Wars and Rumors of Wars

When politicians, activists, and the media try to scare people with theories of the end of the world caused by climate change, you should ignore them.  There are many reasons why.  For one, they have been consistently wrong.  Fifty years ago, they said that global cooling would cause a new ice age.  When that didn’t happen, they said that global warming would flood the planet and drown us all.  When that didn’t happen, they started to blame any bad weather on the very broad label of climate change.  If it snows; climate change.  If it’s hot; climate change.  If there’s a hurricane; climate change.  At least they learned not to go out on a limb. 

Another reason is that, like with Covid, their solutions are far more likely to make people want to die than to stop anybody from actually dying.  Their fix for Covid was lockdowns and mandates, which did not work.  The results were to make people lonely, depressed, fat, suicidal, alcoholic, and jobless.  They also destroyed people’s businesses that they had worked a lifetime to build and ruined a booming economy.  Similarly, their ideas to combat climate change are to take away more liberty and force regulations on us that will destroy our economy and raise energy costs for families everywhere.

If the first two are not good enough for you, the most important reason to ignore these alarmists is that we already know what will eventually happen.  Global warming flooding the planet is guaranteed not to happen because God literally made a promise not to do exactly that.  Genesis 9:11 says, “Thus I establish My covenant with you:  Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”  What’s more, God gives us some details of how the end will happen.  Parts of it are vague or hard to interpret prophecies, but some are pretty specific.  We know, for example, that Jesus will take up His church in the Rapture and this event will lead to a seven-year tribulation period where God will pour out His wrath on the earth for rejecting Him.  This period will include famine, pestilence, disease, death, and other supernatural events, culminating with the Battle of Armageddon.  If you are truly concerned about the end of the world there is only one way to delay it.  Turn to Jesus and repent from sin.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

As the situation in Ukraine heated up, my mind kept turning to a phrase from the Bible; “wars and rumors of wars,” which are supposed to run wild as we near the return of Jesus and the tribulation period.  Could this be a part of that prophecy?  I decided to look into it and was astonished at how so many of the signs of the end match what is happening in the world today.  The passage is found in Matthew 24:3-12.  Listen to this:

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 

I am starting to think there is a very good chance I will not die of natural causes and will instead make it to the Rapture.  If those verses don’t describe our time, I don’t know what does.  “Wars and rumors of wars” is not just seen with Russia and Ukraine, but with China and Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea, and Iran and Israel among others.  Joe Biden’s weak response and the current lack of American leadership on the world stage only makes global instability and conflict more likely.  Verse 9 talks about Christians being persecuted and hated for being Christians, which is happening as we speak.  “Many will be offended.” (Verse 10) What better describes our culture right now than that?  “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” (Verse 11) Could that be talking about the media?  How many people does CNN deceive?  “Lawlessness will abound.” (Verse 12) Crime is on the rise in many of our cities, and some district attorneys like George Gascon in Los Angeles, allow it to go unchecked.  It’s almost as if Jesus knew what was going to happen. 

Ezekiel 38 and 39 provide more insight into the events leading up to the end, and we can see everything lining up in ways that could start the dominos falling.  There we find out that Israel will eventually be attacked “from the far north.” (Ezek. 39:2) Russia surely could fit that bill.  We also know that this attack will involve a coalition of enemies that includes Persia (modern day Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya.  (Ezek. 38:5) These countries are already in the camp that shouts “Death to Israel!”  The pieces are in position on the chess board.

The last two years have also changed the way our world is run.  Using the guise of Covid, the United States allowed around 70 million unverified mail-in ballots to decide who our president is instead of the people of our country.  Even some of my more naïve conservative friends have called me a conspiracy theorist because “Covid is worldwide so this can’t just be about stealing the U.S. election.”  They are right, of course, that this is bigger than just power in the United States (although that is part of it).  This is a worldwide power grab.  Worldwide problems need to be created to take away sovereignty from individual countries and consolidate power into a global system.  This is the same reason for the climate change alarmism, and is all part of what is being called The Great Reset.  It is an attempt to centralize power into a one world government.  That might sound familiar to you if you grew up in church.  Prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation suggest that in the end times, power will be consolidated under the antichrist and a one world government. 

Speaking of prophecies from Revelation, almost everybody has heard of the mark of the beast.  “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev. 13:16-17) Three years ago that would have sounded highly unlikely.  However, for the last two years many of us have been barred from working certain jobs, entering stores and restaurants, traveling on planes or trains, or attending concerts, movies, or sporting events without wearing a mask or showing proof of vaccination.  They are not the actual mark of the beast because they are easy to get around, and the true mark of the beast will not be easily circumvented.  They are also not on our hands or foreheads.  So, while I do not believe that the current mask or vaccine requirements are the mark of the beast, I 100% believe that they are test runs for it and that people are being conditioned to go along with it.  Declining to wear a mask or show proof of vaccination is our moral duty and should help people to decline the mark of the beast in the near future.

Another end times prophecy that I see gaining steam comes early in the tribulation period and is found in Revelation 6:5-6.  It talks about the price of a quart of wheat or three quarts of barley being the equivalent of a full day’s wages.  That sounds to me like out-of-control inflation.  Sound familiar?  With governments creating massive inflation by handing out trillions of dollars and artificially raising minimum wages, our money is now worth less and less.  I won’t be around for the final fulfillment of this prophecy, but our currency is definitely going in the wrong direction.

Some of you might feel anxious and stressed out to be living at this time in world events, but personally, I think it is exciting!  Fortunately, Jesus gives some good news in Matthew 24:14-15. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”  We are here at this time for a reason; to be a witness to all nations.  We should not be silent.  We should not conform.  Now is the time to courageously stand up to the world and tell the truth.  In fact, I have noticed that people are more receptive to hearing about Jesus right now.  Non-religious friends who I have known for years have started to see the light and turn to God.  Others are asking questions.  Through the events of the last few years, wise people are realizing that something is off and that the Bible has the answers.  If you haven’t yet, now is the time to get your ducks in a row and turn to Jesus.  It may not be long before His return, and you do not want to be on the wrong side at the end.

The Bachelorette Term of the Year is Not Positive

I have a confession to make.  Every Monday night, I sit down, open a bottle of wine, and watch The Bachelor.  My sister used to text me to ask what I was up to, and I would send her a picture of some food, wine, and The Bachelor on television in the background.  In fact, the picture of pizza on top of the Steve Connally’s Brain Facebook page is one of them.  She would laugh at me back then, but eventually she started joining me to watch.  Now we get together every week for the spectacle.

Obviously, you should not look to The Bachelor franchise for your morals and values.  Between drunken arguments, fantasy suites, and dramatic rose ceremonies where grown adults cry over a person they have spent less time with than their dentist, the show is the definition of a guilty pleasure.  This year, however, The Bachelorette has annoyed me with a recurring theme.  No, I’m not talking about the super woke firing of host Chris Harrison for having the gall to think that a 24-year-old girl should not be labeled a racist and cancelled from society for wearing a pretty dress to a party, although that is very annoying.  What I am talking about is a term that they have used over and over again to describe the current Bachelorette, Katie Thurston, throughout this season of The Bachelorette.  The term is “sex-positive.” 

Both my sister and I noticed “sex-positive” being used multiple times in the first few episodes, to which I observed, “I think sex-positive is just the politically correct term for slutty.”  She said, “No.  I think you can be sex-positive and still have moral standards.”  I agreed that sex is definitely a positive thing within a certain framework, namely between a married husband and wife, but I doubt that is what they meant considering the progressive, secular slant of mainstream entertainment, and the fact that none of the people on the show are married.  So, I looked it up, and as usual, I was right. 

The current definition of “sex-positive” not only lacks any moral standards other than consent, but it forbids them.  An article on healthline.com explains that sex-positivity “involves being nonjudgmental and respectful regarding the diversity of sexuality and gender expressions, as long as there is consent.”  It goes on to say that any morality attached to sex is “sex-negative,” including abstinence-only education, purity pacts, slut-shaming, and the “good girl” versus “bad girl” trope.  Another article on Yahoo even quotes Dr. Jess O’Reilly worrying that Bachelorette Katie’s definition of sex-positivity might not be inclusive enough.  She opines that, “some people claim to be sex-positive, but their definition of sex is narrow — they may not support and show reverence to sex workers, who provide essential services, for example.”  So, if you don’t think that prostitution is awesome, or if you think that a girl who wants to save herself for marriage is a good girl, you are considered sex-negative. 

If you think as I do that there should be moral standards attached to sex, and for example, it is not a good idea to try to have sex with a bunch of people you just met on a television show, you will probably be accused of “slut-shaming.”  Don’t worry about it.  Shame is not a bad thing.  The Oxford Dictionary definition of “shame” is, “the feelings of sadness, embarrassment, and guilt that you have when you know that something you have done is wrong or stupid.”  What is the alternative?  Should we prefer that people feel happy and proud when they do something wrong or stupid?  No!  I feel shame for bad things I have done.  That is good.  The shame should make me want to correct those behaviors.   The definition of “shaming” as a verb is, “to make someone feel ashamed.”  I don’t see that as a bad thing.  Would it be wrong to shame someone for beating their girlfriend?  For stealing?  For rape?  Of course not.  They should feel ashamed. 

Here’s the funny thing.  The people who say it is bad to shame someone constantly try to shame people they disagree with, including shaming people for shaming people.  Even worse, they shame people for doing what is right.  For example, while researching I came across an article ripping on The Bachelor for portraying Madison Prewitt, a contestant from last year, in a positive light.  Let’s see if you can guess why they did not like Madison with a multiple choice quiz.

A) She got super drunk and threw a pizza from a hotel balcony

B) She supports rocket attacks against Israel

C) She is a Christian and a virgin

Although it seems like A or B should draw more criticism, if you guessed C, you are correct.  Madison actually was disparaged for having good character and doing things the way God intended, because that is sex-negative.  (If Madi happens to be reading this, I’m single!)

On the other side of the coin, when season 11 Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe had sex with Nick Viall on their first one-on-one date, “Bachelor Nation” went out of their way to show their approval.  Anybody who dared to question the wisdom or morality of the decision was denounced as a slut-shamer and a meanie.  Now, I actually liked Kaitlyn (not so much Nick), and nobody should bully her for doing what she did, but it was certainly wrong.  Saying so is not mean.  It’s just a fact.  God created sex for marriage.

People tend to think that God is cruel for giving us rules, but they are looking at it wrong.  God tells us how to do things to help us, not to be mean.  He is not saying, “I made some arbitrary rules to keep you from doing what you want.”  He is saying, “This is how I designed creation.  If you do things outside of that design it will lead to more harm than good.  I love you, so I’m telling you this to protect you from doing things that will hurt you.” 

Katie seems like a sweet, fun, and likeable girl.  When we first saw her get out of the limo with a big, pink vibrator, I thought it was funny.  What is not funny is trying to eliminate morality and implying that doing what is right is a negative thing.  Let’s get back to the shouting matches, drama, and finding out who is there for the right reasons, and stop with the politically correct buzzwords.  I’ll bring the wine.

The Ultimate Sin?

As a boy growing up in the ‘80s, you had to watch certain things on Saturday television to stay in the loop.  I distinctly remember going down to the playground in my apartment complex armed with the secret word from Pee Wee’s Playhouse so that I knew when to scream real loud.  Those boyhood gatherings would soon turn into a discussion of a far more serious Saturday television event: WWF wrestling.

“Dude!  Did you see Brutus ‘the Barber’ Beefcake cut that guy’s hair?”  

“Oh man, the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage is mad!”

“Did you see what happened on Piper’s Pit?  Hulk Hogan is gonna fight Andre the Giant!”

Recently, I have been nerding out on some WWF nostalgia.  I ran across an A&E Biography episode about “Rowdy” Roddy Piper a few weeks ago and I loved it.  It turns out that A&E is airing a bunch of WWF (now WWE) themed documentaries.  I made sure to catch the one about Andre the Giant when it came on because he is a legend.  I even watched one about Mick Foley, who was a little after my time but still very intriguing because he would let them beat him nearly to death for his craft.  A few days ago, I saw one about another legendary wrestler from my childhood, The Ultimate Warrior. 

It followed the usual formula for a biographical documentary.  It talked about the Warrior’s youth, his meteoric rise to the top of the wrestling world, his struggles and fall from grace, and his untimely death.  Something stood out about this one, though.  In the section about his fall from grace, they first explained the real reason, which was the same as with almost every wrestler.  He started arguing with his boss, Vince McMahon.  However, they then spent a long segment on what they really saw as his ultimate sin.  The Ultimate Warrior came out as a conservative.

The Warrior (he legally had his name changed to Warrior in 1993) actually became a conservative blogger and speaker after his wrestling career.  The guests who were interviewed in the Biography episode wondered aloud if they could still admire the Warrior after learning about his unforgivable opinions.  At first, this made me roll my eyes in annoyance at the blatant double standard.  After all, had Warrior become a progressive pundit, would A&E have criticized him for it and painted him as a horrible person?  We all know the answer to that. 

After a bit of thinking, though, I am glad that corporations, the media, and the entertainment industry continue to reveal their hatred for anybody who dares to disagree with them.  It chips away more and more at their credibility when people open their eyes to how intolerant those institutions are of anyone who doesn’t fall into line with their views.  Their obvious bias against conservatives alienates many who may not even be conservatives themselves, but don’t think people should be vilified for holding conservative values.  It certainly should make clear to conservatives that the mainstream culture has nothing but contempt for you and you have to stand up to them.

This contempt is not reserved only for celebrity conservatives like Warrior.  Remember, the left sees conservatives as “a basket of deplorables.”  You may not have the status to get as much attention as a famous person, but they still want to marginalize and silence you for taking conservative positions.  Just try questioning the security of our elections and see how long it takes social media sites to censor your posts.  If you have the audacity to say that homosexuality is not the ideal, which is one of the things they went after the Warrior for in the documentary, those on the left would attack you with a folding chair if they could get away with it. 

Criminals who sneak across our borders illegally are A-okay with the left.  If protesters block traffic and throw bricks through the windows of businesses, the left will make excuses for them.  Publicly announce that you are no longer the gender that you really are and they will laud you for your courage.  Murder a baby in the womb and the left will praise your “choice.”  Those are all fine, but if you are found out to be a conservative, they think you should lose your livelihood, your reputation, and become an outcast from society.

The Ultimate Warrior was a flawed man.  He was apparently egotistical and did not get along with many of his fellow wrestlers.  Was Warrior the most articulate or tactful conservative speaker?  Of course not!  Would you expect him to be?  He’s the Ultimate Warrior, not William F. Buckley.  Was he perfect?  No, but he did defeat Mr. Perfect in the ring.  Was this article an excuse for me to take a trip down memory lane and watch old wrestling matches?  Absolutely, but we do need to call out double standards in our culture when we see them.  Do not let them silence you.  In this fight, we all need to be warriors.