Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 3 “Is Chris Martin of Coldplay trying to find a lasting meaning to his life?”

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf

Published on Oct 2, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

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Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 3 “Is Chris Martin of Coldplay trying to find a lasting meaning to his life?”

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips.

https://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “NeverVoteRepublican” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline–I don’t know what the heck Chris Martin’s religious beliefs have to do with anything but you sure know how to copy and paste. Do you even know who Chris Martin is or  anything about his music?

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

Here is my answer:

Chris Martin was raised as an evangelical but he left the faith in his teenage years and he writes all of the songs for the rock band Coldplay and he does write a bunch of lyrics dealing with various subjects that suggest that he is searching for a lasting meaing to his life. It is my belief that he just can’t get away from his deepseated childhood religious beliefs that he keeps coming back to. Let me give you a few examples.

Coldplay performing “Glass of Water.”

Back in 2008 I wrote a paper on the spiritual themes of Coldplay’s album Viva La Vida and I predicted this spiritual search would continue in the future. Below is the first part of the paper, “Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife.”

Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife

In Coldplay’s latest songs you can see that something has changed about the focus of the band’s song writing. What is going on? The internet has been full of speculation concerning the radical lyrical change in the latest Coldplay work compared to the previous 3 albums.

Russ Briemeier of Christianity Today: “What does it all mean? With so many questions posed, a single interpretation of this album is virtually impossible…

Yet taken collectively, there is no ignoring the fact that spiritual themes are prevalent throughout the album. Viva La Vida seems to be about coping with death in a world corrupted by sin, temptation, and war. Though it never goes deeper than mentioning God or referencing a specific theology, the lyrics often yearn with hope and love for a better world—utopia or heaven, it’s up to your interpretation… Viva La Vida is often provocative, spiritual, and seemingly on the verge of identifying a greater Truth, asking and inspiring many questions without providing the answers.”

The Spiritual Search for the Afterlife

Many of Coldplay’s latest songs mention God and other Biblical themes such as dealing with death, and the afterlife and the shortness of life.  It seems to me that Coldplay has focused on spiritual issues in their lyrics but they are still in the process of working out all the answers and still formulating their religious belief systems. Here is a sample of their latest works:

In the song “Glass of Water”:

Oh he said you could see a future,
inside a glass of water,
With riddles and the rhymes
He asked ‘Will I see heaven in mine’
Ooooh, oooh, ooooh …

Possibly searching for the path to Heaven or hoping after death heaven is the destination. It reminds me also of the song “42” that says, “You thought you might be a ghost, You didn’t get to heaven but you made it close.”

(Coldplay performs “42”)

In the song “Now my feet  won’t touch the ground”:

Now my head won’t stop
You wait a lifetime to be found

Here someone maybe searching for you instead of you searching for someone else? Could it be a way of saying that God is searching for you in a sense? In the context of the rest of the album that may not be such a bad interpretation.

The song “42” states,

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh…

Time is so short and I’m sure
There must be something more

This is the same question that Solomon asked 3000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  He knew there was something more. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Solomon found no lasting satisfaction in riches (Ecclesiastes 2:8-11), pleasure (2:1), education (2:3) and his work (2:4). None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). That reminds of the Coldplay’s words in the song “Lost”: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked.”

Moreover, what looms over Solomon’s search for meaningful answers is his upcoming death.  It seems that Chris Martin has thought a lot about this point too.  Martin said in an interview shortly after the release of the album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends that the title came from the band’s life experiences which included some losses of life of close family members. Martin has also said that his favorite song is about this same subject and it is called “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by the Verve.

Solomon rightly noted, (in Ecclesiastes 7:2-4) “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time.  Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.” In the song, “The Escapist,” which shares tract 10 with the song  “Death and all his Friends,” Coldplay notes:

And in the end
We lie awake
And we dream
We’ll make an escape

Is this an escape from Death? Since this song follows the song “Death and all his Friends,” it seems that would be the case.

Death and all his friends

This is a tribute to Queen…

Coldplay – Death and all his friends from the album Viva la Vida ..

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

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Ecclesiastes 2-3

Published on Sep 19, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider

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