Many great nations have fallen, not necessarily because an enemy destroyed their defenses, and then conquered their people, but because their own citizens became so dissolute and complacent in their personal lives. The wise man wrote "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). Gibbon in his classic work "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" attributes a number of reasons that Rome fell, and most of them were from within, not without! In our 20th and 21st Centuries, we can see some of the same indicators of corruption, not only in America, but also many other nations. Entire nations can lose their own virtue and self-respect, and as a result, start that downward spiral into obscurity. Think about some of these indicators in our own society today:


Almost total dependence upon others will bring a loss of self-respect. Honest labor is good for every able-bodied person. We used to hear of the "Protestant Work Ethic," but not so much anymore. The apostle Paul wrote "...If any would not work, neither let him eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Honest labor will build self-respect and self-reliance. All may need a lifeline sometime (Galatians 6:2, 5), but that lifeline should not become a way of life. Today our political system seems to reward preferential treatment, and this is simply one form of favoritism or cronyism. Bribery is an additional form of this same "entitlement syndrome." Bribery is very common among many third world nations, but America used to be known for honesty and uprightness. An old saying is "A man's word is his bond." A great deal of money and other valuables were entrusted to others simply because of their character.

When citizens refuse to acknowledge God, and His system of righteousness, they lose their moorings regarding the very concept of right and wrong. Life is sacred because it came from God (Genesis 1:27; 2:21-25). Today in this great nation, more babies are murdered each year than we would have believed possible. Late term abortion is practiced in America, often for the simple desire to have a child of a different gender! Euthanasia or assisted suicide is actually legal in three states as of this writing. There are many who cry that we can't legislate morality. That is absolutely false! All law is a system of morality. What is very frightening today is the willingness to ignore laws with which we may disagree. Even our own President and other politicians regularly refuse to enforce many laws! On the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 in the news our embassies in Egypt and Libya and other mid-eastern lands have been attacked, and four state department officials in Libya have been brutally killed including our ambassador to Libya. This ironically occurred on the anniversary of the most deadly terrorist attack by Muslims in our country. The administration's first response was:

 "Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Instead of issuing a severe statement of condemnation of international law of these nations, our administration is actually apologizing for offending Muslims. Is our free speech to be curtailed, because of a lawless mob of Muslims? Our nation was built on upon the principles of freedom of speech and religion, Muslims are increasingly intimidating others into remaining quiet concerning any criticism directed toward them or the founder, Mohammed. Sadly, our administration seems to be buying into this!

Although many today would deny that America is built upon the principles of the Bible, it can be proven conclusively to be so. Since 1776, we have built the greatest nation ever, and continue to be a power all others must reckon with in the world. We have exalted principles of individualism, justice, and equality for all people. We have had lapses in some of these, but as a nation have always worked to overcome them. We have as a nation given our life-blood to rescue innocents from despotic rulers, and have been generous to our former foes, even to the point of continuing to sacrifice our people to defend them after we defeated them. However, as we see today the breakdown of the traditional family, sensuality substituted for love, the loss of our integrity and respect for others, politicians who are willing to lie, cheat and bribe businesses, even entire states to accomplish their personal goals, we are appalled! Are we following the steps of the degeneracy of Rome and other nations? Truly righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).

Ed Rodgers, Forney, TX