accept any reinforcements, as long as they will fight the common enemy.

Another reason is the ‘fog of war’. This is a state when in a heavy battle, with the noise, smoke and moving lines people panic and fire at noise and movement before verifying their target. A good illustration of this is the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:22

“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.”
and the story of Gideon in Judges 7:20

“The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the .’”men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords

To sum it all up, nobody preaching salvation through Jesus Christ, casting out evil spirits in that same name or healing the sick in His name is against us. When you see a preacher in a denomination you don’t believe in preaching a sermon you don’t agree with from a translation of the bible you don’t think is legitimate, remember they are not your or Christ’s enemy. You and I need them in the battle against sin, secularism and perversion. They are your fellow soldiers, so fire along side of them at the devil, just don’t fire at them! Friendly fire has ran too many christians out of churches and the ministry. If Jesus accepts them, why shouldn’t we?

Jeff Henning
March 2011


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