Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church



Christianity is Physics Not Religion 8

Posted on July 06, 2011 by Alexander

The ultimate corruption

It is a complete misunderstanding to think that Christianity is a religion. It is not. It is biology and physics. Preachers warp it into a religion through thoughtlessness and the needs of running a business. They are ignorant of how Adam and Eve broke the laws of physics and what God did through Jesus Christ to restore those broken laws.

Instead they water it down to mere “personal relationship” with God. I do not say that lightly! Personal relationship with God is the reason we were created. But it diminishes the magnitude of what happened with Adam and Eve and the cosmic work of Jesus Christ Himself.

Adam and Eve Knew Yahweh Their Whole Lives

Sin and judgment are clearly attributes of the the fall and redemption, but they, too, diminish the Truth. Adam and Eve did not just “sin” and lose relationship with God. In fact Genesis 3:21 implies more than it says in that Adam and Eve were given a means to retain their relationship with God all their lives.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Gen 3:21 NIV)

An animal had to die for the “garment of skin” to be made for Adam and his wife. In Jewish custom the Paschal lamb was kept in the house for three days before it was butchered for the Sedar. The head of the house slit the lamb’s throat. This created a great sorrow in the whole house as they watched the innocent animal die. I have no doubt that Adam had to kill the animal, perhaps a lamb, himself. They saw the horror and felt the grief for the loss of the animal life that was used to make their garments. The implication is clear: this was a blood sacrifice that pointed the way to Christ, which they knew of from earlier in Genesis 3:15. They understood that blood was shed for their sins. The blood sacrifice began with Adam and Eve and has been practiced by cultures throughout all of the world’s history. Continue reading “Christianity is Physics Not Religion” »

The Body of Christ is NOT Divided 4

Posted on January 22, 2011 by Alexander

There is a difference between the children of God and the body of Christ

Is God incapable of taking care of Himself? Obviously not.   Yet the claim that the body of Christ is divided is universal.    The body of Christ is not only not divided, it can not be divided.   One would think that Paul was saying that the body of Christ could be divided.

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor 1:13 KJV)

Paul, however, is not saying that Christ is divided.  Rather he is being rhetorical.  Christ can not be divided.  So,  what is meant by the claim?  The confusion is created by not understanding the difference between the body of Christ and the children of God.  This confusion exists because we are both the body of Christ and the children of God. Continue reading “The Body of Christ is NOT Divided” »

Ethics or Morals? 1

Posted on August 08, 2010 by Alexander

Morals are not the same as ethics.

There is no difference between the meanings of the two words, ethics and morality from an etymological view. They are from two different languages: ethics being a Greek word, and morality being a Latin word, which means manner and customs of people. Ethics, however, carries the additional connotation of internal standards because of Aristotles’s philosophical treaties on ethics, “Nicomachean Ethics“.   Morals, on the other hand, tends to lean in meaning towards the mores of a people or the outward manners and customs of a people just as the word customs is the root to the word costume.

The technical distinctions aside, words have a predominant meaning by the current usage.  In deed, most words are used by people without regard to the etymological meaning.  For example, the word “blessed”  has moved beyond Christian usage and is used by people of all faiths to mean privileged and favored, with happy circumstances.   The etymology of blessed is uniquely Christian, however, because it literally means “blood-covered”  (bled-sion) and comes from Medieval Catholicism.  To be covered in the blood means to be in covenant with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, such a covenant brings favor and privilege in happy circumstances.  But the word is used without any regard to its origin.

Likewise, I wish to elaborate on the deeper differences between our subconscious usage of the words “ethics” and “morality” which merit having two different words from two different languages grafted into English usage.   Ethics, in my opinion, leans more towards decisions of the conscience, whereas morals leans towards accepted public opinions and customs.  As such, ethics are expressions of God’s will, and morals are the expression of man’s will. Continue reading “Ethics or Morals?” »

Struggling on the Edge 0

Posted on April 15, 2009 by Alexander
The world can bring anyone to the brink of madness

The world can bring anyone to the brink of madness

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Chapter 3/Time

Chapter 5-7/The Great Gig in the Sky

Chapter 5-6/Money

Chapter 4-9/Us and Them

Chapter 1-10/Any Color You Like

Both the book of Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon list the path to insanity that the world system tries to drive us  onward.  Here is a brief review of those things in the world that tends to frustrate everyone and that we all struggle with.

  • Futility of our Labors In chapter 2:17-19 Solomon laments that building wealth is futile because when he dies, someone else will control the wealth. Pink Floyd begins their album with the main character overwhelmed and running on a treadmill going nowhere.
  • The Fear of God’s Judgment Even when one denies the reality of God, the fear of His judgment in this life and the afterlife nags everyone. In chapter 3:14-17  Solomon says, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work”
  • Time and Chance Time runs out for everyone since we die. In chapter 3 we are told that there is a time for everything and in chapter 9 time and chance happen to all. Without knowing God it seems that some just get lucky and that life is not fair.
  • Injustice To further increase the disbelief that God exists is the sense of injustice that occurs all over the world when wicked people are not punished and innocent people suffer. Solomon says in in 8:11, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
  • Oppressed by the Wealthy Since the wealthy oppress the poor, then everyone wants to be wealthy so they won’t be oppressed either. In chapter 4:1-2 he says, “And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter— On the side of their oppressors there is power, But they have no comforter.” He concludes that it is better to be dead than oppressed (v. 2).
  • Over Taxed In collusion with the wealthy, the governments of the world serve the wealthy in over taxation of the poor for the benefit of the wealthy, and to fund their wars which increase the wealth of those already rich. In chapter 5 Solomon says, “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field. … When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?”
  • Loneliness Pink Floyd did not address this, but loneliness is a huge struggle for many. If you make a lot of money, what good is it if you have no one to share it with? In chapter 4:8 he says, “There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, ‘For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?’ “

So in chapter 10 Solomon metaphorically speaks of the edge. Which way should one go? Try to be wise (v.1)? One mistake removes all that benefit. Live as a fool and be mocked by everyone (v.3)? Obey rulers (v. 4)? Why should we when so often the rulers are fools and the wise are debased (v. 5-7). Why try to do anything when every activity is fraught with danger (v. 8-11)? Too much talk is liable to drive one mad (v. 12-13). We all get pushed to the edge. Some make wise decisions, others make foolish choices. And this is the litmus test for us all. Which way do we choose: hope or despair?  Solomon chose hope.   Pink Floyd chose despair as their main character gets his lobotomy.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 10

1    Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.

2    A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left.

3    Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, And he shows everyone that he is a fool.

4    If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, Do not leave your post; For conciliation pacifies great offenses.

5    There is an evil I have seen under the sun, As an error proceeding from the ruler:

6    Folly is set in great dignity, While the rich sit in a lowly place.

7    I have seen servants on horses, While princes walk on the ground like servants.

8    He who digs a pit will fall into it, And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.

9    He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.

10    If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.

11    A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different.

12    The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

13    The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness.

10. Brain Damage
(Waters) 3:50

The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me ’til I’m sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

“I can’t think of anything to say except…
I think it’s marvelous! HaHaHa!”

The Israelites were given a choice between two mountains before they entered into the Promised Land.   If they chose Mount Gerizim they chose life and blessings (Deut. 27:12).  If they chose Mount Ebal they chose cursing and death (Deut. 27:13).  Yahweh encouraged them to choose life (Deut. 30:19).

The Church of Jesus Christ has been given the same choice, and we need to encourage one another in what life truly is, and not the life presented in  the church sales pitch.  Life has been allowed by God to be very difficult to obtain.  He is not willing that any should perish and he wants all to come to repentance (2 Pet  3:9), but He is seeking a quality of character in His children, that lets many perish.

All life is a struggle whether in Christ or apart from Christ.  God allowed Adam and Eve to sin, which brought death, war, and disease into His creation.  Nature demonstrates the struggle to all who will bother to look.  Millions of sperm are sent, but only one gets the egg.   In many creatures many young have to be born to increase the odds of survival.

Jesus said that broad and wide was the road to destruction, but straight and narrow is the path to life, and few find it (Matt. 7:13-14).  It is a grave mistake to assume that simply means accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ.  The path to life begins after we accept Christ, and is littered with failure.  John Bunyan illustrated this in his book, “Pilgrim’s Progress.”  Jesus spoke in parables intentionally to keep people from understanding.  When Jesus walked on the water  He would have walked passed those in the boat if they had not cried out to Him, even though He was walking to help them.  We are told to seek God with our whole heart, not casually.

God wants us to have a love of the truth at all costs (John 3:21), wants us to do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8).  The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is not automatic.  The struggles of life are used by the Spirit to carve these characteristics into our hearts.  These qualities are only created within us when we deny our lives (v. 24) and walk in the Spirit (v. 25).

Without struggles there can be no cross to bear.  Choosing life means losing our lives for Christ’s sake.  It is not religious behavior. It is trusting and depending on Christ in all our Spirit led endeavors.  There are many whose faith is shipwrecked like Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 19-20).  It is a blindness on our part to believe that many in the body of Christ are not struggling with the same despair that the Pink Floyd character on this album had succumbed to.  God is willing to help anyone, and does help everyone, whether saved or lost, but He maintains a goal and standard that never changes.  So many in the Church, misunderstand the work of God in their lives when the struggle comes.   Jesus, in His parable of the sower and the seed, said that these are those with no root in themselves (Mark 4:17).

Root in oneself is knowing that you have remained in the center of God’s will for your life, despite the trials or tribulations.  Joseph had root in himself when he was sold into slavery. He did not try to make God’s will happen as he saw in his dreams, rather he made the best of every situation he was in knowing that he remained in the center of God’s will.

We all struggle with the troubles that come with life, but to choose life means trusting Jesus in the midst of your every circumstance.  This is the choice that Solomon made, it is the choice that Joshua made, and it is the choice that my wife and I have made. It is the only sane choice that can be made.

The Pressure of Conformity 2

Posted on April 05, 2009 by Alexander
Multiple Personalities.

It is impossible to be like everyone.

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Chapter 3/Time

Chapter 5-7/The Great Gig in the Sky

Chapter 5-6/Money

Chapter 4-9/Us and Them

An instrumental called, “Any Color You Like,”  follows the song, “Us and Them” on the Pink Floyd album called, “The Dark Side of the Moon.”  There is no explanation as to the reason for the title of the song, so my interpretation here is only my guess.  Since the song that follows is called, “Brain Damage,” and is the song about the main character going insane, I believe that he slips into Multiple Personality Disorder at this time before he has realized that he went insane.

The pressure to conform is upon all of us.  It is a pressure that is fueled by the judgments, opinions, and gossip of other people.  It has its power because it is our natural tendency to look to other people for guidance in our lives.  This tendency is amplified as we try to please other people to get along.  Strife, war and politics between people is experienced by everyone, and no one likes getting shot at, neither physically nor verbally.  So we all try to go  with the flow of others just to get along.

The problem with this approach is the vast variety of opinions and views that we all come up against.  The reality is that we can not agree with everyone all the time. It is impossible since there are so many opposing points of view.  To do so will cause a nervous breakdown, or, as I believe what happens to the character in this album, fracture into multiple personalities.

It is a rule of thumb that copies of copies tend to degenerate in quality and integrity.   Movie makers keep their master film in a vault to protect  the pristine clarity of the original.   They make copies of the master as sub masters by which they make the copies for film distribution.  When those sub masters deteriorate with wear and tear through time, they pull out the original again to make new sub masters.

This deterioration happens through the generations as people copy people in an effort to find guidance in their lives.   Societies fracture as cultures and sub cultures develop as a result.   We can not live as people pleasers because the standard is constantly shifting with each new generation. When what the original was like is forgotten,  changes continue without recognition so that eventually, good is considered evil, and evil is considered good.

God is the original blueprint for man.  We were made in His image.  However, we lost contact with the original in the Garden of Eden when the sub-master of God (Adam and Eve) degenerated with sin.  God had to make a new sub-master for all of us to model our lives upon, so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be our new model.  Jesus, however, can not deteriorate as the sub master films do, so there is no need for a new version of Him, for He is also integrated with the master, God Himself.  Furthermore, when the Church is glorified with Christ, God will be fully integrated into the body of Christ, so neither will there be any loss due to  degeneration in the Church, too.

Solomon predates Christ, so the focus of his writings are more on the human condition in our generations.  This is what he has to say.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

4    One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.

5    The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose.

6    The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north;  The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit.

7    All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full;  To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.

9    That which has been is what will be,  That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.

10    Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

11    There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.

Chapter 7

5    It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.

6    For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

21    Also do not take to heart everything people say Lest you hear your servant cursing you.

22    For many times, also, your own heart has known  That even you have cursed others.

29    Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.”

Chapter 10

20    Do not curse the king, even in your thought;   Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;    For a bird of the air may carry your voice,  And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

9.  Any Colour You Like
(Gilmour, Mason, Wright) 3:25

(Instrumental)

We are told by Paul in the book of Romans:

Rom 12:1-2
1    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.   (KJV)

Even though we in the Church have the Master to model our lives  upon, the natural tendency remains for us to conform our selves to other believers, just to get along.

Spiritual abuse has occurred in the body of Christ when some believers try to make out that they are the examples of Christ and should be followed if you want to abide in the will of God.  This is especially a problem for new believers who do not know what Jesus is like yet which makes them easily taken advantage of.

Jesus had made it clear that pleasing people is contrary to walking with God.  He said:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27 KJV)

We can not be His disciple if we esteem the opinion of men higher than the opinion of God.  We have to learn to look at the original in Jesus Christ and base our lives upon His example, not the example of other people.  Yes we are told in Hebrews 13, and in other places, to follow the example of others, but they all have the same condition: we are to consider the outcome of their lives (13:7) which should be like Jesus (v. 8).  How can you know if they are like Jesus unless you know already what Jesus is like?  You can not.  You must look to Jesus always, then you will be able tell who those are who are like Him, too.

So the Church at large is in the same danger as the character in Pink Floyd’s rock opera of suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder.  Instead of being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we become conformed to the Church, which is like the world, instead of  Christ.  Factions arise as congregations defend their version of the Gospel, hindering the unity of the Spirit.  Unity of the Spirit can only found in following the Spirit of Christ.

The Root of All Evil 2

Posted on April 03, 2009 by Alexander
You can not serve God and Mammon

You can not serve God and Mammon

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Chapter 3/Time

Chapter 5-7/The Great Gig in the Sky

The main character of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon had briefly considered God and religion, but assumes that he can go to heaven by his own merit.  He not only dismisses Christ, he decides not to commit suicide.  Instead he dreams about becoming rich and powerful.  A dream that he only contemplates, but one that Pink Floyd as a band succeeded in doing. So when they wrote their song, “Money,” they were living this dream.

Solomon also had money.  He was the richest man alive in his day.  He knew what money could buy and what it could not buy.  In chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes Solomon asks what good is it to labor for riches when one is all alone and has no one to share it with?   Money brings worry and anxiety over its management (5:12).   And  if one gathers riches and manages it wisely, who knows how that wealth will be used after one dies (6:12)?  For naked we are born and naked we die, we can not take it with us.  But the bottom line that Solomon addresses is that greed and covetousness is never satisfied. It always wants more.

In other verses he does speak of the value of money.  Money is a defense (7:12). So as a tool, money has a purpose and place.   But money can never satisfy the longing of the heart.  Neither will money bring true joy, instead it tends to breed envy and strife (4:4).

Ecclesiastes Chapter 5

10    He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.  This also is vanity.

11    When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?

12    The sleep of a laboring man is sweet,  Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.

13    There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun:  Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.

14    But those riches perish through misfortune;  When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.

15    As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return,  To go as he came;  And he shall take nothing from his labor  Which he may carry away in his hand.

16    And this also is a severe evil— Just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?

17    All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.

Chapter 6

1  There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:

2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.

3 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he—

4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.

5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man,

6  even if he lives a thousand years twice—but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?

7    All the labor of man is for his mouth, And yet the soul is not satisfied.

7. Money
(Waters) 6:32

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay.
Money, it’s a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I’ll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it’s a hit.
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit.
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet.

Money, it’s a crime.
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re
giving none away.

“HuHuh! I was in the right!”
“Yes, absolutely in the right!”
“I certainly was in the right!”
“You was definitely in the right. That geezer was cruising for a
bruising!”
“Yeah!”
“Why does anyone do anything?”
“I don’t know, I was really drunk at the time!”
“I was just telling him, he couldn’t get into number 2. He was asking why he wasn’t coming up on freely, after I was yelling and screaming and telling him why he wasn’t coming up on freely.
It came as a heavy blow, but we sorted the matter out”

The dialog at the end of the song is hard to hear, but it shows the end result of wanting money: conflicts with others and ultimately war, which is the topic of the next song.

The Church of Jesus Christ misunderstands Kingdom Economics.  There is a bottom line for the Church that we tend to forget.  When Peter told those who collected tribute money, Jesus asked Peter later who pays tribute?  The children of the king or strangers (Matt 17:25)?  Peter answered correctly that the strangers pay tribute. Jesus then emphasized that the children are free (17:26).   The reason that the children are free is because all that belongs to the king belongs to the children, too.  It would be taking money out of the king’s own pocket to tax his own children.  This is the bottom line in Kingdom Economics.  Since God owns everything, and we in the Church are His children, everything belongs to us already.

That means that we will always be taken care of.  It does not mean that we have access to all that God owns,  since He manages our provision.  But He has promised to take care of us if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His rightesouness (Matt. 6:33).   There may be seasons where are provision is food from raven’s mouths. But the bottom line is that we will be cared for and we need not worry about it.

Regrettably, the Church at large does not comprehend this basic provision of God, and have sought wealth according to the world’s standard. The followers of the prosperity preachers will find their wealth consumed by others if they are trying to serve God and Mammon.  And, like the world, they will be caught up in strife and warfare.

Saints, the gospel is not about poverty, either.  It is about learning to live in contentment whether one is abased or abounds.  This contentment comes from  the security of knowlege that God is caring for each of us and is accomplishing His purposes in our lives. The love of money robs us of peace and contentment.  The peace of God that passes all understanding is found in trusting God and resting in His provision. For godliness with contentment is great gain and this is achieved by esteeming the riches of Christ greater than the riches of the world.

Heaven Misunderstood 0

Posted on April 01, 2009 by Alexander
Both the Church and the World Misunderstand Heaven

Both the Church and the World Misunderstand Heaven

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Chapter 3/Time

The parallel between the two works tends to break up in sequence, but not in subject matter.  In the last song  called, “Time” the main character suffers a midlife crisis in realizing that he has not accomplished anything of significance with his life.

For a fleeting moment,  at the end of the song, “Time” a tag song, “Breathe (Reprise)”  the character  has come up for air once  more  in gaining his bearings by  looking back home.   He even  considers the possibility of embracing religion as he hears  “far away across the field, The tolling of the iron bell” which “Calls the faithful to their knees ” but then dismisses the thought of God as “softly spoken magic spells.”

The lost have an arrogant assumption about heaven that they can go there just like anyone else, when in truth no one can go without accepting the salvation of mankind given through Jesus Christ.  The thought that it would be better to die than live becomes the temptation for suicide for so many when they do not understand the afterlife,  as the next song,  “The Great Gig in the Sky” plays as a dreamy reverie of a longed for peace not found on Earth.

Solomon, on the other hand, who is exploring all the temptations of the world in Ecclesiastes,  never loses sight of the true living God.  He knows that he is experimenting.  He, unlike the character in the Dark Side of the Moon, is willfully testing God. He knows that God has already said that these things of the world are bad, but he is proving it to himself,  in his excursion into the flesh and the world,  that God is right.  He reminds us that we are not to come before God lightly.  This is a serious matter.

Appearing Before God

Chapter 5

1  Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.

2    Do not be rash with your mouth,  And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.  For God is in heaven, and you on earth;  Therefore let your words be few.

3    For a dream comes through much activity,  And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.

4    When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;  For He has no pleasure in fools.  Pay what you have vowed—

5    Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?

7  For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.

Chapter 7

1    A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one’s birth;

2    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 take it to heart.

3    Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.

4    The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,  But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

5    It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.

6    For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool.  This also is vanity.

13    Consider the work of God;  For who can make straight what He has made crooked?

14    In the day of prosperity be joyful,  But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other,  So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.

15  I have seen everything in my days of vanity:  There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.

16    Do not be overly righteous,  Nor be overly wise:  Why should you destroy yourself?

17    Do not be overly wicked,  Nor be foolish:  Why should you die before your time?


6. The Great Gig in the Sky
(Wright) 4:44

“And I am not frightened of dying, any time will do, I
don’t mind. Why should I be frightened of dying?
There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime.”

“If you can hear this whispering you are dying.”

“I never said I was frightened of dying.”

(Instrumental)

The afterlife is enshrouded with much confusion. Even the church of Jesus Christ is confused about what God is doing in our lives and what His plan for us in the future will be.

The first point to understand is that God never made Heaven to be the home of mankind. Heaven, like the Lake of Fire was created for angels.  Solomon tells us that the earth ever abides (Ecc. 1:4) and Isaiah said that God made the Earth to be inhabited (Isa. 45:18).  Heaven is not the permanent home of men, but the Earth is.

The English word “heaven” is a derivative of the word “haven”, which is a temporary shelter from a storm for ships at sea.   So, our going to Heaven is a temporary residence for those who die in Christ, until Christ returns and we all are given our glorified bodies to dwell anew upon the Earth.

For the church, we are already in heaven for we are seated at the right hand of Christ (Eph. 1:20), but it is not apparent because it is our spirits that are already with the Lord, but our bodies are still focused on the Earth.  This is why Paul told the Corinthians that we are to look upon the eternal, not the temporal (2 Cor. 4:18).

Many in the Church struggle today because they are mislead by the pulpit regarding Heaven.  The message heard by both the Church and the lost in the world is that Heaven is a future, far off matter.  As I said regarding the character in the Dark Side of the Moon, he thinks he can go to heaven and escape the trials of this life.  He errs in not understanding that he has to have the price of admission paid for him by Christ.  But his error is just as bad as the error of the Church in assuming that Heaven is a future event.

We have already died with Christ, so when the Bible says that in a twinkling of an eye we will be changed, that twinkling is the removal of the barrier that hinders us from seeing what we already have.  When Paul said that we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7) he was not talking about “name it and claim it”  faith.  He was talking about reckoning ourselves already dead.  The power of God works through us when we die to self.  Our walk in Christ is not burdensome, for Jesus said that His burden was easy and His yoke was light.

The rest that the character in Pink Floyd’s story is looking for is not found in physical death, but spiritual rebirth.  The  new birth brings a believer who will embrace it, into the Lord’s rest, which is the real rest of Heaven.  Letting Christ rule and reign in your hearts means giving Him full control of your life, and for us to trust Him as the Lord builds our house with the abundant life.   No Christian who has surrendered his life to Christ, need contemplate suicide. If one does, it is because one is trying to control life instead of allowing the Lord to control life.  The irony is that suicide is the right train, but the wrong track. Physcial suicide will fail, but self denial as a type of suicide of will for the Lord’s will, succeeds.

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon 2

Posted on March 27, 2009 by Alexander

In 2005 I put on a show at the gym where I used to work called,  “Cirque du Lune.”   Since we were not as good as Cirque du Solei, (Circus of the Sun), I called the show “Circus of the Moon” (Cirque du Lune) instead.  I used the Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd as my music for the opening act.

Later on I realized that the Pink Floyd band members of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Sid Barrett, Nick Mason and Richard Wright had written the same topic that is addressed in the book of Ecclesiastes: pursuing the world system will drive you mad.   When I compared the chapters of Ecclesiastes I was surprised to find that the song order of The Dark Side of the Moon roughly corresponded to the same order as the book of Ecclesiastes.

I do not know if they had consciously followed this book, or even if they were aware of the book, but the parallel between the two is uncanny.

So I am taking the liberty of reading from the book of Ecclesiastes followed by the Pink Floyd songs for comparison.  It should be noted, however, that the two works have completely different endings.  In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is saved from his despair by embracing God, whereas in the Dark Side of the Moon, the main character gives in to the despair ending his conscious life  with a lobotomy.  The Bible examines the truth of the evil in this world, but gives hope.  To look at the evil of this world without leaning on God results in despair.

Listen to the podcast and read the verses that I read from Ecclesiastes along with me and read the lyrics of the Dark Side of the Moon that follows and think about it.  This first podcast is only parts of Chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes and the two songs, “Speak to Me” with “Breathe”.  Here are the verses and lyrics.

Ecclesiastes

Chapter 1

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2    “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
3    What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he toils under the sun?

8    All things are full of labor;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor the ear filled with hearing.
9    That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,

12  I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
15    What is crooked cannot be made straight,
And what is lacking cannot be numbered.
16  I communed with my heart, saying, “Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.”
17 And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18    For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Dark Side of the Moon

1. Speak to Me
(Mason) 1:16

“I’ve been mad for fucking years, absolutely years, been over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for bands…”

“I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, like the
most of us…very hard to explain why you’re mad, even if you’re not mad…”

(Instrumental)

2. Breathe
(Waters, Gilmour, Wright) 2:44

Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don’t be afraid to care.
Leave but don’t leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one.

For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

The primary lesson to be learned from Ecclesiastes is that we must trust God.   But there is also a vital secondary lesson that the Church needs to understand.  We can not change the world.  To try and change the world is to have the world change us.   Jesus did not call us to change the world but to be changed by Him, and to preach the Kingdom of God to all the world, for only God can change people, which is the world.

The church is infiltrated by the world.  The world is the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of  the eyes (1 John 2:16).  It is time that we come out of the world’s endeavor as seen in the culture war.  The world at large will not be changed in this life even by God.  He has called us to share the gospel so that hearts may be changed one by one.  But even then, we should not think that we are going to change the world by sharing the gospel.  We are only bringing into the Kingdom those whose hearts are turned towards God.  The vast multitude of people will reject Christ.

As I have said to my beautiful wife, “Sin is insanity.”  All the world is gripped by insanity.  Sanity comes to the individual heart by Jesus Christ.  Let us keep our eyes on the Kingdom, and not the world.

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