Chris' Blog

07.30.09

Chris Philbeck

Praying for America

I’m not an alarmist, and I don’t ever want to be guilty of trying to frighten anyone unnecessarily, but sometimes I look around at the reality of how far our country has gone from her Christian roots, and it troubles me. It troubles me, in part, because it makes me wonder what the future holds.

If you take the time to do the research you find that the average lifespan of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about two hundred years. During that span, each of these nations progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage. 1

It’s hard not to read that and ask, “At what point is America in this cycle?” Here’s what popular blogger La Shawn Barber wrote in an article titled “America on the Decline.”

“In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, author Edward Gibbon discusses several reasons for the great civilizations demise, including the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home and the decay of religion. America compares to the Roman Empire in secular and religious ways. Regardless of its ultimate legacy, America is a civilization on the decline. A couple of centuries from now (or sooner) someone will lament the loss of a once-great civilization that brought prosperity to the world and tried to make it safe for democracy. The glory that was the United States will lay in ruins, brought down not by terrorists but its own debauchery and complacency.” 2

Now, I don’t know if Barber is correct in her assertions, but I do fear she’s on the right track. In 1947 forward-looking sociologist Dr. Carle Zimmerman wrote a text called Family and Civilization. He identified eleven “symptoms of final decay,” observable in the fall of both the Greek and Roman civilizations. Here’s the list…see if any are identifiable in America today.

  1. No fault divorce
  2. Increased disrespect for parenthood and parents
  3. Meaningless marriage rites/ceremonies
  4. Defamation of past national heroes
  5. Acceptance of alternative marriage forms
  6. Widespread attitudes of feminism, narcissism, hedonism
  7. Propagation of antifamily sentiment
  8. Acceptance of most forms of adultery
  9. Rebellious children
  10. Increased juvenile delinquency
  11. Common acceptance of all forms of sexual perversion 3

It’s hard to read that list and not see that, if history is correct, America is in a precarious place. What will it take for us to return to faith and faithfulness? I don’t know that I have all the answers to that question but I have one answer that we can all embrace: we need to pray. Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV)

  1. What in the World is Going On (David Jeremiah)
  2. America on the Decline (La Shawn Barber)
  3. Family and Civilization (Carle C. Zimmerman)