Legendary TV personality Oprah Winfrey was recently asked why deadly shootings like the ones in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, happen, and her answer hit the nail on the head.
Winfrey told “Extra” host Renee Bargh, who asked her for the “answer” to these horrific massacres, “I think what people are missing is a core moral center. Churches used to do that.”
“It was a central place you could come to and there was a core center of values about a way of living and a way of being in the world,” she added.
The 65-year-old Winfrey went on to say, until Americans embrace a moral center, “we will continue to be lost.”
While she didn’t explicitly say so, pointing people towards the church and ultimately to Scripture is the exact right answer. Scripture is clear about the importance of relying on God and his Holy Spirit for our morality. In the Old Testament, God gave his 10 Commandments to the Israelites. Jesus then boiled those commandments down to two essential dictates: Love God and love others.
Even more, in Romans 2, the apostle Paul emphasized the fact that God’s law is written on the hearts of those who love him:
For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.Romans 2
Those walking in obedience to Scripture will reap the benefits. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul explained that being obedient to God’s law is like a healthy tree beginning to bear good fruit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” he said. “Against such things there is no law.”
Jesus established his church first and foremost to spread the Gospel message. He also created it because he knows we are prone to wander and need to be held accountable for our actions. Our Christian community guides us and sustains us in this life.
So Winfrey is absolutely right: America has lost her “core moral center.” And the way back is found in the church.