Sunday, August 14, 2011

If death is the end...

Ecclesiastes 2:15-16 (NLT)
... So I said to myself, "Since I will end up the same as the fool, what's the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!" [16] For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten...."

- Apart from a transendent worldview, that includes some sort of life after death, all our striving becomes meaningless. At the point of death, all we've done, disappears. It all becomes pointless with no repercussions into the future.

Aldous Huxley expressed this conundrum in a quote about our human tendancy to live in denial: "..the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor. "

-- gmc --

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nothing New...

Ecclesiastes 1:10-11 (NLT)

Sometimes people say, "Here is something new!" But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don't remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now."

-- In keeping with the economic and social turmoil of last week, and looking ahead to another week that promises more of the same, I wonder if it might be a good time to seek perspective.

The book of Ecclesiastes certainly offers this if we keep it in the correct context. It is a thesis of what life looks like when we disconnect ourselves from eternal life that came about through Jesus Christ. I wonder if we who live on this side of history - post Jesus Christ - underestimate the faith it took to believe in salvation when it was only a promised rumour. Solomon shows us what life without belief looks like.

Sooner or later, without a transcendent view of the universe and our place in it, we are confronted by the pointlessness of temporary, physical life, and all our struggles, trials and tribulations. In that non-transcendent worldview the very best we can hope for is to "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

I'm using the free online study booklet produced by ministries. If you care to access the same booklets you'll be asked to register, but there is no charge. I find these books to be top notch aids that strive for biblical accuracy without pushing any particular denominational agendas. Hard copy versions are available as well.

Let me see if I can provide the link:

-- gmc --

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hard Times

If we live in a culture of entitlement and self-indulgence, then hardships are devalued, useless and even an affront to what we believe the universe "owes" us. Hard times are only negative.

By contrast, if we live within a context of service and self-sacrifice, hard times, when they inevitably arrive, become opportunities for growth, strengthening of character and deeply positive experiences.

-- gmc --