Pastor Dave  

Canada: On the incline or decline?


There was a time when, according to Edward Gibbon’s history of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, “Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth and the most civilized portion of mankind.” It had a powerful and unified system of laws and manners that cemented provinces of the Empire into a realm that enjoyed an incredible level of peace.

Gibbon pointed to a singular major cause, moral decay as the precursor for decline in the Western Roman Empire. He provided evidence of this moral decline speaking about things like the failure of the patriarchal society, sexual perversity, infanticide, high levels of divorce, violent entertainment in the Coliseums, political corruption, the loss of a national work ethic, and ultra-multiculturalism, where Rome lost its core identity.

Some historians, like Arnold Toynbee and James Burke, have argued that the seeds of decline and failure were there right from the Empire’s inception. They portray Rome as a plundering economy that was based on the military looting existing resources rather than producing anything new, a system that was entitlement based and dependent upon importing slaves from the far corners of the Empire to do work they did not want to do.

Others point to decline as an accumulation of many causes coming together in a very short time. Students of the Empire describe the corporate impact of everything from deforestation, inflation, barbarian invasion, and urban decay to political corruption, disease and plagues, and military over-extension. Smallpox itself killed close to half the population which resulted in less capability to support the tax base and other necessary institutions.

Some see Christianity’s emergence as a cause of empiric failure, as many Roman citizens adopted pacifism and refused to protect the Empire. However, others saw Christianity as the stabilizing force for the Empire, as the Eastern Empire continued to exist close to 1,000 years longer than the West, mostly due to this unifying religious influence.

No matter the theory for decline in culture, it is clear, as jurist Judge Devlin stated, that “an established morality is as necessary as good government to the welfare of society.” He went on to say that, “societies disintegrate from within more frequently than they are broken up by external pressures.” The condition of moral decline is seen as preceding or concomitant with the decline of the quality of life and the decline of nations.

Nations that refuse to heed the lessons of previous failing and fallen cultures are bound to repeat their mistakes. We need to incline our ear or we will be susceptible to decline just as other cultures experienced. If we will not protect our children from conception our nation will decline. If we will not value and preserve marriage and family our culture will devolve. If we will not train the next generation in character and a respect for discipline our country will lose its good future.

We have modern barbarians at the gates of Canada. Who is standing on guard? For years we have tolerated the barbaric treatment of the babes in the womb. Applauds to Members of Parliament who are medically challenging what may be an outdated Section of our code that states that children are human beings at birth, not conception. Abortion is indeed a human rights issue.

For years we permitted sexual predators access to under aged children and kiddie porn. For years we have tolerated our soil being used as a preferred destination for the sex trade and trafficking of women. For years we have undermined the strength of marriage and the family. For years our work ethic has been diminishing. For years we have fought the very voice of reason and faith and thrown back efforts to rebuild moral foundations.

General Douglas MacArthur stated, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.”

We are in critical days for the Canadian experiment. Whether Canada will incline or decline – whether it climbs mountains or steps on to the slippery slope – will depend on how it deals with growing moral decay.

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About the Author

Dr. David Kalamen is founder and lead pastor of Kelowna Christian Center (KCC). Married to Carleen for 35 years, they and their family, all living and working in Kelowna, have together been ministering to the people of this region for over 25 years. David cares deeply about the citizens of Kelowna and the state of the city, causing him to develop the Houses of Mercy program to help build compassionate community.

His column "Oh! Canada!" reflects his love for the Canadian people and this nation, and brings a refreshing perspective to local and national issues of common concern.

David has spoken at national and international conferences that have dealt with a wide range of leadership issues touching Christianity, politics, social justice, mercy missions and business. That call has taken him to over 20 nations. He has served on the General Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and is presently a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute. David has authored a book, Life Purpose that has sold broadly throughout Canada.

If you want to contact Pastor Kalamen about this week's column please e-mail [email protected], call (250) 762-9559, or write to KCC at 905 Badke Road, Kelowna, V1X 5Z5.

Useful websites are:
Kelowna Christian Center: www.kcc.net
Heritage Christian School: www.heritagechristian.ca
Heritage Christian Online: www.onlineschool.ca
Global Ministry Training Center: www.gmtc.ca

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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