by Norbert J. Kuk
Many historians have outlined what they consider the classical stages or phases that major civilizations go through from their origin to their peak – and then to their eventual demise. While the number and designations of stages may differ, depending on who’s doing the outlining, most all agree on the basic progression of cause and effect. In the following paragraphs, we will describe and illustrate these stages as a timeline, and then arrive at our conclusion on where this country stands at the moment.
Stage One – Bondage. Most major civilizations began in the petri dish of bondage, whether by home-grown tyrants or by foreign conquest. Bondage can refer to physical slavery, such as the nation of Israel experienced for 400 years under the yoke of Egypt; or to religious persecution, as Western Christendom suffered for over 300 years under harsh Roman emperors; or to exploitative political and economic control, such as the British exercised over the American colonists. But over time, the injustices and suffering from bondage tend to turn the sufferers upward toward the Spiritual realm, which in turn leads to hope for deliverance. In short, the oppressed begin to realize that when God is all they’ve got, God is all they need.
Stage Two – Spiritual Growth. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, ESV). First and foremost, Paul is talking about freedom from sin, and it is freedom from sin that nurtures a growing faith, strengthens hope, and develops courage. To those in bondage, the courage that spiritual growth brings can evolve into a gradual passive resistance that may eventually become overt, and even violent.
For ancient Israel, it was the Exodus, and later the subjugation of the Promised Land, all under God’s direction. Fourth century Christians, on the other hand, won over their Roman oppressors not with an army but with a perseverance in faith and passive resistance, fortified by prayer. There were many instances of martyrdom and other sacrifices in the process, but each served to strengthen the collective courage of the group to maintain and advance faith.
In the case of the colonists in America, they were spiritual and courageous to begin with, since most journeyed across vast, dangerous waters seeking religious freedom – and as we know, tangible resistance to British economic exploitation began with acts of civil disobedience, such as the Boston Tea Party, and ended with the American Revolution.
Stage Three – Liberty. Obviously, once oppressed peoples have defeated their oppressors, they are liberated in the flesh as well as in spirit. They are free to worship openly as they please, innovate and work for the benefit of both the community and themselves, express their opinions openly, associate with whom they please, and so on. Liberty also brings a period of euphoria that’s typically characterized by strong adherence to the virtues and ideals fought for – and in the examples of the Israelites, Christians, and American colonists, a conscious and active gratitude to God for the victory. But typically, the period of euphoria and God-directed gratitude is only temporary.
Stage Four – Abundance. Unquestionably, liberty brings all kinds of economic benefits over time, gradually building to the level of prosperity, or abundance. Indeed, witness how rapidly (relatively speaking) the United States rose as a world power in the 19th century. General righteousness, free markets, hard work, and innovation combined to provide an ideal environment for prosperity.
But abundance, once attained, has proven to be both a blessing and a curse, whether we’re talking about a nation or an individual. For example, when the Israelites prospered in the Promised Land, they turned away from God – and then cried out to Him only when things began to go downhill. This happened repeatedly. In other words, the danger once a civilization attains abundance is that the people tend to focus less on God and more on themselves and the material world. Over time, God’s absolute truths tend to slide out the window, and “everyone does what seems right in his own eyes.”
Stage Five – Apathy. Once a prosperous society begins to ignore God’s steadying hand, they slide gradually into complacency, more or less assuming that the good times will go on and on. They turn inward rather than upward, relying on their own understanding, and their spiritual malaise spills over into their daily lives. Their values soften and become polluted. Ultimately, they take over the steering wheel, nudging God into the back seat, and Biblical truth becomes malleable – whatever floats their boat. After all, as the feckless Pilate mocked, “what is truth” anyway?
Over time, the result of complacency is apathy – apathy toward the moral truths that underpin prosperity; apathy toward the little acts of tyranny that begin to show up at all levels of government, such as banning prayer in public schools; and apathy toward the sacrifices and proven wisdom of righteous leaders in the past, resulting in fewer and fewer individuals being motivated to help and sacrifice for others. Let government do it.
When apathy is in the majority, most Americans stop paying attention to what government does because it doesn’t affect them today – and many or most eligible voters who bother to vote cast votes that are uninformed or misinformed. It’s a sad state of affairs when politicos consider 63% of eligible voters a good turnout. But, as the Athenian statesman Pericles is credited with saying in the 5th century BC: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean that politics won’t take an interest in you.” Indeed, pervasive apathy creates many vacuums of opportunity for those who would seek power for its own sake.
Stage Six – Dependence on Government. Once widespread opportunities for power present themselves, how best to fill them? One answer is “gradually.” Like a surgical patient, the body politic must not be aware that it’s being worked on, at least until it’s too late and the brain transplant has mostly taken hold. For progressive elites in the US, the end game has been twofold: first, kill the Christian God (court decision by court decision), and second, replace Him with dependence on government.
For example, start by banning prayer and other forms or symbols of worship in public places. Then pass laws that erode and/or contradict Biblical truths (and even science), such as legalized abortion, gay marriage, and sexual fluidity. In the process, infiltrate governments and courts at all levels, starting with appointed positions like judgeships and bureaucratic government agencies.
At the same time, gradually create a favorable majority in the body politic with tactics like open immigration, generous welfare programs, and identity politics. Typically, massive government giveaways can be financed by heavy borrowing and/or inflating the currency, thereby burying the middle class inch by inch, but for good. Regarding identity politics, the idea is to convince members of certain groups that they are helpless victims of an “unjust” society and therefore deserving of government largesse. As George Bernard Shaw famously pointed out, a government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on Paul’s vote.
But progressive leaders can’t accomplish these things alone. Two important institutional collaborators are the media and education, which have been infiltrated and controlled over the last several decades, so that the narratives of America’s “injustice,” the need for equality of outcomes, our “rigged” economy, etc. can be continuously reinforced. There’s little doubt that divide and conquer, along with revisionist history and the steady repetition of big lies, have worked unfortunately well.
Stage Seven – Back to Bondage. Unless a strong contingent of right-thinking leaders suddenly comes awake (not woke) and leads a spiritual revival first and foremost, rank-and-file Americans will likely grow increasingly dysfunctional from government dependency – and the government’s power will grow accordingly and become highly centralized. The result will be a big-brother power structure that invariably becomes corrupt, knows “what’s good for everybody,” intrudes more and more in people’s daily lives, and colludes with big business to control all important production. Taxes are likely to reach confiscatory levels. And if people begin to push back, that’s when the mask of benevolence drops and force is threatened or used – socialism with a gun.
At that point, society would consist of two main classes: (1) the elite leadership (government and business cronies) and (2) the worker bees – with heavy taxation on the latter, thus creating a huge economic and privilege gap between them. The government may not own the people as property, but in effect the people would be slaves.
Where Are We Now? I believe many older Americans who have kept close watch on socio-political developments over the years would agree that the US is now early into Stage Six, with strong progressive forces now working openly to increase dependence on government benefits by more and more people. As stated, their goal is to develop a strong majority of dependent voters who will reliably re-elect them so long as the freebies continue – up to the point when honest elections (and freebies) are no longer needed. And since most elites are also globalists, there’s little doubt the ultimate aim is to join other “liberalized” nations in forming a world government (another Tower of Babel).
But there are obstacles. The big obstacle here and in a few other nations is the still-formidable following of Jesus Christ and the Word of God – as revealed in the Christian Bible, which has stood up for many centuries and simply cannot be defeated. Billy Graham has referred to it as the anvil that has worn out a thousand hammers.
Another, more immediate obstacle is our Second Amendment. Specifically, the strong footbrake hindering the elite is the fact that there are between 300 and 400 million privately owned guns in the US, and trillions of rounds of ammunition. In “The Gulag Archipelago,” Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said the following in reference to the Soviet Union’s gun confiscation after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution: “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: ‘What would things have been like if every Security Operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?’” In other words, just the threat of an armed citizenry is, as contemplated by America’s founders, a strong deterrent to government tyranny.
A third, potential obstacle to the elite’s end game is one they themselves are creating – namely, their promotion of Islam as a counterweight to Christianity. Suffice it to say that if Islam ever flourishes here and Christianity is (temporarily) driven underground, the elite would soon regret the “success” of that move.
Finally, since the 1960s, Washington’s misallocation of resources to needless wars and ill-conceived, poorly administered domestic programs – paid for by high taxes, reckless borrowing, and currency inflation – has, among other things, lengthened our list of enemies abroad, made us more vulnerable to external attacks, and left us not only broken but broke. The publicized national debt is “only” $22 trillion, but the negative fiscal gap between benefits promised (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) and anticipated tax and other revenues is at least ten times that. Finally, the fact that the US economy is doing well now shouldn’t lull us into thinking an economic collapse can’t happen. It wouldn’t take much – maybe one election cycle.
What Should Christians Do? As believers, our basic task is to pray continually for a great spiritual revival in this country – and individually, to spread God’s Word to whomever, wherever. And when we pray, we need to ask for Divine Guidance on the specific actions we should take in our own bailiwick to further three important goals: (1) help fellow believers and patriots gain (or keep) control of local governments; (2) regain local control of public education; and (3) exert strong influence on local media (or else start our own newsletter, communication system, etc.).
Also, in fellowshipping with other believers and patriots in the community, we might at least discuss what could be done to sustain the people and safeguard worship activities in the event of economic collapse and/or severe government overreach. Again, the basic question is, can this ship of state still be turned around? I believe it can, but I also believe we are approaching the eleventh hour.