CAN AMERICAíS DECAYING SOCIETY BE COMPARED TO ANCIENT ROME?
THE STRIKING SIMILIARITIES
The Aug. 4, 2007 issue of the Fredericksburg (VA) daily paper, The Free Lance Star, contained a feature article by Rod Dreher, an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News entitled "National Suicide>> Inevitable?" The article was based on a recently published book by journalist Cullen Murphy entitled Are We Rome? The bookís title succinctly summarizes its contents.
Dreher noted that Murphy compared the similarities in the traits of ancient Rome that led to its downfall and the United States of America. Dreher listed several parallels that Murphy delineated between ancient Rome and current trends in the USA. Dreher then re-iterated several of these negative characteristics in his own re-wording.
1. Rome couldnít sustain the army it needed to maintain its overstretched military commitments.
2. Most Romans of economic means had no desire to set aside private pursuits for military service.
3. The Roman elite went soft.
4. Near the termination of its centuries long empire, Rome was unable to control the rate of migration across its borders. It was unable to assimilate the Barbarian tribes crossing its borders.
5. The corruption of civic virtues by Romeís bureaucratic autocratic politicians which continued to deteriorate dovetailed with its immigration crisis.
6. The Roman masses came to depend too heavily on the government, and the governing elites ruled as if the common good coincided with their private interests.
According to Dreher, Murphy believes that that it is still not too late for the USA to rectify its downward course. The F. D. editor agrees with both Dreher and Murphy, but they both omitted the major reason for Americaís declining status, the sad spiritual state of Americaís populace.
The tragic facts are that America is swiftly becoming a materialistic secular oriented society that has little/no place for God and His Word in its daily life. God has become an "afterthought" for whom most Americans have no place or time in their practical lives.
CHRISTíS PROPHETIC DECLARATION OF THE END TIMES
In Luke 17:26-29, Christ declared that human society would act the same way it did in the days of Noah and Lot, just before His revelation on earth [which the Rapture precedes by 7 years]. While the actual fulfillment of those signs will occur during the seven year tribulation after the rapture of the saints, coming events do cast their shadows beforehand. This writer firmly believes that the preparation for the fulfillment of those signs is now taking place in our society today.
It is interesting to note that in this passage, Christ did not denounce Sodom and Gomorrah for their abominable sexually perverted practices, though their ungodly actions and lifestyles are elsewhere staunchly condemned in Godís Word (Jude 6-8). Christ noted the materialistic secular lifestyles that produced the degraded morals of those societies.
In Luke 17:26-27, Christ stated that "in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded." Now is there anything inherently wrong with human societies eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building? Of course, not. These are normal every-day activities in which all human beings engage. The problem was that the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah left God out of these daily considerations and other normal activities.
THE GREAT OMISSION THAT PRODUCES SEXUAL PERVERSION
God was not a factor in the daily lives of the residents of these two cities. He was deleted and omitted from the normal activities that dominate human society. This materialistic secular atmosphere of Sodom and Gomorrah was the breeding grounds and the fertilizing soil that produced the appalling sexual perversions in those municipalities.
In Ezekiel 16:49-50, God plainly declares that "this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."
A society that has no place for God in its daily life will be dominated by the above traits in its social culture. The secularism of Sodomís culture produced the sensualism of Sodomís citizens! America today bears great resemblance to ancient Sodom. Apart from Godís providential intervention, America is headed towards a Sodom and Gomorrah judgment travesty.
THE BIBLICAL ANSWER TO AMERICAíS DESPERATE CONDITION
There is a potential answer to Americaís swiftly decaying culture: National revival, via genuine repentance is an imperative. Like ancient Nineveh, however, this revival will never come apart from the fearless preaching of Godís Word by Godís men and American societyís willingness to positively hear and heed Godís message. It must be remembered, however, that Ninevehís revival that occurred around 862 B.C. was temporary. Just two books later in the inerrant record, about 150 years after Jonahís preaching, the prophet Nahum in 713 B.C. predicted Ninevehís destruction.
While preaching and praying for such a temporary reprieve genuine Fundamentalists must keep the "blessed hope" of Titus 2:11-13 as their major focus, ever mindful of the prophetic Scriptures which forecast that this present dispensation of human history may be nearing its terminationóI Tim. 4:1-3, II Tim. 3:1-8, II Tim. 4:1-4.
While continuing to act as salt restrainers (Matt. 5:13), concerned believers must concentrate their endeavors on giving forth the light (Matt. 5:14) of the glorious gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16, II Cor. 4:3-4) to a needy world, motivated by the compassionate love of Christ (II Cor. 5:14) and the impelling power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).
TWO IMPORTANT FINAL NOTES
There are two final notes it is imperative to include in this article (1) The writer believes in national patriotism and a strong national defense based on strong skillful armed forces, utilizing the best conventional and technological weapons. In the O. T., there are numerous occasions where God commanded Israel to go to war (Joshua 11:18-20) against her enemies who desired to weaken and destroy her. In II Sam. 22:35, David declared that "He [God] teacheth my hands to war."
(2) Both legal and illegal immigrants need to hear the message of Christís saving gospel. Apart from the gospel message, both classes will die and go to an eternal hell. Fundamentalists must not discriminate based on citizenship status when it comes to reaching unconverted souls with the gospel. The gospel is what all human beings need, regardless of cultural, racial or national background! (Rom. 1:16) D. J.
Also in this issue:
|Editorial Ė February-March 2008 The Fundamentalist Digest: Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given|