We are an Army of Salvation.
An Army of Holiness.
An Army of Hope.
An Army of Compassion.
But do we shoot our wounded?
Those who have worked on the front lines…
Those who have fallen…
Those who have broken ranks…sometimes..
This is probably an uncomfortable topic. This is most likely similar to picking a scab…but I think we should.
Years ago, and in some places still today farmers will treat the wounded horse if they can. Many will send for veterinarians. Most will find means to help the wounded animal…but every now and then there are just some wounds that won’t heal. Every now and then a break in the horse’s leg is irreparable. Sometimes this is done out of compassion. Other times because the animal is now more of a liability than an asset it is shot and killed. There are far better solutions. I am not a hippologist or an equestrian by any means, but it seems to me that others have found ways to save these animals. Some have sent these wounded horses “out to pasture” to become therapy horses or they are donated to petting zoos or camps. Most of the time there is a way to save these animals besides shooting the wounded.
Dear Salvation Army, are we seeking out ways to save the wounded, the weary, the broken, the ones in need of reconciliation and spiritual saving? Or…are we shooting the wounded?
Can an Officer or Local Officer Admit To Sin & Temptation?
It almost seems like a “hush, hush” type of topic. “Well we don’t talk about sin in the corps and in our leadership”, one might utter under their breath grimacing as they do. “We can’t admit we too struggle with this sin. We can’t let anyone know.” Why is this such a touchy subject? Why can’t we all admit that we are still sinners saved by grace? I must be careful here because I do not wish to imply that we just go on sinning, but we can be redeemed and given the power to overcome…but why are we hesitant, why do we pretend and hide these things from each other? Are we not to keep each other accountable? Are we not to be vulnerable before each, those in whom we can trust? Ah, I think this is the crux of the situation…because there are still many within our Army that shoot the wounded.
Changing Our Focus
All too often we focus so much on the mission and saving the lost that we neglect the solider. I do not intend this to mean that we cater and prop up and pamper, but when all of our energies are focused outwardly into the world we possibly run the risk of weakening our ranks. There must be edification, concentration and preparation of spiritual care given to our soldiery or our Army. We cannot allow temptation to take hold where we are able to prevent such a decay to occur in the first place. There must be pastoral care given to both Officer and Soldier. It must be intentional. It must be emphasized. It is brother helping brother, sister helping sister as we fight shoulder to shoulder. When one of our brothers or sisters slips and falls we must help to pick them up, we must help to carry them not shoot them! We must lovingly restore them! (Galatians 6:1)
Is There A Sin That Is “Shootable”?
Yes there ought to be consequences to sin. Immoral behavior, which includes slander, and gluttony (Thank you General Cox), must be dealt with and addressed. In so doing, can we still restore a dear soldier or officer within our ranks? In the past such situations were dealt with harshly and people were turned out of our army with nothing. I am thankful in some circles who have seen the error of this response and have begun to deal justly but with compassion and grace.
What happens to one who is “tossed out” or thrown out? Is there some measure of a restoration plan in place or are the Army’s hands washed and done with such an individual? Is there any sin that is shootable?
Grace & Compassion
Grace, which Christ bestowed upon us has to be evident in how we deal with others. Grace and compassion is beyond our human grasp and yet the Holy Spirit can and will provide this to us when we love instead of shoot those who are wounded. Do you remember the parable of the unmerciful servant? He was forgiven by the master a sizable debt and then he goes and attempts to viciously extract the debts that were owed to him. When the master found out that unmerciful servant was punished. I do not want to be an unmerciful soldier and officer of this army. We cannot operate solely within a mind set of stiffness, legalities and policies and procedures…where does grace and compassion fit into this?
Shoot? I sure hope not.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.“
Dear Salvation Army, we are so outspoken about the need for more soldiers and officers, could it be that impart we have already shot some of our wounded who could have facilitated some of our need? We do need more able bodies on the front lines, but do not forget about those who are wounded and are in need of loving restoration when this is possible. God’s grace still outshines the grace that is evident in our Army today.
-Just something more for our Army world to ponder today.
Lord, you grace is enough!
Come Lord Jesus fall afresh on us again!