Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cycle of Civilizaton

My former pastor, now retired, Col R.B. Thieme, Jr., preached a sermon on Jan 20, 1993 wherein he related the following story:

Clarence Manion, the dean of the Notre Dame law school from 1941-1952, boarded a plane sometime during the early 1950's. One of the passengers recognized him and went over and sat down next to him. Dean Manion was doing some work but he had to put it all away as this man began asking questions. He told Professor Manion that he was one of the greatest thinkers in our country at that time. He wanted to talk with the professor about the unfortunate condition of our country. So Dean Manion listened patiently, conversed with him, and began making notes while the man was speaking.

As the plan landed he got up, shook hands with the man, who again told Dean Manion what a wonderful privilege it was to talk with a man of his caliber of mentality. Dean Manion smiled, thanked him and handed him a slip of paper on which he had written these words:

Man begins his existence in bondage,
and rises from bondage through spiritual faith,
from spiritual faith to 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 into bondage.
This is the cycle of civilization. The only hope of breaking this cycle is the believer who gives his attention to the Word of God. (Proverbs 16:20)

(Taken from the booklet In Whom Do You Trust? by R.B. Thieme, Jr, a transcription of the January 20, 1993 sermon)