The U.S. Faces a Crisis of the Heart and Soul
Many people sense that there is something wrong with our society and want change. But what’s the right change required to fix and heal the United States?
In his recent Oval Office address to the nation, President Donald Trump referred to problems caused by the influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S. southern border as a “humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.” He recited statistics on the number of illegals arrested for criminal offenses that involved assaults, murders and sex crimes.
Though his speech was focused on border security, the U.S. is going through difficult times with many issues escalating into severe national problems. Some pressing issues that plague the nation are startling and are truly crises of the heart and soul—in other words, spiritual issues. In fact, these are the issues that the government and citizens of the nation should be most concerned about.
Some issues facing America
Here are some of the serious issues facing the United States:
- Drug overdoses: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017 there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. That breaks down to nearly 200 deaths a day! To put that total into perspective, more Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017 than died throughout the duration of the Vietnam War—58,220.
- U.S. debt: U.S. debt is over $21 trillion with no end in sight. Each year the budget deficit continues to grow even higher. Historian Niall Ferguson has noted that empires get “vulnerable” (that is, approach collapse) when “costs of serving the debt exceed the cost of the defence budget,” which he predicts will occur in the next six years. He laments the lack of a “sense of urgency” among American politicians to seriously try to solve this problem.
- Pornography: The United States is the world’s biggest exporter of pornographic material. According to Webroot Inc., every second 28,258 users are watching pornography, $3,075 is being spent on porn, and 372 people are typing the word adult into a search engine. Every day 37 pornographic videos are created in the U.S., 2.5 billion emails containing porn are sent or received, and 68 million search queries related to pornography are generated (which account for 25 percent of all searches).
- Abortions: According to the CDC, 638,169 abortions were reported within the U.S. in 2015. It should be noted that states are not required to report abortion statistics (and not every state requires hospitals or health clinics to report abortions). So, the actual number is even larger.
- Political division: The nation is paralyzed by a two-party system, with each party more and more focused on destroying the other instead of working together for the benefit of the country. Recently, polls have shown that on a number of issues the gap between Democrats and Republicans is wider than it has ever been. With two political parties so divided and distrustful of each other, the nation seems doomed to continual political gridlock, as demonstrated by the current U.S. government shutdown. According to one poll, cited in a Dec. 7, 2018, Christian Science Monitor article, “a third of the 1,000 voters surveyed said they stopped talking to a friend or family member after the 2016 election.”
These are just a few of the issues facing the United States. They show that there is indeed a “crisis of the heart and soul,” but it is much bigger than just the issue of illegal immigration. The crisis affects nearly every aspect of life and is not caused just by politicians. These are spiritual problems with roots in almost all levels of society.
The cause of the crisis
The Bible reveals the ultimate source of this crisis of heart and soul.
When we study the example of ancient Israel, we learn that when the Israelites obeyed God’s laws, the nation was blessed and prospered. But when they sinned and turned their backs on God, they experienced national decline.
The more we nationally depart from these laws, the further from God we drift—which results in national cursesGod has greatly blessed the United States, not due to its own goodness, but because of ancient promises He made to Abraham and his descendants. To learn more, read about “God’s Promise to Abraham.”
With these blessings come great responsibilities. Jesus said, “To whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). God has set up spiritual laws that automatically produce blessings and curses (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28). The blessings are directly linked to obedience to God’s laws; and the curses, to disobedience. The more we nationally depart from these laws, the further from God we drift—which results in national curses.
In the past, American leaders had a rudimentary understanding of this principle. President Abraham Lincoln, in his address proclaiming a national day of prayer and fasting, stated:
“We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”
He recognized that America’s blessings were not due to a superior intellect or skill—but to the grace of God Himself. He asked the nation to “confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
This is exactly the message the nation needs today.
The decision to change is up to each one of us. God has set before us “life and death, blessing and cursing,” but He pleads for us to “choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Yes, we have a crisis of heart and soul. But it won’t be solved through politics or even bipartisanship in our governments. It can only be solved by each of us individually turning to God in sincere repentance.