Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd Assesses the Spiritual State of the Union

Ronnie W. Floyd
Ronnie W. Floyd

This is the time of year when millions of Americans tune in to hear our president give his State of the Union address. He will give his assessment of our national security, our priorities and our vision for the future.

This is a tricky word — “our.”

These days it seems as if America can hardly find “our vision” for anything, much less the future. Our nation is deeply polarized around our political parties and is totally unrelenting in fighting against one another. Despite growing national security threats, violence erupting, escalating racial tensions, the devaluing of human life and economic insecurity, we find ourselves unable to agree on almost anything.

What’s especially alarming to me, serving as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is that we fail to realize how the spiritual health of our nation affects the state of our union. As our spiritual lives go, so goes the nation.

It wasn’t meant to be this way in America. One of the reasons our founders so cemented Judeo-Christian principles in our nation is because they were skeptical of men’s ability to govern themselves. America would be a nation first subject to God — and subject to His higher law — so that our respect for our creator would provide a baseline for our “more perfect union.”

We would at least be united around important things when we couldn’t find unity among many things. Where are the leaders in America today who can bring people together, rather than separate us?

Our founders knew that the moment we no longer saw ourselves subject to God — and to His higher law — that we would begin to fight over everything in an attempt to gather God’s authority for ourselves.

When our political leaders and the people of America lack fear of God, we become subject to that awful temptation we find in Judges 17:6 — “to do what is right in their own eyes.”

Since the beginning of time, we have been tempted to be like God. And when a nation’s leaders and her people lose their fear of God and replace it with their own authority, we begin to live in a kind of chaotic unity — not with one another — but in an unholy union with the very sin that brought sin to earth in the Garden of Eden. Aside from all of the others, we fail to follow the very first commandment given to us through Moses, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.