DO YOU THINK MIGHT MAKE RIGHT? — PART 4

English: Judgement of Solomon
English: Judgement of Solomon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the fourth post in a series.

  • Part 1 explained why I talk about the application of Christian theology to politics.
  • Part 2 provided a personal witness, what brought me to Christ Jesus.
  • Part 3 explains why some believe might makes right.

In this post we will consider what leads some people to believe right makes might.

If You Believe Right Makes Might, You Must Believe In God

There are sixty-six books in the Bible, and I suppose that everyone who studies the Bible discovers one book that he or she finds especially fascinating. For me that book is Ecclesiastes.

Even before I began to understand what he wanted us to know, I discovered Solomon words have a certain beauty. Thus, when I read Ecclesiastes, I enjoyed it. Then I read good commentaries. Much to my chagrin and surprise, I discovered I had misinterpreted much of the Book. I doubt most people appreciate being fooled that way, particularly by the Bible. I cannot say I did, but this reference I found in a Wikipedia article, Ecclesiastes, suggests such confusion is not uncommon.

In short, we do not know for certain why or how this book found its way into such esteemed company. All we can say is that the problematic nature of the work was widely recognized even in the earliest records of its interpretation and that there is no evidence that it was accepted as canonical because the readers of the work were so open-minded as not to be troubled by the contradictions between Ooheleth’s words and the remainder of the Hebrew Bible. (from here)

What does that word “Ooheleth” come from. Ooheleth is apparently the Hebrew word for Ecclesiastes which is Greek for “Preacher” or “Teacher.”

So what makes Ecclesiastes such a puzzle? Among those who believe King Solomon wrote the book, theory has it that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes late in his life just before his death in 931 BC.

What’s the big idea? Ecclesiastes, like much of life, represents a journey from one point to another. Solomon articulated his starting point early in the book: “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2), indicating the utter futility and meaninglessness of life as he saw it. Nothing made sense to him because he had already tried any number of remedies—pleasure, work, and intellect—to alleviate his sense of feeling lost in the world. However, even in the writer’s desperate search for meaning and significance in life, God remained present. For instance, we read that God provides food, drink, and work (2:24); both the sinner and the righteous person live in God’s sight (2:26); God’s deeds are eternal (3:14); and God empowers people to enjoy His provision (5:19). Ultimately, the great truth of Ecclesiastes lies in the acknowledgment of God’s ever-present hand on our lives. Even when injustice and uncertainty threaten to overwhelm us, we can trust Him and follow after Him (12:13–14). (from here)

So what is Ecclesiastes about? I think Ecclesiastes explains Solomon‘s inadvertent quest to learn the difference between good and evil. Solomon sought happiness “under the sun” (“Under the sun” is a phrase that occurs repeatedly in the book. “Under the sun” refers to our earthly existence.), but that was the wrong place to look.

Imagine being King Solomon, an absolute monarch. Imagine having immense power, fantastic wealth, and the most brilliant intellect God ever produced in a man. Imagine being in control of all you survey, at least in as much control as any man might be. Then imagine being old and realizing how much of your life you have wasted in vain pursuits. That’s why Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes. He wanted those who would learn from his mistakes not to repeat his mistakes.

When Solomon sought perfection in this life, what did he try? Here are the “idols” Solomon put before the love of God.

  • He sought knowledge, but he found no satisfaction in knowledge for its own sake.
  • He sought pleasure in wine, women, song, and wealth, and he grew bored. But bored was not the worst of it. The foreign women Solomon chose for pleasure ensnared him in actual idol worship (1 Kings 11).
  • He sought to live by his own wisdom, but then he realized the same fate overcomes both the wise and the foolish.
  • He sought possessions, the reward of hard labor, but then he realized he would leave all his works to someone who had not toiled for it. Who knows whether that person would be wise or a fool?

As wise as he was — and perhaps because his pride in his wisdom — Solomon succumbed to the temptation to rely upon his own wisdom instead of the wisdom that comes from God. Yet when he lived his life focused on this world, Solomon inevitably saw whatever he tried as futile and meaningless. Thus, as we journey through Ecclesiastes, the story of Solomon‘s life, we perceive a great deal of cynicism, but that perspective belongs to those who live for life “under the sun,” and that is what Solomon tried to do.

Even though Solomon was the government, and he had all the wealth and power he needed, he discovered life “under the sun” pointless. He could discover nothing new under the sun, just endless repetition and tedium. Furthermore, he observed great wickedness and injustice. And so Solomon debated with himself.

Oddly, Solomon complex debate still confuses us today. Depending upon our point of view, we take the side we see as wise. We accept the fatalism of living “under the sun,” or we see the wisdom in Solomon final choice. Thus, Ecclesiastes mirrors back to us our own beliefs about “life under the sun.”

In the middle of his debate with himself, Solomon finally discovered the humility to admit the source of his troubles.

Ecclesiastes 7:27-29 New Century Version (NCV)

27 The Teacher says, “This is what I learned:
I added all these things together
to find some meaning for everything.
28 While I was searching,
I did not find one man among the thousands I found.
Nor did I find a woman among all these.
29 One thing I have learned:
God made people good,
but they have found all kinds of ways to be bad.”

Gradually, Solomon pointed his thoughts more and more towards God. Here is how he ended his book.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Even though Solomon was king — even with all his power and wealth — he could not not even make himself happy. He could not make his life meaningful. To make life worthwhile — to give might to life — we must do what is right. God says — our Creator says — we must love Him and be obedient to His will.

“Scientists of faith” from THE NAKED TRUTH 2

science“Reblogged” from THE NAKED TRUTH 2.

(Note- while I have not investigated every one of these men’s claims as to their science-faith position, it is an interesting conversation nonetheless. It has long been assumed that true scientists have no place for a God in heaven, yet the achievements of christian scientists have long gone unnoticed.)  -john v.

Worldwide-100 Famous Bible Believing Scientists
Laurence D. Smart B.Sc. Agr., Dip. Ed., Grad.Dip.Ed
PO box 175, Kippax, ACT Australia 2615
Email: laurence@unmaskingevolution.com
Webpage: http://www.unmaskingevolution.com/
[Free to print and distribute. Copy must be in full.]
Many of the founders of modern science saw no conflict between their Christianity, the Bible and science. (continued here)

From time-to-time I post on the “controversy” between science and religion. I post to say there really isn’t a controversy. That’s why DOES THE BIBLE PROVIDE THE FOUNDATION OF SCIENCE? begins with this assertion.

Christian scholars largely agree on one thing. If a Biblical interpretation is not in accord with known facts, then that interpretation is wrong.

As thenakedtruth2‘s post shows, many scientists use to take the truth of the Bible for granted, and that has changed less than some think. Some time back I posted a commentary about a survey on CitizenLink, Survey: Most Scientists Don’t Believe Religion, Science Conflict (via CitizenLink). Contrary to popular belief, scientists don’t have a dismal view of religious belief.

How come so many scientists do not see a conflict between science and religion? That would depend upon the scientist. However, the Bible offers the first philosophical view of God and His Creation that made a scientific approach to studying the universe practical. Before the advent of Christ Jesus, most men perceived a world full of capricious gods and spirits. After Christianity began to spread, they understood there was only one God, and God is orderly and behaves logically.

Even so, it took centuries to change from that mindset that looked for mysterious, irreproducible answers in the form of spirits. Repeated generations had to be swayed and prodded by hearing the Word. Finally, multitudes had to read the Word. Nonetheless, even though it was a long time in coming, we know the Bible made it possible for Christians to progress rapidly in science. Then men began to worship their Creator by carefully studying His handiwork.

WHO WILL YOUR PROVIDER BE?

Many thanks and a hearty H/T to A True American Hero (notablequotesnsuch.wordpress.com).

In DO YOU THINK MIGHT MAKE RIGHT? — PART 1, I sought to answer a question:

Why I Choose To Talk About The Application Of Christian Theology To Politics?

In her segment on One Nation Back To God, KrisAnne Hall provides an eloquent and fiery answer to that question. Why the fire? We live in troubled times. To find a time when the political divide between Americans is as large as it is today, we would probably have to go back to the Civil War. Why is that? In her presentation in the second video below, KrisAnne Hall explains what is at stake.

What’s the subject of this first video? In this video Wild Bill for America provide an introduction for KrisAnne Hall.

Who will your provider be?  That’s the question that KrisAnne Hall asks as she ends a great presentation in the next video. Is her presentation a bit long? After you have listened to it, you may wish it were longer.

How did KrisAnne Hall answer her question. She used the last sentence in this verse from scripture.

Joshua 24:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

When we regard our government as our provider, then like the Amorites or the fathers of the Hebrews, we worship an idol, a thing that can only condemn us eternally.

AN EXCELLENT BIBLE STUDY ON CHRISTIAN CITIZENSHIP

biblebranches of governmentFor Christ’s Crown & Covenant! has a post that’s essential reading for all Christians, not just Christian political activists. Why? When it is simply not true, too many Christians believe the Bible has little practical to say about government. They deny the fact the Bible offers us great wisdom on how we should live our daily lives. That includes our interaction with and participation in government.

‘s post, Christian Citizenship: Essential truth Christians might not learn in their local Church, comes in the form of a Bible study. She references Bible verses and leaves it for us to look these Bible verses up and answer the questions.  Why?

At the time I was also very politically active and serving as an officer in the Constitution Party of Illinois.  I had always believed Christians should be “salt and light” in the community, including civil matters, and I greatly benefited from this sound teaching. Christian citizenship is something I had not been taught in church, yet it is an essential, practical and historical truth about Christianity and how we relate to government that all Christians should be taught.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11, ESV)

Please be blessed to search the scriptures while you participate in this lesson. (from here)

What’s my favorite passage from this lesson?

Romans 13:1-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

Submission to the Authorities

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

When the Apostle Paul wrote the above, he wrote as a citizen of the Roman Empire, the same empire that would in time sever his head from his body. Nonetheless, Paul respected the fact that Roman justice, even the justice that condemned Christ Jesus to die upon the cross, was better than no justice at all. When chaos offered the only viable alternative, Paul accepted the earthly authority of the Roman Empire as a blessing from God.

Note how the passage ends. Why do we pay taxes? We pay taxes so that those in authority can provide for justice. We pay taxes so that those in authority can protect our Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Are you a Tea Party activist? Do you long for justice? Then understand where that longing comes from. We each need God. So study your Bible, teach yourself, and learn with others about the Book that once made America great.