I enjoy reading your blog. A question arose while I was reading this post. Do you interpret this scripture to mean that kind and gentle men, women, and children of other religions are "wicked"?
First of all, let me say I am really grateful to this person for not immediately bashing me for what I said, and for taking the time to ask this question. To this person I say:
The question you asked may not have the answer you like, but I hope I can answer your question in a way that you feel is respectful. Remember, this is totally my opinion, although I am basing my answer off scripture. I certainly don’t claim to know everything or be correct in everything; I am still learning. If I answer your question and you disagree with the answer I would simply say you will have to do some digging in scripture yourself to come to your own conclusion.
Short answer (and probably unpopular): Yes, kind and gentle men, women, and children of other religions are "wicked".
More explained answer:
Romans 3:23 says that we are all sinners. 1 John 1:8 says that if we say that we aren’t sinners we are deceiving ourselves. Simply by being a sinner we are deemed wicked. When we are born, we are born into sin and wickedness. At some point in our lives we will gain knowledge of God. At that point each individual makes a decision – do you want to acknowledge that you are a sinner, confess those sins to God, turn from them, and begin to live for Him? Or do you continue to believe that you’re not a sinner and therefore make the decision to reject God? To me, this means that atheists and agnostics are wicked in the eyes of God because they have heard of Him and choose not to believe in Him.
John 14:6 has Jesus saying, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” What this means to me is that no one will come to true salvation unless they believe in God and have a relationship with Him. But we can’t do that on our own. We have to believe that Jesus came to earth as God’s son in a human form, that He died on a cross, and by doing so, bore all of our sins on Himself, that He rose from the dead, and then ascended to heaven. Here is the reason that is important – 1 John 4:10 says “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Basically we were not lovers of God. Like I said, we were born sinners. But even while we were sinners and not loving him, he loved us first and sent Jesus to be a sacrifice for us, to bridge the gap between us and God. (You see, back in the old days, B.C., you had to pay for your sins by sacrificing animals to God… it was supposed to make you realize the consequences of your sin. Once Jesus died for all sin, his blood covered everything, so we no longer have to make those physical sacrifices.)
Now the reason that is important is because many religions other than Christianity don’t believe in Jesus, or that Jesus was the Son of God. Certain sects of Mormons believe that Jesus was simply a prophet. A Christian Scientist doesn’t even believe in sin or death. A Jehovah Witness believes that Jesus was just a man. Now, if you don’t believe in sin, or believe in the fact that Jesus was God’s Son who died for your sins, then you are not saved, and therefore in God’s eyes you are still wicked.
Do I personally know people who are atheist, agnostic and Mormon? Yes. Do I think they are good people? Absolutely. They are brilliant, creative, loving, hilarious people. Are they wicked in God’s eyes? Yes. Because they have made a choice not to believe in him. Heck, in Matthew 7, the Bible says that there are people who profess to be Christians who will die and Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you; depart from me.” People aren’t exempt from rejecting God just because they label themselves as Christians. When we get to heaven, God will judge us all. He will separate us. The “godly” aren’t better people than the “wicked”. They don’t sin less. They aren’t more beautiful. They aren’t smarter. They aren’t more financially well off. But they trust in God and have an intimate relationship with him, and they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for them and covered their sins. The “wicked” will be deemed wicked simply for their rejection of God and a relationship with him.