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Screaming Eagle

Christianity and Preparedness

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This is an excellent post I snatched from SurvivalBlog. Please take this deep into your heart before the Lord.

 

Christianity and Physical Preparedness

 

I occasionally get e-mails from SurvivalBlog readers, asking about how I can justify active preparedness in light of my Christian faith. Some cite the "Lilies of the Field" passage in Matthew 6:25-34:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

 

In my view, people are misinterpreting these verses. These are verses about worry, not about work or preparedness. Never does the Bible teach that we should laze about and not provide for our families. Earning our daily bread is the Godly way to live. We are taught not to be lazy or dependent on others. Yes, we are to trust in God's providence, but nowhere do the scriptures absolve us of the responsibility to work or to save up for lean times. Consider these four verses from the book of Proverbs:

 

He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. Proverbs 12:11, NIV

 

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23, NIV

 

The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. Proverbs 21:25, NIV

 

The plans of the diligent surely lead to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty surely to poverty. Proverbs 21:5, NKJV

 

 

 

Food Storage

 

The Bible encourages storing food. Look at Gen. 41:47-49: "And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And 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. And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number." And then see Gen. 41:53-57: "And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. And the sevens years of dearth [drought] was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And 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.

And 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. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

 

The preceding is a good example that illustrates the need for food storage. As I write this in 2008, a growing portion of the world is already experiencing famine. You should recognize that famine could just a well come to stalk America, Europe, the British Isles, and Australia. (The areas with the largest SurvivalBlog readership.) It is prudent and Biblically supported to stock up during good times in anticipation of lean times.

 

Prov. 6:6-15: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a forward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; Forwardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy."

 

The lessons from scripture are clear: Don't be lazy and lax. Store up in good times for future lean times. Ponder this Old Testament passage: Psalm 34:9-10: "O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." And then look at this New Testament passage:, from 1 Timothy 5:8: "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

 

One of the many names of God is Jehovah Jireh, which means God Who Provides. As I Christian, I believe that God will provide for his covenant people. I believe that one of the many gifts that the God has provided is a conviction, by the Holy Spirit, to be well prepared. I realize that we are only on Earth for about 80 trips around the sun, and that is just the twinkling of an eye versus eternity. Where we end up after this brief life is far, far more important in the grand scheme of things. We will spend eternity either in heaven or in hell. But how we spend our +/-80 year life on Earth is up to us. (And the most important thing that we do in the is life is make ourselves right with God, though his Grace, to accepting eternal life in heaven. But stepping back to this temporal world: The Bible makes it very clear that we are to be good stewards of the blessings that God provides us. I therefore feel strongly convicted to not just share the gospel of Christ, but also to physically prepare for my own family, and store extra to dispense as charity. The bottom line: I can't continue to share the gospel if I starve to the point of achieving room temperature!

 

 

Self Defense

Other readers question how I can justify owning guns for self-defense. Some Mennonites, for example, eschew all means self defense and decry even the willingness to defend oneself or one's loved ones. That, in my opinion is taking "turning the other cheek" (Luke 6:29) to an extreme that is not sculpturally founded.

 

Exodus 22:2 provides Biblical justification for killing someone if he intends to forcibly rob or kill another man: "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed." (Exodus 22:2 NIV)

 

And Jesus teaches that it is wise to be armed, in Luke 22:35-36: "Then Jesus asked them, 'When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?' 'Nothing,' they answered. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

 

In an article titled: What Does The Bible Say About Gun Control? Larry Pratt keenly observed the difference between self-defense and vengeance:

 

Resisting an attack is not to be confused with taking vengeance which is the exclusive domain of God (Rom. 12:19). This has been delegated to the civil magistrate, who, as we read in Romans 13:4, ". . . 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."

 

Private vengeance means one would stalk down a criminal after one’s life is no longer in danger as opposed to defending oneself during an attack. It is this very point that has been confused by Christian pacifists who would take the passage in the Sermon on the Mount about turning the other cheek (which prohibits private vengeance) into a command to falter before the wicked.

 

Let us consider also that the Sixth Commandment tells us: "Thou shall not murder." In the chapters following, God gave to Moses many of the situations which require a death penalty. God clearly has not told us never to kill. He has told us not to murder, which means we are not to take an innocent life. Consider also that the civil magistrate is to be a terror to those who practice evil. This passage does not in any way imply that the role of law enforcement is to prevent crimes or to protect individuals from criminals. The magistrate is a minister to serve as "an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Rom. 13:4).

 

Jesus taught both to turn the other cheek and to be well-armed to defend oneself. The important factor is having the wisdom to know when to employ either approach depending on the circumstances. I pray, for wisdom, discernment, and discretion, daily. I don't seek out trouble, and in fact I have moved my family to a remote, lightly populated region in good part to avoid trouble. But if unavoidable trouble comes my way, I want to have the option of resisting force with force. And I only have that option if I am armed and trained.

 

Some critics of armed preparedness cite Matthew 26:52-54, which descries how Jesus responded when Peter cut off the ear of a s high priest's servant, using a sword: "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"

 

In context, Jesus is telling Peter that it would be suicidal to fight in that particular situation, since they were quite outnumbered. And of course Jesus knew it was in God's plan for him to be arrested, tried, crucified, and resurrected. Jesus told Peter to put his sword in its place –which was back in his belt. Jesus was telling Peter in effect that "there is a time to fight, and this, my friend, isn't it." He didn't command him to "throw that sword away", or "surrender it", or to "stop carrying it". After all, according to Luke, Jesus had just recently ordered the disciples to arm themselves. The reason for the arms was obviously to protect their own lives when traveling--not to protect His own life, which He intended to sacrifice, to pay for our sins, once and for all.

 

The Old testament teaches both to be armed, and to be trained. We read in Psalm 144:1:

 

Blessed be the Lord my rock

Who trains my hands for war

And my fingers for battle.

 

Yes, as Christians our battles are mainly spiritual, but we must also be prepared to defend our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, against evildoers.

 

 

Charity

 

Charity--both in time of plenty and in times of disaster--is a Christian responsibility with its roots in the Old Testament tradition of Tzedaka. This responsibility--particularly for the support of widows and orphans--was repeated in the New Testament, such as in Acts 11:27-29: "And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth [drought] throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea."

 

The Biblical approach to survivalism is to avoid trouble, but to be ready for it nonetheless. And when trouble does come, have extra stores on hand, so that you can dispense copious charity. Give until it hurts!

 

 

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Screaming Eagle, even with my limited knowledge of Christianity - I'm very new to the faith, I would agree with you.

 

The way I see it is that God HAS provided us with food. It's up to us how we use it.

 

I heard a little saying once, about a man in the floods.

 

A man was sat on the roof of his house, and was praying to God to be saved.

 

A boat came, and tried to rescue him, and the mans reply was 'God will save me'

 

A helicopter came, as the water got higher, and his reply was the same as before 'God will save me'

 

When the man drowned, and he was speaking to St Peter at the gates of Heaven, The man said 'I waited and waited, but God didn't save me'

St Peter replied, He sent a boat and a helicopter. You chose not to take them.

God provides, but it's up to us to make full use of what he provides.

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SE, What an insightful post on Christian based preparedness. We are to utilize the wisdom He has imparted to us. I loved all the Scripture references and many are my own in why I am to live a life of preparedness; body, mind and soul. I am reminded of this truth in 2nd Kings with the widow who was destitute and was about to lose all she had including her children. Elisha instructed her step by step in the miracle she was to recieve. The widow had a huge part in receiving her miracle of provision, she had to step out in faith and go collect empty jars to be filled. That has always impressed upon me about what is my part in recieving the Lord's blessing. I can't just sit around on my suitcase bound for heaven, waiting for that glorious day....No, my Lord has need of me to push away from the table and work the fields, and not to take each day for granted. The harvest is ripe and the workers are few. God desires that we roll up our sleeves and do our part. 2nd Chronicles 7:14

 

Hawthorn, love the saying!! Totally relates to this truth.

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Thanks SE, I constantly run across those who are blissfully unaware or carelessly forgetful that had the folks not had the loaves and fishes on the (sermon on the) mount they would not have had "seed" for their dinner.

If one starts across the ocean in a ship he has to provide provisions for the journey or else will go hungry. What mekes us think life is any different???? wc

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SE,

 

Thank you so much for posting this. So many times, what I (and my family) consider to be 'common sense' are what friends consider to be EXTREME. I don't have a problem with storing food, a weapon or two (with ammo), planting a garden, etc. And WISELY spending what we earn. I must say though, that much depends on WISDOM - I like to use the citations on stewardship, mainly the Wise & Foolish Virgins.

 

In Bible times, their oil lamps were similar to day, but different in that they were usually housed in pottery vessels. These had to be treated so they wouldn't leak. (Many types of stone and pottery are porous.) This took time to cure. The wicks had to be soaked at least 1/2 hour before using to even light, and someone had to be vigilant with oil on hand to add to the lamp when it was getting low. These were the wise women. The foolish ones had lamps, but didn't care how to use them, care for them, or even that something useful was in their possession.

 

I am humbled by so many ladies who are using their gifts and resources wisely.

 

Many blessings to you for sharing this.

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I really love this. I am going to print it out to share with my husband and possibly some others who don't understand why we like to be prepared. Thank you!

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Thank you. I'm going to print this out and keep it close by.

 

The Scripture regarding Joseph in Egypt preparing, the virgins of the NT (those who were prepared for the groom and those who weren't), and the scriptures warning us to watch the signs around us as well as the scriptures in which God gives us signs to see what is coming...all of those give me the impression that we are supposed to be ready for whatever comes our way, whether it be good or bad.

 

Many of those who think that preparing is a waste of time are doing preparing of their own in a different way...stocks and IRAs and whatever toward their retirement years. They pay insurance on many different things "just in case". They invest in Christmas savings accounts (preparing ahead of time for Christmas) and time-share condos (preparing ahead of time for vacations).

 

Nearly all of us "prep". It's just that we are choosing to prepare for different things and doing it in different ways. Another area in which people judge those who aren't following the crowd they are with.

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When Jesus was commissioning His disciples the second time it was probably Peter who said--here are two swords and Jesus replied, "it is enough". Jesus did not want them going out with the means to protect themselves--neither should we. The lions/bears/etc. of today walk on two feet but are just as dangerous to us and our families/friends, wc

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>>>When Jesus was commissioning His disciples the second time it was probably Peter who said--here are two swords and Jesus replied, "it is enough". Jesus did not want them going out with the means to protect themselves--neither should we.<<<<

 

 

 

Could you point me to which passage that comes from in the bible, I would like to quote that to someone I know wink

Thank you!

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Thank you Screaming Eagle!

 

In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus tells a parable about 10 women in the last days. 5 are wise and are prepared 5 are foolish and are not. Anyone who believes we are in the last days should take Jesus' warning.

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In addition to Screaming Eagle's excellent points, other things to consider about Christians and preparedness are all the accounts in the Bible where the person does nothing and gets nothing...but soon as they take action, they are blessed.

The high priests with Moses crossing the Red Sea had to put their feet in the water before a way opened up for them to go across. Moral? Sometimes you have to get your feet wet to be blessed...

The Israelites wandering in the desert didn't have pheasant under glass appearing miraculously on their tables. They had to go out and gather the manna.

David had a slingshot and a rock to go up against Goliath--but he still needed to go out there and face that giant and pull back the sling and fire the shot.

When the miracle of the loaves and fishes came about, there still had to be gathered some loaves and some fishes to bless...

 

Effort is always required. Prepping is the same...you need to put the effort into it so God has something to bless. When you gather things in with the proper spirit of rejoicing and thanksgiving, this is evidence of faith, not of a lack of it.

 

Unchristian attitudes that can come up with prepping is that we fail to thank God for the ability and the knowledge to prep or that in putting forth the effort, we become complacent about what we may face. We might also tend to be over confident of ourselves and of our preps, failing to recognize that it is only through Christ are all things possible. The book of Isaiah warns that people could dig into the mountain and if they are for judgement there will be no safety.God will find them.

 

Prepping is not contrary to faith. I believe it is an act of faith in itself...faith that if we prep, God will bless our efforts; faith that if we prep, we are able to stay alive to honor Him another day...

 

It was common for the early Christians to carry weapons like swords and knives. While the scriptures say that those who live by the sword will die by the sword, this is not contrary to proper use of weapons, which would be hunting and self defence. I believe he meant that those who go about stirring up physical fights get themselves in trouble for it, not that one should never defend oneself.

 

When Jesus talked about turning the other cheek, it wasn't a call to let yourself be killed by criminals, but rather an illustration to show one should not be heated up over persecution due to one's Christian stance. At least that's how I view it. In any case, the decision to have weapons would be up to one's conscience and while some may choose not to do this, nobody should judge any other Christian's choice as it is not our judgement to make.

 

 

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Joseph did not have to be told what to do when the Lord interpreted Pharaoh's dreams. Joseph (a prophetic picture of our generations?) simply told Pharaoh 'this is what I would do'. Pharaoh agreed and put Joseph in charge of it immediately. And that eventually led to the reunification of the sons of Jacob, forgiveness, redemption, preservation of life and tears from Jacob because he thought his son was dead.

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I LOVE this thread. Whenever I have discussed being prepared for emergencies with people from church they say I lack faith (and christian maturity.....argh!!!) in the Lord to provide.

 

B.B.

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Someone here on this site had a signature that read "When Noah built the ark, it wasn't raining."

 

I loved that! (Don't remember who had that sig)

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In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil.But a foolish man devours all he has. Proverbs 21:20

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Very good post. I really enjoyed it. Its nice to have scripture readings to reference when feeling down. Thanks so much for posting this. I'm going to have to print it also.

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wave Hi, RedStateGreen! Welcome to Streams and Mrss!

 

You are not alone in that opinion. Many others here at the site are setting aside for other family members, neighbors, elderly in their churches, etc..

 

 

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Yep. We are members of communities, and communities tend to rise and fall as a group. If everyone was hunkered down in their own bunkers, we would lose some of our humanity. Wise to provide for yourself, sure, but not good to shut out your community.

 

I sure don't stay up nights worrying about the nearest big city, Seattle, but I'm proud to be a member of a church that contributes in my own small town.

 

 

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Evening all!

 

I just wanted to take a monute and share my thoughts on this subject. i WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with the comments here! Its Ironic, because I was just talking to someone at church about the parable of the virgins and could the oil be more than what many claim.. the Holy Spirit... which i agree. The more I think about it, I see that as many here do... the prepared, and those NOT prepared. For me the key phrase was when the Bridegroom called, and the wise trimmed their lamps and used the extra they brought with them *and the wise were without* then they said "there may not be enough for you and us... go to those who have to sell..."

I wonder about that day, that I can FEEL coming (not with dread, just assurety)when there are no more 24/7 stores with everything you ever needed... what then? Well, I guess I know what then, but I am really focused on those people I know... more casually than anything else. What will I say to them? In october, I went to my church (the womens group) and talked about starting to prepare in our own homes and at the church for disasters. I brought a few things to show, and MOST were just astonished.. the pastors wife and daughter though almost looked like they wanted to run out of the room! I tried to tell them, its getting late, we all need to start RIGHT NOW... without delay! but most just nodded and ho-hummed afterward.

 

But there were a few who were interested and listened keenly, and wanted to know more. One woman even told me the Lord told her last year (07) to fill up her pantry, and even though she didn;'t understand it, she did, and was so blessed that she wasnt the only one!

 

Ive gone on a rabbit trail, haven't I? (it's so easy to do, the path was so beautiful, and had the prettiest tulips! HA! rofl)

 

Back to the subject. I think that prepping is in line with James, you have faith, sow me your works.. faith without works is dead!

 

Which brings me to two other questions that kinda piggyback on this:

 

1. How do ya'll feel about tithing, do you see it as a madatory way to give, or can the preps we amass count (along with other means)

 

2. To be raptured, or not to be raptured? I was completely convinced one way, but the mroe I read, I am not so sure... If you answer yes, are you prepping for those you leave behind? If you answer no, well... I guess the calf is out of the gate on that one. Just add your thoughts.

 

I know this post was a leeetle long oops but its late...

 

 

Look farward to yall's reply!

 

Maranatha!

 

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