Skip to comments.The Eight Stages of the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Posted on 10/13/2016 8:17:05 AM PDT by Salvation
Cultures and civilizations go through cycles. Over time, many civilizations and cultures have risen and then fallen. We who live in painful times like these do well to recall these truths. Cultures and civilizations come and go; only the Church (though often in need of reform) and true biblical culture remain. An old song says, Only what you do for Christ will last. Yes, all else passes; the Church is like an ark in the passing waters of this world and in the floodwaters of times like these.
For those of us who love our country and our culture, the pain is real. By Gods grace, many fair flowers have come from Western culture as it grew over the past millennium. Whatever its imperfections (and there were many), great beauty, civilization, and progress emerged at the crossroads of faith and human giftedness. But now it appears that we are at the end of an era. We are in a tailspin we dont we seem to be able to pull ourselves out of. Greed, aversion to sacrifice, secularism, divorce, promiscuity, and the destruction of the most basic unit of civilization (the family), do not make for a healthy culture. There seems to be no basis for true reform and the deepening darkness suggests that we are moving into the last stages of a disease. This is painful but not unprecedented.
Sociologists and anthropologists have described the stages of the rise and fall of the worlds great civilizations. Scottish philosopher Alexander Tyler of the University of Edinburg noted eight stages that articulate well what history discloses. I first encountered these in in Ted Flynns book The Great Transformation. They provide a great deal of perspective to what we are currently experiencing.
Lets look at each of the eight stages. The names of the stages are from Tylers book and are presented in bold red text. My brief reflections follow in plain text.
Another possibility is that a more powerful nation or group is able to enter, by invasion or replacement, and destroy the final vestiges of a decadent civilization and replace it with their own culture.
Either way, its back to crucible, until suffering and conflict bring about enough of the wisdom, virtue, and courage necessary to begin a new civilization that will rise from the ashes.
Thus are the stages of civilizations. Sic transit gloria mundi. The Church has witnessed a lot of this in just the brief two millennia of her time. In addition to civilizations, nations have come and gone quite frequently over the years. Few nations have lasted longer than 200 years. Civilizations are harder to define with exact years, but at the beginning of the New Covenant, Rome was already in decline. In the Churchs future would be other large nations and empires in the West: the Holy Roman Empire, various colonial powers, the Spanish, the Portuguese, and the French. It was once said that The sun never sets on the British Empire. Now it does. As the West began a long decline, Napoleon made his move. Later, Hitler strove to build a German empire. Then came the USSR. And prior to all this, in the Old Testament period, there had been the Kingdom of David, to be succeeded by Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
The only true ark of safety is the Church, who received her promise of indefectibility from the Lord (Matt 16:18). But the Church, too, is always in need of reform and will have much to suffer. Yet she alone will survive this changing world, because she is the Bride of Christ and also His Body.
These are hard days, but perspective can help. It is hard to deny that we are living at the end of an era. It is painful because something we love is dying. But from death comes forth new life. Only the Lord knows the next stage and long this interregnum will be. Look to Him. Go ahead and vote, but put not your trust in princes (Ps 146:3). God will preserve His people, as He did in the Old Covenant. He will preserve those of us who are now joined to Him in the New Covenant. Find your place in the ark, ever ancient and yet new.
This video of psalm 121 is sung in an ancient language and manner, but its message is still current:
I lift mine eyes to the Mountains from whence cometh my help (Psalm 121).
Monsignor Pope Ping!
Sounds like Pope is making excuses for the Church hierarchy’s role in the decline and fall of the United States, especially with its support for “social justice”, liberation theology, abortion-funding democrats, and illegal alien amnesty.
The Catholic Church needs to wake up. Its biggest support is the United States of America - financially, membership, charity, religious liberty. Once America is gone, it is a return to the Muslim caliphate that ruled Africa and much of Europe.
“The only true ark of safety is the Church, who received her promise of indefectibility from the Lord (Matt 16:18). But the Church, too, is always in need of reform and will have much to suffer. Yet she alone will survive this changing world, because she is the Bride of Christ and also His Body.”
Assuming that the RCC can survive almost guarantees that it is vulnerable to destruction. Eternal vigilence applies to the RCC who should know better as the RCC used to be an empire and now their ‘domain’ is less than that of the Mall of America.
I first saw this back in the early 80’s, before the internet. It was Tytler, not Tyler.
However, once it hit the internet and Snopes was create, it was quickly categorized as false, as far as Tytler was the source.
However, regardless of the source, it is VERY good information. The ancient source just gave it more credibility because it was obvious way back then that the US was following the pattern.
I think he would agree that the Church is going through and has gone through the same stages. Complacency being the one which we may be in now.
This is talking about civilization.
Have you forgotten the quote from the Bible — “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”?????
The quote in the Bible does not refer to the organization of the Roman Catholic Church. The proof of that is found in the erasure of the Holy Roman Empire which used to be ruled by the pope.
The Kingdom of Italy prevailed against even the remnant of the Holy Roman Empire and left the Vatican with the few scant holdings it retains.
The church of Jesus is not found in any organization or denomination and the Bible was inerrant in saying that nothing will prevail against the King who sits on the throne of our hearts.
I mean you no offense in all of this but I’ll only point out that the RCC is being capably destroyed from within and to take its existence for granted is foolish.
I am not a Catholic but I also worry for and pray for the RCC that it will not succumb to the agents of the world who have so clearly compromised it.
The Holy Roman Empire was not run by men with a direct link back to Christ through the Apostles. It was run by Nobles, the most powerful Nobles descended from the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire who was anointed by the Pope
By your logic, the kingdom David founded collapsed, therefore Christ cannot be our Savior.
I appreciate the prayers on our behalf, but faulty reasoning is still faulty reasoning.
Thank you for sharing this excellent article.
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