I first want to thank Derrick for the opportunity to contribute to the SHTF Blog. When I let him know I was interested in being a writer for the blog, let me tell you I felt like a politician being vetted for office. He is truly interested in only having contributors to the blog that have something valuable to contribute.
Now a little about me. I am a former Marine 0311. I served in the Marines from 1986-1990. I have served in public service since my discharge. I was a volunteer Firefighter for over 18 years. I have worked for the Sheriff’s Department, State Corrections, and I have been a Paramedic in EMS for 18 years. I was ordained as a non-denominational Minister of the Gospel in November of last year, and I am a member of the National Association of Christian Ministers, American Association of Wedding Officiants, Survival4Christians Group. I am married, with 4 adult children and 3 grandchildren and a little “Bella” dog. I am a two-year physical prepper, though I have been involved in prepping for nearly 20 years, and I am an avid gun and bow shooter/hunter.
Related: Read The Faithful Prepper: A Christian’s Perspective on Prepping
My goal in writing this column for this blog is to give a Christian minister’s prospective on what we all term “prepping.” These are my views and opinions only, and are not designed to cause controversy or generate hate mail. I fully understand that there will be those that read this blog that don’t share the same views that I do of who or what God is, and that is ok. The beauty of this country and what is left of our bill of rights, is that we all have freedom to choose if and what we believe.
Biblical Perspective of Prepping
When we consider what “prepping” is to us today, we generally think of it as a new concept. Preparing for the “End Of The World As We Know It” (EOTWAWKI), “Sewer Hitting The Fan” (SHTF), “Without Rule of Law” (WROL), or various other terms that have been coined from this movement seems to have come around in the most recent years. Actually preparing for disaster is not a new concept. The Bible has several incidences where prepping, sometimes for many years, saved the children of God. Below are two.
I like to think of NOAH as the world’s first prepper.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Can you imagine the logistics that Noah and his family must have gone through? Not only was he saving himself and his family, but if the Bible is to be believed, he had to prepare and store food for every pair of land and airborne animal, as well as his family. Not to mention the small task of building an ark to transport them all in. He of course had Divine Guidance of “the what and when” things were going to transpire.
It would be a great help today in knowing “the what and when”, and how long it will last, but unfortunately, we aren’t given those clues. So we prepare in ways that we can only imagine will sustain us for a finite period, and then we hope and pray that we can survive until some semblance of normality return. If it doesn’t, then we will either die, or make the most of the situation, by adapting to a new set of norms.
And then there was Joseph, the original food hoarder.
Genesis 41:46-49, 53-57
46And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
53And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
Now we have a 30 year old Joseph. A prisoner and slave standing before the greatness of the throne of Pharaoh, having just interpreted Pharaoh’s dream about the oncoming 7 years of prosperity as well as the 7 years of famine. Joseph by divine inspiration was able to see the coming economic crash, and was positioned at the right place and the right time to save not only the nation of Canaan, but also Egypt, and in fact the whole known world by setting aside food preps.
It is something to me that God had Pharaoh’s heart opened to the idea that disaster would actually take place. Can you imagine what would happen if a prisoner today were to tell our president of events like these happening, and what the reaction would be? They would probably call him names like “Crazy Uncle Joe”, and dismiss him back to rot in his jail cell. This shows how, with divine inspiration, one man can make a difference to his family, the nation, and the world.
Keep these two in mind while you work your preps out. You may say that “well, they were divinely inspired.” But who is to say that you aren’t. God chose this time, this place, from all the time since the beginning of the world to have you here. He has opened your eyes to events that others cannot see, and given you the tools and mindset to survive.
There just might be a little Noah or Joseph in us after all.
Welcome aboard James! I liked your post very much and I m looking forward for the next!
Wonderful post, man is a triune(spelling) being, three in one, spiritual, physical and mental, and to be balanced places one in a good life position,,,, as we are all in different regions with different regional needs, the deeper guidance is required to know, what does one do beyond prepping and why, just to hunker down or to be a viable force for relatives, friends and those that are sent your way, for God for Country as was said of old, once we have the spiritual guidance the plan to follow becomes much easier, thanks for the reminder…..
Pastor and Ranger,
Thank you both for putting these thoughts forward. God has called some of us to this challenge early on. People throw stones quit a bit at the Christian preppers as if it is a lack of trust in God to provide. Your words are well constructed to defend our calling and we appreciate you as brothers. It’s hard enough building these ARCs (agricultural retreat communities) let alone when you have to defend yourself at the same time. May God bless us all!
I want to congratulate you for taking on a rather difficult perspective. The men & examples you chose can certainly appear not relative to us today – how can we really relate to these cute, seemingly fictional bedtime stories?
Young Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers then ends up being greatly favored by Pharaoh, are you kidding me? This was a time & culture where slaves were purely expendable & had no value other than a strong back. Children were born into imprisoned slavery & had no hope of a life of anything else – generation after generation.
Noah actually planted & grew the trees which, he harvested many years later to build a ship – on dry, arid land, so he can load it with animals? He had to appear completely whacked out of his mind by the surrounding citizenry. Could you imagine someone today doing the same thing in Lawrence, Kansas? The media would have a field day! (Maybe were on to something – a new reality show … ha, ha)
I think the important point is the context & mindset for which these examples illustrate & how that relates to the individuals reading this blog.
I wanted to highlight, what I felt was a key point in your article:
“I fully understand that there will be those that read this blog that don’t share the same views that I do of who or what God is, and that is ok. The beauty of this country and what is left of our bill of rights, is that we all have freedom to choose if and what we believe.”
Many prep in the face of adversity of from friends & family and to the general public. Prudent, long term storage is considered “hoarding” even now loosely by our government. We live in a disposable world where people prepare only for the day let alone a week. It isn’t a consideration or thought whatsoever to prepare ones self for long term.
It is not to dissimilar to the mindset of the masses in the Old Testament days. Is the worldwide economy going to collapse? Is Al Kada (little humor) going to be elected as president & socialize us? Is the job market going to continue to be shipped beyond our borders? There are so many other variables that are completely out of our control yet, we allow them to erode our motivation(s).
Prepping is something well within our control & is definitely not fashionable. How gauche, waste money long term supplies & not buy an iPad? How do you expect to kill the boredom when the SH’sTF? The dichotomy is quite funny.
We have educated fools standing in the mainstream media pulpit that roll their eyes & mock people of little faith in our current leadership, labeling preppers as “dooms day nuts”. Noah & Joseph had more than their fair share of opposition – they lived in a culture where demanding for “their rights” to do what they want would end of being a shower of rocks & stones.
All of this is completely independent of self preservation & being prudent. Maybe nothing will happen more than a week long blackout, so what, why be foolish?
The bigger point – does God exist?
There was a day when I was fully convinced that God did not exist. I read, studied & debated many about His existence & “knew” it was a convenient lie or a Stalin once said “an opiate for the masses” – yes, pretty harsh I know. I had the same thoughts as many – if God is so loving, why does he allow ______ (fill in your own blank).
I was so busy pointing out the flaws in the world that I failed to see my own. I was myopic & arrogant (who me?) enough to think I knew better.
What I failed to see was the God I saw was the one I made up & NOT based upon a fair or balanced examination of Biblical “truths” & assertions. I discovered He was none of the beliefs that I had hung my hat on. The wisdom in the Bible is so vast, deep AND current for today & it is impossible to sum it up in a few words. I’ll put it this way – it’s never ending.
Yes, He is a loving God in my experience & I don’t know why He allows X to happen in the world but that’s not my worry or concern any more – it is what it is.
It’s been a 25 + years since I crossed the line into God’s family & while I have had some extremely significant life trials & tests, I have zero regrets for my decision.
Thanks again for the great article.
At the risk of sounding condescending, I am deeply impressed with this choice & addition – it speaks volumes about your character.
Prepper Bible quote
4The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Dear Pastor James,
Thank you for your inspiring and timely comments. As Christian preppers we all need to search for the meaning of our existence and the role God has planned for us. I believe that the true test and meaning of our survival will be reflected in how caringly we extend a loving hand to those unprepared, who by chance of God’s good grace’s alone, have survived with us.
Thank you all for your kind words and comments.
As was pointed out, we are often questioned about why we as Christians “prep for a Doomsday,” instead of trusting God to deliver us. My answer to that is this. The calling of a Christian to prepare is age old. We are all preparing for something. Even “de-bunkers” are preparing. If not anything more than to laugh at all of us when we are incorrect at that end point for preparing for an event that didn’t happen. The jokes on them though. because as long as there is another day ahead, there is potential for disaster to strike us, and if the end of days does in fact appear, well, we are prepared, and they are not. Who’s laughing now? We actually won’t be laughing at them, because we will be manifesting those many hours, days, and years of prep work to survive, while they too will be doing whatever they can.
My next article will address this a little more. Again, thanks for the comments, and words of encouragement.
Sorry about my tardiness in replying, but it’s been a busy couple of days @ work. A couple of thoughts pop up (before I start, I do want to welcome you heartily… but now let’s exercise that grey matter 🙂 )
* Lots of examples of prepping and many others showing the consequences of not doing so in the Old Testament… now how about the New Testament? I ask specifically because I have a few friends at church whose first response to the idea of prepping to be Mark 6:8-11 : “These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. ” Now I know how I answered it, but how would you?
* Your thoughts on the whole “Rapture” and “Tribulation” thing? ( disclosure: being Catholic, I discount the “Rapture” portion entirely, but I am curious about the whole theory and your thoughts on it.)
* How best to fulfill the imperative for charity when the time comes when there will be far too many needing charity, but your own resources will be limited at best? (ref: James 2:14-26)
* Quick! The S is HTF and the government is collapsing (no asteroids or such) As clergy, do you…
a) go to church and look after the flock
b) go home, batten down the hatches, and brace for impact
c) get out of dodge
OK!!! I will try to answer each question as you asked.
First, things have to be taken in context. This mandate from Jesus was directed to the pairing of the apostles that he was sending out to preach the new hope through repentance message. Let’s look at the verse before.
“7 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— 9 but ]to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” 10 And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and [k]preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.”
Now for those looking to discredit our preparing for the worse, it is easy to take this and justify those opinions that this is related to end times, but it isn’t. The directive of Christ here was to his apostles only, for that time period, to verify and enhance their faith, that their needs would be provided by His Father in Heaven, while on the journey to preach the kingdom of God to the lands. My debate with their theory is simply, “Do you buy groceries for next week, or shoes and clothes for your children for the coming school year? If we are to take these scriptures literally to apply to all aspects of our lives, present and future, then we would neither need to do this, nor even own a house. It’s just not practical.
As for the Rapture and Tribulation, There will be a Rapture and a Tribulation, I am just not sure it is in that order.
John Darby, an anglo-irish preacher, taught the Rapture doctrine in 1827. William Blackstone made the Rapture doctrine popular in his best seller, “Jesus is Coming.” With its inclusion in the Scofield Reference Bible, The Rapture doctrine entered mainstream Christianity . There is no real history to the Rapture doctrine until the 1800’s.
The bible doesn’t specifically state the order in which it happens, but my thoughts are simply “BE PREPARED!” If we are alive at the return of Christ, whether it be Pre or Post tribulation is really inconsequential. We must live our lives as if it is the last day on the earth, and we are breathing our last mortal breath, knowing that we will face our creator imminently. We are not guaranteed our next heartbeat. You can be reading at this moment, and in 2 seconds be standing in judgement before the throne of the Most High.
I do believe that all humans that remain will experience the Tribulation and to a certain extent, we are living in it now. We, as Christians, are being attacked on all fronts. Our faith is called out daily, and If we are not living in the example of Christ to His Glory, then we are selling ourselves out to satan. Being saved is not just a 1-3 times a week thing. We must be the image of Christ daily in our dealings with others and when we are alone.
It is our duty as Christians to help those that are in need. If our economy collapses, there are going to be a great many that have need. WWJD won’t work for us then, because I know what Jesus would do. He would turn two fish and five loaves into enough food to feed five thousand. We aren’t equipped to do that. We will still have to witness to others, and help them as much as we can. And I think that provided basic food and water for those willing to work for it will be instrumental in as many as possible surviving.
Long term, I like to think in terms of “Give a man a fish, and he will eat one meal, Teach a man to fish, and he will be able to eat many meals.” With this in mind, once the economy or lack thereof stabilizes, It will be our responsibility to provide charity to those less prepared. This will be a time of many blessings for Christians to save souls. Kindness is a universal language that will be understood by all, and it is a perfect witness platform to spread the Gospel of Christ to those that are lost.
Lastly, the quick question. I will answer with my favorite quote, slightly modified by me, from the movie the Patriot.
“A shepherd must tend his flock, and at times take up arms to fight off the wolves.”
Sorry for such long responses, there is enough here to write a blog.
Pastor James, and Odd Questioner:
it took me a while to find the quote i was looking for, in response to Mark 6…
it’s in Luke 22:35-36
regarding what is “mainstream”, as i’ve mentioned before; it’s the mainsream that goes over the falls first. “rapture” is not used in the bible as a name for the event, just as “purgatory” was not described by that name in the bible either. (but Catholics believed in it for a long time nevertheless…) don’t worry whether or not your beliefs are in the “mainstream”. worry about which shore you need to swim for.
Agreed on not focusing on differences – I only mentioned my own denomination as a reference point, and nothing more. 🙂
Glad we could get you reading your Bible!! I encourage everyone to read the Bible daily. When you start realizing the prophecy foretold then is happening all around us, it is exciting.
As for Luke 22 35-36, I think that applies today as well. It may just be time to purchase that sword.
i’m a bit past the “exciting” stage, somewhere in the vicinity of “mortal terror”.
fortunately i can remember enough key words from the Gospels to do a Google search…
i really don’t want to get close enough to the enemy to engage in swordplay, but Christ instructed the apostles to make some material preparations, up to and including weapons.
another quote comes to mind, in this context: “thou shall not put the Lord thy God to the test”.
(or, “trust in the Lord, but tie-up thy camel” as Mohammed stated it)
Excellent responses – thank you!
I ran out of time this morning to respond properly, but I do want to thank you.
I love the idea that charity involves a lot more than merely doling out supplies. The whole concept of SHTF is going to mean a whole lot of ugly will be happening, and I strongly suspect that both faith and morals will be put to the penultimate test.
Very well fleshed out, pardon the metaphor! Scriptural prepping is definitely soul related as I understand BUT, Proverbs speaks clearly about being prepared with items to sustain us through thin times.
“A shepherd must tend his flock, and at times take up arms to fight off the wolves” is exactly correct in my book & am sure God has no problem with it – be appropriate with measure & don’t go looking for it.
Thanks Jason, my sentiments exactly. It is tough with naysayers, but I have found that as long as I am principled, and stick to my faith, that the words of those that disagree just roll off of me. I am happy with who I am, and with the message I put out there.
I always like to see religion topics on blogs . Why ? because its interesting to me to see how many people these days are threatened by the word GOD . Its like the Confederate flag to a lot of people . They are threatened by it or angered by it . Very Amusing . If you have no spirituality of any kind ……. you really exist for nothing if you believe this life is all that there is . You present your beliefs as an example that is a motivation for you . Your not preaching anything , just using examples as to why you prep . Well done .
Lord bless you ,my friend..God is talking to alot of us ..He will provide..
Love the post. Reminds me of a talk in church not to long ago where the speaker said “God provides is not an excuse to not prepare. When someone tells you that God will provide, ask them if the last time they sat down to eat they did anything more than pray for food to appear?”
Thanks for the scriptures. Got them highlighted now.