by Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc.(Hons)

April 12, 1999.

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It appears that the trendy thing to do at the moment is to use the word "wicked" to describe something good. Indeed, many Christians use the word in this way. However, I believe this is a big mistake and certainly not the kind of thing a Christian should be saying.

Wickedness is a synonym for "evil" and therefore stands as the very antithesis of Christianity (i.e. opposite to and against Christianity)! How is it that a Christian can use a word that means everything God hates, to describe something that God has intended to be good? Indeed, in Matthew 12:24-32 the Pharisees did something similar by attributing the work of the Spirit to demonic activity. Jesus called this blasphemy and went on to state that such a thing was unforgivable!!! Therefore, it appears that what is really "wicked" is the misuse of the word "wicked"!

Misusing words causes their meaning to be obscured and this has far reaching consequences. The blurred meaning of "wicked" also blurs the distinction between good and evil, and right and wrong. If we are not careful, the next generation will descend further into relativism, because they have little concept of the difference between right and wrong. In addition, the word "wicked" is used in the Bible over 450 times -- and never in a positive sense. When people read about the "wicked men of Gibeah" in Judges 19:22, we do not want them to think that these mean were "really cool." On the contrary, these men raped, murdered and butchered a woman! Such people are completely the opposite of what God wants us to be like.

The misuse of "wicked" has largely come about due to the popular media. Again, this is the spirit of the age telling people in a subtle way that there are no real absolutes -- no such thing as right or wrong. But in Romans 12:2 the Apostle Paul writes: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Note that this is not just a warning or a piece of advice, but a COMMAND. We are commanded NOT to be conformed to the pattern of this world, which includes the misuse of the word "wicked." We are commanded to renew our minds, and start using language properly so that communication remains meaningful and the message of the good news of Jesus Christ remains clear and simple.

By the way, if you can't think of any other words to use to describe something good, then you may want to consider purchasing a copy of Roget's Thesaurus and/or reading some books! The English language is abundantly rich with such words e.g. awesome, great, excellent, fantastic, outstanding, brilliant, ace, magnificent, incredible, exceptional, superb, marvelous, unbelievable, wonderful, extraordinary, amazing, fabulous, spectacular, remarkable, phenomenal, sensational, stunning, stupendous etc. You can also strengthen these adjectives (describing words) by modifying them with adverbs such as totally, completely, absolutely, entirely, thoroughly or utterly e.g. "absolutely awesome!"