One of the things that we must NOT be satisfied with or fall into, is precisely the kind of CIVIL RELIGION that Judah had during Jeremiah's time. A formalistic religiousity, that is nationalistic but powerless and destructive. We wonder sometimes how it was that the United States began to become so ethically bankrupt and godless in the 1960s, and we often contrast the '60s with the '50s saying that the '50s were a time of high religion, and the '60s were some sort of aberration that came out of nowhere but the truth is that in the '50s America was succumbing to the same kind of CIVIL religion that destroyed Judah, and the '60s were the fruit. If you have difficulty with that listen to the words of a famous essay on the state of American religion written by Sociologist Will Herberg in 1955:
"The religiousness characteristic of America today is very often a religiousness without religion, a religiousness with almost any kind of content or none, a way of sociability or 'belonging' rather than a way of reorienting life to God." “In fact” Herberg contended that "the authentic character of Jewish-Christian faith [was] falsified and the faith itself reduced to the status of an American culture-religion." When judged by the standard of authentic Christianity or Judaism, this "civic religion of the American people" is "incurably idolatrous," in that it "validates culture and society, without in any sense bringing them under judgment."
He commented: "For the individual the church can easily become an emotional service station to relieve worry. In the church God pats the individual on the back, assures him that he is important, and sends him back to the world the same as he entered. The religion of the American church is often a 'faith in faith,' a 'religion in general.' It does not generate its own values, but instead sanctifies the values present in the general community."
As President Eisenhower put it: “Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply felt religious faith—and I don't care what it is”
We need Fervent heart religion that centers not merely on religion but on CHRIST. That doesn’t have faith in faith, but faith in CHRIST.
The heart is the seat of true saving faith. "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified" (Romans 10:10). A man may believe that Jesus is the Christ, as the demons do, and yet remain in his sins. He may believe that he is a sinner, and that Christ is the only Savior, and occasionally wish that he was a better man. But no one ever lays hold of Christ, and receives pardon and peace, until he believes with the heart. It is heart-faith that justifies.