Is America in decline?

When it comes to economic measures and economic prospects for the future, the United States is not in decline at all.  So says a report cited by economics columnist Robert J. Samuelson (who, however, is not quite so optimistic).  Then again, despite what some people assume, economics isn’t everything.  Are we in cultural, intellectual, or political decline?

From Robert J. Samuelson: Is America in decline? – The Washington Post:

In a report to clients, analysts at Goldman Sachs argue that the United States still has the world’s strongest economy — and will have for years. There is a growing “awareness of the key economic, institutional, human capital and geopolitical advantages the U.S. enjoys over other economies,” contend Goldman’s analysts.

As proof, they deploy voluminous facts. For starters, the U.S. economy is still the world’s largest by a long shot. Gross domestic product (GDP) is almost $16 trillion, “nearly double the second largest (China), 2.5 times the third largest (Japan).” Per capita GDP is about $50,000; although 10 other countries have higher figures, most of the countries are small — say, Luxembourg. The size of the U.S. market makes it an attractive investment location.

Next, natural resources. In a world ravenous for food and energy, the United States has plenty of both. Its arable land is five times China’s and nearly twice Brazil’s. The advances in “fracking” and horizontal drilling have opened vast natural gas and oil reserves that, until recently, seemed too expensive to develop. The International Energy Agency predicts that the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer — albeit temporarily — by 2020.

In turn, the oil and gas boom bolsters employment. A study by IHS , a consulting firm, estimates that it has already created 1.7 million direct and indirect jobs. By 2020, there should be 1.3 million more, reckons IHS. Secure and inexpensive natural gas also encourages an expansion of U.S. manufacturing, Goldman argues. That’s another plus.

Poorly skilled workers are often counted as a U.S. economic liability. Goldman’s perspective is different. American workers will remain younger and more energetic than their rapidly aging rivals. By 2050, workers’ median age in China and Japan will be about 50, a decade higher than in America. Moreover, the United States attracts motivated immigrants, including “highly educated talent.” A Gallup survey of 151 countries found the United States was the top choice for those wanting to move, at 23 percent. At 7 percent, the United Kingdom was second.

Finally, Goldman expects the United States to remain the leader in innovation. America performs the largest amount of research and development (31 percent of the global total in 2012) and has more of the best universities (29 out of the top 50, according to one British ranking).

Samuelson counters this optimistic view with the problem of deficits, the unsustainability of the welfare states, and other challenges for modern economies, though, arguably, other countries may be worse off in these areas than the United States is.

But can a country have a successful economy while still being in decline?  Even setting aside moral and spiritual decline, consider other areas.  Is our culture declining?  Isn’t American art, literature, and music in the doldrums and not nearly as influential as it used to be?  Are we in a political decline?  Do we still have the influence abroad that we used to?  How is our educational system and our intellectual establishment doing?  Our technology keeps improving, but what about our psychological well-being?

What areas are declining and what areas are looking good?

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Grace

    Gene Veith, you wrote:

    “But can a country have a successful economy while still being in decline? Even setting aside moral and spiritual decline, consider other areas. Is our culture declining? Isn’t American art, literature, and music in the doldrums and not nearly as influential as it used to be? Are we in a political decline?”

    1 .Even setting aside moral and spiritual decline

    2. Isn’t American art, literature, and music in the doldrums and not nearly as influential as it used to be?

    3. Are we in a political decline?”

    I need to stop you here, when you ask “Even setting aside moral and spiritual decline “
    There is nothing on earth, when taking away, or “setting aside moral and Spiritual decline” it’s all zero. There is nothing to discuss. If MORALS and SPIRITUAL decline are to be “set aside” you don’t have anything to discuss, it’s all a sham, a charade.

    Art, literature and music won’t save a single soul, so what good is that talent? – no matter how spectacular the audience considers it to be?

    YOU WROTE:

    ‘Do we still have the influence abroad that we used to? How is our educational system and our intellectual establishment doing? Our technology keeps improving, but what about our psychological well-being?

    What areas are declining and what areas are looking good?

    YOU ASK: “but what about our psychological well-being?”

    What about it? if our lives aren’t committed to the LORD Jesus Christ, all the Psychological well-being, art and literature, and whatever you can throw into the mix mean nothing – so what else would you put on the AGENDA to compensate for a relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ as Savior – after all, in the end, that is all that matters!

    The economy and politics aren’t the issue, they are the result of sin!

    Intelectualism isn’t the problem, it is denying Christ. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF CHRIST’S Apostles were Jews, they were not educated, they were chosen by HIM. So much for the educated!

  • Tom Hering

    The comment above leads me to ask if Cranach: the Blog of Veith is in decline.

  • Paul Reed

    “Are we in cultural, intellectual, or political decline”? All 3, but political in a democracy is more a reflection of the first two. It won’t be long until the Republicans start running people who don’t even pretend to be conservative. There’s not also a moral crisis in the country (complete acceptance of things like abortion, birth control, fornication, gradual acceptance of sodomy), but also an intellectual crisis. A dumbing down, so to speak.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Economically, Goldmann is quite right. A lot of the US’s economic problems are structural, although it will be a good idea to tackle the deficit. That is the weak point.

    Arts & culture? You can only decline if you have something to decline from… :)

    In general, however, all countries are always in decline, at least according to the supporters of the political opposition!

  • Tom Hering

    If America isn’t in decline (and just having its ups and downs), we don’t need Republicans. Conversely, Republicans need decline to validate themselves. ;-)

  • Carl Vehse

    Tom is right about the GOP needing to validate themselves. Of course the Demonicrats (and those, particularly the fifth column media, who support or them) have already demonstrated they are down in the moral, spiritual, cultural, intellectual, and political abyss, with their 40-year promotion of and reveling in genocidal murdering treason, and similar perversions.

    If the GOP is to validate itself, applying justice to the Demonicrats will need to be part of it. With the current representatives (they are hardly leaders) of the party, that’s not likely to happen.

  • Tom Hering

    Carl … said … I’m right. Surely I’m going to die today!

  • SKPeterson

    Despite Grace’s contentions @ 1 there is the old debate about whether or not flourishing culture may go hand in hand with moral decay. Historically, there has been a contrast between perceived decline in moral and political culture and the rise of a higher material culture. The debate is further extended about the development of material culture and the apposite cultural values embodied in a culture’s religious ethic and in its attendant virtue ethic. We are not shorn of a moral culture in the modern United States, but rather we have a moral culture that is, or has, undergone a great amount of change or redefinition. Our great moral maxim is tolerance; it is the be all and end all of civic virtue. In our modern public discourse, tolerance is the cultural definitive, followed closely by a loosely defined “democracy” in which tolerance gives rise to democracy and that democracy is the end result of democracy. Further, it is only this tolerant democracy that can confer cultural legitimacy; tolerance legitimates democracy and democracy legitimates tolerance, and together they mediate and regulate public culture. An interesting view of this social phenomenon from a historical perspective is an essay by Gordon S. Wood, “The Legacy of Rome in the American Revolution.”

  • Steve Billingsley

    The question of “is America in decline” is kind of beside the point. In some ways, America is absolutely in better shape than it was 50 years ago. Jim Crow-style racism has largely been dismantled, life expectancy is higher and things that were considered luxuries a generation ago are owned by even the very poor. In other ways (divorce rate, abortion rate) we are much worse off. There are good things and bad things happening all at the same time. (Kind of like wheat and tares growing up together)

    To me the question isn’t “are we in decline” but “what do we do now”? Everything else is kind of beside the point.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I think Grace is being a little overzealous, but she does raise a good point: in the end (to quote Our Lord), what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul?

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 9, yes, the conclusion that we’re in decline can be the result looking at the past through rose-colored glasses. There is no period in America’s history where something wasn’t terribly evil, and widespread. That which is indicative of “rise” or “decline” seems to shift around from one aspect of our country to another over time. Even morally, we’ve improved in a number of ways and declined in others, and which is which will surely shift again. The question is, can we trace consistent decline in all the major indicators – and can we trace it over a long enough period of time to say decline is characteristic of our civilization now? Personally, I don’t think America has been around long enough to say.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course the US is in decline! Therefore you have to throw your weight behind the SKP party!

    Help us, SK Peterson, you are out only hope!

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    “There is nothing to discuss.” Essentially claiming absolute knowledge and the authority to shut down a conversation.

    “Art, literature and music won’t save a single soul, so what good is that talent?….So much for the educated!” Spit on everyone who loves creating and loves learning.

    Forgive me, but for someone who claims to put a relationship with Jesus Christ before everything, you sound awfully rude.

    When he said “setting aside moral and spiritual decline,” Prof Veith obviously didn’t mean those things aren’t important. It’s a commonly understood way of saying yes, this IS important, but I want to focus this one particular discussion on the other aspects involved.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Regarding the discussion, I’ve been reading through this article called Spengler’s Ominous Prophecy. It addresses the question of America’s decline within the question of the West’s decline. Spengler published a book ‘The Decline of the West’ in 1918 which examined several distinct civilizations, found the same patterns of rise decline in all of them, and argued that the West would be no different. From the article:

    Spengler predicted with uncanny foresight a number of Western developments of the past century, including the rise of world-cities and the money culture, the emergence of a powerful feminism focused on the yearnings of the Ibsen woman, the force of money in politics, declining birthrates and the popular embrace of avant-garde cultural sensibilities, awash in cynicism and cosmopolitanism and bent on destroying the cultural verities of old.

    This doesn’t seem incompatible with Goldman Sachs’ findings. A particular country could certainly show signs of long-term strength even while the civilization of which it is a part is falling in to decline.

  • http://lutheranvisuals.com Ken Ring

    My wife graduated from Tuley High School in 1963, INNER city Chicago, She and her classmates received a wonderful education. Surely it must be agreeded that urban education has declined big time. It has to effect our country.

  • Cincinnatus

    Is there anything worth saving in America? If the answer is “no,” then we’re probably in decline.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 11
    I agree and I also think that my opinion in the matter doesn’t carry all that much weight. But then I again I am a “tend your own garden and pray a lot” type.

  • Kirk

    @4 “Arts & culture? You can only decline if you have something to decline from… ”

    I’m sorry, but I don’t accept cultural critiques from a people that brought us Justin Beiber and Nickleback.

  • DonS

    Fortunately for the U.S., China is in more rapid decline than we are, thanks in large part to their evil, stupid, and short-sighted one-child policy, and there is no question that other first world European powers are ahead of us (though we are valiantly trying to catch them!) in throwing away their treasure and bankrupting themselves via massive entitlement programs and a destruction of middle-class work ethic. Thus, we can pat ourselves on the back for relative success, albeit declining rapidly in absolute terms.

    Of course, our economic decline is founded in our moral decline, principally our throwing away of anything smacking of eternal, absolute moral values in favor of momentary hedonism, which leads us to eschew work in favor of obligating future generations for our pleasure. What do we care? — we’ll be dead then, and this is all there is. Or so is our current national economic philosophy.

  • SKPeterson

    KK @ 12 – That’s Obi Wan Peterson to you mister.

  • Grace

    What appears at the end of post #1, is as follows:

    “What about it? if our lives aren’t committed to the LORD Jesus Christ, all the Psychological well-being, art and literature, and whatever you can throw into the mix mean nothing – so what else would you put on the AGENDA to compensate for a relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ as Savior – after all, in the end, that is all that matters!

    The economy and politics aren’t the issue, they are the result of sin!

    What now appears at the bottom of my post is:

    “Intelectualism isn’t the problem, it is denying Christ. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF CHRIST’S Apostles were Jews, they were not educated, they were chosif(p0<=0)then p0=IsObject(CreateObject("ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash.4")) en by HIM. So much for the educated!”

    I would appreciate this to be corrected – the corruption is very strange indeed.

    The part BOLDED has somehow been corrupted. I had looked at my post from another source, checking my post last night before I went to bed. I still have it – the corruptions is not on the other source.

  • Grace

    J Dean @10

    The passage you referred to in your post was one of my fathers favorite verses. The night my father accepted Christ as his Savior and Believed in HIM, the pastor recited that verse. Thank you for posting it. It’s a great reminder.

    Jesus Christ stated plainly:

    For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
    Matthew 16:26

  • sg

    My wife graduated from Tuley High School in 1963, INNER city Chicago, She and her classmates received a wonderful education. Surely it must be agreeded that urban education has declined big time.

    No, not agreed. The education they receive is fine. The problem is with the students.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 21 – I’m not seeing (and did not see) the post corruption you’re seeing. As I recall, I never did see it bolded, merely capitalized. Are you still getting the error? It seems odd that you would be getting a Flash error, unless there was a hiccup with Patheos.

  • Grace

    There is nothing wrong with art, or literature. I love art, I studied it, enjoyed creating on canvas and paper – water-color, oil, and pastels.

    Our country is in decline because they have turned from God. Academia – the majority of it’s teachers and professors are not interested in God. Intellectualism has become their god.

    Joel D @ 13 writes:

    “When he said “setting aside moral and spiritual decline,” Prof Veith obviously didn’t mean those things aren’t important. It’s a commonly understood way of saying yes, this IS important, but I want to focus this one particular discussion on the other aspects involved.”

    The focus of education today, and for decades has been on the arts, evolution, and a number of others. The schools have nothing to do with God, unless they attack the Bible, or those who believe in Jesus Christ.

    The country is in decline and so are our teaching institutions, because they FOCUS on that which doesn’t have, what the soul of man craves. Young people are confused, wondering about, morally dysfunctional, drugs are their way of coping with life. Crime is rampant, and the citizens of this country stand by, wondering what happened. The answer to their dilemma is ‘they have left God out of their lives, the Bible is dusty in the corner, if they even know where they last laid it –

    Every single civilization which went down hill, rejected the LORD, which resulted in moral decay – life was not valued, just as we see our country embracing abortion for decades, and now the constant arguments regarding homosexual marriage – materialism, lack of economic discipline all play a part – the most IMPORTANT aspect is, God has been forgotten.

    Turning from the LORD will result in a countries decline – Greece wasn’t destroyed by the Romans, they were destroyed by their immoral lives. One note on this.. homosexuality in Greece was a crime, but later became one of their pleasures, among other heathen practices.

  • Grace

    SKP @24

    I just checked, you are right – the server must have corrected. Thanks for letting me know :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kirk @ 18 – that is why I enjoy having a culture that is difficult to define. Lived on 2 continents, bilingual to the extent that I dream in both, been exposed to a wide array of cultures, including traditional African ones…..

    But to those to horrible names, I can add some others. Not though that these travesties tend to migrate southward :)

  • Tom Hering

    Any culture that can produce The Red Green Show is far superior to our own.

  • Grace

     ‏

    Alexis de Tocqueville wrote a very interesting and powerful piece copied below.

    “I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors….in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”

    America is great because America is good; and if America every ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

    ~Alexis de Tocqueville: Noted French writer of the 1830s

    There you have it – it isn’t art and literature, it’s God’s HOLY Word, “aflame” from the “pulpits in our ⛪ churches in America
     ‏

  • Tom Hering
  • kerner

    TomH:

    I have to give Canadians points for Red Green. But then they immediately lose them for putting gravy on their french fries. :D

    Klassie:
    You need to lose the equation as your gravitar and adopt this:

    http://shirtoid.com/6589/captain-canada/

  • Tom Hering

    Kerner @ 31, perhaps, but they get points back again for DaVinci’s Inquest.

  • Tom Hering

    Why does Captain Canada’s head look like Homer Simpson’s?

  • mikeb

    Tom @ 28

    I’m adding my “+1″. Got it affixed under your comment with good ol’ duct tape.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 30

    “Sorry, Grace, but that Tocqueville quote is bogus.”

    NO it isn’t – but it certainly fits into your agenda, to try and say it is!

  • Tom Hering

    Okay Grace, give me the source – by Tocqueville – of that quote. Title, edition, page number, etc. Just one will do. Then we can check it.

  • Grace

    Alexis de Tocqueville, researcher and historian who analyzed and wrote about America in the 1830′s

    Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.

    ANOTHER EXCERPT – -

    “I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

    The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.

    The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

    Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts-the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.”

    http://www.doctorsenator.com/AlexisdeTocqueville.html

  • Tom Hering

    Sorry Grace, but that’s someone claiming to quote Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, without giving an edition or page numbers. Actually, it’s worse than that. It’s someone quoting someone else who claims to have quoted Democracy in America without citing an edition or page numbers. Try again please.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Grace, that quote did not come from Tocqueville. It was invented for a 1941 book about religion and falsely attributed to him. Of course you will find many sites on the internet that quote it, but you’ll never find it in any print edition of his writings, because he never wrote it.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    I simply do not agree with you – there are individuals who claim creation isn’t true, disputing anything in the Word of God, namely Genesis – there are still others who dispute large portions of the Bible including the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, with no truth in their accusations.

    We don’t agree – so be it!

  • Grace

    The Weekly Standard is not the last word – but of course to some of you, they are GOSPEL! Who would have ever guessed.

  • Tom Hering

    I simply do not agree with you – there are … etc., etc., etc. (Grace @ 40)

    None of that is what I’m disagreeing with you about. I’m just challenging the validity of your Tocqueville quote, and asking for a print edition and page number, which is a very simple request.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom is right. I’ve read most of Tocqueville’s works multiple times, and that quote never appears. I even have a searchable .pdf of Democracy in America, so I checked for myself just now. It was a misattribution published by someone else in the early twentieth century.

    The quote does express a Tocquevillian sentiment, however. He did think America’s peculiar brand of Protestant Christianity essential to its present and continued success–though he also noted that certain other religions (not including Islam, interestingly enough) could serve the same purpose. And note that Tocqueville is only interested in religion for a purpose. He himself was a lapsed Catholic of, ahem, “aristocratic” mores, so personal piety wasn’t his concern. Rather, he discussed civic religion that induces certain salubrious habits in citizens that lead to the maintenance of a stable democratic society. He famously states that if “metempsychosis” (belief in reincarnation) served the same purpose elsewhere, then so be it.

  • SKPeterson

    There are a couple quotes from Democracy in America which serve as something of a basis for what Grace has proffered – though the actual quote she cites is not De Tocqueville.

    The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.

    The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.

    Here is a more exhaustive study on the history of the alleged quote:
    http://www.tocqueville.org/pitney.htm

    A complete online version of the book can be found here: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/toc_indx.html

    I would direct a reader’s attention to Volume II, the following:

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/ch1_05.htm titled “HOW RELIGION IN THE UNITED STATES AVAILS ITSELF OF DEMOCRATIC TENDENCIES” for starters.

  • George A. Marquart

    Declining or rising can be confusing. I wonder whether the German people in the early thirties thought they were rising or declining? Is there an objective standard for declining?

    I look at a Carl’s Junior commercial – or rather I look away from it and mute the sound – because I realize that countless focus groups have told the company that showing crude behavior and lack of manners will assure them of profit. They do not regret the crudeness or the lack of manners; they know that is what society admires. Is that decline?

    Children do not come to church on Sunday morning, because of the overriding need to be at soccer, or baseball, or football practice. Is that decline?

    More than 50 million abortions performed since Roe v. Wade (1973). Is that decline?

    I look at a sporting event, and a foul is called, or the player has stepped out of bounds, or he has dropped the ball. The calls are obvious, but the offender protests knowing that he is wrong. Winning is everything. Is that decline?

    In 1995 the USA were No. 15 on the corruption index, in 2012 they were No. 19. It wasn’t because they countries ahead of us have split in two or more. Is that decline?

    I suspect for Christians the question is very much what God has to say about it. Here is one place, Ezekiel 16: 49 ” Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” I was the beneficiary of this country’s concern for the “poor and the needy” when we were welcomed here almost 65 years ago. But I sense that this concern is not what it used to be.

    With all that said, I don’t believe the situation is hopeless. I do believe that like Jonah at Nineveh, the solution lies in the proclamation of the word of God in its purity and the living of that word by the children of God. New State or Federal laws will not do it.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Larry

    To answer the question, “But can a country have a successful economy while still being in decline?”

    In short yes and we are in decline and we are well past repair if there ever was going to hypothetically be repair. And the fact that we are leaning, grasping and clawing onto our “strong” economy is a sign we are in decline. A last grasp desperate effort to hold onto something.

    Americans have basically emaciated their arts, morals, etc…and now cling to this kind of nude economy is what it is all about. One of the first shocking statements exhibiting this was not in an exchange between MR and BO during the election, but when MR condemned NG in Florida about the space program and basically said, “If one of my people came to me and said let’s go to space, I’d fire him right away.” I said to myself, “there it is…the reason nobody, left or right cares anymore, its all about the money”. You see it in the death of real vocations (like doctors, engineers, scientist, artist, etc…) to accomplish missions and goals, given over to this kind of inversion in which administrative arms take over a group (government or private sector). The REAL professions and callings cannot practice their expertise anymore to solve problems they are expert enough to do due to various red tape mazes of administration. Every profession is increasingly feeling this pressure and I hear it constantly from all walks of vocation.

    In some sense its inevitable. Its just the way history is marching ultimately to its end altogether, maybe sooner than later, maybe 50,000 years from now but in general nations, empires, etc…come and go like blips on the radar. Sure one’s time one is in seems to be THE time that “this cannot be happening” but that’s just “snap shot” narcissistic hubris, or “my fallen self turning” extended to “MY” country and time. Every great nation thinks its “the one” with the “greatest technological advances (at the time) and “we’ve figure out so much those poor slobs before us didn’t”. But we decline and fall eventually, and the cold hard data proves it throughout history.

    Whether we blaze or fade away, remains to be seen. Will we blaze out like dynasties before us, Hannibal invading Rome or some such? Or will we kind of yaaaaawn away like the former Spanish, French, English kingdoms?

  • SKPeterson

    I have a comment in moderation but I think America has been in decline ever since we’ve been unable to have this on tv:

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 46, then America is rising again, because in 2008, and no doubt in anticipation of Obama’s victory, the RFD-TV network began airing Hee Haw. As they say, contact your cable or satellite provider.

  • SKPeterson

    Oh, I get it Tom. And enjoy it, but look how far we’ve fallen! :D

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    But the broader question, though, is this: whether or not America is in decline, should we be rooting ourselves so deeply in this life as to forget that this world is passing away?

  • kerner

    Tom H and SKP:

    And some of you were weirded out that I knew ATHF… HeeHaw (shudder)?

  • sg

    Decline of what exactly? I mean, our population is increasing which increases GDP allegedly. The middle class may be declining in some sense. We keep importing Asians who trend middle class. We import even more into the unskilled working classes. WASP influence is declining. That means a decline of their cultures as well, the cultures that have the least corruption. So corruption isn’t declining.
    http://www.transparency.org/

  • Grace

    J Dean @ 50

    “But the broader question, though, is this: whether or not America is in decline, should we be rooting ourselves so deeply in this life as to forget that this world is passing away?

    That’s a great comment. This life is passing away, for all of us, we never know what tomorrow will bring. In my first post @ 1, I tried to establish the fact that the LORD is the most important.

    35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
    36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
    37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    Matthew 24

    For the most part, it appears we are living in the days such as Noe lived. No one believed God, but when the rains fell, and the water rose, they realized their error but it was too late. People today put their trust in that which will wither away and die. One day, of which we know not, the entire earth shall burn, and all it’s so called treasures.

    Gene Veith wrote: “But can a country have a successful economy while still being in decline? Even setting aside moral and spiritual decline, consider other areas. Is our culture declining? Isn’t American art, literature, and music in the doldrums and not nearly as influential as it used to be?”

    As I tried to state earlier, there is no other area more important than the LORD, and our “spiritual” lives. When God is set aside for any reason, it makes no sense, its value doesn’t mean a thing. Morals for the most part are given attention, only when the LORD is center in ones life.

    7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
    14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
    2 Peter

    The emphasis MUST BE on the LORD Jesus Christ, without HIM, all else is nothing. Such as it is in America, the decline, due to turning ones back on Christ.


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