Rome and America: The Decline of Empires

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James Lasher

In a recent video, evangelist Perry Stone delves into the intriguing parallels between the current state of America and the historical trajectory of democracies, particularly ancient Greece and Rome. Stone sheds light on the cyclical nature of history and the warnings it holds for the United States.

This is a topic often overlooked or mocked by many Americans—the idea that democracies, including the one in the United States, do not endure indefinitely. Drawing inspiration from the roots of Western democracy in ancient Greece, specifically Athens, Stone highlights how democracies are designed to empower the people, allowing them to share power and elect representatives. However, he underlines a significant historical truth: democracies, despite their inherent strengths, have a limited lifespan.

Embarking on a historical journey, Stone traces the roots of democracy to ancient Greece, attributing early democratic ideas to the Phoenicians, showing how democracies have existed off and on for 2,500 years within a cyclical nature of history, a concept rooted in ancient Greek beliefs.

The Founding Fathers of the United States, well-versed in both Scripture and historical texts, drew inspiration from the democratic principles of the Grecian Empire and political patterns of the Roman Empire when establishing the nation.

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What Stone uncovers however is an intriguing list of parallels between Rome and America. From the structure of government to societal practices, the similarities are striking. Both nations experienced wars over slavery, allowed the killing of infants, practiced the same-sex lifestyle, permitted gay marriage and built stadiums for sports, glorifying their athletes. The list continues, pointing out shared characteristics in areas such as religion, census-taking and the presence of houses of prostitution.

It is no stretch of the imagination that America is currently undergoing the same “democratic erosion” that the Roman empire suffered through. This erosion, as Stone explains, manifests in a variety of ways, including a diminishing work ethic, growing dependency on government support, a decline in Christian values and a waning respect for churches and the Bible. Stone’s historical and biblical analysis serves as a stark warning about the potential consequences of these societal shifts.

To further illustrate his perspective, Stone draws a parallel between the decline of the Roman Empire and potential challenges facing the United States. Economic strains, similar to those experienced by Rome, are evident in the need for infrastructure repair, including roads and bridges. The historical pattern of an increasing number of people relying on government assistance rings familiar, leading Rome to pass laws to prevent individuals from quitting their jobs to maintain a workforce.

But there was one particularly crucial turning point in the decline of the Roman Empire—the loss of individual responsibility among the citizens. Stone notes that Senators of Rome prioritized retaining power over genuine concern for the people, a trend echoed in the halls of America’s Congress. The tax burden on the rich became so immense that many chose not to have children, fearing the financial strain, a scenario reminiscent of present concerns regarding the national debt.

Edward Gibbon, the author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and was no fan of Christianity, outlined five reasons for the downfall of great civilizations:

  1. The rapid increase of divorce, with the undermining of the sanctity of the home, which is the basis of society (the nuclear family).
  2. Higher and higher taxes; and the spending of public money on bread and circuses (food and entertainment).
  3. The mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming more exciting and brutal each year (NFL, NBA, MMA, gambling).
  4. The building of gigantic armies to fight external enemies, when the most deadly enemy, the decadence of the people, lay within (consumerism, narcissism, lack of education).
  5. The decay of religion; faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to guide it (paganism, persecution of Christianity, rise of religious “nones” and Satanism).

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Perry Stone’s comprehensive analysis serves as a necessary exploration of history, democracy and biblical prophecy. It urges Christian and Americans alike to reflect on the patterns of the past, drawing parallels between the rise and fall of civilizations, and consider the potential consequences of current societal, and spiritual, shifts.

Whether one views these connections through a historical, political or biblical lens, Stone’s message invites the public’s attention toward the resilience of democracies, the lessons of history and the shaping forces that influence the destiny of nations.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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