Thursday, March 11, 2010

on the end of the American empire

Paul Farrell writes for, a Wall Street Journal financial website. It just so happens that he lives in Arroyo Grande. His articles are always a contrarian, alarmist and terribly thought provoking. His latest is titled "Collapse of the American Empire: Swift, Silent and Certain." The title says it all, but I encourage to read his argument, nonetheless.

I read it and freaked a bit, like I usually do when I read Mr. Farrell. But then I thought about history and God's Word.

Mr. Farrell and those he references are right. . . .the American empire will fall and collapse. All empires before this one have. We are naive if we think that the United States is immune or exempt and so many of the preceding factors are already in place. The question is not "if", but "when".

In the Bible we see the rise and fall of the Israeli, the Babylonian, the Assyrian, the Greek and then the Roman Empires. Our empire is relatively young, when compared to some of these others.

If the collapse is certain and soon, where does that leave us? What should this reality do to us?

Panic is one option.

Paralysis is another.

Pessimism is another.

But I don't think any of these are real and viable options for believers, those who trust in Jesus Christ. This reality ought to drive us back to the Word and back to the Lord.

The Bible tells us . . .

1. Earthly kingdoms and empires rise and fall, but God's kingdom rules over all and endures forever.

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ (Daniel 4:34-45)

2. God has a plan and purpose that transcends the rise and fall of kingdoms and uses the rise and fall of kingdoms.

Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; [I am] God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned [it, surely] I will do it. (Isaiah 46:9-11)

3. Our true citizenship is in heaven. We are sojourners here.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. (Philippians 3:20-4:1)

4. We have a sure, living, eternal hope.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:3-5)

Since all these things are true, what shall we do?

1. Don't despair, but hope and rejoice in the Lord.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)

2. Don't abandon our community, but serve it all the more, as salt and light, in Jesus' name.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)

Your thoughts in response to Mr. Farrell or in response to my response?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Growing up in the 1950's my mother taught me about this. She described Rome in its days and how it fell and told me that some day our country would fall likewise. In the 60 years since I have seen changes that reinforce what she said and it agrees with what Mr Farrell said. As believers we have a hope to support us because there is no hope in our country's survival, at least not forever. The loans our country is taking out are no different from the loans our citizens took out over the last years that led to the big drop in our economy. The difference is that when the countries loans come due we will be without a way to recover. Having faith in God, the one who created the world and who tells us that he is preparing us a place that will last forever is so comforting.