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The heart of the problem is the human heart

When the Berlin Wall came down, it didn’t take long for the Russians to request visits from Christian organizations. And Prison Fellowship was one of the first. Why? It wasn’t because they wanted to convert their prisoners to Christianity; it was because, in their objective opinion, Prison Fellowship’s principles worked. The change of thinking wrought in the hearts of inmates was unmistakable and made noticeable differences in recidivism.

A secular British consultant was hired to advise the Ugandan government on how to improve the economic conditions of Ugandans. What was this man’s advice? His most important recommendation was that the government promote and instill a Judeo-Christian work ethic in the people. Why? Did this unbelieving economist want to proselytize Uganda? Not at all. He saw how the Judeo-Christian ethic of hard work works. The ethic instilled by the Ugandans’ native pagan-animalistic religions produced a fear of curses and killed any initiative. The people, every bit as ambitious and hard working as U.S. citizens, were stifled by heart beliefs. Their cultural paganism held them back. Until this heart issue was resolved, he concluded that government subsidies would fizzle no matter how creatively they were spent.

In the United States, a heart for Christ is being actively stamped out in every aspect of public life: agriculture, government, arts, education, religion, business, medicine, science, and entertainment. The only place our current politically correct government authorizes belief in Christ is in our soundproofed attics, doors shut tightly, so that no element of Christ may possibly seep out. They say, “The heart may be privately attuned to Christ, just don’t let it spill out into real life.”

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Yet at the “heart” of all our national issues is “the human heart.” Take away Christian wisdom and Christian perspective and what are we left with? Flawed, sinful, selfish, arrogant, prideful, overconfident, pragmatism rooted in nothingness. No plumb line, no foundation, no anchors.

What has this gotten us lately? A Congress trying to pass-off a “snake-oil budget” labeled as “thrifty” while actually increasing spending, and politicians bullying us into submission, with barbs and promises that they will cut spending in the future.

What sensible person believes such tripe? What perverted hearts must be in Congress to try to pass off such a charade as the genuine article? The heart of the issue is the human heart, and this heart reeks.

Until we are willing to change our hearts, our economic problems won’t be solved even with the smartest financial people in the world. In fact, none of our national issues will be solved. How can I say this with certainty? Because the Bible makes it clear that without God’s wisdom we will stumble, fall, and ultimately be abandoned to our own devices. No condition in life is more terrifying. God takes His hand off the tiller and says, “You’re on your own.” Once that happens we are in deep trouble, and deep trouble is where we are.

Bill Newton
Bill Newton

Bill is a pastor based in Asheville, N.C. He also serves as a member of God World Publications' board of directors.

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