Every now and then you hear comparisons between nations and empires that came before and how our nation(s) compare to them. As Paul McCartney and Wings sang, “What’s wrong with that, I’d like to know, ’cause here I go, again . . .”
Edward Gibbon’s classic work about “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” may very well be the standard work and most often referenced work. The reason we keep talking about this work is because his assessment gives us cause to think. There are four causes from Gibbons work that concern me for our Western Civilization, the first three concern me for Christianity as well.
1. The rapid increase of divorce and the declining status of home and family.
2. The pursuit of pleasure and entertainment over industry and hard work.
3. The decay of religion where formality replaces active, living, vibrant faith.
4. Higher taxes for larger government that feeds itself instead of dealing with the decadence of the people.
What do you think? Can you see the similarities in our society and in the church? Starting with me and you, we can go back, but we must start.
See also: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Church History