Articles

Roots

June 10, 2020

America is awash with yellers lately. Cascades. Cataracts. I listen to a lot of it. I think it is about 98.035% blather. Yes, blather.

I’ll be brief, and quiet. But I pose a simple question: is it possible that we’re whacking at the leaves of the trouble-tree and not the root?

Jesus did few things more crucial than this: all previous reformers hacked at the branches of humanity’s true problems, but with His coming, John the Baptist (imperiously!) said this about Jesus, “…now is the axe laid to the root of the tree.” (Matthew 3:10) Western civilization happened because He came and put the axe where it solved the problem. And all the smart leaf-hackers put down their axes.  

For the moment, let us assume all modern would-be solutionists are honorable, but let us confess the possibility that there are too many leaf-hackers and too few root-hackers. The roots of the current civilizational kerfuffle?  I suggest three:

HISTORY

If you don’t have time to read the US Constitution (you might have to start your nightly protest an hour later), or even the Preamble to it, stop now and read the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln said he had never had a political thought which did not arise directly from the Declaration. 

The pursuit, however imperfect and intermittent, of the values stated there explains why America is so exceptional. Why over 400 thousand White Americans gave their lives to free (finally) over four million black slaves. (Nothing like that has ever happened on the earth.)  Or why America has liberated an estimated 400 million people in our history. (When did Russia or France or China, or anyone else, ever liberate anybody?) Why American blacks are more privileged than in any other country on earth. Why (as a black economist says) the amount of money in black American hands would make them the ninth largest economy on earth. Or why (!) America receives over a million immigrants, of all colors, every year, as we have for decades. And why hundreds of millions more want to come.

HOME

The building blocks of civilization are families, the more nuclear, the better. A man and a woman (those being the only genders God created) rearing children, through thick and thin, in love and patience, all the while preparing the children to face, with grit and grace, the challenges they will infallibly encounter. Even if some marriages won’t make it, still, the essence of a nuclear family must be pursued, with avidity, if a civilization wishes to stay alive.

The family in America, in general, is suffering terribly, but that is especially true of black families. Seventy percent of all black pregnancies are aborted. (Some black lives apparently don’t matter much.) Seventy percent of black babies who are born arrive in fatherless homes.

White marriage is also in a perilous state in America. Over 60 million babies have been aborted since Roe. Those are the ones we know about. The whole idea of a nuclear family has become a joke among our “elites;” nothing but a modern form of slavery. That is a root problem which we ignore at our peril.

HIM

Jesus, that is. Hear me carefully: no problem I have mentioned can be resolved by political processes. If that were true, God would have sent us a politician. If poverty were the problem, God would have sent us a banker. (America has spent trillions on black poverty and made it more widespread.)  If ignorance were the problem, God would have sent us a philosopher. Because every human is a sinner, God sent us a savior. Which is precisely what both individuals and families and nations need.  That includes you, in case you’re wondering. 

Of course, legislators must legislate, but they must do so with the roots in mind! And you and I will, necessarily, spend some of our precious time trimming the shrubs, but we simply cannot forget the roots. The fundamentals. The basic things. The tough stuff. If you and I and others don’t get the roots fixed, we are (to change the metaphor), but shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. 

Hear this: your relationship to God is truly the root of the matter, all matters, because, simply but profoundly put “…if the root is holy, so are the branches.” (Romans 11:16) And that is the root of our national troubles as well.  

Sound radical? It is! Ah, but the word “radical” comes from the Latin word “radix” which means…you guessed it, “root.”