Music Monday My letter to Elton John concerning Ryan White’s Faith

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Ryan White’s mother Jeanne White Ginder (left) and William L. Yarber of Indiana University (right) present the former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop with the 2010 Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award. The award is given by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at IU.

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(seen below) Sean Michel made it  to Hollywood in the 2007 AMERICAN IDOL COMPETITION while singing the Johnny Cash song GOD’S GONNA CUT YOU DOWN

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Simon was taken back by the song GOD’S GONNA CUT YOU DOWN

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Check out on You Tube the song THIS IS AMAZING GRACE (It has about 30 million views)9

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April 9, 2017

Dear Elton,

I have just completed reading your book  “LOVE IS THE CURE: On Life, Loss, and the End of AIDS.” I know that over and over in this book  that you say  that ignorance is the problem and all  we need is more education. I agree with you that education will help and it will  tell us how to extend our lives further. But the real problem of the human condition is a spiritual problem and  our quest to find a lasting meaning for lives. Nevertheless, let me address the first point.

In your book you point out that Ryan White was a Christian and he put his faith in  Christ for his salvation.  Likewise you quote the evangelical C. Everett Koop on pages 44-45:

The idea of mandatory testing was surprisingly discredited by, of all people, C. Everett Koop, Ronald Reagan’s archconservative surgeon general. Known mostly to the public for his antiabortion views, Koop’s 1986 report on AIDS was a revelation. The report didn’t just dismiss mandatory testing as impractical and counterproductive. It called for AIDS education at “the earliest grade possible…” This was heady stuff. Five years into  the epidemic, the surgeon general’s report represented the first major governmental effort to educate the public about AIDS. The fundamentalists were furious at Koop’s frank discussion of the disease and the sexual behavior that spread it, but to his credit, he stood by his findings. 

Let me get you straight here. You admire C. Everett Koop here because he looked at the evidence and stuck with the conclusion that his  logic led him to? With that in mind I wanted to challenge you to examine again Christianity. In my first letter I quoted you saying that you grew up going to Sunday School and you admired Christ. What about the Bible? Have you ever examined the accuracy of it? If it is God’s message to us then you would expect it to be accurate. Let me share with you a passage from the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop:

We now take a jump back in time to the middle of the ninth century before Christ, that is, about 850 B.C. Most people have heard of Jezebel. She was the wife of Ahab, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Her wickedness has become so proverbial that we talk about someone as a “Jezebel.” She urged her husband to have Naboth killed, simply because Ahab had expressed his liking for a piece of land owned by Naboth, who would not sell it. The Bible tells us also that she introduced into Israel the worship of her homeland, the Baal worship of Tyre. This led to the opposition of Elijah the Prophet and to the famous conflict on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the priests of Baal.

Here again one finds archaeological confirmations of what the Bible says. Take for example: “As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and inlaid with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?” (I Kings 22:39).

This is a very brief reference in the Bible to events which must have taken a long time: building projects which probably spanned decades. Archaeological excavations at the site of Samaria, the capital, reveal something of the former splendor of the royal citadel. Remnants of the “ivory house” were found and attracted special attention (Palestinian Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem). This appears to have been a treasure pavilion in which the walls and furnishings had been adorned with colored ivory work set with inlays giving a brilliant too, with the denunciations revealed by the prophet Amos:

“I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the Lord. (Amos 3:15)

Other archaeological confirmation exists for the time of Ahab. Excavations at Hazor and Megiddo have given evidence of the the extent of fortifications carried out by Ahab. At Megiddo, in particular, Ahab’s works were very extensive including a large series of stables formerly assigned to Solomon’s time.

On the political front, Ahab had to contend with danger from the Aramacaus king of Syria who besieged Samaria, Ahab’s capital. Ben-hadad’s existence is attested by a stela (a column with writing on it) which has been discovered with his name written on it (Melquart Stela, Aleppo Museum, Syria). Again, a detail of history given in the Bible is shown to be correct. (TRUTH AND HISTORY, chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94)

IF YOU TRULY WANT A SOLUTION TO THE MAIN PROBLEM then read the Book of John and pray and ask God to reveal if Jesus was really his son or not.  Both Ryan White and C. Everett Koop knew that truth. Are you willing to do that and follow the evidence wherever it leads? Or are you like a thief who can’t find a policeman?

In my last letter I told you that the loss of my good friend Larry Speaks has got me thinking a lot about the meaning of life. In this letter today I want to do 3 things.

First, I will tell you what the sermon and music was about today on Palm Sunday at the church service I attended.

Second, I want to take a short look at the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and Rogers interaction with a scientist from NASA.  This sermon was Larry’s favorite sermon.

Third, I want to start looking at the 6 L words that Solomon pursued UNDER THE SUN to try to get meaning and satisfaction in this life without God in the picture in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today’s word  is LEARNING. Can one find a lasting meaning to life  in the area of education? Solomon had a lot to say about that in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Today I was invited by our family friend Sean  Michel to come hear him preach at Calvary Chapel today in Bauxite, Arkansas. Not only did Sean Michel preach but he also helped provide some of the music. In fact, one of the songs they played was my favorite and it is called “This is Amazing Grace,” by Phil Wickham and you can check it out on You Tube. In Sean’s sermon we discover that it is  NOT an uneducated head that is the problem to finding God but an UNWILLING STUBBORN HEART.II Corinthians 4:3-4 (Amplified Bible)

But even if our gospel is [in some sense] hidden [behind a veil], it is hidden [only] to those who are perishing;among them the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

This verse is clarified even more by Matthew 11:25 (AMP)

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [I openly and joyfully acknowledge Your great wisdom], that You have hidden these things [these spiritual truths] from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants [to new believers, to those seeking God’s will and purpose].

Here we must observe that many people don’t want to find the truth just like a thief doesn’t want to find a policeman. I now want to share a portion of the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers because this very point is made:

Here is how the story goes:

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer.

Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.” “Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.” “That’s right,” said the man. “Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?” “Of course,” the man admitted. Dr. Rogers asked, “Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?” “Yes!” Then Dr. Rogers inquired,“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?” The man acknowledged, “Okay, but I don’t think He exists.” Dr. Rogers replied, “Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. You’re a doubter.” The man asserted, “Yes, and I’m a big one.” Then Dr. Rogers popped the question, “It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind [of doubter] you are.” 

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

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WHAT DOES SOLOMON HAVE TO SAY ABOUT PURSUING LEARNING in the Book of Ecclesiastes?

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.” 

As you know Solomon was searching for  for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into LEARNING (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Here is his final conclusion concerning LEARNING:

ECCLESIASTES 1:12-18, 2:12-17 LEARNING

12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.13And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done UNDER THE SUN, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
    and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

12So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 1So I hated life, because what is done UNDER THE SUN was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

 Ecclesiastes was written to those who wanted to examine life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and Solomon’s conclusion in the final chapter was found in Ecclesiastes 12 when he looked at life ABOVE THE SUN:

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.

In an earlier letter to you I quoted Psalms chapter 22. Why not take a few minutes and just read the short chapter of Psalms 22 that was written hundreds of years before the Romans even invented the practice of Crucifixion. 1000 years BC the Jews had the practice of stoning people but we read in this chapter a graphic description of Christ dying on the cross. How do you explain that without looking ABOVE THE SUN to God.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: Like I promised I will continue to write you and go through these 6 L words that Solomon was pursuing UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes in order to find a lasting meaning to our lives.

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