Cyclical History

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever…
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun…
There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1 ESV, Selected)

History is cyclical. There is nothing new under the sun.

Civilization is in constant war with chaos. Chaos eventually, inevitably, triumphs. The civilizational cycle of growth and death never ends.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Everything man creates turns to ashes, there is no relief from the curse of Adam.

Man endures until he can’t; death his only relief. His children then endure until they can’t.

Moth and rust destroy; thieves break in and steal. All go to the grave.

Everything man builds collapses; every institution man creates falls.

Every institution but one:

The Catholic Church has yet to fall. It has been corrupted, it has been split, it has been broken, but it has always endured.

This is the light in the darkness man constantly wars against.

There is no hope, there is no relief, there is no victory, but one.

The cycle was broken once: a bloody body upon an instrument of torture, an empty pit of death.

A fire descended, a burning illumination among the horrifying darkness.

The cycle of death and entropy never ceases, but that small fire promises hope that it will.

There is a final escape from the entropic cycle for those who have the eyes to see.

For those that keep their eyes closed, the chaos will follow them beyond the grave.


And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
(Revelation 21:3-4,8 ESV)


  1. Swimming the Tiber, are you?

    I would say:

    The Church has yet to fall. It has been corrupted, it has been split, it has been broken, but it has always endured.

    (Meaning, the collectivity of God’s people, regardless of which particular manifestation.

    But I’m like that. :) )

  2. Given the Catholic Church’s history, I’d say that it is not really a contiguous Church, but instead a vessel of power that keeps changing hands.

    It is, in effect, a form of non-national government.

    From their history of oppression, questionable interpretation of the Bible, the desire to keep the Word in Latin to prevent the people from knowing it fully, all the way up to the priest scandals of recent years, I’d say that much of the Catholic Church’s staying power has been the result of it functioning like a spiritual mafia.

    Let’s not forget that the illuminati have also managed to endure all these years as well.

    To say nothing of the fact that the Catholic Church is built on the foundations of ancient paganism, of course.

    There is nothing wrong with being a Catholic Christian, of course, but their organization is no less corrupt than any other human agency.

  3. @ jack: Well said.

    Setting aside theological matters, looking at power alone, the Roman Catholic Church is akin to the continuation of the Roman Empire after its fall, by other means.

  4. Anyone who says the Nicene or Apostles’ creed mentions the catholic church. Also, F.N. mentions how it endures after being split, and Roman Catholics don’t talk like that… They’ll say split off, split away or schismed… Subtly different.

    I’m more concerned with linking people that are trashing Protestantism, as it shows a preternatural coolness, which seems unhealthy…


  5. We Protestants interpret the word ‘catholic’ exactly like that, lower-case, meaning ‘universal’.

    I refuse to have anything to do with anyone who trashes Protestants. There are others who don’t, who I prefer to read / link.

    Re-fighting the Reformation is stupid. We have different traditions, we have our reasons for adhering to them; might as well have mutual respect, in a time when all of us, collectively, are under attack…

  6. What say you of signs that Pope Francis is a progressive mole, striving to “modernize” church teaching regarding e.g. abortion and homosexuality? The Church has had bad Popes before, and always bounced back, but I do not envy the Catholic priests who must choose to suffer excommunication if they preach traditional doctrine, or hellfire if they don’t.

  7. I’m not becoming a Catholic, at least not yet, but the long survival of the RC church is one of those interesting historical anomalies.

    I’d probably describe myself as a pro-RC, anti-reformation protestant, but that hardly makes sense even to me.

    As for Pope Francis, I’m not sure what of his leftism is the media making things up and what is from him. It is hard to tell. I would classify myself as suspicious of him.

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