This question was raised by Fox’s News, Bill O’Reilly, on his O’Reilly Factor last night in his “Talking Points” special edition for Memorial day. He had three guests to answer the question– former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, businessman Herman Cain, and political commentator James Carvell.
Senator Brown addressed our greatest problem in terms of our national debt and financial irresponsibility. Herman Cain said our greatest problem today was the lack of leadership in America. And Carvell said it was stagnant wages and unemployment.
O’Reilly disputed all three with his lead “Talking Points” and said the greatest problem was the folks. Us. We are the greatest problem because we have allowed the problems to exist. The people have contributed to the problems, doing nothing about them. And have engaged in behavior that has exacerbated our problems instead of solving them.
At that point, Norma Jean said do you want to turn off the TV and go to sleep. “No,” I said. “ I want to hear this because I may write about America’s greatest problem for my blog tomorrow.” To which she calmly and matter-of-factly said, “America’s greatest problem is sin.”
Bingo. Sin is the root cause of all of our problems.
1. The collapse of the family unit. Our family problems begin with disrespect for God’s marriage laws. Easy divorce. Adultery. Selfishness. Yes, it’s us. And it is sin. ( Heb 13:4)
2. Corruption in government. A similar scenario is played out over and over again through the years. Abuse of position. Scandals. These are dominating the news. Again. Why? Pride. A lust for power. Selfish agendas. (Prov 16:8)
3, Corporate abuse. Some blame our capitalistic, free enterprise system. But it’s not the system. It’s people. Stealing, dishonesty, and embezzlement are sins of greed. (1 Cor 6:10)
4 Scandals in churches and among religious leaders. Some like to blame religion. But that is not true. It’s hypocrisy. Lack of spirituality. Sinful attitudes and behavior. (Matt 23)
But what about economic problems? Surely sin has nothing to do with that? When folks fail to work, take personal responsibility, and would rather receive a handout, then, it will impact the overall economy. It speaks to sins of laziness. Covetousness. Greed. (2 Thess. 3:10-12)
It is a maxim that I’ve heard all of my life: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” And today our country is paying. And not just economically. But ethically. Morally. And spiritually.
Make no mistake the greatest problem of America and humankind is sin. Sin enslaves the will. Sin stains the soul. Sin scars the conscience. Sin separates us from God.
Don’t blame Washington for America’s problems. Or the politicians. Or the President. The wise man was right “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov 14:34).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman