Wounding the Shooted
I receive a good bit of undeserved criticism from a good many undiscerning Christians who think it necessary to point out my supposed errors. One of the most common comments is, "Christians are the only soldiers who shoot their own wounded," followed by some petty critique of my most recent post. There are a number of errors they make in this; the first is that somehow I am "shooting" wounded Christians. As far as I know, no one has died or even been seriously wounded by any comments I have made on my web site. More importantly, they miss out on the fact that there are degrees of woundedness. Not everyone is wounded in the same way and as a result, they don't all deserve the same treatment. This week I would like to point out who the "wounded" are.
The first category of "wounded" are the ones who are, according to Ephesians 2:1, dead in their trespasses and sins. These are the people who smoke, drink, dance, go to movies and otherwise live lives of total depravity and wanton debauchery. When we take our "pot shots" at these folks, it is the equivalent of giving a corpse a good swift kick to see if there are any signs of life. If the person responds to the shock to their system, it is evidence that there may be hope. Their wounds may not be permanent and so we share the Good News of the Gospel with them. We reveal to them that they are hell-bent sinners headed for eternal destruction, traveling the wide way that will lead them to everlasting torment in the pits of a devil's hell. We explain that there is no good thing they can do in their fleshly efforts that will cause God to care one little bit for them and that their only hope is to repent of their sins and just maybe God will have mercy on their unworthy souls. Sharing such soul-stirring goodness should be able to stimulate even the most horribly wounded to stagger into the loving arms of our Lord
The Self-Inflicted Wounded
These people are the ones who have been rescued from perdition but are still attracted to it. They sin willfully after one or two admonitions and are unheeding of any further rebukes. They are frequently seen at all sorts of worldly amusements like beaches or restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages or other ungodly pursuits. These people are unworthy of any honor, decency, respect or consideration. These are people who haven't been wounded deeply enough to pay attention to the danger they are in. If anything they should be wounded a little more just to get their attention. The best course of action is to shame them, shun them, and shower them with rebuke. They can't help but benefit from our tender ministrations that emphasize their unwholesome condition. As Proverbs tells us, the deep, painful wounds inflicted by a friend will snap them back to reality. And as far as I'm concerned, the more severe and sooner the better.
The Mortally Wounded
There are some who are mortally wounded. Some wounds are so deep and so devastating that there is no hope of treatment. For these people, the application of our healing, restorative efforts only prolong their suffering, delaying the inevitable. I know this from painful experience. On many occasions I have appeared with the cleansing methiolate of conviction, liberally applied to the gaping wounds of a sin-sick soul, only to have the patient respond to the healing sting like an enraged animal. At first I attributed their beastly reaction to the initial sting of rebuke that would quickly fade as the healing power of guilt suffused their soul. How wrong I was. It turns out that the more liberally I applied the healing salve, the more ungrateful these wounded Christians became. I cannot begin to count the number of mortally wounded Christians I've confronted with condemnation of the unfruitful works of darkness in their lives and seen this patter repeat itself. In these cases, the most merciful thing to do is to put these people out of their misery. I think we could learn from veterinarians who never deign to treat a rabid dog but put it down as soon as they can before it infects anything else.
The Worthy Wounded
These people are the ones, like myself, have been wounded in the service of God. We have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune at the hands of those who are
The greatest irony is that my critics who complain about me shooting our own wounded are the ones lobbing grenades in my direction. If they are so concerned about Christians who are shooting their own wounded, then maybe they need to take their own advice and stop taking shots at me.
The inspiration for this post can be found here.