Imagine if you will, the following scenario:
A shepherd guarding his sheep observes a wolf among the flock cloaked in sheepskin. He stands up and yells “Wolf! Wolf! Run! Run!” And immediately the sheep begin to scatter, but not all. A small group turn to the sheep dog and, with an arrogant smirk plastered across their faces, respond, “But did you pray for the wolf?”
Bewildered as to why these sheep were ignoring his warning, the shepherd reiterates the danger of the wolf’s presence with an even more impassioned plea for the sheep to escape the impending doom that’s about to befall them. However, they stand firm and go back to their grazing on the plush green grass beneath their feet.
Mumblings of,”Who is he to judge?” and, “As for me I’ll be praying for the wolf” can be heard among them as they reassure themselves of their peace and safety while the wolf takes them out one by one until there are none left.
There are many one-liners regurgitated by ‘wolf defenders’ designed to silence those who would try to warn the flock. If you’ve ever exercised your discernment regarding a false prophet, there’s no doubt you’ve encountered the all famous “judge not” defense ripped and twisted from its context.
However, there’s another less popular but equally insidious argument used by wolf defenders that’s designed to put shepherds, sheep dogs, and watchmen on the defense. The diversionary tactic I speak of is “Are you praying for _________?”
This trite platitude is usually employed in the context that we’re not supposed to expose the wolves but only pray for them, and if we have not prayed for them then we are somehow committing a greater wickedness than the wolves themselves if we dare criticize them (woe to those who call evil good and good evil).
This often-used excuse to avoid defending truth and to–conversely–help further the advance of those devouring the flock got me wondering; are we supposed to pray for the wolves?
First of all I want to say up front that I do not believe praying for a wolf is wrong, a sin, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t do it. Furthermore, this post is not intended to discourage you from doing so, but only to raise the question are we supposed to pray for the wolves?
I would also like to preface this thesis by clarifying that when I speak of wolves in this post, I am not referring to the rank and file who have fallen under the spell of their leaders, but the leaders themselves (Think: Helen Ukbato, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et al).
With that said, allow me to present some thoughts on this matter.