“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

I think fervent people have twisted that verse over the years to go something like this. “If my people, who are called by my name, will pray for all those wicked people out there (see list), then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive the sins of all those wicked people, and heal the land from their disgusting vices.”

But the verse doesn’t go like that.

It says to start within.

“But we’re supposed to oppose wickedness!” you say. And I agree. Just like we’re supposed to read scripture accurately. We don’t start with finger-pointing. We start with humility.

I don’t know if there’s a theology behind having a wicked list. We’re clearly supposed to fight evil. What kind of humans would we be if we didn’t fight for justice for all? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a minister, was executed for an assassination plot against Hitler, but it seems he went through a period of soul-searching and humility first.

Also, it seems we should evaluate who the wicked really are. Immoral people or hypocrites, for example. Jesus seems to have hung out with the former but spoke against the latter.

And to repeat the premise, as dang hard as this is to do, first we have to look within to check our own vices and hypocrisy.

It would be so much easier to just take names…

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