Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church



The Hardness of our Hearts 0

Posted on August 15, 2018 by Alexander
adulterers.jpg

Where is the outrage?

National Disgrace

It is national knowledge that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page had an ongoing affair. That is being polite. Both of them are married. They are adulterers. Yet the news of both conservative and liberal mediums gloss over this point as they focused on the brash and arrogance of Peter Strzok’s testimony before congress and his recent firing.

Peter’s wife is Melissa Hodgman and Lisa’s husband is Joseph Burrow. Doesn’t anyone find it odd that none of them share names? When I shared this thought with someone else, he responded:

They are married as in a business arrangement. They are partners in crime. Because married, they cannot testify against each other.

If you are concerned about the moral implications of them fooling around outside of marriage, rest assured they only got married because of the above reasons and nothing to do with God.

Yes, they are partners in crime.  At least the biggest criminals of all, Bill and Hillary, share the same last name of Clinton.

Apparently Peter and Melissa have no children, which for their sake, I am glad.  Lisa and Joseph, on the other hand, have a son and a daughter. The shame those two will subconsciously feel towards their mother has to be profound since the affair is a national scandal.

Hardness of Heart in Society and the Church

Where is the outrage from the Church? The comment above, “rest assured they only got married because of the above reasons and nothing to do with God” shows that God is not even a consideration. We have reached a point in our national consciousness where it is acceptable to fornicate, commit adultery, divorce and remarry without regard to what God desires for us, or how it affects the children.

There is no protest of the filth on TV and the movies. Instead, we as the Church consume the filth and brush it off with the grace of God allows it.

CW who has taken the world of DC comics, and who constantly barrages their audience with lesbian characters as secondary characters, has now introduced a main character as a lesbian, Batwoman.  The irony of the outcry against the story is not that she is a lesbian, but that she is Jewish! She can be a lesbian but can’t be a Jewish lesbian. The Warner brothers were Jews themselves.

Yet another indication of the hardness of our hearts.

It seems that the general revelation to come of the widespread practice of pedophilia may have to be the straw that breaks the church camel’s back.   We need to take the warning of Revelations seriously:

Rev_18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

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. Read the rest of this entry →

Authority of the People 0

Posted on October 23, 2010 by Alexander

People are in God's stead

To listen to a reading of the article, click the podcast link.

My gym has no air conditioning, so the garage door is frequently left open for the classes. An open door provides entry to a variety of creeping and flying insects, bees are one example. When a bee flies in the children naturally panic. I tell them that fear only causes the bees to become afraid as well and are more likely to sting them. Instead I gently shoo the bee out the door with my hands. That bee has no interest in us. He is only looking for plants. Gentle shooing lets him know that I am not trying to kill it, but only direct it outside again.

I told the kids that they need to understand their authority over creation. Genesis 9:2 tells us that the “fear and dread” of men would be upon all animals. They are terrified of us, and we should not be afraid of them.

One of the families in my gym is going through a lawsuit. When I talked to the mother about it, she was clearly confused regarding lawful laws. So we talked about  why laws exist in the first place. This is  apart from the typical  answers given by organized religion which are theoretical and never connect with practical reality. Read the rest of this entry →

Integrity Amidst Corporate Evil 4

Posted on August 01, 2010 by Alexander

Making our job disconnected from the aftermath of the industry does not make us innocent.

Just Doing My Job

When I posted the last blog on the unethical monetary system that the government has forced upon us by federal law, I knew I was not finished on the topic. I addressed the theft of the Federal Reserve banking system of “loaning” money that they did not have and charging interest on non existent funds. My point was that we, the American people, do not owe this 14 trillion dollar debt, and that we should deny it and refuse to pay it. What I need to finish is our individual responsibility towards God to live ethically and not to participate in an unethical system, even though we are compelled by “law” to do so.

In a recent broadcast of the Katherine Albrecht show, Dr Marc Edwards shared how he had exposed the cover up of lead in the water of the Washington DC water supply by the CDC and EPA.     Dr. Albrecht asked him how they could try cover up the contamination of the water which poisons the people of DC?   His answer showed great compassion.   These bureaucracies are staffed with people whose jobs are compartmentalized and separated from one another.  Each person was just doing their job which did not reveal to them the big picture of the consequences of their job. His answer made me realize that atrocities over the world occur because of the multitude of people who are “just doing their jobs” without knowing what the ultimate consequence of their jobs are causing.

I had always wondered how a “Christian” nation such as Germany could allow the holocaust and World War II to devastate Europe.    There were notable exceptions, of course, such as the family of Anne Frank and Raoul Wallenberg, who defied the laws of the land by harboring and safeguarding Jews from the Nazi’s.   But the majority of Germans who called themselves Christians obeyed the “laws” of the land.   They may have objected to the atrocities that they knew about, but did nothing to resist it because they were not directly responsible for those atrocities.   Instead, they were good tax paying Germans who only were doing their jobs.   And from their point of view, their jobs were not harming anyone. Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Envy and Strife 1

Posted on April 04, 2009 by Alexander
All wars are for greed and power of an elite few.

All wars are for greed and power of an elite few.

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

It is the truth of human history that all wars began by an elite few who wanted to increase their wealth and power.  To persuade the people to join in the war,  an emotional moral point has been hyped up to rally the masses into  the conflict.

In this series in comparing the book of Ecclesiastes with Pink Floyd’s, “The  Dark Side of the Moon,” I have focused on the story line of the main character who goes mad in trying to cope with the world system, and  ends up with a lobotomy to find his peace.   But the musical genius of Pink Floyd’s band should also be remembered.  They created sound-scapes that fit the atmosphere of each song.  In “Speak to Me/Breathe”  the music creates the image of someone under water coming up for air.  In “On the Run” the image is created of one running out of breath as though on a treadmill going nowhere.  In “Time” the ringing of the alarm and the ticking of the clock creates the sense of urgency since time is running out.  In “The Great Gig in the Sky” an eatheral and surreal sound is created by the singers crying in desperation pleading to Heaven for peace on Earth.  In “Money” a pompous sound of a rich, fat cat devouring everything is his greed is created in the music.  The band members wrote this album with a stroke of genius.

One would think that a sound-scape on conflict and war in “Us and Them” would have explosive sounds as bombs dropping with gun fire.  But the genius of the band created a dreamy, hypnotic music instead.  For the truth is, no one in their right mind engages in warfare.  The only way for the elite few who create these wars to get the masses involved is to hypnotize them with moral rhetoric that creates a sense of outrage amongst the people.  Pink Floyd has dialog that is often hard to hear and understand in their songs, too.  The comments in the dialog are flashes of reality (although confused) in the midst of the dreamy hypnotic delusion that the world system creates.

Despite what government historians will tell us, the American Civil War was not about slavery.  The slavery issue was used as the hypnosis to get the northerners into the fight. Yes, it was a real issue, but the war was about state rights and the federal government’s quest for dominion of the states.  This is true for every war if one will examine the issues closely.

I am not  arguing for or against a just war which is usually is predicated on defending one’s self from an attack.  Solomon did say earlier that there is a time for peace and a time for war (Ecc. 3:8).  These are matters that one must pray about and follow the leading of the Spirit and one’s conscience.  But what I am pointing out is that in all wars, there is an elite few who are seeking their own gain at the expense of the majority.

Solomon observes the oppression of the few over the many.  His discourse on the topic contrasts wisdom and folly.  Only fools will follow these leaders into battle, which is the same theme that Pink Floyd uses in their mockery of war in this song.  Solomon concludes his observation that wisdom is better than warfare, and by wisdom people have been delivered from war, but the majority of people are fools who forget the wisdom that has saved them (Ecc. 9:17) and that it only takes one sinner to destroy the good of many (9:18).

The seasons of war end by the grace of God, and Pink Floyd unwittingly acknowledge this at the end of their song.  For they say, “The old man died.” The oppressors all die eventually.  Arafat is dead. Hitler is dead. And the world can take some small comfort that God brings death to the oppressors in due season.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 4

1  Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: 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.

2    Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.

3    Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

4  Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

5    The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.

6    Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.

13    Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.

Chapter 7

7    Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, And a bribe debases the heart.

8    The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

9    Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Chapter 8

9  All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.

Chapter 9

3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

4  But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5    For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.

6    Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.

13  This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:

14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it.

15  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.

16  Then I said:  “Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard.

17    Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.

18    Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good.”

8.  Us and Them
(Waters, Wright) 7:40

Us, and them
And after all we’re only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do.

Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.

Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end it’s only round and round.

Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words
The poster bearer cried.
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There’s room for you inside.

“I mean, they’re not gunna kill ya, so if you give ’em a quick short, sharp, shock, they won’t do it again.  Dig it? I mean he get off lightly, ‘cos I would’ve given him a thrashing – I only hit him once! It was only a difference of opinion, but really…I mean good manners don’t cost nothing do they, eh?”

Down and out
It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about.
With, without.
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about?

Out of the way, it’s a busy day
I’ve got things on my mind.
For the want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died.

James tells the Church:

James 3:14-16
14    But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15    This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16    For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.   (KJV)

The history of the Church parallels the history of the world in its warfare and strife.  The charge by those that religion has been at the root of all wars is partially true. For religion is self effort in righteousness.   A self effort that Christ died to remove, but the religious hold onto their self effort for they want the right to pick and choose what is right as a due for earning their own salvation. This should not be confused with the body of Christ who are those who let Christ live through them in ruling their lives.

The organization of Christianity has been just as guilty of warfare as has been the organization of Islam, and even Hinduism.  Sadly, through the organization of Christianity, the Church has been duped in furthering the agenda of the elite few who cause the wars.   The Church has mistakenly relied on fleshly means to accomplish spiritual ends.  From  the Social Gospel of the early 20th century which tried to feed the poor through socialism, to the culture wars of today that is trying to end abortion and homosexuality by legislative means.

Warfare in the Church continues within itself as factions argue over doctrinal distinctions that are academic in nature, but are held onto vigorously as their distictive that makes them more right than others. This is the pride of life that John declares in his epistle (1 John 2:16) that marks the world that we are not to love.   The mega-church pursuit by a pastoral staff is the lust of the eyes from that same verse.   The gluttony of Christians and the sexual immorality of both congregants and pastors is the lust of the flesh.

We are called to “come out from among them” (2 Cor. 6:17).  That does not mean to hide in a monastery, nor live as a hermit.  It means that we are not to engage our selves in the pursuits of the world.  We are not called to transform society.  We are called to allow God to transform us, and for us to be vessels that God uses to transform others by our lives and witness.

Solomon told us that wisdom is better than warfare.  But wisdom is forgotten because so many are fools who want to engage in the pursuits of the world instead of dying on the cross with Christ.  We forget the words of Jesus who said that those who try to save their lives will lose it, and those who lose their lives for His sake will find it (Matt. 16:25).

Post Script 4/8/09
I meant to state this is in the blog, but was reminded of this in a conversation with a brother. The religious mindset is an “us and them” mentality. The religious interpretation of 2 Cor. 6:17 is that now that we are “in Christ” we should have nothing to do with those “outside Christ”. This attitude creates an false conception of God’s behavior towards those that are lost. It makes us think that God has nothing to do with people until they come to Christ, then they one of “us” and no longer one of “them”.

In reality, God is actively involved with the lives of every human being on the planet, lost and saved. He is working in their lives to bring them to Him, but He is also taking care of them by feeding them, healing them, and comforting them. The “us and them” division is an artificial religious point of view. There is no “us and them”. There is only “us and Him”. All of us, lost and saved, are in the same human boat in need of Him. All of us face the same troubles and joys of life together. Stripping away the religious mindset opens our eyes to see the work of God in everyone’s life, and the common plight of all mankind together.

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.

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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