Historians tell us the average age of the world’s great civilizations have been 200 years, with most of them following a clearly definable pathway. Their rise and fall can be traced through several progressive phase as follows:
Great civilizations were born after a people came out of bondage and subordination, and into spiritual faith. Life took on new meaning and became precious once again. Not only was self respect restored, but the respect for one’s fellow man as well.
As renewed spiritual faith was established, great courage was born. New courage brought a rekindled sense of nationalism and liberty, resulting in productive ingenuity. Challenges only existed to be met.
The productivity of liberation soon led into greater ease and abundance. Hardship and poverty began to be left behind. However, as affluence and wealth grew, so did selfishness.
Because selfishness looks upon it’s own accomplishments, rather than how it can help meet the needs of others around it, complacency soon followed.
Once complacency began to rule in the minds of the people again, apathy was very quick to follow. Now that apathy had arrived, the end would be very near.
Apathy brought along a companion called dependence. The reasoning of dependence was, and still is, that someone needs to provide for me. Initiative was a thing of the past. The welfare mentality of “getting something for nothing” began to prevail.
Now that dependency was re-established, going back into bondage and subordination was the next step. After all, someone needed to provide for the needs of the people.
If this reflection is not enough evidence to cause a genuine concern regarding the freedoms we enjoy, what will?
Edward Gibbon makes some comments in his monumental work entitled: The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, worthy of consideration. He gives five basic reasons why that great civilization withered and died.
These are: First, the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis for human society.
Second; Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
Third; The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming more exciting, more brutal, and more immoral every year.
Fourth; The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within; the decay of individual responsibility.
Fifth; The decay of religion, faith fading into mere form and losing touch with life, having lost the power to guide the people.
Careful reflection on these comments should give each of us an urgency to return to solid moorings and sane reasoning. Unless there is a wholescale change in direction, the current trends of Western society can only lead to total bondage and moral collapse. This directly precedes the downfall of any nation and civilization.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)