A Conundrum

Let’s pretend that there is an ideology that, if practiced according to its fundamental document, would encourage pedophilia, abuse of women, killing homosexuals, and murder of those who disagree with said ideology.

Let’s pretend that for 1500 years, those who follow their fundamental document have engaged in violent conquest leaving behind a trail of corpses and severed heads.

Let’s pretend that this ideology follows a book written by a man who married a six year old and only became more violent as he aged.

Let’s pretend now that the apostates who refuse to follow the violent, pedophilic, minority murdering book were now seen as the “fundamentalists” of the ideology, while those who continue the 1500 year traditions are called “radicals.”

Let’s pretend that the leaders of countries where these “radicals” have been waging a targeted war decide that there should be a safety measure in place to make sure that the locations where violent pedophiles generally form en masse have less access to their targets.

Let’s pretend that a group within a targeted nation is one that would be slaughtered by these “radicals” if they were in these dangerous locations, and these minorities who would be murdered now protest to fight for the very “radicals” who want to kill them to come over to where they are.

Does this make any sense?

Let’s pretend that there are 20 houses on my street. If one house in my neighborhood was full of people who wanted me dead, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t send out invitations for my cookout to them and their friends.

Let’s pretend that not only did I know that those in that house wanted me dead, but I knew that they had already killed some of my neighbors and even burned a house to the ground with a family inside.

Would it make sense for me to not want them on my property?

A Stream of Non-Consciousness

The invariable veracity of vociferous verbiage carries with it the weight of the inevitable disinterest of the topic of discussion. American illiteracy and apathy in education have decreased enlightened and rational thought. We have abandoned the use of polysyllabic linguistics for the parlance of colloquialisms. Yet, there are many who believe the millennial generation to be of more superior intellectual stock than our forefathers who conducted themselves with a manner of sophistication that would boggle the minds of the mealy-mouthed miscreants who misrepresent their elders as ignoramuses.

The rest of us are simply doomed to a disastrous and preposterous future involving pseudo-science and scientism masquerading as empirical scientific evidence. Gender is not genetic and human life is only potential, so long as it remains unborn. Some truths are no longer self-evident, and we have failed to systematically disinfect against the disease of megalomania permeating our higher institutions that have dragged us to this moment in history.

Knowledge no longer percolates, but stagnates as the porous sections of our minds are closed to information that is not related to celebrity shenanigans. We have become athletic supporters relegated to learning sports stats rather than social statistics while society slips past us and interrupts our regularly scheduled programming with breaking news of the decimation of American values that shocks, awes, and appalls us until the commercial break is over and we embrace the reality on our television sets.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled deprogramming.

Critical Thinking in the Modern Age

Why?

It is one of the first questions we articulate as children, yet we often forget to ask it as adults.

Perhaps we were told too often by our parents to stop asking, and we listened too well. Perhaps we should start asking it more often.

Why do I want this job? Why do I go to church? Why do I love this person? Why do I like going out with my friends? Why do I need this drink? Why?

There are also the bigger questions like why was I born at this time? Why do I feel empty inside?

It seems that we have some kind of gut feeling with regard to each of these scenarios. We know that we like our spouse or our friends. We know that we need a job. We know when we are unhappy, but we have stopped asking, “why?”

As a father of four girls (perhaps I should have asked “Why?” more often as well), I often ask my oldest two—the ones who can actually articulate words—why they do or say certain things. The answer I receive most often is a shrug of the shoulders. My nine year old said something interestingly profound a few days ago. My wife and I were talking politics, or, rather, I was talking politics and my wife was a captive audience, when my oldest said, “who would want that job?”

I asked her why she would say that, and she claimed not to know. I was honestly curious, but she shied away from answering. However, it got me thinking, why WOULD anyone want that job?

Being President of the United States has to be entirely exhausting. Every action and inaction is scrutinized by celebrities, media pundits, and families at the dinner table. The world watches and mocks when you misspeak at a press conference or have a bad round of golf. Simple tasks like going to a restaurant become headlines when you order a cheeseburger after promoting healthy eating. You sign laws and enact budgets that you did not write, and pay the price whenever an industry that you never worked in implodes. Is it no wonder why every president seems to age 20 years during the 4-8 that they are in office?

There are basically two reasons why someone would run for office. They are either altruistic individuals who are willing to give their lives for public service, or they are power hungry control freaks. More often than not, our leaders fall into the latter category.

This election season, we should ask ourselves two questions. Why is this candidate running for the office? And why am I supporting this candidate?

Furthermore, we should begin asking “why” in so many more instances. It is the essence of critical thinking. This three-letter question provides necessary introspection in many cases. In this fast-paced society where time is a limited commodity, we run on instinct. This leads to extremely quick decisions that are often not entirely beneficial to us.

Next time you feel overwhelmed by a choice that could lead to a self-destructive behavior or major life change, ask yourself why?

It is the essence of critical thinking—a skill that is often overlooked. There need not be a complex philosophical Socratic methodology of logic and inquiry.

Just ask, “why?”

The End Times pt. 1 (Are We There Yet?)

An interesting phenomenon is happening. My pastor and father, who do not communicate with one another, have both begun doing in depth study and teaching on the prophetical book of Revelation. Other pastors in their social network are doing the same, but none of it has been planned or scripted.

Mainstream media has also seen an increase in Biblical films and television shows that, even though may be almost completely devoid of Christian theology, are bringing Christian stories into the homes of millions. Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Bible, A.D., and a Left Behind reboot starring Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) have all been produced in the last three years. Another show on HBO called The Leftovers is eerily similar to a Rapture type event where dozens of people in the town vanish for an as yet unexplained reason.

Moreover, I have felt oddly compelled to read the Left Behind books and movies although I have never wanted to in the past. I also experienced an unexplainable and sudden urge to take my family on a plane to visit my hometown. I just woke up one day and felt that I needed to see some people. Without reading too much into it, I have to wonder if there is a larger reason to do so.

So, given all the “end times” phenomena that seems to be of interest to a host of people that I was previously unaware had such interest, I though that I would share some of my thoughts and feelings about what is going on and where we are headed. Keep in mind that I am not a Bible scholar, but I have had a fascination with prophetic books since I was a kid. In short, I am aware of some events and have been cognizant of them for more than two decades.

I believe that we are headed toward the Rapture and Tribulation. I believe it will begin in the next 10-15 years. I am also a “radical” fundamentalist Christian who believes that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. There are no mistakes in the book. It is a perfect text. If God says there will be an antichrist, then there will be one. There have been types of this kind of person throughout history, so I really do not think it is outrageous that there will be another, final version. If God says that He will judge the Earth by the means of tribulation, then He will. I know it may sound insane, especially to anyone who is an unbeliever, but that is okay. I do not expect you to read this and think “wow, I totally believe that giant human-locust-scorpion monsters are going to fly out of a pit and sting people without killing them.” I believe it will happen, but that happens when you have Faith that your founding document is written by the creator of the universe.

I am also a “young Earth” Christian. I believe that our planet has only been in existence for 6,000 years. “But what about carbon dating?” you might say. Well, God created Adam and Eve as adults, not as fertilized eggs that developed over 9 months into a birthed baby that learned to walk after a year, talk after two, and had to wait another dozen or so to begin becoming a man and woman. Why, then, would God create only seeds or infant molecules, particles, or atoms? I believe that God created the Earth as we read in Genesis 1 and everything on Earth in its adult form. I would also gladly accept the theory that the Earth was created millions of years ago, covered in water and/or ice, and God peeled back the water when he said “let there be light”, and the rest of Genesis occurred 6,000 years ago. Either way, Adam was granted dominion over the plants and animals approximately 4,000 B.C. This is important, because of the next theory.

God created the Earth in six “days” and one day is like 1,000 to Him. I believe the first part of this phrase is literal, God created the Earth as we know it in six literal 24 periods and rested on the seventh. I believe the second part of the statement to be a hint to his second coming. There were 4,000 years of life on Earth until Jesus came in 0 A.D. We are now in the early part of the 2,000 years since the birth of Christ. That is a grand total of 6,000 years, making a direct reference to the 6 days of creation. This leads us to the seventh day of rest, which correlates to one additional thousand year period; the Millenium that occurs post-tribulation. The end of the sixth day ended, and for the seventh, God rested. Likewise, the first 6,000 years are ending, and for the next thousand, God will rest. However, for the Millenium to begin, the world as we know it must be destroyed.

The end times begin with the parable of the fig tree that predicts that Israel will be returned to its former lands (as a leaf sprouting on a fig tree) after being dispersed throughout the Earth and having faced a great torment (Jeremiah 30: Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him) After Israel returns to the promised land (which happened in 1948), Matthew 24:34 states “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” The phrase “all these things” clearly refers to the Rapture (Matthew 24:31 talks about gathering “his elect from the four winds” after the sound of a trumpet). So, at least one representative of the generation that was alive when Israel became a nation in 1948 will still be around for the Rapture. For the sake of argument, let us say that the generation began that very year, which would put the youngest of that generation at 67 years old. This is less than twenty years away from the longest overall life expectancy in the world; Japan’s 84 years. Mathematically speaking, we must be near the end, right? There are several other “signs of the times” that are nearing fruition. For example:

Daniel 12:4 “even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” The past century has seen a technological expansion like no other time in human history, and has accelerated in the past three decades. It is like we are living in a 1950’s science fiction film with computers that can fit in our palms and cars that run on electricity.

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” With advances in technology (especially social media) and transportation, the entire world is accessible for the first time in human history.

Matthew 24:5 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” This refers to the hundreds of false religious leaders with cult-like fanaticism that are all over the world. Not all of them are as infamous as David Koresh or Jim Jones, but that does not mean that they are not out there leading people astray.

Matthew 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” ISIS, Iran, US vs. China, the rise of Russia, the “Arab Spring”, the European collapse, and raging protests around the U.S. Have you heard of any “wars and rumours of wars” lately?

I Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them…and they shall not escape.” After all of the warring and global violence, the world will long for peace. This is where the antichrist emerges to offer peace in the midst of war, and the tribulation begins.

Matthew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” Again, this is obviously happening around the globe at this very moment. “and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.” Africa, Asia, South America, Korea, Russia; all these places have seen starvation, disease, and an increase in earthquakes over the past couple of years. According to earthquaketrack.com, there have been 38,313 earthquakes in the past year. Compare that to 16590 in 1990 22,256 in 2000 or 16667 in 2012.

Matthew 24:8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Like I said!

Matthew 24:9 “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you” ISIS, anyone? “and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Christians have been hated around the world for centuries, but the rise in American anti-Christian sentiment is a new trend that is surely not slowing down any time soon.

Matthew 24:10 “and then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” We are living in the most easily offended culture in the history of the planet. You can’t say “God bless you” to someone sneezing without being sued for religious discrimination.

Matthew 24:11 “and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” As I mentioned before, this occurs all the time. Be wary of “mega-church” pastors who can deceive crowds of thousands in an instant.

Matthew 24:12 “and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Increases in divorce and the uprising of affair websites like ashleymadison.com are great examples of this.

These are but a few verses from the Bible that seem to describe the world we are living in right now. In part 2 of this post, I will attempt to point the finger toward the one world government, religion, and currency, as well as detail some characteristics about Antichrist. I hope you will read it.