The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah identifies the cause in his succinct comment: “The crown has fallen from our head.” The statement meant that in his time moral and civil law had broken down.
America is rapidly becoming a nation that has lost its crown. Moral absolutes have been cast aside and relativism has become the mandate. It is a subtle way of saying there are no moral absolutes, hence there is no God.
In wondering why it seems America is no longer a land in which the Pilgrims would have pride, we would be practical to consider the warning of our first President, George Washington, who said, “We can but little hope for the blessings of God if we insult Him by our blasphemies.”
Evidences are we have acted in an insulting manner. God has been banished from our schools, omitted from our literature, excluded from our social circles, ousted from our market place and barred from civic affairs. We joke about the sacred and mock the spiritual.
We have become a culture in which independent medical sources say 60 percent to 70 percent of all youth seeking medical care are really suffering from stress and emptiness. One fourth of all children are suffering from some serious emotional problems, frequently depression.
Emerging from such a youthful society come criminal minds that slaughter innocent children.
Something is missing and these statics indicate what a big missing factor is.
•In 1968, 9 percent of the youth in America has no religious training.
•In 1978, 17 percent had no religious training.
•In 1988, 25 percent had no religious training.
•In 1999, 55 percent had no religious training.
•Today, more than 70 percent of teens have had no religious training.
The result is an emerging generation like the one described in ancient Israel. “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, (they died off) another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord or the work which He had done in Israel.” (Judges 2:10).
I respect that we are a pluralistic society so I welcome all to draw on their spiritual and moral values and apply in their own equivalent way this admonition of former President Woodrow Wilson.
“Our civilization cannot survive materially unless it is redeemed spiritually. It can be saved only by becoming permeated with the Spirit of Christ, and being made free and happy by practices which spring out of that spirit. Only thus can discontent be driven out and all shadows lifted from the road ahead.”
The source of our societal sickness is defined in the Book: “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies ...”
Every civic and/or social organization, every educational institution, every house of worship and principally every home needs to set in motion programs designed to address this crisis and put the crown back on the head of America.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church. For copies of previous columns visit www.nelsonprice.com