Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Top 4 Most Popular Posts of 2014 (And What I Learned from Them)

At the end of the 2014 year, I have pulled together my top 4 blog posts from ibitedge.blogspot.com. I think it is important to think about these topics again, both for the content and the reasons many may have wanted to read the posts. As a blogger, I need to be sensitive to the needs of the reader, trying to both inform and arm you with interesting and important ideas that will help you in your interactions. I think I can also learn things from them as a blogger. Feel free to check out my thoughts and posts!

1) WRONG! How to raise a rebel or an atheist (don't do these things if you want your progeny to be Christian). http://ibitedge.blogspot.com/2014/08/wrong.html

Concerned parents and teachers want to teach their children and students to know and understand truth. This post gives ideas of things not to do - it's full of sarcasm!
2) 3 Things You Thought The Bible Says About Christmas, But It Doesn't. The Bible never says that Jesus was born in a stable, the angels sang or that there were three wise men. http://ibitedge.blogspot.com/2014/12/3-things-you-thought-bible-says-about.html

Simply put, people want to know what they have been missing out on and also like to learn. This post fulfills both of these desires. It also implies that we need to read the biblical text carefully - not with our presuppositions!
3) Multiverse Theory Proves Flying Spaghetti Monster. If the Multiverse Theory is true, the proverbial Flying Spaghetti Monster, along with many other crazy things exist! http://ibitedge.blogspot.com/2014/08/multiverse-theory-proves-flying.html

I can't take credit as the author of this post. Just reading the title almost makes one laugh. The post itself is even more hilarious! The logical conclusion from an hypothesis that tries to present itself as being so prestigious - but it is innately unverifiable. It seems people will go to all ends with blind faith to hold to a view that tries to put "God out of a job." (However, it still does not demonstrate that there is no God. If this view was true, we still have the question of who made the multiverse?)
4) The Amazing Cell! The amazing design and signal broadcasting system in the cell. http://ibitedge.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-amazing-cell.html

This post was one amazing video clip you will have to watch again! It shows some process that happen within our cells - an awesome and amazing signal broadcasting system!

Feel free to tell me which one was your favorite post in the space below!  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

3 Things You Thought The Bible Says About Christmas, But It Doesn't.

Now each one of these three items may be true, they may have happened as tradition says, we may even have external evidence that points to their truthfulness. However, the Bible does not bear them evidence.

Jesus Was Born In A Stable

What we hear is that Jesus was born in a stable, now like I said before, he just may have been. But the Bible does not say this. It says in Luke 2:7

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

In those days, some kept small animals in the house to protect them from the elements. In fact, even in modernity, there still are farmers who will bring in a piglet, a lamb or chicks for a short time to protect them from the whether and wild animals. Could they have stayed in a house? Maybe. Did they stay in a stable or barn? Probably - but again the Bible does not say.

The Angels Sang At Jesus' Birth

So many times in our traditions of the Nativity and Christmas carols, we hear that the angels sang with "glad tidings." Ah, but again, the Bible does not say this. Check out Luke 2:8-14

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

So did they sing? Maybe. But all it says here is that they were "...saying, Glory to
God...". In fact, I don't think the Bible says anywhere that angels ever sing! However, they could have sang in this case – but it just does not say.


There Were Three Wise Men To Give Gifts To Jesus

Tradition say that their names were: Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar. Others say their names were Larvandad, Gushnasaph and Hormisdas, or what about Hor, Karsudan and Basanater? And still others say their names were Kagpha, Badadakharida and Badadilma. But alas, the Bible never gives their names - let alone say there were only three. Check out Matthew 2:1, 2

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

And verse 11
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

So you see, the number of wise men, or Magi, are never specified, rather the number of gifts were three.

Spread The News!

Alright, there you have it, three things that you were taught that the Bible says - that the Bible never says! Now you have something to talk about when you gather with family and friends this Christmas!

Have a Happy Christmas! Spread the joy of this season and the reason of Christ's birth - to free men from the bondage of sin!

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Image Source: commons.wikimedia/G.dallorto

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On Discrimination and Noah's Ark

During the last few years, Ken Ham’s organization, AIG, has been spearing heading a project to build a full size replica of “Noah’s Ark.” One may not be interested in this project, agree with it, or even go to see it, but, it would seem to me, most would be like “great, if it brings money into the state, more power to them.” Interestingly it is not this way. They have been denied tax incentives because of two reasons:

1. The park owners want to have the right to hire per religious preference.
2. Have the ability to tell others of their religious views.

Practice What You Preach

However, it seems to me, the state is doing exactly what they are accusing this organization of doing: discriminating against those of a different view. Some parks are just for fun, others have more educational aspects such as history, religious education or science. Shouldn't they all have equal access to tax rebates? In fact, this park tries to combine all of these types of parks (even if one disagrees with their conclusions). Is “discriminating” now correct when another “discriminates?” This seems to be a self-defeating position.

Is It That Bad?

In addition, "discrimination" is made out to be a “bad” thing in this case – but why this type of situation? Governments and business do it all the time. In fact you do it too! Why else do businesses drug test people? Why don’t they hire engineers who have not gone to school? Why don’t hospitals hire a welder for a physician position? Why don’t you let anyone move into your house? Why don’t you allow robbers to enter – why do you lock your doors? Why did you marry the one who showers once a day instead of one who showers once a year? These practices are all discriminatory – but is this case different? I think they have the right to decide who they want to hire. If the state wants to discriminate, then they need to call it for it really is – they are “discriminating against non-materialistic worldviews". They don't discriminate against those who hold to a materialistic worldview.

Discrimination At Institutions and Governments

Look at government run institutions that only hire those of the same view point. Think about the educational system, I have personally meet and talked to teachers and scientists who have been demoted, denied a job, fired or had there articles denied in magazines and journals - because of their worldview. Why? Simply because they held to the view that the universe, to some level, had been designed by an intelligent agent. Talk about tolerance, diversity and being non-discriminatory!

Worldview Issue

You see, the foundational issue here is not Ham's boat or even one's science job, but rather worldviews. Nor is the pivot of this issue over religious views. It's the question of whether or not the universe was designed! That is foundational! The line of demarcation is design or no design. The fulcrum is materialism or theism. Both are worldviews, both try to explain our human experience.

However, it seems that preferential treatment goes to one worldview in our cultural – the one that feels that nature is all that exists. Even though this view is weaker in its explanatory power, it is more attractive because of its false sense of immunity to ultimate authority.

This skewed sense of morality leads to strange positions such as "discrimination is good dished out to those who hold to a view of a designer". It seems like it is a one way street by our culture's standards - it's good and upright one way, but the other....immoral and intolerant!

You will not want to miss the next posts. If you found this one helpful, you will want to keep an eye open for others. The best way is to click here, because you can get them straight to your inbox so you don’t miss out! (Click here.)

What are your thoughts? Do you know of cases or have you ever been "discriminated" against because you have a theistic worldview?

Monday, December 8, 2014

4 Creative Ideas For Christmas Cards and Greetings

In the last post, I gave ideas on Christmas' card captions. Here I want to build on that and give more ideas to help you as you send out cards.

Make your message short, memorable and succinct

Give the essence of Christ, the reason for his birth and maybe even a succinct gospel message of the kingdom. However, “preachy” cars may turn many off.

Push against the slogans

People become dull of hearing the message when slogans lose their original luster. For example, instead of “Merry Christmas” use maybe “Happy Christmas.”

Use Images and text lines that are deep but different

Building off the two previous points, if you can write or if you are an artist, use simple truths in a new and powerful way. We have the “romantic” Nativity scenes, but what about a greater range of feelings, such as the despair of being turned away from an inn, the pain of child birth and the “stuck in the manger” feel and running from the king's soldiers? How about the perspective of the magi, the Shepherds or maybe even Herod!

Stay away from the “political correct” phrases 

Our culture is pushing everyone to be “PC”, in this case we need to “swim against the tide”. Examples of these meaningless phrases include the infamous “have a happy holiday”, rather use greetings that have substance for the meaning of this time of the year.

Do you have more ideas? If so, feel free to them below!

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