What do you think is the greatest social problem in the world today? Some friends and I were talking about this recently, but we didn't come to any agreement. Whatever it is, do you think churches should be doing anything about it, or is it best left to governments? — M.F.
I've often said that in my view racism is the biggest social problem we face in the world today, and I believe it still is. Not only do we have continuing problems with racism in our own country, but racism is a worldwide problem that leads to countless wars and conflicts. It also is at the root of much of the world's injustice and poverty.
Governments have their part to play in solving society's ills, of course—not just racism, but other social problems as well. We need fair laws that will fight corruption and injustice, and we need wise policies that will encourage a better world.
But we also have a responsibility as believers to work for a better world. The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, so that "we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2). God told Jeremiah to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you. ... Pray to the Lord for it" (Jeremiah 29:7). Are you doing this?
The problem, however, is that even the wisest leaders and the finest laws can't deal with the most basic problem our world faces—and that is the problem of the human heart. Society is evil because our hearts are evil—and only God can change our hearts. And He will, as we turn in faith to Christ and ask Him to change us from within. Is this happening in your life?