HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 5) Letter from 6-1-16

 

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.  

The author of Ecclesiastes is simply referred to as “the Teacher.” Some Bible translations will say Koheleth, which is a title meaning “the teacher/preacher,” or “one who addresses a gathering of people” (1:1, 1:2, 1:12, 7:27, 12:8-10). That teacher is King Solomon.

The Scriptures have a great deal to say about the life of Solomon (I Kings 1-11; II Chronicles 1-9; and 2 Samuel 7, 11-12). His biography reads like the makings of some scandalous epic blockbuster movie. His father was the great King David. His mother, Bathsheeba, was married to another man whom David had killed to cover up their illicit adultery. God granted Solomon one wish for anything he desired, and Solomon chose wisdom, which pleased God. Next to Jesus he was the wisest man who ever lived, was a master of innumerable subjects, and wrote 3000 proverbs, 1005 songs, and three books of the Bible. His power was unparalleled as he reigned as king over Israel for roughly 40 years during a season of peace and prosperity in which leaders from all over the earth visited his kingdom to inquire of him. He also oversaw the construction of God’s temple and his own palace that took 7 and 13 years respectively. His complicated family life included his 700 wives and 300 concubines – he could have literally eaten three meals a day, each with a different wife or concubine, for roughly an entire year.

Gifted with unparalleled wisdom as history’s salutatorian second only to Jesus Christ, Solomon devoted his life to answer that great question of every brooding teenage punk band member and their midlife crisis parent – what is the meaning of life? Solomon took the old adage “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” to the absurd by throwing himself into everything life has to offer with reckless abandon, serving as his own subject in the lab of life. If Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Hugh Hefner somehow morphed into one man who was also simultaneously Pope and President that person might be named Solomon.

Solomon’s is the story of a prodigal son. Born into the affluence of his father David, Solomon departed the ways of his God to indulge his own pointless passions. The fact that he wrote Ecclesiastes indicates that he recognized the folly of his wayward ways, returned to the Lord, and wrote an honest autobiography of the empty and shallow life that he discovered apart from God. Solomon sought the best that life had to offer, and then realized that nothing rivals life simply lived in obedience to God.

Bored and burned out at the end of his life, Solomon summed up his great life experiment with one word that appears 37 or 38 times in the 12 chapters of Ecclesiastes depending upon which English translation you read. The book opens and closes with the Hebrew word “hebel.” The word is nearly impossible to nail down in its essential meaning. Different Bible scholars translate the word in a variety of ways from meaningless (NLT,NIV), to vanity (ESV, KJV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, NRSV), to emptiness (NEB). Elsewhere in the Scriptures, “hebel” refers to a vapor that is wispy, fleeting, elusive, and quickly passing. This reveals that life must be pursued with great urgency, because the days between birth and death pass like the mist of a breath on a cold morning (Psalm 144:4; Job 7:7, 16). If we layer the various translations it makes sense that our fleeting life is complex, so a complex word best describes it.

I cannot prove it, but I believe that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes at the end of his life. I believe he wrote Song of Songs when he was young and in love, gathered Proverbs throughout his life, and after trashing his fleeting life and losing his first wife he sat down as an old man to write Ecclesiastes just before picking out his casket. Looking back in the rear view mirror of life, he writes arguably the most brutal, painful, and helpful book ever written to young people fresh out of the starting blocks of life.

While the book’s emphasis on life as meaningless is dark, there’s also a clue not to be missed. This is the perspective of life “under the sun.” This phrase appears roughly 29 times in Ecclesiastes depending upon which translation you read. It means life viewed solely without a connection to God or revelation from God. It’s literally a godless life lived solely by our limited insights gleaned solely by our experience without any word from God on the matter. To use a word from conservative grandmas who read their Bible, this is a “worldly” view of life. Life as the world sees it, not as God sees it.

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young , Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

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In this letter below I quoted the sermon outline from Adrian Rogers when I wrote, “Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).” I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “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.”

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I also quote from a sermon I heard on the radio by Alistair Begg concerning the Beatles in the letter below:
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June 1, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

HUGH, you are a lot like John Lennon. He didn’t spend much time with his first wife and his family responsibilities but he wised up and stopped chasing the dollars and focused on spending time with his second wife and family responsibilities. In the film HUGH HEFNER PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL your daughter Christie Hefner said at the 55:15 min mark, “I grew up not being with my father so his commitment to and focus on work was just a fact of life.” The John Lennon song WATCHING THE WHEELS shows how people thought he was crazy to change his focus. You have said in the past that you were obsessed with pouring yourself into your work and didn’t have much time for your first set of children but you tried to make much more time for your second set of children. You can see how I have drawn the comparison.

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Hugh with first wife Millie

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A couple of weeks ago at the Paul McCartney concert I was really hoping to hear the song CAN’T BUY ME LOVE. In college in 1980, my professor, Dr. Blake, talked a lot about the Beatles. He asked students to speak up because he was a big fan of rock music in the 1960’s when he lost a lot of his hearing. He pointed out that the lyrics in rock music are not always consistent. He noted that the Beatles hit “Money (That’s What I Want)” was followed by the later hit “Can’t Buy Me Love.” 

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John and Julian Lennon

 

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The Beatles were always searching during the 1960’s for a meaning for their lives. Cynthia Lennon said of John, “HE WAS ALWAYS SEARCHING. JOHN ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH, AN IDEAL, A DREAM.”

No truer words were ever spoken. John in 1967 when the album  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was about to come out was in the middle of some big changes in his life.  He was searching for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

I think the Beatles did look long and hard into the area of luxuries for their satisfaction and like King Solomon they found it to be “vanity and a striving after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[a]the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

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The Folly of Riches

10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its gain. This too is vanity (emptiness). 11 When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what advantage is there to their owners except to see them with their eyes?

John Lennon later wrote the song “Watching the Wheels” that indicated he did not care that people thought he was crazy for dropping out of the money-making music business in 1976 to help raise his son. That demonstrated to me that Lennon had discovered  how empty a pursuit of building wealth is while ignoring your family.

In the article “Alistair Begg on The Beatles,” April 1, 2003, Begg noted:

The Beatles first said money was everything (in the song “Money“), then they said that love could give you anything you want onFrom Me to You“, and then they recordCan’t Buy Me Love“. What do you see in this progression?

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Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes 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.” 

Since you are an agnostic or even an  atheist then you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you. FIRST, death is the end (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13) and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life(Eccl 3:20).  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced (Eccl 4:1, 8:15).

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

HUGH don’t you realize that John Lennon was right when he decided to spend time with his family instead of always chasing the dollars. You made a mid-course correction in your life in the 1980’s but then you got back on that work treadmill again. No amount of money can buy your way into heaven because heaven is only attained through grace. Below is a simple explanation of that.

The Four Spiritual Laws

 

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: This is the 38th letter I have written to you and I hope you enjoyed your 90th birthday. However, I was sad when I read about the passing of your brother Keith. I know what a close friend he was of yours.

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