Contend Earnestly: Will America Fall Like Rome?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will America Fall Like Rome?

I have been reading Schaeffer's "How Should We Then Live?" and he comes to the point towards the end of the book of the problem with modern modern man...which is another way to say before his time, postmodern man. He is showing the rise of this man throughout the history of cultures around the world. As he does this, he comes to the point of where he saw the United States in the mid 1970's, which is when the book was written. The sad thing, is that this country looks a lot like Rome when it fell. Here is where Schaeffer is making his point from:

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788) said that the following five attributes marked Rome at its end:

1. A mounting love of show and luxury (that is, affluence)

2. A widening gap between the very rich and the very poor (this could be countries in the family of nations as well as in a single nation)

3. An obsession with sex

4. Freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality and enthusiasms pretending to be creativity (I put some pictures that I took from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art so you could see up close the absurdity)

5. An increased desire to live off the state

This was Schaeffer quoting Gibbon back in the 70's. How far we have come in a mere 30 years to show that Schaeffer was noticing something even then what was coming. I just wonder how close we are to calling ourselves Romerica. (click read more to look at SFMOMA Pictures.


Preta said...

Sadly that's what happens when 'man' (notice how just about everything else God created 'follows' Him except us know-it-not-alls?) thinks he knows more than the God who made him. A truly sorry state of affairs for us ALL. Have mercy Lord Jesus.

Todd said...

I can think of plenty of other nations that are in much "worse" moral state at this point in history according to those 5 points. I put "worse" in quotes because all of mankind is truly wretched and deserving of death because of sin. But this is nothing new really. The truth is this sort of worry for America's so-called decline has been going on since before it was a the colonies.
For example, William Bradford, leader of the Plymouth colony, was very concerned about the moral direction that the colonies were headed in 1645. He saw the same potential of decline as the end of the colonies. Also, Jonathan Edwards marked a similar sentiment in the 1730's, saying that the decade "represented 'a far more degenerate time...than ever before.'" Which is precisely what we are saying now.
There are many more examples of these sort of observations of America. The fact that there appear to be many Americans out there today (as there were in all of it's history) who are concerned and anxious about the future of America, is a good thing. In the end though, what will be best for America is that the gospel is preached, and Americans turn to Christ and place their faith in Him, so that He may be glorified by this nation.

P.S. Arguments based on the gap between the rich and the poor are dumb. But I'll stop here before I open up a can of worms....

Darlene said...

Every generation has its wickedness, as well as its godly saints speaking as voices in the wilderness and shining as lights in the midst of darkness.

Should we not be disheartened by the decline which sin brings to every nation and every people? The decline of the U.S. is no more tragic than the decline of Western Europe. Christ weeps for the sin of all mankind. "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them because they were harrassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

Anonymous said...

You can't possibly believe that avant-garde art will lead to the fall of the United States, can you? Think about how many people will see a Pipilotti Rist installation at MOMA versus how many people will buy a Thomas Kinkade painting of a homey cottage in the woods -- or how many people will see a Guy Maddin film about the secret history of Winnipeg versus how many people will see "Transformers 2" -- or how many people will be at an experimental noise concert versus how many people will be at a Justin Bieber concert. The avant-garde is a niche market. It has very little influence on the overall direction of the country. And I say that as someone who's both a fan of and a participant in the experimental music scene!

If the US falls, it will be because we stretch ourselves too thin militarily. Al-Qaeda's stated goal is to provoke the US into an unending war of attrition, and so far they seem to be succeeding.

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