Dear Salvation Army, Do We Shoot Our Wounded?

blood and fire

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?

Punish? Yes.
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.
(Romans 3:23-24)

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!

8 thoughts on “Dear Salvation Army, Do We Shoot Our Wounded?

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    1. You know I was not only shot and wounded. No one in any form of leadership even prayed for me before they shot nor after. You know I was held to officers standards and rules and then not even given the chance to appeal like real “Officers” . I dare to say I am and was a nut for The Lord . If there is no change to this unbelievable cruel and Middle Ages approach the Army is close to being condemned . Again, I was not only shot by the organization I gave 25 years of devoted service on the front lines. Not one write up. However because of my unique maverick cowboyish style. People were looking for ways to shoot . We have leadership that is just trying to get to retirement. You are correct each sin should be equal. We have power mad rageaholics. We have people that look at pornography then shoot people that get caught. Here is what I would like all to have the guts to respond. What if right now a person came in took your phones your computers and were to hook you up to a lie detector. How many of would come away 100% clean! not 99.5 like dove but totally clean????? Thank God I have a savior that loves me and is the best lawyer in the world.

  1. I want to gently suggest that the principle of raising up my own sin as rationale to accept the sin of others has a dangerous outcome and is erroneous on two fronts. The first is that my life was never given as an atonement for anyone else’s sin. So for me to lift up my own experience as justification for anyone’s sin is inappropriate. On the other hand feelings of empathy should be present and help serve toward the restoration and sanctification of those taken hostage by sin. With this said though feelings, while powerful and real, must not hinder the prescription of scripture. The prescription must be administered but with gentleness and graciousness.
    The second error in using my sinfulness as rationale is that we never get around to the double prescription of dealing with sin that Jesus mentioned. “Take the board out of your own eye” is what we’ve all heard or even said to someone in a moment of confrontation. There exists a notion within the church that saying this is an appropriate shield to the correction of others and a permission to continue on the same sinful course simply because everyone has a sin issue. The problem with this is that first of all it isn’t scriptural. We are to take the board or of our own eye first, that is true, but we are told to do this so that we can help take the speck out of someone else’s eye in a way that will be in alignment with the will of God and not skewed by our own blinding sin. When this passage of scripture is looked at this way, two people are moving toward holiness and are being sanctified. This also fits the prescription given in James about confession to one another and healing.
    James 5:16 NIV

    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
    Matthew 7:3-5 NIV

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    In both of these passages sin is acknowledged but it is dealt with, not left alone or rationalized. In fact, the opposite is true. We are called to check or own condition and are expected to correct it rather than lift it up for someone else’s excuse or as a reason to ignore the speck. A small speck in the eye will eventually cause great damage. If we truly have empathy for one another it should be primarily in this truth: a small speck can lead to blindness and blindness can lead to death.
    Finally the passage from first John comes to mind.
    1 John 1:9 NIV

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

    “But if I confess I’ll be shot ”
    That may be true, in fact it likely is and those that do the shooting will stand accountable before God someday.
    In first John it says that he ( God) is faithful and just.
    We can trust Him
    He is good.
    He will forgive.
    He will cleanse
    He will purify.
    When we confess.
    So the danger in this is not that we’ll be shot. The danger is that if we don’t follow biblical prescription that we could remain in the bondage of sin. The danger is that sin could grow into something worse and perhaps become the sin that leads to death. And the danger in raising up our own sin to rationalize or justify the sin of others is that now there are two people in danger of hell.

    1. Oh I will agree with you on this. We cannot allow sin to remain unconfessed or dealt with. However there are also cases where leadership in whatever layer has dealt far too harshly with those who have fallen. Sometimes the “lovely restore them” has become “go on and don’t come back” which is the specific kind of “shooting” I am talking about. I’m sorry if I didn’t clarify that. I wholeheartedly agree with your points! Thanks for great comment!

  2. I think some keys to all of this are communication, honesty and grace. Another great blog that many of us can personally identify with and if we have not yet seen the wounded shoot then it is only because we are new to the church or body of Christ.

    We all know that rather than friendly fire we are coming to a day when the only shooting that will take place is by the enemy and not christian brother/sister against christian sister/brother.

    I can handle seeing a non-believer against a believer but it hurts me so bad to see unjust persecution to each other in the family.

    Completely agree with your post and you addressed this issue with grace and provided a solution to how to handle the wounded.
    Thank you so much.

  3. THIS was the post i was looking for and i put a link to it in one of my comment sections:

    Because i read this a while back and The Holy Spirit has often helped me see what Jesus sees.

    HE tied into me with the help of your blog posts,
    “The lil’ boy David didn’t agree with those in the same Army he was in but didn’t use his sling shot against them. He only hurled that stone toward the real enemy. Remember who the real enemy is and bring to heart the battle is the Lord’s, not ours.”
    and to remember who the real enemy is. not flesh and blood, not the capitol, not each other, not d.h.q., t.h.q. m.t.v…. We are in the reality of a war that is so similar to “The Hunger” games i am blown away by the whole allegory.

    Thank you for your blog and your faithfulness to posting what Christ is saying to your heart, ALL GLORY TO GOD.

      1. I truly appreciate your brotherly encouragement. Please contact me on FB as well, i’d love to follow the Lord’s leading in your life and share in His family with you.

        I know you are a Salvationist but no indication of if you are currently an officer, male or female or other information on who you are as a family member with me in Christ.

        If you wish to keep your blog anonymous i respect that too but if you want to connect with me a little more personally i would love it.
        My FB is:

        Please know, regardless, I am lifting you and your Blog/Ministry up before the Lord regularly.

        THANK YOU SO MUCH for what you’re doing in Him, i caught you in the act of loving Him and give Him Glory. ~tom

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