DTG typically does not venture into the realm of politics or religious belief. However, this particular post, from “The Rural Economist,” provides answers to many questions and erroneous thoughts voiced on Sundays (and other times) in various places whether or not Christians should be preparing to take care of their families and help others during dark times.
It’s worth your time to read and consider.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Reasons Christians Don’t Prepare
Christians have all of the usual excuses to not be prepared, no time, no need, no money, and no space are very common. In addition to all of the excuses that you could hear everyone give, Christians have a few excuses that they believe are religious based. In fact some of these reasons are even looked at as being holy.
God will protect me.
God will provide for me.
I am sure the church has a disaster plan.
Being a prepper means you are living in fear.
Being a prepper means you don’t trust in God.
God won’t let things get too bad.
We as Christians tend to grab one scripture and build our lives around it. There are churches and even denominations that are founded on a small section of the Scripture. All Christians have been guilty of this at least a time or two. We are going to look at each of these excuses. I am going to list the scripture that the belief in based on and will also provide the counter point.
God Will Protect Me.
God’s divine protection is promised and it is something that I firmly believe in, but there are people who take this to extremes. I have heard tell of someone who claimed that God’s protection was so strong on their life that if they laid down on a set of railroad tracks, with a train coming and it wasn’t their time to go, the train would derail rather than take their life. The more common occurrence is “If it’s my time to go, it is my time to go and it doesn’t matter what I do.” I’ve got news for you Bubba, if you are dumb enough to lay on a set of tracks with a train coming…it’s your time to go.
The basic premise behind this belief is valid. The most widely known and quoted Scripture about God’s protection is Psalms 91:7
“A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”
That taken by itself makes Christians sound almost invincible. You can see how focusing only on that Scripture would reinforce the guy about the train tracks. But like so many things if you do not take in the totality, you can be mislead. Scriptures like 2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 9 are somehow left out or skimmed over.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Or Matthew 5:35
So that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him].
God’s promise of protection includes being removed from certain dangers, of course, but it also includes giving His children the strength and wisdom to weather difficulties. God allows bad things to happen to good people all the time. I do not understand His wisdom, but I do know that He is in charge.
God Will Provide For Me
The Scripture that you will hear most widely quotes when talking about God’s provision these days if Philippians 4:19
“For my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory, through Christ Jesus.”
Good scripture, powerful, but most of the time taken out of context. This has become such a dominant theme that there are several personalities that make their living, and a very good one at that, teaching prosperity through faith. Oh and it sounds so good, they are very smooth people, and some of them might actually mention Jesus once or twice. Run from them and run fast.
Let’s take a closer look at that same scripture, but let’s do so in context.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Whoa! Talk about a difference. Paul was telling the church at Philipi that their generosity in his time of need would be rewarded. I also want you to notice that Paul was not asking for donations. This church had heard that he was in need and responded. In fact he tells them that he has more than enough. This is a far cry from the donation begging, almost panhandling that we see from prominent teachers today.
I Am Sure The Church Has A Disaster Plan
This is just an extension of the” Someone will take care of me” attitude that is so prevalent in first world society today. What most of these people mean is if something comes up that is beyond the normal day to day difficulties, someone else will rescue me. The problem is that most churches do not have a disaster plan. The church that I attend has a disaster response team, but they are trained only for the clearing of trees and it is designed to respond somewhere, out there. There is no plan for immediate action if something were to strike locally. We could help clear the roads, but our congregation would have to wait on other members of our denomination to show up with food, water, and other necessities. The sad part is our church is one of the more proactive. I am hoping to help change this in the coming year.
Being A Prepper Means You Are Living In Fear
I will be honest, some of the people who say this have some very real examples that they can point to. There are some folks in the preparedness community that are fear driven. There are several names for these people; Conspiracy theorists or the Tin Foil Hat Brigade both come to mind. If we will think about it for a moment, is it really being fearful for a person on the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic seaboard to be prepared for a hurricane? Is it being fearful for a person in California to be prepared for an earthquake, Idaho to be prepared for a wildfire, or the Northeast to be prepared for a blizzard? For someone in Alabama or Kansas to be prepared for a tornado? All of these things have happened and will happen again. That is not fear- that is reality. Just because your community hasn’t been hit in a hundred years doesn’t mean it won’t next year. In fact many would say that your community was overdue.
The passage that is most quoted when dealing with fear is 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
I love this scripture. I really do, when we take it in context it is even more powerful.
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
This is a firm reminder that we should not allow fear to prevent us from sharing our testimony. My question for those who say that people who prepare are only motivated by fear is, are you really being fearful if you are preparing for something that is likely to happen in your area?
Being A Prepper Means You Don’t Trust In God
Many of the people who say this often refer to Matthew 6: 26 – 34
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I sing a really old hymn that is based on this scripture and it happens to be one of my wife’s favorites. She had never even heard the song before she met me. It goes, “For His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.” If someone were to take this passage completely by itself, one could almost say that the Bible condones a person just quitting their job and relying on God. Only one problem, this passage says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. How do we do that? By ministering to others. We will get more into that in a bit.
God Won’t Let Things Get Too Bad
There are actually several problems with this statement. First and foremost is the passage that people are referencing when they say this has nothing to do with problems, trials, distress, or calamities. It has to do with temptation. The scripture that is being referenced is 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
I firmly believe that God will give me strength to make it through whatever I face, but at the same time, God allows us to go through things to help strengthen us as people and to strengthen our faith.