The Downside of Democracy
Throughout the history of man there have been two basic forms of public government: 1. Rule by the elite (monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy) and 2. Rule by the people (democracy). The three basic forms of democracy are:
- Direct democracy where the general public vote on every issue of law and governance,
- Representative democracy (also known as Parliamentary democracy) where representatives are elected by the public and in turn vote on every issue of law and governance, and
- Presidential democracy (also known as Authoritarian democracy) where an individual is elected by the public and in turn establishes every law and issues of governance.
The Doctrine of Democracy
At the heart of the idea of democracy is the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty simply means that the majority of the voting public knows what is best for everyone else. But, as the saying goes, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch.” In other words, democracy is great as long as you share the same sentiment as the majority.
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Living Like Lot
The story of Lot is a tale of privilege, provision, and perversion. To begin with, Lot’s name means “covering,” as in a veil that hides the truth of what is inside. That should give you a hint as to the type of person we will find as we explore this enigmatic character. Perhaps there is a pattern to observe here that might give us some insight into those who seem to fall into the traps of the world.
Provision by Association
Lot first appears in the Biblical narrative as the nephew of Abram. After the death of his father Haran, Lot is taken by his grandfather Terah and Uncle Abram. When Abram is 75 years old, he takes Lot and leaves the region of his father. Lot no doubt was aware of the divine visitation of Abram that took place at Bethel where God promises, “To your descendants I will give this land.”
During a time of famine in the land of Canaan, Lot witnessed the provision of God while they were all taking shelter in Egypt. His life was saved because of his association with Abram. Egypt is where both Abram and Lot become rich with “livestock, in silver and in gold.” So, Lot’s wealth also came through his association with Abram. After traveling back to Bethel, where Abram had received the promise of God and built an altar consecrating this place, this newfound wealth soon became a problem between Abram and Lot.
“Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.”
Abram, wanting to look after his nephew, tells Lot,
“Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
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When Was Jesus Born?
Almost everyone throughout the world celebrates Christmas. Christians celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ, and we celebrate it on December 25. But is that really the birth date of Christ? Or was it on September 29, 2 B.C.? We are going on a genealogical treasure hunt and we will also explore a number of topics relevant to Christ’s birth. The first element we must consider is a genealogy—the genealogy of Christ. Genealogies are lists in the Bible that many of us skip over, and yet it is astonishing what they will reveal to the diligent student.
There are important questions that need to be answered. When was Jesus born? Why a virgin birth? Why was He born in Bethlehem? What makes Bethlehem so special? These topics are all worth exploring. There is also a great amount of tradition attached to the birth of Christ. It is so entrenched that even textbooks are full of traditions rather than data.
When Was Jesus Born?
Most serious Bible students realize that Jesus was probably not born on December 25. Since the Bible doesn’t explicitly identify the birthday of our Lord, many scholars have developed diverse opinions as to the likely birthday of Jesus. Just what do we know about the time when Jesus was born? We know that the flocks were in an open field (Luke 2:8). That means it was not after October, because it would have been too cold. We also know that no competent Roman administrator would require registration involving travel during a season when Judea is hard to travel through and generally impassable (Matthew 24:20). Therefore, we know the time of year was not in the winter.
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The Genealogy of Christ
When we go back to the birth of Christ and His genealogy, it is full of surprises. It is protected with a security system written into the text. There is an authentication code which acts like an automatic security monitor, and it watches every little letter of the text. The system never wears out, and it has been running continually for several thousand years. This is the fingerprint signature of the Author and it is designed to avoid compromise.
Sevens in the Bible
Sevens occur in over 600 passages in the Bible. Many of them are implicit, some are very overt, and some are very structural, hidden under the text.
That underlying heptadic (sevenfold) structure of the text can serve as a fingerprint of the Author.
To illustrate this, try to create a fictitious genealogy. This can be the genealogy of anyone, but there are a few rules:
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