As I write these lines, it is Inauguration Day in America – a very important thing. It is important on many levels, including the fact that it represents the peaceful transfer of power in our blessed republic. It has been occurring every presidential term for nearly 250 years. It is an example to the world and a beacon to nations struggling to be free. Yet, as remarkable as it is, the peaceful transfer of power in our nation is not the most important thing.
We have been through an extremely contentious and tumultuous election — a very important thing. Free and fair lections are critical in our country because they are the bedrock of our democratic process. This election was anything but normal. Filled with irregularities and questionable practices, unprecedented allegations of fraud or other irregularities, it sparked recounts and re-recounts and will be the basis of investigations for years. Yet, as important as this and our other election issues are, this is not the most important thing either.
We are living in an inordinately-divided political period of history. Our United States Senate is divided 50/50, as close as it gets. The house is similarly divided, very close to split in half. The party which occupies the White House is divided, as is the party departing it. Polls show that our nation is closely polarized on nearly every major political issue, and these political issues are of extreme importance to our people. But as important as they are, political issues are not the most important thing either.
We face a global pandemic, unparalleled for its destruction and division. Our nation is divided over how best to proceed – whether to close or open businesses, schools, and houses of worship. Whether to wear masks and observe social distance. Whether to take the vaccine. We know of some who seem to be barely affected, and others who have been gravely sickened and died quickly. There is an ongoing medical and social debate of extreme and historic importance. Yet, this too cannot be correctly described as the most important thing.
We also face in our free land unprecedented calls for censorship, and the closing down of unwanted dissent. Churches have lost their live-streaming ability, or had various videos “purged” because their message was “inappropriate.” Political candidates have been barred from the major social media platforms, and in the “cancel culture” of our times, supporters of unpopular leaders are being targeted. Freedom of speech in America is under assault like never before. Yet again, as important as is the right to free speech in America, this is not the most important thing.
The most important problem we face is our loss of respect for and deteriorating relationship with Jesus Christ, the son of God. A nation which once prided itself on its Christian heritage, is now ashamed to even refer to itself as a “Christian” nation. The first part of the First Amendment to our Constitution has been twisted to advocate freedom fromreligion. Taxpayer dollars are used to destroy innocent human life yet unborn, and one of our major political parties has embraced the practice in their official platform. Public prayer has been banned from our public schools, and about the only time God’s name is mentioned by many of our university professors is in mockery or derision. Marriage and the family, as instituted and defined by God, no longer officially exists. It has given way to a deviant image constantly paraded in the media and applauded by vast numbers of our society.
The only thing which can change the hearts and lives of our people, and constructively address the host of problems we face, is a healthy and respectful return to God’s word. It is a humbling of ourselves and the elevating of our God. It is a recognition that God will bless America when America honors and obeys God.
Perhaps more than ever before, Christians need to be focused on the main thing. We need to be teaching our families and loved ones and neighbors the precious truths of the gospel, God’s power to save, (Rom. 1:16). Only by implementing in our lives the pure principles of Jesus Christ can we be free of these evils. Principles like loving God and our fellow man, treating others with respect and love, and conducting our lives in a manner pleasing to Him. Pleasing and glorifying God—that’s the main thing.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.