It is so bizarre to me the way Christians like to use the decline of Rome as a model of what will happen to America. This website is a perfect example.
Bizarre because what happened just prior to the decline of Rome? The country became Christian.
"Fall of Rome" is normally either dated to the Sack of Rome by Alaric the Goth on August 24th A.D. 410, or the resignation of the last Roman Emperor of the Western Empire, Romulus Agustus, on September 4th, A.D. 476.
On his deathbed (May 337 A.D.)Constantine converted to Christianity. Although the path from Pagan to Christian Rome had a few more hurdles, it was from the time of Constantine that Roman Christianity is dated.
I think it is unlikely the Christianization of Rome led to its decline. Well, I really have no clue what I am talking about, but it seems unlikely the two are related.
I am fine with people trying to show parallels with the decline of the Roman empire and the United States, and think it is possible some parallel may exist, and provide lessons for us today, but it is bizarre when Christian writers talk about the Decline of Rome and attempt to parallel it with the 'declining moral values' of the US. As the above article excellent demonstrates, they try to show(without citing any references, statistics, or studies whatsoever) that Rome fell because of its declining Christian morals.
I imagine that when a country goes from being, not Christian to Christian, its living of Christian values increase, exponentially. Assuming this is the case with Rome, it pretty much proves the decline of Rome is not a result of a decline in Christian values. And while America is on the verge of losing its super power status, it has far more to do with the increasingly global nature of markets and the rise of China and India, then our losing of sexual restrictions, and increase in tolerance, acceptance, and unity, as many Christian writers like to portray.
For an interesting and what seems objective analysis of the decline of Rome, I just came across this article, which also links to several other articles on the subject. Interestingly, it does show some reasons why the Christianization of Rome, did contribute, along with many other factors, to its decline. The problem was not so much the country becoming Christian, but the leadership.
A quick list of Reasons Rome likely fell:
* Financial Problems
* The Dole and Barbarians
* Economic, Military, Gradual
* Vandals and Religious Controversy
* Division of the Empire
* Hoarding and Deficit
And, because it was funny, I am going to re-post my brother's comment on the previous entry here:
wow, that article is such a rigorous academic study in the fall of rome
this line was my favorite:
They live in a fantasy world in which they “must” have cellphones; they “need” their privacy; they “have rights.”
man, the idea of kids having privacy and rights is outrageous, if those romans were like todays kids i'm surprised rome didn't collapse sooner!