Comparing the United States to the Ancient Roman Empire? A Much Better Comparison Is to the Ancient Israelite Kingdom of Judah!

Comparing the United States to the Ancient Roman Empire? A Much Better Comparison Is
to the Ancient Israelite Kingdom of Judah!

"The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it."
Jeremiah 18:7-10 NKJV

Many references have been made in comparing the United States to the ancient Roman Empire in its years of decline and eventual collapse. One of the main sources of information has been "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by English historian, Edward Gibbon. His work consisted of six volumes published with the first in 1776 and concluding the series in 1789.

Gibbon's work continues to be cited as a "revelation" on how cultures collapse after a period of time. Corrupting trends such as unchecked greed, increased divorce rates, breakdown of the family, rampant immorality, the unholy desire for pleasure and violent entertainment, increased taxation, etc. are factors that brought on the demise of the empire. A number of persons have pointed out that the United States is experiencing the same negative influences as did ancient Rome in its day!

But it is more accurate to compare the United States experience of decline to that of the ancient Israelite kingdom of Judah in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C.

Rome was a raw heathen culture -- of course if you stop and think about it, the U.S. is moving in the direction of raw heathenism as well. In 1948 about 2 per cent of the population claimed to have no religion. By 2008 the figure had increased to 12 per cent of our citizens claiming to have no religion! Something is happening, wouldn't you say? And it's not good nor is it healthy by any stretch of the imagination!

The people of the ancient kingdom of Judah, however, claimed to be God's chosen people. Lots of religious practices were being followed and even the political leaders participated. The United States has its beginning rooted in Judeo-Christian principles and a professed belief in the God Who has made available to us an inspired revelation commonly known as the Bible. And this same God chose to become human in the Person of Jesus Christ a little over 2,000 years ago. It was Jesus Who eventually atoned for the sins of the entire human race through His sacrificial death on the cross. This was followed by His resurrection from the dead three days later.

Just as those in the latter years of the kingdom of Judah professed to believe in God, so there has been a profession of belief in God over decades of time in the United States. We will even do this outside of a church when we place hand over heart and pledge our allegiance to our flag and the republic for which it stands. At one point without hesitation we state, " nation under God..." And there are the churches in which millions each week participate in worship experiences. However, on the down side, it is actually less than half our population that is able to find its way into a place of worship on any given Sunday. There may be a slight increase on Easter and Christmas, but only on those occasions.

The final decades of Judah saw corruption setting in with both the practices of faith and that of government, which was in the form of a monarchy, being affected dramatically. Their ethical, moral, and spiritual behavior patterns began to reject God's standards and commands with increased frequency. Shocking details can be found by reading in such Old Testament prophets as Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the latter chapters of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. Those particular chapters give details of kings who ruled and what type of persons they were in their administrations. A perfect summary in a few words as to how a culture self destructs is given in 2 Chronicles 36. It gives details as to the final years of Judah and how God did everything possible to warn them of disaster if they did not repent and turn back to Him.

The United States is duplicating the pattern as experienced by ancient Judah to the very letter. Ethical, moral, and spiritual corruption is impacting our religious and political leadership in the very same way as it was in the case of Judah. The majority of citizens are following the "lead" as did the children who followed the Pied Piper of Hamlin out of town as told in a story of long ago.

There was a lot of "noise" about believing there was a God -- however, they simply threw His commandments and standards for holy behavior into the garbage can and went about living each day as though He didn't even exist!

And so it is in the United States at the present time. As of this writing there is no evidence whatsoever that God's clarion call to repent of all sin personally and collectively is being seriously considered by U.S. citizens, the millions of illegals, or by their religious and political leaders. So what can we expect so far as our national destiny is concerned in the future?

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Galatians 6:7, 8 NKJV

A Significant Selah Moment!

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
Habakkuk 1:2-2 (NKJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness....

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.

Romans 1:18; Psalm 119:126-128 NKJV

January 17, 2011
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy, PA
AND Non-Affiliated registered voter, Cambria Co. PA

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