I saw this news and I thought it was too good to ignore and not use as an apologetics sermon illustration.
Point: As Van Til and Greg Bahnsen points out, sin is by nature irrational. There are people out there who think that they can be an enemy of God and yet expect God to reward them whether in this life, or even in the afterlife with eternal life. Yet the irrationality of it is ironic. It’s as ironic as…
Taliban commander turns self in… for reward on ‘Wanted’ posterBy Kevin Sieff
Sometimes, capturing a Taliban commander requires vast resources and complex operations. Last week in eastern Afghanistan, it required neither.
Mohammad Ashan, a mid-level Taliban commander in Paktika province, strolled toward a police checkpoint in the district of Sar Howza with a wanted poster bearing his own face. He demanded the finder’s fee referenced on the poster: $100.
Afghan officials, perplexed by the man’s misguided motives, arrested him on the spot. Ashan is suspected of plotting at least two attacks on Afghan security forces. His misdeeds prompted officials to plaster the district with hundreds of so-called “Be on the Lookout” posters emblazoned with his name and likeness.
When U.S. troops went to confirm that Ashan had in fact come forward to claim the finder’s fee, they were initially incredulous.
“We asked him, ‘Is this you?’ Mohammad Ashan answered with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, ‘Yes, yes, that’s me! Can I get my award now?’” recalled SPC Matthew Baker.
A biometric scan confirmed that the man in Afghan custody was the insurgent they had been looking for.
“This guy is the Taliban equivalent of the ‘Home Alone” burglars,” one U.S. official said.
Wanted posters are often distributed by NATO forces, but rarely have such a direct impact on the apprehension of an insurgent. In restive Paktika province, civilians are typically afraid to pass on intelligence that might lead to an arrest. And insurgents tend to shy away from the urban centers where they’re being hunted, particularly while carrying evidence of their own transgressions.
Source: WASHINGTON POST
POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
OPPONENT: I believe God should bless me….<INSERT HERE: (e.g., in my life, by going to heaven, etc)>
CHRISTIAN: Okay, but remember that it’s not rational for God to be obligated to bless His enemies. Do you think you are an enemy of God?
<If there was a previous apologetics dialogue where the opponent attack Christianity, cite this as an example of the opponent being at war against God>
<Or show the person’s sin and enmity against God by the Law, Way of the Master, Roman’s Road, etc>
CHRISTIAN: If you are an enemy of God, you do not have any rational basis to demand God having to bless you. In fact, that reminds me of a newstory I read <SHARE THE ILLUSTRATION>. Would you not say that the Taliban man is wanted as an enemy against the US and current Afghan government?
OPPONENT: Of course!
CHRISTIAN: In some sense, we in our sins are like that Taliban! We plan in our minds attacks against God, we even carry it out in our behavior. Then not understanding the penalty against us, we mistaken a penalty for a reward! Perhaps we might have of have even read His Word out of context, with our greed our self-righteousness making us think it teaches us being rewarded when there’s a penalty. We need Jesus all the more as a Savior from our selfish sinful deception.