WHAT IS WESTERN CIVILIZATION?
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© August 2019, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
This article explains the real meaning of Western civilization. It is needed due to the current attack upon Western civilization that has left many people confused as to what is meant by Western civilization.
Today, Western civilization is under fierce attack by the “left”, as it is called. It is really under attack by the Rogues, who do not like the success of Western civilization.
After all, Western civilization has brought immense prosperity to many nations, along with principles of love, cleanliness, healing of diseases, hundreds of wondeful inventions such as radio, television, the computer, the telephone, and many more. The rogues want society primitive, sick and stupid. So it makes sense they would attack it with fervor!
They label it:
- Racist. In fact, it is the least racist of any modern culture.
- Homophobic and xenophobic. Really, it is among the most tolerant of any civilization. Try being a homosexual in Saudi Arabia or Iran!
- Male chauvinist or paternalistic. Actually, Western nations give women more rights than any other current earth civilization. Just ask the Women of Arabia, or even the women or the Oriental nations which nations have the best laws to protect women.
- Slave-based. In fact, Western civilization has utterly stopped slavery, whereas slavery continues in many other cultures on earth.
In summary, they are completely and utterly wrong and they know it. It is just an effort to confuse you. The rogues have also taken control of the high schools, the textbook companies and the universities and made sure that Western civilization is no longer taught correctly.
If the rogues are wrong, then what is the essence of Western civilization?
A NEW APPROACH
We will handle the subject of history differently from standard history books because we think they don’t present it correctly. The textbooks present history as a series of wars, usually, and the epochs or time periods are those of the rule of one nation or another over the world. The second part of this article presents this version of the history of Western Civilization because even the basics of history have been distorted by the takeover of our schools and universities by the rogues.
We believe that most writing of history and particularly about Western civilization is missing the big picture. The big picture is the growth of the spiritual nature of mankind.
We believe you will understand Western civilization much better by looking at it from a spiritual viewpoint. A very short reference article to understand what is meant by the spiritual nature of mankind is The Levels Of Creation.
THE MISSIONS OF ABRAHAM AND SARAH
We begin our timeline of modern Western civilization with the work of Abraham and Sarah that occurred in the Middle East about 6000 years ago. Abraham and Sarah founded the Hebrew people and Hebrew religion.
The word ‘Hebrew’ means the founders in an ancient dialect. The words Jew and Jewish are often used to describe these people and their religion, but this is not correct. The word Jewish arose much later in history and was a derogatory or slang term, so we will not use it in this article.
Abraham and Sarah were given quite an assignment. They were to upgrade the genetics of the earth’s people and to give all people of the earth the tools to build a new civilization.
Among the “tools” were the Seven Laws of Noah and later, the Ten Commandments of Moses. Moses also wrote a book entitled The Levels Of Creation. These would be needed, he was told, to guide the people of earth (and not just the Hebrew people). There had been earlier codes of behavior such as the Code of Hammurabi, but it was not good enough.
Most important, the new civilization was to be based firmly upon science and reason, and not on superstition or upon following governmental or church authorities.
Sadly, this critical aspect of the Hebrew religion was subverted by those who did not want people to question authority and use their mind. As a result, the Hebrew religion became a superstitious type of religion. However, this was not the intent of the founders of the Hebrew religion. The Christian religion would suffer the same fate, as will be explained later in this article.
The story of Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, and the other early pioneers of the new culture is told in detail in the Hebrew Bible. We believe it is substantially true. There has been some distortion of the truth due to translation errors and other problems, but not too much. Upon their shoulders stands what is called Western civilization.
Among the most basic documents of Western civilization is The Ten Commandments that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. They emphasize honesty, decency, respect for others, respect for parents, tolerance of others and more.
The commandments are a code of behavior that works and works well. It has guided all the nations of Europe, as well as Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and many other Western nations that were colonized and ruled by the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese nations over the past 3000 years. For more about Abraham, read The Missions Of Abraham And Jesus.
THE SCATTERING OF THE HEBREWS
Things went okay for the Hebrews until the rise of the Roman Empire around 100 BC. The Roman Republic had been a peaceful agricultural society in Italy where people were mainly excellent farmers. However, a socialist revolution occurred around 100 BC and Rome changed from a republic to become the most violent and brutal dictatorship the world had ever seen.
A republic means the rule of law. Socialism means pure government control and dictatorship. You will see throughout history how socialism always leads to war and horror.
The Romans decided to exterminate all the Hebrews because they did not want the Hebrew teachings such as Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule (treat others as you wish to be treated) to spread.
In 70 AD, they utterly destroyed the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem and everything Hebrew they could find, including every Hebrew person they could find. It was very thorough, in true Roman fashion.
The only problem for the Romans is the Hebrews had been warned that their temple would be leveled and their people slaughtered by the Romans. As a result, most Hebrews had left Canaan and migrated to Europe and Eurasia.
Canaan is the proper name for this area of the world, not Palestine as all the history books say. The word Palestine did not arise for another 1500 years!
The flight of the Hebrew people, mostly to Europe but also to Eurasia, is called the diaspora. It means a scattering of people from their homeland. It saved the teachings of Moses and spread Western civilization to Europe, and later to America and elsewhere.
JESUS AND CHRISTIANITY
The next big event in history was the birth and life of Jesus of Nazareth. Because this is a history article, we will not debate whether he was God, or a prophet, or something else.
Everyone can agree, however, that he was a gentle, Hebrew man who was born to a religious Hebrew woman and came from very humble beginnings. His land, at the time, was under Roman dictatorship and life was not easy.
He was also a highly developed man. This means he had many powers and abilities such as mental telepathy and the ability to control matter. The New Testament of the Bible relates how he controlled the weather and stopped a storm, how he changed water into wine for a wedding feast, how he was able to heal the sick, and more.
There was a plan for his life on earth, and it included stopping the seemingly unstoppable horror of the Roman Empire. He also came forth to spread the Hebrew Biblical teachings around the world, and particularly in the Western nations of Europe and later America.
Things started out very badly for him. Soon after his birth, the Romans heard about him and feared him. In their typical fashion, they decided to kill him. Since babies tend to look alike, they just decided to slaughter all the Hebrew babies that had been born around the time of the birth of Jesus. This was a typical and common practice of the Romans when they wanted to kill a child.
Unfortunately for the Romans, however, the family escaped to Egypt and Jesus survived the first attempt to kill him when he was just a few weeks old.
The story of Jesus is told in the New Testament of the Bible. However, it is not quite correct because the books that we call the gospels were chosen by the Roman Emperor Constantine, not by Jesus or anyone else. A few other article on this website discuss this problem, such as The Two Branches Of Christianity and Christian History.
Jesus trained for years as a child and as a young man. He started his religious teaching around the age of 30. It emphasized loving the one God of the Hebrews and loving other people.
Also, he wanted people to return to the true intent and teaching of Abraham, Moses and the other founders of the Hebrew religion. He taught the importance of the individual and the importance of science and reason, rather than superstition, ignorance and blind following of governmental or religious authority.
He taught that each person can have a personal relationship with the one God and there was no need for a priesthood to be the intermediary between the individual and the one God. This important aspect of his teaching, however, would be subverted, exactly as had occurred in the Hebrew religion about 3500 years earlier.
The ministry or teaching phase of the life of Jesus lasted only about three years. Then he allowed himself to be captured by the Romans, who promptly killed him. He was not killed by the Hebrew people, as many people believe. The Hebrew people loved him.
The Romans, who were skilled at propaganda, used a few corrupt Hebrew leaders as stooges to make it look as though the Hebrews had ordered his death, when this was not true at all.
After the death of Jesus, the Romans hunted down as many of his followers as they could and slaughtered them all. One of the followers, Paul, was kept alive in a Roman prison for a few years, long enough to write a number of letters to some of the followers of Jesus. These later became part of the Christian gospels.
For several hundred years, things looked very bleak for the teachings of Jesus. Anyone caught reading or studying his teaching was killed. The followers, as they were called, were hunted down and killed everywhere in the Roman Empire, which spanned all of Europe and surrounding areas.
THE VISION OF THE CROSS
The next important event in history took place almost 300 years after the death of Jesus. The Roman emperor, Constantine, was faced with a difficult battle. The night before the battle, he had a vivid dream that if he would paint crosses on his army’s shields and go forth as “warriors for Jesus” he would win easily against a difficult enemy.
Constantine did this and he won easily, taking back control of the entire Roman empire! As a result, he secretly became a follower of the teachings of Jesus.
Near the end of his life, Constantine decided to go public with his spiritual beliefs and to force those beliefs on everyone living in the Roman Empire. Once again, this was the Roman style of doing things.
At this time, Rome had a different religion that was similar to the old Greek religion, also called Greek mythology. There were many gods that behaved like naughty children. They cheated on their wives and husbands, they killed each other, and they were fairly stupid, although they were powerful beings.
One reason Constantine decided to convert the entire Roman Empire to the religion of Jesus was because the Roman Empire was crumbling at this time. He thought the new religion would save the empire. In fact, it did the opposite.
The way that Constantine decided to impose the new teachings was to set up a new religion that he called the Roman Catholic Church. He also coined the term Christianity, based on an older Greek word.
It was to be a hybrid religion that used the person and teachings of Jesus along with some of the old Roman teachings.
He held a meeting at Nicea in 325 AD, today called the Council of Nicea. It was one of the most important meetings ever held on earth. At this meeting, Emperor Constantine announced the new religion and basically set up the doctrines, holidays and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Few people know this, but it is the absolute truth.
Most importantly, Emperor Constantine removed many of the rational and scientific aspects of the true teachings of Jesus and in their place, set up a superstitious type of religion that emphasized the authority of the Pope and other church leaders.
At the present time, (2019) the Catholic Church is running an ad on the radio in some American cities that urges people to join the Catholic Church, “the church that Jesus founded.” In fact, he did no such thing. The Roman Catholic Church was founded by Emperor Constantine about 300 years after the death of Jesus.
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY
The next important event was the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the Roman-controlled areas of the world. This was accomplished by Roman soldiers who forced people at knife-point to give up their old gods and teachings, and embrace the new Roman religion.
As was characteristic of the Romans, it was done quickly and efficiently so that by the year 500 AD or so, it was the law of the land and known by almost everyone.
The only problem for the Romans was that the new religion was one of peace and love. This was not compatible with the aggressive and brutal nature of the Roman Empire. Christian principles of love and caring for others and ‘Do not murder’ were completely incompatible with Roman socialist principles of power and control at any cost.
“Christianizing” the Roman Empire just hastened its destruction. There was more infighting and the empire split into various warring factions.
THE COMING OF THE BARBARIANS
The next important historical fact about Western civilization was that as the Roman empire collapsed, ferocious, primitive people invaded Europe. They looted, raped, murdered, enslaved and destroyed everything in their path.
The worst groups were the Germanic tribes who came from the North of Europe and the Islamic warriors who came from the South. Islam had begun around the year 550 AD and controlled Northern Africa and the Middle East. They also conquered present-day Spain and were moving North into present-day France.
The barbarians were different from the Romans. The Romans wanted agriculture and industry to thrive in the regions they controlled so the people could pay more taxes to the Romans. As a result, they encouraged agriculture and even manufacturing.
In contrast, the barbarians just wanted to kill anyone who threatened them. That is why they are called the barbarians.
The Islamic fighters, in particular, loved to rape all the women and took millions of white people away to use as slaves in Northern Africa. Life in Southern Europe was quite grim. In history books, this period of time is called the dark ages, the medieval times or the early middle ages of Europe.
The next important event in history was the rise of Charlamagne (742 AD-814 AD). He was a prince in what is today France. He was also a smart and brave warrior. He tricked the Islamic fighters into invading his castle and he managed to defeat them. This stopped their advance into Europe. This alone was a great victory.
He also went into battle about 40 other times against the Germanic tribes and some others and was very successful. He combined old Roman military tactics and a brilliant mind. Eventually, he became the ruler of the Roman Empire.
He revived the old Roman Empire to a degree, but it was gentler. Charlemagne ruled the Roman world – which was most of Europe and Eurasia - from 746 to 814 AD. He was what some would call “a benign dictator”.
Charlemagne was more than a general. He was an intellectual man and he loved the new Roman Catholic religion. He built 27 cathedrals and 417 monasteries throughout Europe.
He, more than anyone else, spread the Catholic religion around the world because he spread it to the colonial powers – Britain, Spain, France and Portugal – who then spread it to their colonies around the world.
The next very important event in the history of Western civilization was a series of holy wars that have come to be known as the Crusades (about 1000 AD to 1400 AD). About the year 1000 AD, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church began to ask local leaders to organize armies. The purpose was to battle against the Islamic fighters, who were seizing nation after nation, mostly in Southern Europe, destroying and causing havoc in these nations.
To a significant degree, the Crusades were successful. They brought most of Europe back under Christian control and saved the cultures of these areas. This was their importance for the history of Western civilization.
However, the Crusades were not successful in recapturing the land of Canaan and the other nations of the Middle East. These areas remained under Muslim control, as did all of the nations of North Africa.
THE NEW EUROPE
Around 1500, Europe really began to thrive. There was a spiritual awakening in Europe due to greater political stability and the new Christian religion. There were plenty of Hebrew people around that the Romans had failed to find and kill, and they helped a lot, as well.
Christianity tolerated them, although a few nations such as Spain kicked out or murdered the Hebrews in an event called the Spanish Inquisition in 1492. This was the same year that Christopher Columbus, a Spaniard, sailed his ships to the Bahaman Islands of the Caribbean and reported that he had found “a new world”.
THE RISE OF PROTESTANTISM
The next important historical event in the history of Western civilization was the birth of the Protestant branch of Christianity. This movement is called the reformation.
One of the most important figures in this movement was Martin Luther (1483-1546). He was a German monk, a Catholic priest and a musical composer. He objected to some of the practices of the Catholic Church and wrote about them. Through his writings and actions, he started a movement to reform the Catholic Church.
Protestants reject the authority of the Pope and simplified the worship services, eliminating may of the rituals and practices of Catholicism. It was an important movement because it caused the spread of Christianity in areas where of Europe where the people did not like a lot of the pomp and ceremony that was part of the Roman church. As a result, Christianity spread even more, especially in the nations of Northern Europe.
Protestantism came to dominate many nations, especially Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Switzerland, France, Scotland and Wales. Today it is the second largest Christian denomination with about 900 million adherents or 40% of Christians.
Unlike Catholicism, Protestantism is quite divided and includes the Adventists, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Baptists, Calvinists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists and the Pentacostals.
THE ENLIGHENMENT OR AGE OF REASON
The next important event in the development of Western civilization was the Age of Reason or the Enlightenment period of history. It took place from about 1685 to 1815 AD.
It was basically an intellectual movement that took place mainly in Great Britain, France and Germany. A series of books were brought forth by a number of authors that taught the importance of:
- political freedom or self-government.
- economic freedom, also called free market or free enterprise or capitalist economics.
- democracy, the ability of the people to choose their representatives.
- reason and not superstition or blindly following authority as the basis for the laws of society.
- the absolute value of the individual rather than emphasizing the state.
- the need to free people’s mind from ignorance, from superstition and from the arbitrary power of the government in order to allow mankind to achieve progress and perfection.
The enlightenment was not a particularly religious period of history. However, it actually fulfilled a great hope of the founders of the Hebrew and the Christian religions. They had wanted these religions to emphasize reason and science, but these aspects had been stripped away by those who did not want people to be fully informed and empowered.
The enlightenment can be divided into three parts:
The early enlightenment (1685-1730). Among the writers and philosophers of the early enlightenment were Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, Frances Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Gottried Wilhelm Liebniz (1646-1716), Baruch Spinoza, John Locke (1632-1704), Issac Newton, and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).
These writers provided the mathematical and scientific basis for the enlightenment. Issac Newton wrote “Principia Mathematica” (1686), a basic physics text.
John Locke wrote “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” (1689). It is a founding document of modern classical liberal thought, which inspired the founding of the United States.
The Middle Enlightenment (1730-1780). This centered on several French philsophers, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Buffon and Denis Diderot. It also included Adam Smith, a Scottish philosopher (1716-1790) and political revolutionaries such as Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson in America.
On July 4, 1776 America declared independence from Great Britain, and the language of the Declaration Of Independence borrowed heavily from the work of John Locke and other enlightenment writers.
On March 9, 1776, Adam Smith wrote An Inquiry Into The Cause Of The Wealth Of Nations. He proposed a revolutionary new understanding of economics. The old system, called mercantilism, was basically one of little trade between nations and lots of wars between nations to see who could gain the most land and gold.
Adam Smith wrote that this system was stupid and that trade between nations was the key to peace and prosperity. He showed how an “invisible hand of the marketplace” changed the self-interest of people into a tool to build prosperity for all. He argued that people should be allowed to be free to start businesses and to trade with anyone, anywhere in the world.
Adam Smith is the founder of modern free-market economics, also today called capitalism or economic liberalism.
The late enlightenment (1780 – 1815).
This was marked by the French Revolution of 1789. This began as an effort to remove the old leadership, but it degenerated into a bloody terror.
The enlightenment moved Western civilization ahead by leaps because it combined Hebrew and Christian teachings and extended them into the realm of a philosophy of government and economics that was practical and moral at the same time.
The founding of America. The American Revolution of 1776 was a product of the enlightenment. This nation was founded mainly by religious Christians who were persecuted in Europe and fled to the new world so they could worship as they pleased. America would become the practical expression of enlightenment philosophy.
The American colonists loved the new principles of government and the new free-market economics and quickly adopted them in their laws. They combined these with many other ideas about government taken from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.
Opposition. Those who did not like the enlightenment ideas tried to destroy America many times and in many ways. One of the first was that, as part of the agreement to end the American Revolution, Great Britain imposed a central banking system upon the United States.
This went directly against the wishes of the Americans, but it was accepted to end the fighting. The central bank was called the Bank Of The United States, but it was controlled by Great Britain. In this way, Great Britain retained some control over the new nation.
In 1836, the Americans finally got rid of the central bank. However, the bankers retaliated by causing another war, the Civil War, designed to destroy the nation.
THE SLAVERY PROBLEM
A serious problem for the new American nation was that they inherited the institution of slavery from the British. Slavery was not legal in Great Britain, but they set it up in several southern American colonies in order to grow tobacco and other crops.
Slavery is the subjection of one human being by another. It has been a common phenomenon on earth, and it still goes on in scattered areas, mainly in Africa and Asia.
Slavery is not a Western civilization value. In fact, Western civilization has ended slavery wherever it flourished.
Slavery definitely goes against the Christian principle of love for all people that guided the formation of America. Most American colonists hated the slave trade and relatively few owned slaves.
However, when it came to forming the American nation, a compromise had to be reached because the southern colonies would not go along with getting rid of slavery. Their agricultural economy depended upon it, although it was only the wealthy landowners who had slaves.
The result, as everyone knows, was eventually a terrible war in America that took half a million lives and ended slavery in this nation.
THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT
The next spiritual event in history was the founding and dramatic rise of the evangelical movement in Christianity. It occurred mainly in America, but has spread around the world.
It began in the American colonies where traveling preachers gave stirring sermons about the Bible and Christian teachings. Of note, these preachers were much less interested in the traditional rituals of Christianity and often didn’t even need a church.
They were and are much more interested in doctrines such as salvation of the soul through Christ, living a Christian life, and a few others. Today, they also have a strong desire to spread the message of Christ to the non-Christian nations of the world such as the Oriental nations. They have made great use of the newer technologies of television and satellite communication to achieve this.
One of many names that stand out among the evangelists is Billy Graham (1918-2018). He became well-known for renting entire football stadiums and attracting large crowds to hear his message of salvation through Christ. Many others have followed this model. He called his gatherings ‘crusades’, based on the Crusades of 1000 years ago that helped to save the Christian religion in Europe.
The evangelical movement has grown tremendously, especially during the second half of the twentieth century and first part of the twenty-first century. It has offset the decline in the number of people practicing the traditional Christian religions of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
THE RISE OF THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
Another important spiritual event has been the rise of the New Age movement. This has occurred at about the same time as the rise of the evangelical movement. It stemmed from a number of trends that began in the mid-1800s and grew during the 1900s and up to the present time:
- The spread of new knowledge that is outside of in conflict with the traditional Christian world. It included sciences such as Acupuncture, and later dietary systems such as Macrobiotics and Vegetarianism, and techniques such as Yoga and jin shin jyutsu. These all came from the nations of the Orient, which are not Christian nations.
- The growth of “mystical” Western teachings. These had been around, such as the Freemasons and other secret societies. However, new ones included the work of Rudolf Steiner in Germany (anthroposophy), Edgar Cayce in America, and the work of the Rosicrucians, the Theosophists, and others.
They taught and continue to teach about the energy centers or chakras, the dantiens, the meridian system of the body, and much more. Some combine this with teachings about Jesus, while others deviated from traditional Christian teachings.
- Amazing inventions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These included the steam engine (around 1850), the telegraph (around 1845), photography (1850s), modern anesthesia (1850 or so - this made surgery possible), the telephone, (around 1870), the automobile (1890s), the vitamins (1840s to the present), the airplane (1907), radio (around 1900), motion pictures (1915), television (1930s), antibiotics (1930s), the transistor (1959), the electronic computer (1950), modern rockets (1940s), space travel (1960s), and the internet (1990). These are just a few of hundreds of quite amazing inventions of the past 150 years.
These inventions have significantly changed life on earth, bringing an easier life to millions of people. They caused many people to believe that we no longer need the traditional religions of Western civilization.
With the coming of modern technology, some people simply cannot relate well to stories about riding on donkeys, drinking water at the well, or of a savior being born in a barn. It all seems quaint, but not in line with our modern life.
Some believe that God did not solve the problems of hunger, disease and cold. Modern technology did so, and for these people, technology is the new religion.
- Political movements of the early twentieth century. There has been a determined effort to promote practices such as Homosexuality, women’s “liberation” and Abortion, which do not fit with Biblical values. (also read Post-Abortion Syndrome and The Real Women’s Liberation)
- Shell shock or war trauma. Some people were shocked by the World Wars of the early twentieth century, especially the use of mustard gas in World War I, the wholesale slaughter of innocent people by the Nazis and the communists, the use of agent orange in Vietnam, the atom bomb, and more.
These were and are so horrible that many people decided that God must be dead, or doesn’t care about us any more, or maybe He just can’t handle the new technologies of mass destruction.
- Secular or anti-religious political philosophies. The two that stand out are 1) communism or Marxism (1850) and 2) the utopian socialist movement, which also began in the late 1800s. These authoritarian movements hate all traditional religion.
Karl Marx wrote that “religion is the opiate of the people.” He meant that all it does is keep people asleep. For more details, read Communism.
The utopian socialists, such as the early Fabian Society and now many others, including the Democratic Party of the United States and many political parties in Europe and elsewhere, believe that we don’t need God any more. They say we can perfect society without religion, which they say just stands in the way. That is why they are called utopians. For details, read Socialism.
This is very different from the autocratic movements of the past centuries, in which the king, dictator or emperor forced their religion upon their subjects. These new movements hate all traditional religion. In truth, they are a new godless religion.
For example, Adolf Hitler announced to the world that he was the new Christ on earth. Naziism (national socialism in Germany) included a number of occult practices including homosexuality and others.
- Anti-Christian or non-religious movies and other mass media. These include many popular movies, such as The Wizard of Oz, and more recently science fiction movies and television programs such as Star Trek and Star Wars.
In Star Wars, the closest thing to God is the “force”. In the Star Trek television series, the closest thing to the Ten Commandments is the “prime directive”.
As a result, many people have “thrown out the baby with the bath water”. This means that instead of picking and choosing what is important about the traditional Christian and Hebrew religions, they have just thrown most of it away. This movement may be called the secularization of American and Europe.
The most recent historical movement in the West we will call the integration. It may come to be known under a different name. However, it is an integration or combination of modern science and technology with the older Hebrew and Christian philosophy and theology.
It is a religion in the sense that it guides people’s lives and helps them to live well. However, it does not rely only on the Bible, as does evangelism. It is also not “supernatural”, as is the Bible. This means filled with miracles and unusual events that cannot be explained.
It also incorporates modern ideas of natural living, nutrition, and natural healing, some of which are in the Bible but others of which were simply not needed 2000 to 5000 years ago.
This movement is slowly gaining followers and, at this time, is not well-organized as a religion or movement. We predict that the organization will come later.
THE RISE OF THE INDIVIDUAL
One of the main ideas of Western civilization that was new in the world is the importance of each individual person. This is a fairly new idea. Earlier cultures focused more on the group and less on the individual. Here are some examples of this
Slavery. When Western civilization began, for example, slavery was extremely common. This is an almost total disregard for the sovereignty, dignity and importance of the individual. However, the rise of Western civilization ended slavery in Europe, the Middle East and America.
Dictatorship. When Western civilization began, rule by a monarch such as a king or queen was the standard on earth. The people had to follow rules, but the leaders could do whatever they wished.
The rise of Western civilization has brought this style of leadership to an end in most nations. It has been replaced by self-government and the rule of laws that everyone must obey, even the leaders. In other words, everyone is treated equally under the law, a very important idea.
Equality of the sexes. At the beginning of modern Western civilization, women were treated very poorly in most nations. Western civilization has brought far more equality of the sexes to most nations of the West.
Racial quality. Believe it or not, racial tension and discrimination were far more common in the past, both in America and in Europe. The rise of Western civilization has brought about much more racial equality with voting rights, rights to own property and much more.
Tolerance. The rise of Western civilization has also brought with it much more tolerance of all differences between people, including race, creed or beliefs, religion, sexual preference, gender and more. In fact, this is a major theme of Western civilization.
Religion. The rise of Western civilization has been influenced greatly by the Hebrew and the Christian Bibles. These documents gave us the Ten Commandments, for example, and the Golden Rule (Behave toward others as you have them behave toward you). These are rules everyone must follow and have guided Western civilization for 2000 years.
Most historians describe the timeline of present-day Western civilization in the following way:
Greek Civilization. This began about 800 BC and lasted until 46 BC, when Greece was conquered by the Romans. The Greeks produced some interesting writings, including the writing of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and the physician, Hippocrates.
The Roman Republic. This began around 600 BC in Italy. The Roman republic brought innovations in government and many other areas of life.
It lasted until around 30 BC, when it became corrupt. A socialist revolution occurred and it changed to a vicious dictatorship – the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire lasted from around 30 BC to around 476 AD. This was a brutal slave empire that spread like a cancer throughout Europe, Eurasia and parts of the Middle East. It did bring a brutality-imposed stability and some new technology to all of Europe and the Middle East.
The Dark Ages or early Middle Ages. When the Roman Empire fell apart, Europe fell into “the dark ages”, also called the Middle Ages, a time of chaos and instability due to the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Roman Empire.
This period of time lasted from around 400 AD until around 1000 AD. Historians disagree on the dates, to some extent. Without the Roman armies around, Europe was overrun by warlords and competing groups of barbarians and others.
Life was more difficult and made even more difficult by unusually cold weather and by the plagues of Europe, such as the Bubonic Plague, which killed millions of people. This period of time is also sometimes called the Medieval period.
The late Middle Ages and the crusades. (1000 AD to about 1450 AD) brought greater stability and happier times to Europe. The Crusades took place at this time. They were European fighting forces sponsored by kings and queens who took back control of a number of areas that had been taken over by invading Muslims, who were far more brutal and destructive than even the Romans.
However, they were unable to get the Muslims totally out of the Holy Land, which was one of their goals.
The Renaissance. This word means rebirth. This period lasted from around 1450-1500 to around 1600 in Europe. During this time, Europe emerged from the dark ages and there was a flourishing or art, science, writing, religion and more. It was an amazing time to be alive.
The Enlightenment or Age of Reason. This was even better than the renaissance, in many ways. This lasted from about 1685 to about 1815. It saw the growth of modern thought with an emphasis on the sacredness of life, the importance of the individual, and the importance of liberty and self-government. Philosophers such as John Locke (1632-1704) is considered the founder of modern classical liberal thought, which inspired the founding of the United States.
Adam Smith (about 1716 to 1790) wrote An Inquiry Into The Cause Of The Wealth Of Nations, among other works. Adam Smith is the founder of modern free-market economics, also today called capitalism or economic liberalism.
This was all inspired directly by the Bible and Protestant religion, which spread over large parts of mainly Northern Europe. This began to stir the souls of all people, particularly in the Western world.
The Modern Era. This is our present time. It is often divided into the Industrial Age and the Information Age:
The Industrial age. This began around 1815 and continued until around 1970. This was a very transformational time in Western history because of the introduction of mechanization in many areas of life from agriculture to transportation to home life (washing machines, refrigerators, etc).
It is often thought to begin with the invention of the watt steam engine around 1800. This was not the first steam engine, but James Watt made a lot of changes that made it a more practical device. Soon many industries were using steam engines to produce all sorts of goods.
Other inventions such as alternating current electricity (Tesla, 1880) further sped up the process of industrialization.
As a result, by the mid-twentieth century, a significant number of people throughout the world became able to afford and enjoy the benefits of basic inventions such as electrical power, telephones, radio, automobiles, washing machines and refrigerators.
R. Buckminster Fuller did a lot of calculations and said that in 1942 industrialization had reached a level at which scarcity was no longer the rule in the world. Scarcity, he said, was a main cause of war.
The first half of the twentieth century was the bloodiest time in human history. The wars include:
- World War I, started by the Germans who invaded their neighbors.
- The Russian Socialist Revolution of 1917. This was a rapid takeover of this large nation by a group of terrorists.
- World War II. This was the Nazi (National Socialist Party) horror of 1933-1945. It was led by Adolf Hitler in Germany, again. He marched his armies into Poland, Checkoslovakia, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, France and other areas of Europe. Half a billion people were killed in this war. He also practiced genocide, and attempted to kill off all the Hebrew people of Europe and many Christian people, as well. He considered himself the new Christ on earth.
Italy and Japan joined the Nazi side of the war, and together were called the axis nations. Japan invaded America in 1942, destroying a good part of the American navy fleet that was docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
This brought America into World War II, which before had been a European war. America rebuilt her navy and fought the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean area and, at the same time, sent millions of tons of supplies and troops to Europe to help fight the German socialists. The horror finally ended in 1945.
- The horror of Joseph Stalin in Communist Russia. This occurred in the late 1940s. Stalin basically stole the food of millions of people, resulting in mass starvation. Historians estimate that he caused the death of 50 million people in Russia, the Ukraine and other areas that were under Russian control.
- Mao Tse Tung and the communist Chinese revolution of 1949. This was another horrible war waged by communists in China. Some 60 million people were killed by the communists and socialists in China. A few escaped and formed the Western-style nation of Taiwan.
- The Korean War of 1952. North Korea, another socialist nation, invaded South Korea and attempted to take it over. America intervened once again and pushed them back. This is still a very tense area of the world.
- Pol Pott in Burma. This was another dreadful war led by socialist dictator Pol Pott (1925-1998). He was the head of a group called the Khmer Rouge (red shirts) and imposed a totalitarian communist/socialist government on Cambodia, and murdered millions of his citizens who opposed his rule.
- The communist takeover of Vietnam. Communists in North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam around 1960. America got involved to try to save South Vietnam. They were somewhat successful until communist propaganda in the USA turned public opinion against the war. When the USA pulled out of Vietnam, the communists quickly took over and once again murdered more than a million people who opposed their rule.
The information age. This was a shift in which there was less focus on industrial production and more emphasis on information generation and sharing.
Inventions such as the telephone (1870s), alternating current (1880s), radio (1900), and television (1930s) heralded the beginning of the information age.
However, most people date the beginning of the information age to the invention of the transistor. The first easily mass-produced transistor was the MOSFET transistor (metal-oxide-silicon field-effect transistor). It was invented in 1959, but was not widely used until the 1970s. The personal computer was invented around the same time and depended on small, inexpensive transistors for its operation.
Other important historical dates were: - - The hippie movement and drug culture started in the 1960s.
- Personal computers first appeared in the early 1970s and soon were everywhere
- The internet began in America in the early 1990s and it soon spread around the world. It represents a kind of nervous system for the whole world and it revolutionized communication and commerce around the world. Socialist/communist nations such as China and North Korea attempt to control it to keep the truth from their people. They have been partially successful at this, so far.
The communication age. The 21st century may be called the age of communication. While it began 100 years ago, it really took off with the growth of the internet in the late 1990s.
Suddenly, people found themselves connected to others in ways that are unimaginable to people of earlier times. Among its main features are electronic mail, video streaming and the electronic social media.
It is truly the birth of a worldwide “nervous system” that helps us to be much more self-aware and aware of the needs and desires of others. While a few nations have blocked their people from joining in, such as Communist China, North Korea and perhaps a few others, this is becoming more and more difficult.
To observe the opposite of Western civilization, the types that dominated the earth before modern Western civilization, here are two examples:
1. Some Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Iran and others. Here most of the nations are still run by kings or dictators, there is little tolerance of other religions, women are treated terribly, and the individual is not valued highly. Murder (called honor killing) and rape are perfectly legal.
2. Socialist and communist nations such as Red China, The former Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba and present-day Venezuela. In these nations, individuals have many fewer rights, there is less freedom of movement, and the individual is not valued highly. Murder and rape are also permitted in these societies.