Chester Bennington, lead singer of the band Linkin Park sold over 70 million albums died of suicide at the age of 41.
Chris Cornell, lead singer of the band Soundgarden and Audioslave sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. He hung himself at the age of 52.
Story after story of rock stars who killed themselves, or say they struggle daily with depression, show that fame and fortune, attention and admiration do not lead to happiness.
The wise King Solomon wrote:
I have seen everything that is done under the sun and behold all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight and what is lacking cannot be counted. He who loves money will not be satisfied nor he who loves wealth. This is also vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them. There is an evil that I have seen under the sun and it lies heavy on mankind. A man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor so that he lacks nothing, and all that he desires yet God does not give him power to enjoy them. But a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity it is a grievous evil. (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15; 5:10-11; 6:1-2)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things you need will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)
…when we understand the text.
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Solomon, king of Israel, is considered to be the wisest king who ever lived. Many of his proverbs, chronicled in the pages of Scripture, have been repeated by the world’s thinkers for almost three thousand years. But, despite his wisdom and wealth, Solomon still made some very poor choices.
Deuteronomy 17 says that a king must not acquire too many horses, have a heart that goes after Egypt where Israel was once enslaved, marry too many wives, or accumulate for himself too much silver or gold.
When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it and then say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,” you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You shall never return that way again.” He shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17)
All of these things Solomon did.
The Bible says:
As a result, Solomon became apostate and his heart turned away from God. (1 Kings 11:4-5)
He worshiped the false gods of his many wives instead of the true God of his father David.
Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So, the Lord took his empire from him.
Many have wondered what ever happened to Solomon when he died. Did he go to heaven or not?
God only knows, for the Bible doesn’t say.
But, in Ecclesiastes, which Solomon wrote at the end of his life, we get the impression that he may have repented. In the last two verses we read:
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Words of wisdom…
…when we understand the text.
To purchase the entire Summit Lecture Series, Vol. 1 on DVD, go to: summit.org.
Previously, we discussed Scientism, Neo-Darwinism, Naturalism, Atheism, and Agnosticism.
Secularism is the idea that God does not belong in the public square. He must be kept separate from all public life. He is okay, as long as He remains a private, personal belief system.
An example of this is the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who fights for a strict separation of church and state among other things. I grew familiar with the organization’s co-president, Dan Barker, shortly after September 11, 2001, when he attempted to sue a college where I was working at the time. Some students asked him to answer some worldview-type questions, and what stood out was one of his answers:
“There is no evidence for God, no good argument for God, no need for a God, also I learned that the Bible is not reliable nor is it inspiring and any one of us is smarter and kinder than the God of the Bible. The terrorist attack was a faith-based initiative… Besides attacks are proof that prayers already failed us; it would not have been difficult for an all powerful God to divert those jets – I would call Him something of an accomplice if He truly existed.
In this tragic situation, religion was not the solution: religion was the problem. The solution then is to be found in reason, common sense, and hard work.”
Besides clearing stating his atheistic perspective, he also purports what is known as the “Problem of Good and Evil”. But moreover, he reveals that he is a Secularist – one who believes that no one should bring God into the public square, introduce Him into any debate, nor include Him in any rationale for anything.
This brings me to Hedonism.
Hedonism is based on the philosophy of: Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow we die. Most people think that someone along the lines of Shakespeare or even Dave Matthews came up with this phrase, but it was actually Israel’s King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:24, while he was going through a hedonistic stage; and Paul rhetorically quoted him in 1 Corinthians 15:32. The main thrust of Hedonism is “you only live for a short time, so you might as well live for pleasure.”
Next on our list of various worldviews is Existentialism. While Hedonism says that we should live for mere pleasure, Existentialism claims that we need to find something that is meaningful, since life itself is not meaningful. Therefore, in order to live with purpose, we must make or find something that has meaning and purpose. A classic example of this is depicted in the movie Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams plays, John Keating, an English teacher at a New England prep school where the students there are trained and groomed to go to Ivy League Academies. Mr. Keating encourages the boys to “Carpe Diem” or “Seize the Day!”. As he puts it:
“…seize the day… because we are food for worms, lads. Believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die… so seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
I find this interesting because as one of the boys, in particular, pursues this ideology, he runs into conflict with his father and ultimately commits suicide. Now, the boy’s killing himself is never determined as right or wrong within the context of the film. While tragic, it’s merely judged as the thing that had to happen because of the nature of the boy’s existential philosophy. It’s very much akin to the writings of Jean Paul Sartre.
For a more recent example of Existentialism, we need to look no further than Katy Perry’s lyrical masterpiece Firework.
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
Drifting through the wind,
Wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel so paper thin,
Like a house of cards,
One blow from caving in?
Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under screams
But no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the fourth of July
‘Cause baby you’re a firework…
What does a firework do? You light it, there is lots of light and lots of noise, and it ultimately explodes. Then it’s gone. That’s an existential perspective of our lives: lots of noise, lots of light, and then you’re gone. To an Existentialist, that’s what life is all about.
From ABCNews Sacramento:
A California driver may have set a record for fastest car wash.
A 94-year-old man is caught on camera speeding through the Quick Quack Car Wash in Sacramento at an estimated 40 miles per hour.
If you think about it, this would save a lot of time! It actually reminds me a lot of how my kids would bathe themselves – “I did take a shower… see? My foot’s a little wet still!”
The man paid for his car wash, but claimed he could not take his foot off the pedal as he was driving through.
Workers rushed out to try and stop him, but the car crashed through the equipment, causing an estimated $100,000 worth of damage.
Which equates to roughly twice as much as the Supreme Wash and Wax package available at most drive through car washes these days.
No one was injured and the man walked away without a scratch.
He’s 94-years-old and he walked away? That’s the most amazing part of the whole story! (Although, he did have his blinker on throughout the entire incident)
Next, my good friend Mike Goodwin calls into the show. Mike has been married for fifteen years and has learned a few things over the years.
For instance, he reads Scriptures differently today than he did before he got married.
When he was single, he read that King Solomon had over 700 wives. As a young man, he thought that was something to be applauded! If you could pull that off, it would be awesome! Dude was seated firmly in Mike’s top five favorite Biblical character rankings.
After being married for fifteen years, though, when he recently read that same part of Scripture, Mike’s admiration changed completely. I mean, just logistically, how can you make that happen? The giant bed alone would be cost-prohibitive. Where would a man with 700 wives even keep his clothes? How could a man with 700 wives deal with each of them telling him how to dress each morning? And how would you even keep their names straight? Mike has a hard time keeping his wife’s, daughter’s, and sister’s names straight. 700 is just too much. Everyone would have to wear “Hello, My Name Is…” name tags. And what if there were two or three Susans?
But this doesn’t go both ways.
My wife wishes she had multiple husbands: One to make her laugh, then one to fix the car, one to do yardwork, one to take care of the house’s plumbing… The list goes on and on.
Finally, Tim Hawkins joins the fun from his tour bus! His latest album, “That’s the Worst” gets its title from so many phrases we tend to say that really don’t make sense. For example, when we say something is amazing… it’s typically not really that amazing. It’s not the best. It’s not unbelievable. It’s just really good compared to the other things that it’s being compared to at that very second.
Same goes with “That’s the worst.” It’s a phrase Tim says all the time, but he doesn’t really mean it. Forget starving children around the globe, natural disasters, oppression and tyranny… having chunky peanut butter when I asked for creamy – THAT’S the worst!
Tim also has a book – Diary of a Jackwagon. He had wanted to do a book for a long time and finally got around to writing down his musings. So he and John Driver scribbled down some of Tim’s best stuff from his stage performances and put it between two covers. It’s written like a journal and, among other topics, includes riffs on marital communication (“marriage needs a challenge flag, like in pro football”) aging (“the diabolical orifice witch hunt”), worship music (“pick the right key, because I’m not Barry White and I’m not a Bee Gee”), and fatherhood (“There are no manuals for parenting. Color-coded warning labels or open-ended prescriptions would be just as helpful.”)
Sadly, it doesn’t include the story of an email Tim recently received. It read:
“Hey Tim, I’m a big fan and I’m a police officer. I just thought you’d like to know, we busted a meth house the other day, and we found one of your DVD’s.”
I mean, how do you process something like this?
Is this a good thing, or a bad? Was Tim’s DVD helping the meth addicts into sobriety, or was his jokes some sort of a “gateway drug”? Or worse, were they selling his DVD’s as a packaged bundle: buy a bag of meth and get a free comedy DVD!
I mean, it’s one thing to see your DVD’s on sale in the bargain bin at resell shops, but to actually hear that your stuff is at ground zero of a meth lab, you can only hope that it’s someone as smart as Walter White enjoying a little levity in his day.