Professor Alexander Tyler, while our 13 original colonies still belonged to
Great Britain, wrote of the fall of the Athenian republic of over 2,000 years
before. He said, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of govern-
ment. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote them-
selves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority
always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public
treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal
policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
The average age of the world’s civilizations has been 200 years. These na-
tions have progressed through this sequence:
- From bondage to spiritual health.
- From spiritual health to great courage.
- From courage to liberty.
- From liberty to abundance.
- From abundance to selfishness.
- From selfishness to complacency.
- From complacency to apathy.
- From apathy to dependency.
- From dependency back again into bondage.
It seems to me that the American people are now taking steps six through
eight. Can we avoid the final step? History says an astounding, “No.” We are
fourteen trillion in debt and trying to police and finance the world. We have
little patriotism and regard for morality, as the recent scandals which con-
sume the political system demonstrate.
As you know, what is true of nations is true of God’s people, the church. Is-
rael followed the same steps from bondage into bondage again. During the
restoration era, the church fought for its existence. It became strong and
courageous. Then it became proud and wealthy. The larger congregations
became selfish and complacent and turned their work over to human institu-
tions, thus becoming dependent upon others. Now, many of them are soft
and compromising — and headed into apostasy again! It seems that about
the only fact we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.