‘Beyond human aid’? As an unmoored America founders on ancient rocks, our culture says try anything but God

Ask yourself: Does America need serious healing?

The polls sure scream it. Last fall, an ABC News/Ipsos poll revealed 76% believe the nation is on the wrong track. An Associated Press-NORC Research Center put it at 78%.

Just last month Americans told Gallup the country’s biggest problem is its own government – led by its handling of immigration, followed by the economy and inflation.

And we all see our acute, too-often-fatal scourges of crime, drugs, depression, homelessness, moorlessness, political and racial divisions, as well as a burning distrust for nearly all our major institutions. Surveys show Americans have little if any confidence in the media, federal government, public schools, big business or criminal justice system.

As our oft-repeated phrase “God bless America” has taken on the tenor of a demand more than a prayer, America has long been a little overconfident in itself and its durability. But are we so different from the ill-fated Roman Republic? Is human nature’s untrustworthiness with unchecked power so different now?

As StudentsOfHistory.com notes, the Roman Republic “is the basis of many democracies we see today. The Roman Republic had a constitution, laws, elected officials and a governing body of senators.” But a combination of “economic problems, government corruption, crime and private armies, and the rise of Julius Caesar as dictator all led to the eventual fall of the Roman Republic.”

Economic problems? Government corruption? Crime? Sound familiar? We’re foundering on the same rocks as did ancient Rome. And remind me: Exactly what has inoculated us against those same diseases of hubris and authoritarianism?

Still doubt our mountainous need for healing?

The only question, then, is who among us is capable of bringing about such monumental mending of the nation’s fabric. Can we count on any of our current rulers or prospective leaders?

An exchange in the historical drama series The Chosen might provide the answer.

The Christian-sympathizing Pharisee Nicodemus has attempted a failed exorcism on Mary Magdalene, later telling of his amazement when Jesus succeeds at it. “I told my wife and my students that she was beyond human aid. Only God could have healed her,” the character says.

Could the same not be said for America? Is there a human being among us who can drive out this country’s demons?

Or are we beyond human aid?

We may be. Still, our culture tells us, nay demands of us, that we do little else than indulge ourselves and our physical needs and desires. Even our youngest school children today, with neither fully formed minds nor bodies, are being introduced and urged to explore sexuality and sexual pleasures hitherto confined to adult magazines and dimly lit sex shops.

Illicit drugs that destroy one’s drive and imprison the user are now given the state’s imprimatur. Heedless of the destruction to lives and cities, society has become the ultimate enabler.

We are, in short, encouraged to try everything that might feel good for a time. Everything.

Everything but God.

Heaven forbid!

My Lion colleague Josh Mann recently quoted Proverbs 29:18 to illustrate what happens when a society becomes unmoored from God’s foundation: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

“Drifting out to sea may be exhilarating at first, but it soon becomes dangerous. It’s true for institutions as well as individuals,” he says.

Yet, this year in particular, we will likely even be goaded to further avoid God. In fact, we are already being issued dire warnings of “Christian nationalism” and its deadly variant “white Christian nationalism” – just the latest, most convenient “threat to democracy.”

“Understanding the threat of white Christian nationalism to American democracy today,” blares a headline at the Brookings Institution.

“The Left increasingly views conservative Christians with a combination of fear and disgust,” The Daily Signal’s managing editor Tyler O’Neil writes in the Christian Post. “If those knuckle-dragging Bible-thumping cross-heads get their way, leftists warn, women will lose the right to vote, to work, to own property. Powerful men will force fertile women to be ‘handmaids,’ systematically raping them to produce children.”

It appears you’ll be hearing a lot about “Christian nationalism” this election year. Indeed, commentator Glenn Beck writes, “Why Biden’s Regime Wants to Brand YOU a ‘Christian Nationalist’.”

“There’s a new ‘threat’ that the regime is targeting,” Beck’s site warns. “It has partnered with the media, Big Tech, and private corporations to create the narrative that Christian conservatives are just a step away from domestic terrorists. And it all begins with their newest label: ‘Christian nationalist.’ Politico has already deployed it to falsely claim that former Trump official Russ Vought and the Heritage Foundation are trying to usher in a theocracy with Project 2025.’”

What a neat little term that is, too – disparaging both Christianity and patriotism in one fell swoop. As if chocolate and peanut butter become poisonous when combined.

All this, at a time when it would actually behoove the country – if not save it all together – for more people to embrace the teachings of Jesus.

The truth is, to save this country from ruin we need to reject immoral and unhealthy actions. We need to stop trying everything but God. A free country is only as healthy and functional as its citizens. As Revolutionary War hero Joseph Warren exhorted his compatriots:

“On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”

Meanwhile, pray for the healing hand of God, and work harder to elect leaders more worthy of the nation’s redemption.

Having trouble trusting our rulers or potential leaders? There’s a proverb for that:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.”

Proceed as if the country is beyond human aid, and that only God can heal her.

Because it certainly seems so.


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