16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
What's up here? What is that super-sin that is beyond help?
John's being coy here, unless there is something that the readers of the day would know that I don't. Dissing the Holy Spirit is the leader in the clubhouse.
Commentary on this verse doesn't help much, for there are any variety of situations where spiritual triage is needed and some people are beyond help. That brings back a small-group session of over a decade ago where the assistant pastor leading the group discussed that triage idea, that there are some people so immeshed in their sins that they need to hit bottom before they can be reached; the thought was that spending time trying to minister to them while their in this rejectionist phase is fruitless.
That's a hard thought, but there is some logic there; it might give folks a bogus reason to punt on problematic people they are trying to help, but there is a time where pulling the plug might be the best option, especially if you're getting sucked down with them in the processed.