Historians have ascribed many reasons as to why Europe experienced a “Dark Age” between the 5th and 15th centuries. Disease, famine, invaders like Muslims and Vikings, and the corrupted governing system called feudalism have all been indicted as causes of the decline in civilization during this time; but Edward Gibbon author of the famous historical work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire summarized it best in the last paragraph of his great 12 vol. masterpiece, saying,
“…the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: the greatest, perhaps, and most awful scene in the history of mankind. The various causes and progressive effects are connected with many of the events most interesting in human annals: the artful policy of the Cæsars, who long maintained the name and image of a free republic; the disorder of military despotism; the rise, establishment, and sects of Christianity; the foundation of Constantinople; the division of the monarchy; the invasion and settlements of the Barbarians of Germany and Scythia; the institutions of the civil law; the character and religion of Mahomet; the temporal sovereignty of the popes…” (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)
Rome Fell because of the influence of Christianity, and in turn, Christianity fell because of Constantine and the bastardization that occurred between the state and the Papacy under Emperor Constantine’s rule. This is the circumstance that begat the Dark Ages.
While there is much controversy surrounding exactly how much land and wealth Constantine bestowed on the early Roman Church when he converted to Christianity, there is little doubt that he elevated the church to a position of power in the Eastern and Western empire. He ordered the Edict of Milian, which ended state persecution of Christians, and also his managing of Christian councils during that time allowed for the emergence of the underground church, forever setting an unhealthy precedent for state power and its influence on church government.
It was Constantine that commissioned the Old St. Peter’s Basilica church to be built over the top of Nero’s Circus in 312 A.D., and fittingly where Vatican City stands today. The Roman Church was given vast land holdings and riches by Constantine and signaled the beginning of one of the darkest periods of human history. While Constantine may have been sincere in his conversion, history proves his imperial interference in church government steered Christianity into a darkness it took humanity almost 1500 years to escape.
The Dark Ages is a reference to the severe drop off in historical documents and records indicating a decline in education among the common people. The reason being, as the Roman Catholic Church became more and more powerful it promptly gobbled everything up during this time. If there are unseen records pertaining to the Middle Ages they are stashed away in the vaults of Vatican City.
It was the institutionalized Roman Catholic Church that warped all of European culture, and effectively monopolized all of the art, higher learning, resources, and even went so far as outlawing the reading of the Bible by common people.
The forced use of the Latin Bible made it impossible for commoners to read the words of the prophets, the apostles and even Jesus Himself. Instead the people attended mass and were told what traditions of men church leaders wanted the people to hear. As the Roman Catholic church grew in power, the literacy rates and education among the common people plummeted. The monarchies that sprung up under the auspices of the Roman Catholic church all throughout Europe and the British Isles derived their perceived power from the anointings and coronations of the Popes during the Middle Ages, for example Charlemagne who was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III in Saint Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Day 800 A.D., uniting the Old Eastern and Western Kingdoms for a period of time.
While there was often a power struggle among European kings and the Pope, it was the perceived spiritual authority of the Catholic Church and the governing authority of the kings of Europe that held humanity by the throat. The Church provided powerful superstitions bestowing the Divine Right of Kings on family dynasties, and the Kings of Europe exercised raw power and oppressive bureaucratic systems that forever impoverished the peasantry. All of which was upheld by the faith of uneducated peasants, wrongfully placed in the Pope and their Kings. The people of the Dark Ages were in the dark because they did not have the light of the Bible, and instead were only allowed to live in the rigid constraints of the oppressive religious traditions and interpretations given to them by the priests and kings that ruled over them. There was little room for the common people to educate themselves and escape their servile lives outside of the direct commissions of kings and priests.
By the time Martin Luther on October 31, 1517, nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle, the Roman Catholic Church had produced volumes of heresies, tortured to death 1000’s of Bible believing Christians, extorted a fortune through the selling of indulgences, had spurred on wars and even assassinations by meddling in political affairs, and so on.
The lesson here is powerful religious structures obscure true Biblical wisdom and principles, and replaces it with traditions of men that often times do more to justify the existence of the institution than truly teach the applicable truths of scripture among the people.
The New Dark Ages
Before the Fall of Rome and rise of the Catholic Church, many Christians were multilingual and could read the words of the prophets and apostles for themselves. As a result they had a command of deep concepts, such as God’s laws relative to His natural laws, understood the roles and jurisdictions among human governing bodies like the family, the church and government, a profound appreciation for life and sacrifice, a unyielding courage in the face of persecution, and most of all the knowledge of God’s saving grace. The institutionalized Roman Catholic Church and the clouding of Biblical knowledge stripped all of this away from common Christians. They were better off in the dark of the catacombs than the Dark Age that the institutionalized, state-sanctioned church brought them.
While the Roman Catholic Church worked to centralize and obfuscate the Bible and its reading, in the modern American church we are seeing something completely opposite happen.
Today we have been plunged into a new Dark Age of Biblical illiteracy, not because the lack of access to the plain written word of the Bible, but because once again the church has been institutionalized under a 501c3 corporate structure, and in addition to an explosion in false teachers, false worship, false doctrines, and false traditions has once again clouded the overarching principles communicated throughout the entire volume of scripture. People want sugary preaching, rock concerts and wild speculative prophetic diatribes instead of grounded Biblical precepts and Truth. It is the adherence to a Biblical system of justice and knowledge that allows for the peace of society. Without which we plunge into a digressed state where the common people chase after their own selfish lusts, shew responsibility, demand elaborate unsustainable social programs, and pick rulers without the guide and discernment of the compass of Biblical Truth.
Because the church has once again fallen into this trap of institutionalization and Biblical illiteracy we have entered into a new Dark Age. Our schools, our families, our governments are devoid of the Constitutional Biblical principles that are absolutely required for a free society. Government always becomes more heavy-handed and tyrannical in such a state of societal miseducation in an effort to keep the wayward base-desires and appetites of the people in check.
If it wasn’t for the Reformation, and the printing of the Bible in different languages we would still be dominated by a form of feudalism to this very day. The Bible, once fully elucidated upon brings light to a culture of darkness. It is not magic, it is simply a consistent body of principles and Truths that become available to us when rightly discerned through the whole body of scripture. Scripture gives us concepts that humanity absolutely needs in order to keep peace, justice and truth alive in every level of society and life. In this light, scripture becomes as essential to our survival as humanity as does air, clean water or food. We are too powerful and destructive individually as humans, much less collectively when chasing base instincts. Without the guidance of true men of God, teaching the hard Truth’s of scripture from the pulpit we are as lost as any peasant in the Dark Age. The fault is our preachers and the appetites of the Christians in America.
Welcome to the New American Dark Age, we need a new American Reformation against the American church if we are to ever be free from the impending nightmare. If Christian people can’t properly discern the scripture even with the abundance of teachers for themselves, we are doomed to repeat history.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Isaiah 28:9-13
Become an insider!
Sign up to get breaking alerts from Sons of Liberty Media.