Where were you when the lights went out? The massive blackout that struck 50 million people in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada Aug. 14 was but one more example of the vulnerability of our electrical power grid. What if it had been worse? What if it had been in the middle of a winter storm? What if it had been terrorism or an act of war?
Without power, modern civilization comes to a standstill. Without power, most have no computer, no Internet, no E-mail, no TV. Our Information Age comes unplugged, and the work most of us do becomes impossible. Worse, many times those without power also are without water or heat. It reminds me a bit of the Dark Ages—only more serious because we have lost the skill to live off the land without our modern conveniences.
The Dark Ages—only worse
In popular history, the time between the fall of Rome and the beginning of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment is often given little attention. The term Dark Ages for the early part of the period conveys a sense of gloom and foreboding.
Without power, modern civilization comes to a standstill.
It does for me, particularly since in my formative years one of my favorite authors, science fiction legend Isaac Asimov, used the theme prominently in his Foundation series. The story was long and complex, but the premise was simple. The galaxy was about to enter another Dark Age of thousands of years unless knowledge was somehow preserved. Knowledge was the key to combating darkness.
Through the years I have learned that not all knowledge is equal. I have seen it is possible for mankind to map out the entire human genome but to lose the way in charting the path to peace. In spite of our explosion of physical knowledge, could we be facing a Dark Age of the spirit?
Ignorance and apathy
What are the worst problems in today’s world? “I don’t know and I don’t care,” say the jokesters—but they hit too close to true to be really funny.
This lack of spiritual knowledge is destroying our world, both spiritually and physically.
The Hebrew prophet Hosea recorded these troubling words from our Creator God: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6 Hosea 4:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
American King James Version×). He wasn’t talking about physical knowledge. He was referring to spiritual knowledge. The Bible is the true foundation of knowledge, the framework for making life work. This true road map to peace has been neglected and often ridiculed.
“And the way of peace they have not known” (Romans 3:17 Romans 3:17And the way of peace have they not known:
American King James Version×). This fact is painfully evident in our modern world, where even the most noble of efforts for peace are soon twisted and left in ruins.
This lack of spiritual knowledge is destroying our world, both spiritually and physically. Violence likely will disrupt not just the power grid but the entire way of life for the United States, Canada and many other nations.
The Bible reveals this Dark Age of the spirit is, thankfully, almost over. The apostle Paul sought to enlighten the Christians in Rome, and us, about the Age of Light. In Romans 13:8-10 Romans 13:8-10  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.
 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
American King James Version×, he showed the way of love, expounded through God’s commandments, which will illuminate that new day.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12 Romans 13:12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
American King James Version×). God wants us to do what we can now to bring a little light into this dark world by our examples and love.
When God’s Spirit flows freely and God’s laws connect people in a network of love and caring, the Dark Age of human ignorance and apathy—of selfishness, evil and suffering—will end. The most-important knowledge—spiritual knowledge—will bring an age of true enlightenment and lasting peace on earth.