“Music Monday” (Modern Lovers Punk Band) I have lots of young people come to us and [they] can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” SCHAEFFER TAKES LOOK AT ECCLESIASTES AND THE ISSUE OF SEXUAL PROMISCUITY (Last Letter I Wrote To HUGH HEFNER)

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rock band led by Jonathan Richman in the 1970s and 1980s. The original band existed from 1970 to 1974 but their recordings were not released until 1976 or later. It featured Richman and bassist Ernie Brooks with drummer David Robinson (later of The Cars) and keyboardist Jerry Harrison (later of Talking Heads). The sound of the band owed a great deal to the influence of the Velvet Underground, and is now sometimes classed as “proto-punk“. It pointed the way towards much of the punk rock, new wave, alternative and indie rockmusic of later decades. Their only album, the eponymous The Modern Lovers, contained idiosyncratic songs about dating awkwardness, growing up in Massachusetts, and love of life and the USA.

The Modern Lovers
Also known as Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers
Origin Natick, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres
Years active
  • 1970–1974
  • 1976–1988
Labels
Associated acts
Past members

Later, between 1976 and 1988, Richman used the name Modern Lovers for a variety of backing bands, always billed as “Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers”. These bands were quieter and featured more low-key, often near-childlike songs as Richman drew on folk-rock and other genres. Of Richman’s original bandmates, only Robinson was part of any of the other Modern Lovers incarnations.

The original Modern Lovers, 1970-1974Edit

Richman grew up in Natick, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, and began playing guitar and writing songs in his mid teens, first performing solo in public in 1967.[1] He became enamored of the Velvet Underground while he was still in high school, and after graduating in 1969, he moved to New York City where he became personally acquainted with the band and on one occasion opened the bill for them. Richman spent a couple of weeks sleeping on Velvets’ manager Steve Sesnick‘s sofa before moving into the Hotel Albert, a residence known for its poor conditions.[2]

After nine months in New York, and a trip to Europe and Israel, Richman moved back to his native Boston. With his childhood friend and neighbor, guitarist John Felice, he organized a band modeled after the Velvets. They quickly recruited drummer David Robinson and bass player Rolfe Anderson, and christened themselves “The Modern Lovers”. They played their first date, supporting Andy Paley’s band the Sidewinders, in September 1970, barely a month after Richman’s return. By this time their setlist already included such noted Richman songs as “Roadrunner“, “She Cracked” and “Hospital”. Richman’s unique character was immediately apparent; he wore short hair and often performed wearing a jacket and tie, and frequently improvised new lyrics and monologues.[2]

In early 1971 Anderson and Felice departed; they were replaced by Harvard students bassist Ernie Brooks, and keyboardist Jerry Harrison, completing the classic lineup of the Modern Lovers. This new configuration became very popular in the Boston area, and by the fall of 1971, enthusiastic word-of-mouth led to the Modern Lovers’ first exposure to a major label when Stuart Love of Warner Bros. Records contacted them and organized the band’s first multi-track session at Intermedia Studio in Boston. The demo produced from this session, and the group’s live performances, generated more attention from the industry, including rave reviews from critic Lillian Roxon, and soon A&M Records was interested in the band as well.

In April 1972, the Modern Lovers traveled to Los Angeles where they held two demo sessions: the first was produced by the Velvet Underground’s John Cale for Warner Bros. while the second was produced by Allan Mason for A&M. These sessions were later used on the band’s debut album. While in California the band also performed live, and one gig at the Long Branch Saloon in Berkeleywas later issued as a live album. Producer Kim Fowley courted the band, traveling to Boston to produce some poor-quality demos in June 1972. Felice rejoined the group for a few months after his graduation, and the band moved together to live in Cohasset, Massachusetts.

The Modern Lovers continued to be a popular live attraction, and on New Year’s Eve 1972 supported the New York Dolls at the Mercer Arts Center on a bill which also included Suicide and Wayne County. Early in 1973 they were finally signed by Warner Brothers. However, before returning to the studio in Los Angeles to work with Cale, the group accepted an offer to play a residency at the Inverurie Hotel in Bermuda. While there, Richman heard and became strongly influenced by the laid-back style of the local musicians, as documented in his later song “Monologue About Bermuda”. There were also growing personality clashes among band members.[2]

Although on the band’s return Richman agreed to record his earlier songs, he was anxious to move in a different musical direction. He wanted to scrap all of the tracks they had recorded and start over with a mellower, more lyrical sound. The rest of the band, while not opposed to such a shift later, insisted that they record as they sounded now. However, the sessions with Cale in September 1973 also coincided with the death of their friend Gram Parsons (a former Harvard student, like Harrison and Brooks), and produced no usable recordings.[1][2] The record company then recruited Kim Fowley to produce more sessions with the band, this time at Gold Star Studios, with better results. Recordings from these sessions with Fowley were later released in 1981 on an album titled The Original Modern Lovers (reissued on CD by Bomp Records in 2000).

Break-up and release of first albumEdit

Following the failure to complete a debut album, Warner Brothers withdrew their support for The Modern Lovers, and Robinson left the band. They continued to perform live for a few months with new drummer Bob Turner, but Richman was increasingly unwilling to perform his old (although still unreleased) songs such as “Roadrunner”, and after a final disagreement between him and Harrison over musical style the band split up in February 1974.[2]

Despite the original group’s premature break-up, many of its members found considerable success elsewhere: founding member John Felice formed The Real Kids, Jerry Harrison later joined Talking Heads, David Robinson co-founded The Cars, and Ernie Brooks would later work with David Johansen, Arthur Russell, Elliott Murphy, and Gary Lucas.

Richman continued recording on his own, eventually moving to California in 1975 to begin working with Beserkley Records whose boss Matthew King Kaufman had met Richman when he worked with A&M. While Richman never returned to the Velvets-inspired sound of the original Modern Lovers, the demo recordings made with that group eventually surfaced in various formats. The first of these releases came in 1976 when Beserkley compiled a posthumous LP from the first two demo sessions produced by Cale and Mason; issued on Beserkley’s Home of the Hits subsidiary, the album was simply titled The Modern Loversand included celebrated tracks such as “Roadrunner”, “She Cracked”, and “Pablo Picasso“.

Richman did not recognize this compilation as his “first album,” preferring to recognize his debut as 1976’s Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, an album pursuing the lighter, softer direction he had in mind with a completely different band (the two collections were released within months of each other). However, The Modern Lovers was given an enthusiastic critical reception, with critic Ira Robbins hailing it as “one of the truly great art rock albums of all time”, and it influenced numerous aspiring punk rock musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Sex Pistols (who covered “Roadrunner” on The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle).

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, 1976-1988Edit

In early 1976, Richman put together a new version of The Modern Lovers, with Leroy Radcliffe (guitar), Greg ‘Curly’ Keranen (bass) and the returning David Robinson (drums). Keranen had previously played with The Rubinoos, and Radcliffe with Woody’s Truckstop. They recorded the album Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers (1976), but Robinson again left after Richman persisted in reducing the size and volume of his drum kit, and was replaced by D. Sharpe. This band recorded the album Rock ‘N’ Roll with The Modern Lovers (1977) and toured until Keranen left to go to college and was replaced by Asa Brebner, who played on the albums The Modern Lovers Live (1978) and Back in Your Life (1979).[2] David “D.” Sharpe died in 1987, aged 39.[3]

In 1980 Richman again formed a new Modern Lovers, with Keranen, drummer Michael Guardabascio and backing singers Ellie Marshall and Beth Harrington. They recorded the album Jonathan Sings! in 1981/82, but it was not released until 1983. The group toured to support the album, often regarded as one of Richman’s best,[4] but split up after Keranen again left in 1984.

The final version of The Modern Lovers, with Andy Paley, Brennan Totten and (initially) Asa Brebner again, toured and recorded between 1985 and 1988. Richman finally retired The Modern Lovers name after the album Modern Lovers 88.

Richman continues to perform, often solo and preferring acoustic instruments, and currently has no plans to undertake another group like his original band. A tribute album consisting primarily of Modern Lovers songs, If I Were a Richman: a Tribute to the Music of Jonathan Richman, was released by Wampus Multimediain 2001. Asa Brebner died in 2019, aged 65.[5]

InfluenceEdit

The Modern Lovers band was influential on the then-burgeoning punk rock and later new waveand indie musical styles; as viewed in the feature-length 2015 documentary Danny Says.

John Cale, Iggy Pop and David Bowie have all covered “Pablo Picasso“; it was also covered by Los Angeles area rock band Burning Sensations for the soundtrack of the 1984 Alex Cox film Repo Man; additionally the song was covered by the English post-punk band Television Personalities on their album Don’t Cry Baby, It’s Only a Movie.[6]

Seminal punk group the Sex Pistols covered “Roadrunner” on The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. Joan Jett sang “Roadrunner” on her cover album, The Hit List. In 2009 Titus Andronicus covered “Roadrunner” on its EP The Innocents Abroad – Live in London 23/02/09; this recording was subsequently included on the fan compilation Feats of Strength. Additional covers of “Roadrunner” include those by Wire and Richman’s labelmates The Greg Kihn Band.

English rock band Echo & the Bunnymencovered “She Cracked” live on Crystal Days in 1985, although with some altered lyrics. Post-punk act Siouxsie and the Banshees revisited “She Cracked” on Downside Up, in 1987. American grunge band Seaweed on the John Peel Sub-Pop Sessions album, in 1994.

Discography

The Modern Lovers Punk Band was obviously obsessed with Picasso and his ability to have many sexual conquests:

Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called a$$&@les
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and
So Pablo Picasso was never called an a$$&@le
Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avocado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an a$$&@le
Not like you
Alright
Well he was only 5’3″
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an a$$&@le
Not in New York
Oh well be not schmuck, be not obnoxious,
Be not bellbottom bummer or a$$&@le
Remember the story of Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso was never called an a$$&@les
Alright this is it

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I want to talk about what Solomon had to say concerning the search for satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture.) Probably his most disappointing discovery was that being a ladies man left him unsatisfied.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman but knowing 1000 women.”

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

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In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that NOTHING in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), LADIES and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

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.”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

“They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

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William Lane Craig on Man’s predicament if God doesn’t exist

Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know.

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

Francis Schaeffer looks at Nihilism of Solomon and the causes of it!!!

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes and he is truly an universal man like Leonardo da Vinci.

Two men of the Renaissance stand above all others – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and it is in them that one can perhaps grasp a view of the ultimate conclusion of humanism for man. Michelangelo was unequaled as a sculptor in the Renaissance and arguably no one has ever matched his talents.

The other giant of the Renaissance period was Leonardo da Vinci – the perfect Renaissance Man, the man who could do almost anything and does it better than most anyone else. As an inventor, an engineer, an anatomist, an architect, an artist, a chemist, a mathematician, he was almost without equal. It was perhaps his mathematics that lead da Vinci to come to his understanding of the ultimate meaning of Humanism. Leonardo is generally accepted as the first modern mathematician. He not only knew mathematics abstractly but applied it in his Notebooks to all manner of engineering problems. He was one of the unique geniuses of history, and in his brilliance he perceived that beginning humanistically with mathematics one only had particulars. He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. In this he saw ahead to where our generation has come: everything, including man, is the machine.

Leonardo da Vinci compares well to Solomon and they  both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it since. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

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.

(Added by me: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.” )

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

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Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.

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Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

__________________________

In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

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There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing and I felt as man as God. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”

Lack of Satisfaction in life

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell itThe eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.” Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing. THERE IS NO FINAL SATISFACTION. This is related to Leonardo da Vinci’s similar search for universals and then meaning in life. 

In Ecclesiastes 5:11 Solomon again pursues this theme, When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?”  Doesn’t that sound modern? It is as modern as this evening. Solomon here is stating the fact there is no reaching completion in anything and this is the reason there is no final satisfaction. There is simply no place to stop. It is impossible when laying up wealth for oneself when to stop. It is impossible to have the satisfaction of completion. 

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

In Ecclesiastes 1: 13a we have the details of the universal man’s procedure. “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.”

So like any sensible man the instrument that is used is INTELLECT, and RAITIONALITY, and LOGIC. It is to be noted that even men who despise these in their theories begin and use them or they could not speak. There is no other way to begin except in the way they which man is and that is rational and intellectual with movements of that is logical within him. As a Christian I must say gently in passing that is the way God made him.

So we find first of all Solomon turned to WISDOM and logic. Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge. A man may have great knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is the use of rationality and logic. A man can be very wise and have limited knowledge. Here he turns to wisdom in all that implies and the total rationality of man.

Works of Men done Under the Sun

After wisdom Solomon comes to the great WORKS of men. Ecclesiastes 1:14,  “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man with an empire at this disposal that speaks. This is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber. This is the man who made the stables across his empire. This is the man who built the temple in Jerusalem. This is the man who stands on the world trade routes. He is not a provincial. He knew what was happening on the Phonetician coast and he knew what was happening in Egypt. There is no doubt he already knew something of building. This is Solomon and he pursues the greatness of his own construction and his conclusion is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. 20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

He looked at the works of his hands, great and multiplied by his wealth and his position and he shrugged his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Man can not rest and yet he is never done and yet the things which he builds will out live him. If one wants an ironical three phrases these are they. There is a Dutch saying, “The tailor makes many suits but one day he will make a suit that will outlast the tailor.”

God has put eternity in our hearts but we can not know the beginning or the end of the thing from a vantage point of UNDER THE SUN

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

Solomon points out that you can not know the beginnings or what follows:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything  appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Ecclesiastes 1:11

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.

Ecclesiastes 2:16

16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

You bring together here the factor of the beginning and you can’t know what immediately follows after your death and of course you can’t know the final ends. What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine:

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translation by Edward Fitzgerald)

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. Papa Hemingway can find the champagne of Paris sufficient for a time, but one he left his youth he never found it sufficient again. He had a lifetime spent looking back to Paris and that champagne and never finding it enough. It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself MALE AND  FEMALE SINGERS AND THE PLEASURES OF MEN–MANY CONCUBINES.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

He doesn’t mean there is no temporary profit but there is no real profit. Nothing that lasts. The walls crumble if they are as old as the Pyramids. You only see a shell of the Pyramids and not the glory that they were. This is what Solomon is saying. Look upon Solomon’s wonder and consider the Cedars of Lebanon which were not in his domain but at his disposal.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.

Can someone stuff himself with food he can’t digest? Solomon came to this place of strife and confusion when he went on in his search for meaning.

 Oppressed have no comforter

Ecclesiastes 4:1

 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Between birth and death power rules. Solomon looked over his kingdom and also around the world and proclaimed that right does not rule but power rules.

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

14 In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

We could say it in 20th century language, “The books are not balanced in this life.”

Pursuing Ladies

If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and he didn’t even touch one woman at the end.

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Last letter I wrote to Hugh Hefner seen below:

Larry Joe Speaks  (August 20, 1947 to April 7, 2017)

Photo of Larry Joe Speaks

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Image result for bill elliff

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Image result for king solomon

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Francis Schaeffer pictured above

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June 30, 2017

Hugh Hefner

Playboy Mansion16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024

Dear Hugh,

I started these series of letters on the meaning of it all on April 7, 2017 when  my good friend Larry Speaks died. Larry’s favorite sermon was WHO  IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and he gave hundreds of CD copies of that sermon away. I actually ran the copies off  for him and since the sermon was only 37 minutes long and the CD went 60 minutes, I also put on there another sermon by Bill Elliff too called WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? Later in this letter I want to share a portion of that message with you. All of these letters I have written you have dealt with what Solomon had to say concerning the search for satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture.) Probably his most disappointing discovery was that being a ladies man left him unsatisfied.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman but knowing 1000 women.”

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

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In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that NOTHING in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), LADIES and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

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.”

Keith Hefner and Hugh Hefner

According to the Bible God will bring every act to judgment!!! Below is a portion of Bill Elliff’s message that deals with this:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? I want to look at this picture of what will happen to everyone of us at the end of time. Let’s read our scripture passage.

Luke 12:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

Have No Fear

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[b]And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Acknowledge Christ Before Men

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

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What will happen at the end of time?

FIRST OF ALL, Jesus says it will be a time of the revelation of the secrets of your life.

A great time of revealing and uncovering, when unknown things to some become known to all. There is coming a day when what you really are will be revealed.

There is something inside us that thinks we can hide things from each other and hide things from God. Have you ever played HIDE AND SEEK with a group of young children? They will hide in plain view but in their mind they are hidden. My smallest children will put their hands over their eyes and they think that since they can’t see me that they are hidden from my sight. But the truth of the matter is that I can see them so clearly and sometimes we think that because we can’t see God that He can’t see us. Last week we read Hebrews 4:13 that says, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” One day the secrets of our heart will be revealed. In the brief days of our life, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years that God may give you, or maybe a few years beyond that, we may do a good job of hiding those secrets, but one day the secrets of our lives will be revealed before God.

NEXT after the revelation of the secrets of your life there will be a great revelation of God’s authority.

Do you know what a sovereign is? A sovereign is one who has complete authority. He has the authority and he has the authority to carry it out.

There are 3 kinds of authority. First, voluntary authority such as you choosing to work for an employer. Second, seized authority like a murderer. Third, God is an absolute authority and He is the sovereign and He is over everything. It is right for Him to be over everything because He made everything. He is a God of perfect love,  a God of perfect mercy, a God of perfect grace, a God of perfect compassion, but He is a God of perfect righteousness.  If He was any less than that then He wouldn’t be God. He is a God of perfect holiness and authority. He has wooed us and called us and given us every opportunity to come, but He is a God who one day who will reveal. He has absolute authority over your life.

Look again at verses 4 and 5:

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

God has the authority to do that. There is coming a day when there will be a great separation and a great dividing. It is all over the scriptures. God has given us the moment of grace to come and trust in Him and give our lives to Him, but one day the door will be closed and then the division will come. He will say to some come into my kingdom that I have prepared for you and he will say to others you are headed to an eternity separated. You have chosen your fate for all eternity. There will permanent separation from God in hell.

FINALLY, it will be a day of the revelation of the substance of your relationship to God.

Look at verses 8 and 9: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

The Pharisees said they had a relationship with God but they were hypocrites and there was no substance to their relationship. Jesus is saying that when the secrets of your heart are revealed God will determine the substance of your relationship to God and whether it is real or not.

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. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me thatKerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, like Solomon and Coldplay, they realized death comes to everyone and “there must be something more.”

Livgren wrote:

“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

The movie maker Woody Allen has embraced the nihilistic message of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. David Segal in his article, “Things are Looking Up for the Director Woody Allen. No?” (Washington Post, July 26, 2006), wrote, “Allen is evangelically passionate about a few subjects. None more so than the chilling emptiness of life…The 70-year-old writer and director has been musing about life, sex, work, death and his generally futile search for hope…the world according to Woody is so bereft of meaning, so godless and absurd, that the only proper response is to curl up on a sofa and howl for your mommy.”

The song “Dust in the Wind” recommends, “Don’t hang on.” Allen himself says, “It’s just an awful thing and in that context you’ve got to find an answer to the question: ‘Why go on?’ ”  It is ironic that Chris Martin the leader of Coldplay regards Woody Allen as his favorite director.

Lets sum up the final conclusions of these gentlemen:  Coldplay is still searching for that “something more.” Woody Allen has concluded the search is futile. Livgren and Hope of Kansas have become Christians and are involved in fulltime ministry. 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.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

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

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