<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d3510346\x26blogName\x3dBlogcorner+preacher\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://bcpreacher.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://bcpreacher.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3221463383852579554', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
RSS feed for Blogcorner Preacher
          CONTACT    |      ABOUT     |      SEARCH     |      RECENT POSTS     |      ARCHIVES     |      RELIGION     |      BoG    |      DECABLOG    |     
7.02.2005    |    Contrarian wisdom?
Ecclesiastes is one of those books from Scripture that has leached into the popular culture, although it was appropriated by folks who likely had little stomach for the book's actual message. Although it's been going on 40 years, the Byrds' popular rendition of some of the lyrics ("Turn, turn, turn") is still in the mainstream of culture, and I suspect that many people who'd never heard it from the Byrds would recognize both the lyric and the melody.

The words are taken, almost verbatim, from Ecclesiastes 3:
1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
You can bet your bong that this last line was used by the anti-Vietnam war movement. And used. And used. Which brings me to the point of this post: Ecclesiastes, a wisdom book, is a simple admonition to mortal man to know that he and his works are but naught in the scheme of God's time. In the phrase that is also overused by those who otherwise may not crack open a Bible, from Ecclesiastes 1:2, "vanity of vanities; all is vanity."

The vanity here is anyone who uses the Preacher's wisdom to forward a secular, political point. The book is about God's supremacy, and man's insignificance. It is also bordering on the absurd to think that we can fathom God's infinite wisdom. How else to understand this Holy Spirit-inspired preaching in chapter 7:
1A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

3Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

5It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
This is, to put it mildly, a hard sell. Who among us truly believes that the day of our death is better than our day of birth? Or that we'd all really prefer to go about in sackcloth and ashes? Very few, I'd guess. And those who do would likely be required to undergo therapy. In our society, it's downright subversive to believe that the gifts of secular prosperity, very much including "the house of mirth", are, somehow, things that tend to separate us from God's true wisdom. And therefore to be avoided.

Which is the exact message of Ecclesiastes -- the things of this world that we may prize highly can be those very things counted of no import by He Who Is. Which is a recipe for total separation from Him. Otherwise known as "Hell."

| technorati tag | |

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home






About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.