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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dance of Death

By Michael Hatcher

     In Carl Wilson’s book, "Our Dance Has Turned to Death,” he identified the common pattern of family decline in the ancient Greek and Roman empires.  Notice how it parallels what is happening in our nation today:
     In the first stage, men ceased to lead their families in worship.  Spiritual and moral development became secondary.  Their view of God became naturalistic, methodical, and mechanical.  In the second stage, men selfishly neglected care of their wives and children to pursue material wealth, political and military power and cultural development.  Material values began to dominate thought, and man began to exalt his own role as an individual.  The third stage involved a change in men’s sexual values.  Men who were preoccupied with business or war either neglected their wives sexually or became involved with lower-class women or with homosexuality.  Ultimately, a double standard of morality developed.  The fourth stage affected women.  The role of women at home and with children lost value and status.  Women were neglected and their roles devalued.  Soon they revolted to gain access to material wealth and also freedom for sex outside marriage.  Women also began to minimize sex relations to conceive children, and the emphasis became sex for pleasure.  Marriage laws were changed to make divorce easy.  In the fifth stage, husbands and wives competed against each other for money, home-leadership and the affection of their children.  This resulted in hostility and frustration and possible homosexuality in the children.  Many marriages ended in separation and divorce.  Many children were unwanted, aborted, abandoned, molested, and undisciplined.  The more undisciplined children became, the more social pressure there was to not have children.  The breakdown of the home produced anarchy.  The In the sixth stage, selfish individualism grew and carried over into society, fragmenting it into smaller and smaller group loyalties.  The nation was thus weakened by internal conflict.  The decrease in the birthrate produced an older population that had less ability to defend itself and less will to do so, making the nation more vulnerable to its enemies.  Finally, unbelief in God became more complete, parental authority diminished, and ethical and moral principles disappeared, affecting the economy and government.
     Thus, by internal weakness and fragmentation the societies came apart.  There was no way to save them except by a dictator who arose from within or by barbarians who invaded from without.

- Michael Hatcher, via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com



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