2 Responses to Ecclesiastes 9:10

  1. Richard says:

    Fascinating stuff, in a train-wreck kind of way.

    Whenever I see opinions which are this far out from my own, I try either to imagine a mental universe in which they might make sense, or, failing that, some kind of historical context. Here I have to admit I don’t really know, but that’s not going to prevent me from speculating wildly. The obvious solution is to go and ask someone who believes this kind of thing, but I can’t find any around here… I’ll have to get lucky and hope to sit next to one on a (short!) plane flight.

    What’s the deal with Calvinism? Why would anyone ever suggest such a demoralizing doctrine? My best guess is that it arose as part of the Reformation, perhaps as an extreme response to the indulgences (in both senses of the word) of the Roman Church: there’s no way you can buy your way out of hell because God’s already decided you’re going there? But perhaps best to just let Jesus’s own words stand, as on a similar topic: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

    I’ve also heard it said that the main sin committed at Sodom was not actually homosexual sex, but breach of hospitality — i.e., the planned gang-rape of Lot’s angelic guests. I wonder if the proscriptions in Leviticus are similar: since women in that society were basically property, one wouldn’t expect to have to treat their sexual desires with much deference, but if you’re having sex “with mankind, as… with a woman” then, well, you work it out. But that doesn’t really square with the stuff about cattle and not wearing two kinds of cloth, which just seems superstitious, so maybe those things really do belong in the same category. It’s a shame they couldn’t have asked YHWH why, expecting to receive any answer other than “because I SAID so already “.

    Nice selection of verses there too, gotta say.

    • Thanks 🙂

      When I used to spend a lot more time driving in the NYC area, I would have the opportunity to tune in to Family Radio; specifically, Open Forum hosted by our friend Harold Camping (also a Calvinist). After listening to about a half hour of people calling in and sharing their deeply personal experiences with the LORD, I began to sort of slip into that kind of mode in which you can almost … almost … see from their perspective. Being a former Christian myself, it wasn’t too much of a stretch, but it still felt like my brain had to do some acrobatics in order to get there.

      I can generally understand some of the prohibitions laid out in Leviticus and Exodus, since this was a time long before refrigeration and medicine … so prevention was really the only game in town. I suppose mandates like that carry more weight if the consequences weren’t so much that you would get sick, but God himself forbade it and you’d get stoned to death as a result. That’s one way to prevent the spread of disease … murder Patient Zero before he has a chance to infect anyone else.

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