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The heart is the central issue


“The heart is central. That I would even need to remind you of this only shows how far we have fallen from the life we were meant to live—or how powerful the spell has been.” ~John Eldredge in Waking the Dead.

The heart is the central issue.

Sorry, it’s not abortion, gun control, immigration, health care, religious freedom, health care or any other of the myriad of matters facing America today. It’s about the heart.

It’s been said before and few lend credence, but you simply cannot legislate the heart. And the heart is the central issue. Fix the heart and everything else falls into place. Everything.

Legislators, news media and other leaders mock Christians when they say they are praying for a city, state or region after a disaster or catastrophe. But prayer — real prayer — does change things. Most of all, it changes the heart, which, as we’ve said above, is the central issue.

Carman was right in 1993 when he wrote We Need God in America Again.

I believe it’s time America to stand up and proclaim
That one nation under God is our demand
And send this evil lifestyle back to Satan where it came from
And let the Word of God revive our dying land

But TV commentators, analysts and so-called experts will debate the matter until the cows come home. They will debate, insist, blame, stomp, demand, scream and demean until the issue becomes convoluted, tangled, blurred and exhausted.

The central issue remains, though. It is the heart. And no one wants to talk about the one thing that can bring about the biggest change: The heart. To continue with the Carman theme: “…it’s time to send the alarm from the Church house to The White House.”

The problem in so many hearts is that empty void. The missing vacuum that seeks significance. If people can’t find that significance in their friends, family or God, they will find it someplace else. When they fill that emptiness with something else in that search for significance, it becomes deep, dark and destructive.

Enter El Paso, Dayton, Columbine, Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Hood and all the others. It’s not a president’s fault — any of them — it’s not a right or left issue, a Republican or Democrat issue or a black and white issue. It’s a matter of the heart.

Hearts matter! Fix the heart and everything else falls into place.

You can’t legislate and mandate the heart. Martin Luther King Jr. said you “can’t legislate morality.” He said further that “morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated.” True statement. But we’ve spent enough time trying to legislate and little or no time or changing the hearts.

It’s time to address the central issue: The heart!

You can mock Christianity, you can scoff at prayer in schools, you can deride parents who send their kids to private school so they can have a Christian foundation in their education. But until America realizes that there is power in a country that builds its infrastructure on God, it will continue to spiral downward into a deep abyss that has consumed hundreds of civilizations throughout history.

Ronald Reagan may have said it best at a 1984 prayer breakfast in Dallas:

“Without God, there is no virtue because there’s no prompting of the conscience. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

Don’t believe that former president? The Bible is replete with examples of the heart being the central issue. In 1 Samuel 16:7: “…People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Congress, TV networks, leaders, businesses and even some churches need to return to the fundamental foundation of the founding fathers. Yes, you can argue that the founding fathers were not perfect, but it doesn’t mean we should throw out their strong-held, well-found tenets of faith.

Despite those who would try to rewrite it, most of history supports that the founders were Christian and believed in God. One historical compilation suggests that all of them called on God for assistance.

“Most were baptized, listed on church rolls, married to practicing Christians, and frequent or at least sporadic attenders of services of Christian worship. In public statements, most invoked divine assistance.”

Friends, you can shout me down, but it’s not about the guns. It’s not about all the other malarky that you can hear on any news station discussing the recent events of the day.

The central issue is the heart. Change hearts and you change America. Change hearts and you’ll change Congress, your neighborhood, your church and your home.

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