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.

Why Romans 13 Is Inapplicable to What Is Happening Now

In the Best Picture winning film from 1965, The Sound of Music, the von Trapp family lives in Austria when it is annexed by Germany during World War II.  The main conflict arises when the father, Captain von Trapp, is ordered to accept a commission in the German Navy.  Did he quietly comply because the powers that be gave him a command?  Should he have?  No!  He concocted a plan to disobey the rulers and flee the country.  What a different film it would have been if he had done what so many of our churches have done and obeyed his orders.

Ever since the California government terminated our liberty last year, I have been disappointed that so many churches quietly complied.  This past week I received an email from a local church, once again saying that they were going to keep their doors shut until we are endowed by our government with some liberty.  (That sounds wrong, doesn’t it?)  The reason given has been inappropriately used since the beginning of the lockdowns to justify compliance with tyrannical edicts… Romans 13: 1-7.  It says this:

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Let me be clear.  I believe the Bible completely, from Genesis to Revelation, including Romans 13.  In fact, I talk about the importance of Romans 13 multiple times in my book, The God Bet.  There is, however, a big problem with hiding behind these verses to justify weakly complying during this fight between good and evil.  While we are not supposed to “resist the authority,” our government DOES NOT HAVE the authority to do what it is doing.  There are two main reasons for this.  The first is found in our founding documents.  The Declaration of Independence acknowledges that liberty is endowed not by the government, but by our Creator, and is unalienable.  That means that the government does not have the authority to take away our freedom on a whim. 

I know.  Some of you are saying, “Wait a minute.  The government does have the authority to take away our liberty in certain situations, like when they put a thief in prison.”  You are absolutely correct.  There are instances where the government can take away our freedom.  That leads us to the second reason this is not one of those instances.  Romans 13 not only tells us that we are subject to the governing authorities, but it also tells us what those authorities are authorized to do.  Verse 3 specifically tells us that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.”  Verse 4 explains that “he (the ruler) is God’s minister to you for good.  But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”  As you can clearly see, the rulers have the authority to punish you or take away your liberty if you do evil, but NOT for doing good works.  Stealing is evil; thus, the government is authorized to execute wrath on that thief.  Opening the doors of your church, on the other hand, is a good work.  If a church quietly closes its doors and cites the government as the reason, they are implying that a father who wants to take his family to church and sit inside is doing evil.  Any thinking person can see that the rulers who are putting these crazy dictates on churches are being a terror to good works and Romans 13 does not authorize them to do that. 

Why does it matter since California Governor Gavin Newsom is going to allow churches to open on the magical date of June 15?  It matters because these lockdowns and regulations were just the first major battle in the fight to remain a free country.  It was a test to see how many of us would stand up for each other’s liberty.  Unfortunately, the answer was, “not enough.” 

To those of you who are on the side of good, you may be tempted to write off the churches and Christians who sat on the sidelines during this battle and say, “you’re dead to us.”  I urge you not to do that.  We must be forgiving of churches or individuals who were complicit in our loss of rights when they realize what their complacency is leading to.  It is better that they are late to the party than miss it altogether.  Things will get worse and we need more churches to see the light and speak up before it is too late.  We need to pray for these churches to come around, and when they do, we need to welcome them to the fight with open arms.  They need to loudly declare that they will never again remain silent when the government acts as a terror against good works, which is against what Romans 13 says.  Never again will they close the doors of our churches, or limit who or how people can attend.  Our founding documents do not allow it, and the Bible does not allow it.  

My Rapture Will

“The world is getting really bad.  I think the rapture will happen within the next 12 years.”  I was dating a girl who made that prediction to me, and that was about 10 years ago.  For those of you who are not familiar, the rapture is the term used to describe when the Lord takes believers out of the world before the seven-year tribulation period prophesied about in the Bible. 

At the time she said that I was pretty skeptical for two reasons.  First, the Bible is clear “that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) and “…that day and hour no one knows.” (Mark 13:32)  That guarantees that the only time we can rule out for the rapture is any specific time when somebody says it will happen.  In her defense, though, she was not predicting a specific day and hour.  She was just guessing a general time frame. 

The other reason was that I looked back at the other times in history where God gave up on us turning it around and realized that He is very patient.  Think about it.  The first time he brought large-scale judgment down on people was the flood.  He waited until Noah and his family were the only ones left worth saving in the entire world.  That is patience!  The other example is when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  In that instance, He told Abraham that He was going to destroy those cities and Abraham negotiated with him.  Abraham asked if God would destroy the city if there were 50 good people there.  God said no.  Then he lowered it to 45.  God said no.  Abraham kept haggling all the way down to 10 good people and God said He would spare the cities for the sake of 10.  In the end, as we know, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because 10 could not be found, and Lot and his daughters were the only ones who survived.  Again, God is patient!

All this being said, I am starting to think that she might not be as far off as I assumed at the time.  It is hard to deny that end-time prophesies are starting to line up so well that it’s hard to believe that anybody can doubt the Bible anymore.  There are even groups who are trying to push for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, which we know will be there during the tribulation.  With dominos falling like they are it would not surprise me if her 12-year guess was close.  Then again, it could be 100 years away still.  The only certainty is that it’s closer now than ever before, and we should be prepared.

This is what gave me the idea for a rapture will.  I’ve thought about writing a normal will before but put it off because I’m still young, healthy, and extremely attractive. I also think it is a big decision who to leave my money to.  I’m single and have no kids so at this point I do not have a responsibility to take care of anybody.  I used to think about who would have the most fun with it.  As shallow as that sounds, it still matters to me.  I would not want it to be wasted on somebody who follows the lockdown rules and sits inside hiding.  I want it to be enjoyed.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to leave it all to someone who would blow through it all on frivolous stuff like caviar and spider monkeys.  One spider monkey, fine, but definitely not plural.  Ultimately, what I really want is to leave my money to people who will use it for the most important purpose there is, to bring people to God so that they end up in Heaven.  This makes the obvious heirs to my inheritance have one necessary quality.  They must be good Christians. 

This works when deciding on my normal will, but a big problem arises when it comes to a rapture will.  All of the other good Christians will have been whooshed away with me.  I can’t leave it to my parents because they will also be gone.  Any Christian friends will have also disappeared.  It would be pointless to leave it to my church because any true believers there will be with me.  Unfortunately, I do have family members who may not believe and will still be around, but I do not want to give my money to someone who will not use it to spread the truth about what is going on and how to be saved.  It sounds like I may as well just burn the money, doesn’t it?  Wrong!  I figured out a way to at least make an educated guess as to who to leave my inheritance to. 

To do this we have to look at what we do know about the seven-year tribulation period after the rapture.  We know that although Christians will have been removed from the world and the antichrist will be ruling, many people will realize that they missed the boat and will turn to God.  Further, Revelation 7:1-8 tells us that 144,000 people will be sealed as servants of God during that time; 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  So, we know for a fact that 144,000 Jews will realize that Jesus is the Messiah and will become witnesses who bring others to Him during this time. 

Now that we have this information to go on, I can narrow down who to set as my beneficiary.  Since it has to be somebody who will be left behind, and I want the biggest probability that my inheritance is used to further the Kingdom of God, I will leave my money to a Jewish person who is both smart and preferably someone who has influence.  My mind instantly went to my favorite radio personality and founder of Prager University, Dennis Prager, and another great mind and founder of The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro. 

I have to admit, this was supposed to be the end of the article.  Then I noticed Revelation 14:4, which says of the 144,000, “These are the ones who were not defiled by women, for they are virgins.”  That throws off my plan since both Prager and Shapiro have children.  They will not be part of the “sealed” group mentioned in Revelation.  Fortunately, this does not mean they will not be saved.  Revelation 14:9-17 tells us that a “great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,” will be saved during the tribulation. 

Knowing all of this, here is what I have decided for my rapture will.  If at any time I go missing, and so do many other Christians including my parents, my sister Amber, and some Christian public figures like Pastor Jack Hibbs, Vice President Mike Pence, and Tim Tebow, then my money should be split evenly between Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro.  Since I have no way of knowing who are virgins, I have to take a chance that Prager and Shapiro will be part of the “great multitude” of converts.  I know that they are both wise men who study the Torah (the Old Testament to Christians) and I think that makes them a better bet than most.  However, if you see Ben Shapiro at the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem with a spider monkey on each shoulder, you know I made an incorrect choice.

Give Us the Same Courtesy That We Gave You

The first paragraph of this article is here for a very specific reason. To promote the article on social media I had to make sure that there was no political speech in the first couple of lines so that it wouldn’t be censored. The original started here:

Democrats now control the White House and both chambers of Congress.  They are calling for unity, but what they mean by that is, “Now everybody needs to agree with us.”  That is not going to happen.  I am not saying that in an obstinate way.  I’m just being realistic and honest.  People disagree and that is alright.  Republicans were in charge for the last four years and many people disagreed with them, and I expected that as well because that is how life works. 

This leads me to my one request to Democrats.  Now that you’re in charge please give us the same courtesy that we gave to you when we were.  That courtesy is this:  When people disagree with you, don’t force them to do what you want. 

This may surprise some of you after being told by the media for four years that President Trump was a fascist dictator, but I cannot think of anything that he forced us to do during his term.  If you disagreed with President Trump and the Republicans, they did not make you do anything against your will.  Republicans let people agree to disagree.  

If, for example, you disagreed with the tax cuts that were passed, Republicans did not force you to go along with it.  They implemented no penalties for people who wanted to keep paying the higher tax rates voluntarily.  Yes, you can do that.  Surprisingly, wealthy Democrats who complain that rich people don’t pay their fair share do not opt to pay more themselves when given that choice.  Alright, maybe not so surprisingly.

Ultimately, this is the main thing that Republicans want:  to be left alone.  We want to control our own lives and let others control theirs.  Another example; we may understand that homosexuality is immoral, but we do not block people from the practice.  In fact, the Trump administration started a global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality.  (In contrast, Democrats kowtow to countries like Iran who put homosexuals to death.)  Republicans also disagree with divisive groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, yet do not want them prevented from speaking or kicked off of social media.  Another Republican belief is that God is central to the American way of life and necessary for our success, but we do not want to require church attendance.  In other words, Republicans would like everybody to act in particular ways but think that people should be free to choose for themselves.

This approach is not a new one.  It is actually one of the principles that our country was established on.  Our Founding Fathers were wise men who understood that people would not always agree as to what should be done.  They also knew that throughout history, when the powerful forced those who disagreed with them to conform to their will it sowed contempt, division and conflict.  Their solution was liberty.  If one group wants to do “A” and another group wants to do “B,” the answer is not to have the group in power force the other group to do what they command.  Instead, the first group can do “A” and the second group can do “B.”  They can try to use persuasion to win the other side over but they should not use coercion.

If Joe Biden really wants unity this is what he should do.  Refrain from taking away our liberty.  Allow people to have free will and do what they think is best for themselves.  He can disagree with our choices but he should not overrule them.  Here are ten great suggestions that the Democrats can do to respect the liberty of Americans:

  1. If you decide to raise taxes, make it optional to pay the old rate like the Republicans did for you. 
  2. If you want people to wear masks, make it optional like the Republicans did.
  3. Let scared restaurant owners who want to shut down do so, and let the ones who want to remain open choose to do that.  If patrons want to show up they can but if they are afraid they should also be free to stay home.
  4. Let churches decide whether to remain open or close down.  If congregants do not want to attend they should not be forced to, but those who do should be allowed in.
  5. President Trump stopped enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which threatens to take away tax-exempt status from churches if the pastor endorses a political candidate.  Continue with that policy and allow pastors to decide for themselves what to say from the pulpit without threat of retaliation from the government.
  6. If somebody wants health insurance that covers pregnancy and drug rehabilitation they should be allowed to purchase it.  If another person wants less expensive insurance that does not cover those things they should be allowed to choose that.  If someone else prefers to pay out of pocket for medical care instead of buying insurance they should be able to do that.
  7. Do not force law abiding citizens to buy guns.  Likewise, do not prohibit them from buying guns.
  8. If someone wants to do a job for $8 per hour, do not prohibit them from doing so and force them out of a job.  Let people decide for themselves what wage to accept.
  9. Do not force people who are against murdering babies to pay for the murder of babies.  Do not use taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood.
  10. Refrain from banning or restricting us from using certain products like incandescent light bulbs, straws, grocery bags, soda, and shower heads with good water pressure.

These are all things that Democrats have tried to dictate in the past.  If they truly want unity this list would be a solid first step.  Instead of using tyrannical power to control those of us who disagree with them, try going back to our founding vision of liberty.  It’s the least they can do after Republicans did it for them the last four years. 

Will Our Country Be Ancient Israel or Nineveh?

And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"?
It has already been in ancient times before us. - Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

One of the great things about the Bible is that it gives us guidance for the future by showing us the past.  As we begin 2021 we find ourselves at a crossroads as Americans.  Both of the possible paths we can take have been tried before so we know what fate will await us depending on which we choose.

The first option is to choose a path that was taken by ancient Israel in the Old Testament.  Israel started as a great nation given prominence by God under the leadership of Kings David and Solomon.  They then fell into idolatry and wickedness, were split in two, and throughout their history were rebuked and given warnings by God through His prophets such as this one by Jeremiah:

‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; I will not cause My anger to fall on you.  For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever.  Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord. – Jer. 3:12-13

The Israelites did not heed the warnings of the prophets and continued to rebel against God.  The consequences were harsh.  God removed his hand of protection from them and allowed the Babylonians to conquer the nation, destroy the temple in Jerusalem, and carry the people off into captivity. 

The second option is from another place talked about in the Old Testament, Nineveh.  You may recognize Nineveh because it is known mostly from the famous Bible story that we heard as children where Jonah is swallowed by a whale.  Many of you probably do not remember the rest of the story.  Here is a refresher.  Jonah was called upon by the Lord to, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”  (Jonah 1:2)  Instead, Jonah decided to board a ship heading the other direction.  God sent a storm.  Jonah realized that the storm was because of him so he told the sailors to throw him overboard, and God sent a great fish to swallow him.  Jonah prayed and God had the fish vomit him onto the shore.  Jonah finally went to Nineveh and warned the city that they would be overthrown in forty days.  Sounds familiar, right?  Those stories almost always ended with the people rejecting the prophet’s warning and God destroying the city, but the story of Nineveh ends differently.  The people of Nineveh believed God and repented.  Jonah 3:10 explains, “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.”

As you can see, God is merciful.  Now I am going to put on my prophet hat and shout a warning to the United States.  Thus saith the Lord, our country is heading towards destruction.  You may think I am going to say that our country’s problems are due to bad political decisions giving Democrats too much power, and that is certainly true, but it is ultimately only a symptom of our situation and not the root cause.  The real reason for all of our troubles is the same as it was in the Old Testament; because we have turned from God as a nation.  Electing a great President like Donald Trump who enacts the policies that God wants in place is fantastic, but by itself that is only a temporary speed bump to slow down the decline of the United States. Winning an election is only a short term solution, as we now see.  The only way to really preserve America is for us to repent and turn back to God. 

We need a religious revival.  That is our one chance to avoid national destruction.  If we argue about political issues without having the same values in the first place, our side will struggle to win people over.  We have to first convince people that they need to get closer to God and embrace the values He imparts to us through the Bible.  Once that happens the nation will heal and thrive.  Think about it.  If an overwhelming majority of Americans turned to God and biblical values we would always elect pro-life candidates who value religious freedom, individual liberty, and support for Israel among other things.

Unfortunately, for now we are facing judgment from God.  He didn’t even have to do anything supernatural to punish us.  He is letting us rain down judgment on ourselves by giving Democrats power.  Joe Biden is our punishment.  He will likely cause more suffering than a plague of frogs ever could.   He has already promised to eliminate friendliness and smiles by mandating we cover our faces like we were under Sharia law.  He will almost certainly add crippling regulations to our economy leading to financial hardship for millions, especially small business owners.  In Israel God used attacks by foreign adversaries to judge his people and I fear that Joe Biden’s probable return to policies of appeasement toward terrorist nations like Iran will make it likely that they will achieve nuclear capabilities in the near future.  This could be a very dark time in our country.

We have a choice though.  As God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  As you can see, we cannot avoid punishment without doing a couple of things.  First, humble ourselves and pray.  Second, we have to turn from our wicked ways.  That entails a lot of things. 

Usually when God spoke about wicked places in the past there were a few main areas that needed work.  One was violence and the spilling of blood.  That means we need to end the rioting and lawlessness that has gone on for a while now in our streets.  We also need to support our police who are trying to clean up the crime in our country.  It also means that we need to end the evil practice of abortion.  How can we expect to continue being blessed by God when over 800,000 babies are murdered every year?

Another major area of disobedience was sexual immorality.  That does not just mean the obvious offenses.  Yes, homosexuality is a sin that has become acceptable, and even cool in today’s culture.  This new trend of choosing your gender is also wrong.  As the line from the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Kindergarten Cop says, “Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina.”  However, sexual immorality also includes far more common things like sex outside of marriage.  In fact, 59% of Americans have cohabitated with a partner and 65% think that cohabitation is a good idea.  All of these things need to become unacceptable again.

There are many other things that are mentioned in the Bible like idolatry (putting other things ahead of God), stealing, dishonesty in business, and slander.  Obviously, in a country as big as ours we cannot completely eliminate these sins, but we can certainly change our outlook towards them and greatly reduce the behaviors.  Remember, God is merciful.  We can choose the path that Nineveh chose and heed my warning.  We cannot continue down the path we are on.  Repent and turn to God!