Morality is about relationships. Moral decline occurs when relationships begin to fracture. Relationships that are long lasting and based upon the desire to appreciate one another’s contributions without making egregious detrimental demands that fracture commitments are the basis of a healthy society.
A review of history indicates that nations have either been defeated because greater forces have subdued them or they appear to have crumbled from within. One of the reasons nations have collapsed is because of the corruption that has permeated the community. But here are eight reasons attributed to the fall of the Roman Empire:
- Invasions by Barbarian tribes
- Economic troubles and overreliance on slave labor
- The rise of the Eastern Empire
- Overexpansion and military overspending
- Government corruption and political instability
- The arrival of the Huns and the migration of the Barbarian tribes
- Christianity and the loss of traditional values
- Weakening of the Roman legions
Andrew Howley of the National Geographic Society, reporting on an ancient civilization conference convened in Guatemala, points to the effects of deforestation on the collapse of civilization. Deforestation could have been due to population explosion or drought or some other major catastrophe.
Anyone who implies that people following the teachings of Jesus is the reason Rome declined has to be demonstrating ignorance. For from the Bible we learn that when people remove themselves from the truth that God is the source of our life and existence, then moral decadence will flourish (Romans 1:22-32) and with it the breakdown of society.
Moral decadence leads people to forsake the very institution that keeps society intact, the family. Once people forsake honoring the family, then this is the beginning of the end of a civilization. Family instills commitment.
Confucius thought has played a major part in the general Chinese ethos over the last 2,500 years. The exemption, perhaps, being the communist era; even now, many people still hold to Confucian tradition. (Robert Oxnam et al) state in The Three Confucian Values
In the Confucian tradition, human relatedness is the primary given. Human beings exist in a social context. They learn from one another, they interact with one another.Consequently the family is seen as the very core of society where children learn their obligation to their parents and how to relate to other members of the family.
Moses appeared on the scene some 3,500 years ago. God called Moses to be the human mediator of His will for the Israelites and, more generally, mankind. The Omniscient God desires that people do not transgress what is expressed in the Ten Commandments. The first five of those commandments relate to God Himself, speak of the environment, and point to how nations will implode. The next five commandments speak of the individuals requirements for relating to other people and how each one ought to think if everyone is to enjoy community. Violating these injunctions would incur disaster.
In the teachings of Jesus, we see what is required of people who are to possess eternal life. We also learn what is required of people if they are to live in peace on Earth. There is no difference in Jesus' teachings and what is found in the Ten Commandments when it comes to morality. The New Testament epistles expand on what Jesus taught and emphasize that the law (Ten Commandments) is good and needs to be upheld.
- Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. (Romans 7:16)
- Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully. (1 Timothy 1:8)
Honesty, truthfulness and virtue only exist when justice is acknowledged and upheld. Faith, justice and mercy are very important elements within a prosperous society that ensure its prosperity. Justice, mercy and faith are taught within family interactions as individuals learn to interact, overcome misunderstandings and enjoy the unity of a well-run household. Of course, this has to be adhered to when people are attending schools; when they are participating in the workplace; when they are involved in government operations. But when people throw out the Ten Commandments, this is not going to happen, society is going to become more corrupt and decadence will ensure the breakdown of every relationship.
The Ten Commandments Were Designed For You To Enjoy And Possess Life