May 29, 2017

Is Preparedness a Sin; Take Two

Is Preparedness a Sin; Take Two

Any time I get questions on the same topic that I haven’t covered in a while, I take it as a sign to go over it again. In the last few weeks, the question has been raised by what I’m assuming are newer Prepper’s who are questioning if prepping is in line with God’s will. I can relate to this, as I struggled with it as well. Study led to the creation of this blog. For some of you, this might seem like a silly question, but this is an important issue for those struggling with it. Because of this, I’m going to ask that you keep any comments that aren’t encouraging to yourself or they’ll just be deleted. Words of encouragement are always appreciated, of course.

I try not to tell people what they should believe or what they should do. Your situation could be very different from mine! For example, what is important here in Minnesota might not be so important in Texas. I, instead, give you my thoughts on issues. This topic is not going to be any different. If asked to give a one word answer to “Is preparedness a sin?” I think the overwhelming majority of answers would be “no”. My answer, however, would be “possibly”. I don’t know your motives, your lifestyle, your finances or your relationship with Christ; so it’s not my place to tell you whether or not it might be sin. Instead, I’ll give you some things to think and pray about.
Could Preparedness Be a Sin?

The short answer for me is, “possibly”; which I think is the answer to many “Could (You name it) be a sin?” questions. For example let’s use fishing; could fishing be a sin?

Many of the disciples were fisherman, so how could fishing possibly be a sin? If I spend so much time fishing that I neglect my family, I could be walking in sin. If I spend money I don’t really have to buy the latest rod, reel, depth finder, fish finder, tackle and so on, so that I can make the most out of my time fishing, I could be walking in sin. If I blow off family, church, work and other commitments to go fishing, I could be walking in sin.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is, just about anything could be sin! Like many things, preparedness being a sin is a matter of the heart. If you’ve wrestled with this question, I believe your heart to be in the right place. Your concern of the issue shows that you care more about your walk with the Lord than being prepared for “come what may”.
For Most of Human History

For most of human history people have stored food from the harvest to last until the next. In fact, for much of our history, our ancestors lived subsistence lifestyles; hunting and gathering for food. They had to know how to dry, smoke, salt or otherwise preserve it for later use.

The idea of being prepared is not new! If we were to go back just a couple generations, we would see that the tables were turned. Most people had more than two weeks’ worth of food in their pantry! Many people grew their own garden and knew how to preserve the abundance from it! Many people hunted, trapped and fished, not for sport but for a way to put protein on the table!

I doubt most people from this era thought of themselves as “Prepper’s”. They would have considered the things they did “normal” and “prudent”. Do you think they were sinning?
My personal opinion on self-reliance is: (this can happen in any area of your life, not just preparedness) if, at any point, someone doesn’t leave room for the Lord, they might be acting in pride and God hates pride. What I mean is this; if you don’t talk to Him about your plans, if you feel Him speaking to you, but ignore it, if you (knowingly or not) decide this is your life, and you’ll do “X” because you want to, then you might be acting out of pride. Again, this could be the case for someone who is a fantastic baker and wants to open a bakery or someone who wakes up to how fragile the world really is and wants to make sure they can feed their family if hard times fall.
Supporting Scripture

I’m not going to cover all of the scripture I have found that I believe supports preparedness. For the full list, see Scripture Related To Preparedness. Here, I will cover just a couple that I think build the case nicely.

Proverbs 6:6 –11 (NLT)

“6:6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 6:7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 6:8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 6:9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 6:10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—6:11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”

To me, this verse makes it clear that God values people storing for hard times. It is also clear that He is accepting of people who did not prepare for facing the hard times that they may fall on.

Proverbs 21:20

“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”

This one is pretty cut and dry.

1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I look at this verse like this; if someone who could work but is lazy and chooses not to, they have denied the faith. I, however, do not see anything in that verse that says you are not subject to this if hard times fall.

Proverbs 27:12

“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

This is, to me, the most important verse! I used it to convince Trudee that God gave us permission to prepare for the dangers that I was finding when I “woke up” and started seeing how fragile things are. If you need help discovering some of those dangers, I have written over 40 articles in the category Signs of the Times.
Opposing Scripture?

There are a couple scriptures that I have seen used as arguments against preparedness, or from people who just want to make sure they aren’t going against God’s will. If you have one that I don’t cover here please let me know.
1 Kings 17:1-6 (verse 6 shown)

“The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

This was a command to one man, not a dictate on how people should live going forward. The same can be said about the Jews being led out of Egypt with Moses. God commanded them to look to Him for manna a0
nd not to save any. This was God loving His people, and teaching them how to depend on Him, not a command for modern day believers to wait for manna.

Mathew 6:25-26

“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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 “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?”

This verse is not about preparedness! It is about worry! God cannot contradict Himself! Look again at the scriptures I listed above. He clearly places value on being prepared for the dangers in our lives.
Other Arguments
Aren’t We to Look to God to Provide?

The short answer is yes, of course! However, let me ask you this; do you consider yourself to be a steward of the money you make? If so, are you using that money to provide for your daily bread from the grocery store now, or do you depend on Him for daily manna? If He is providing daily manna please let me know as I would truly love to try some! If you are using His money to provide for your daily bread, do you think He cares if you buy it now or acted as the ants and stored it in the past for a potential future danger?

My view is; our Heavenly Father wants us to be good stewards and to be grateful for the things He has provided for us. I personally don’t think He cares if I use canned goods I bought two years ago, as long as I thank Him for them when I eat them.

I answer several questions on this topic in the first article I wrote on the subject called, you guessed it…Is Preparedness a Sin?
Final Thoughts

I have spent significant amounts of time studying the Word, thinking about, praying about, and conversing with others on this issue. I have come to the conclusion that not only does God condone preparedness, He actually encourages it! He knows we live in a fallen world that is full of dangers and He wants us to take precautions against them!

I wrote another article where I ask Why Should Christians, Specifically, Be Preparing? In it I build the case for why believers should be preparing now, so in an emergency we can be God’s hands and feet and help others.

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  1. The end times will be like the time of Noah. God told Noah to prepare. Joseph also was told to prepare for the times when the harvest would be lean. Being in WI or MN – we prepare for the long winter. An ice storm would even be worse, which has happened, taking out the electricity for some time. So being prepared even for natural disasters is a good thing. I do not believe that it is sin to prepare, just the opposite. We are the hands & feet that God uses to bless the families, friends and less fortunate. So keep prepping!!!

  2. Proverbs 27:12 – my personal favorite is framed and on the inside of the front door so I see it everytime I go out. if the good don’t prep, who will be left to help those survivors who will need guidance. just my opinion.

  3. Excellent points Chris and tonight we all just heard about the first Ebola case in Texas. If quarantine ever came about – we also need to be ready to be on our own!!
    God forbid – but an epidemic could shut society down. We know pestilence is part of Matt.24 Praise God – we can pray Psalm 91 over our families and the blood of Jesus – but we can also make sure they have food and water etc. if they can’t go out for 3 weeks or more!!
    I am enjoying a teaching on TV this week – and the main emphasis is Luke 21 – Jesus tells to “watch and pray!” We ARE to be aware of what is happening and going on – so we are NOT the ones caught unawares – we are prepared spirit – soul and body!! Amen

  4. Son of Liberty says:

    Good article, Chris. You’re right, almost anything can become a sin, if we do not look to God/Christ for it’s provision, and care for it in agreement with biblical values.

    I view the provisions/resources I have from the position of Deut. 8:18, “…remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant…” Any ability, strength, or power that I have to generate wealth (resources) comes from his hand any way you cut it.

    If we fail to recognize that, and to recognize whatever we ‘possess’ is not truly ours in the first place – we are God’s stewards/overseer of HIS resources – then it would become a sin. The things in our hands are for us to use as he directs us through listening to his voice, seeking him in prayer, and following the leadership of his Holy Spirit.

    I, as I know MANY others do, are prepping because we are led to prep by God’s Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and directing us. Will my preps be used to help others? Yes, most likely. Since they are not mine, I have an obligation to protect, defend, and distribute them ONLY as I feel/understand/know the leadership of His Spirit.

    I hope this adds to the discussion in a positive manner.


    Son of Liberty

  5. I’m the 5th generation of my family to live in the USA. The first 3 generations & half of the 4th generation, were farmers. However, farming was very different from 1850 – 1950. A farmer had just 40 acres & grew a wide variety of crops for food for humans & their animals. They had dairy cows, chickens & horses; a few had pigs/hogs. They had very large gardens & canned much of their food. THus they grew almost all their own food. & if they needed something they didn’t grow, they traded w/ a neighbor or bought at the general store in town. They sold or traded just a small portion of their crops or animals – which is very different from today’s farmers.

    They were almost completely self-sufficient. They set aside enough food to last a year, & on good years, they set aside more, so they’d survive the bad years. They also made most of their own clothing & treated their animals for infections & disease.
    If they saw how dependent on the grid & other systems we are today, they’d be shocked enough to turn over in their graves.

    • Chris Ray says:

      What I wouldn’t give to have 40 acres to use modern machinery on, but farm like they did back then. I really think someone using permaculture principles, could make quite a nice living.

      • Chris, back in the 1850s, the fed govt was selling land very cheap in states like MN-IA-WI-IL, b/c they wanted people to move out to what was then the wilderness. B/c permaculture is still new to most people in USA, I’m guessing one would have to have the cash to move the dirt around for permaculture, b/c most bankers wouldn’t lean any $$ for it. But I do like the concepts of permaculture.

        • Chris Ray says:

          depending on the amount of earth that was needed to move, I don’t think the bill would be to terribly high. If you had a highly wooded area and wanted to turn it into pasture, them yeah its going to be expensive. But if that is the case, look for land that is already pasture.

  6. A family member said to me last year, that prepping seemed the opposite of depending on God to provide us. I quoted 1-2 of the above verses & the case of Joseph in Gen. gathering food the 7 lean years. Can’t say it motivated her to start prepping, but she was more accepting of my prepping after that. Small changes.

  7. Thanks for an insightful post. Do you still have a forum on this site? I’m interested to enter into some deeper discussion of these issues, especially the book you referenced in an earlier post (January 2014, I think) concerning The End of America. Any new insights on that topic would be highly appreciated.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Hi Tom,

      The hosting company upgraded some of their software that threw some major conflictions with the forum software causing it to be inoperable. I haven’t had the time or money to try and get it working again…yet.

  8. This is my first post, so a big HI to everyone, especially the hosts of this site.

    If you read through the new testament, it is replete with scriptures about prepping.

    Acts has a few scriptures, about how some churches has extra stored away to help other churches during time of drought, or need, or being forced out of their homes.

    My favourite scripture comes from revelations where it talks about not being able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. this alone has made my wife and I determined to be as independent of govt when the time comes. No mark for me.

    Also, prepping is not just about end of the times, or pandemics, or zombie attacks (last one is a joke btw), has no one thought of what happens if injury causes the loss of job? for yourself or others, if you do not have enough food to even help yourself, how can you help others, because Charity is the highest behaviour to strive for is it not?

    What about bush fires (I live in sunny Australia), floods, droughts, other natural or man made disaster. in colder climes, what about snow storms that cut you off from civilisation?

    A simple question to ask yourself as to wether or not prepping is a sin is this: What would happen if you could not get to the shops? How long would you survive? Would God think highly of you if you died of hunger and thirst, because you thought he should do everything for you?

    I shall finish with a joke that actually makes a good point on preparedness.

    A parish priest in a country town was in his church when a flood started,
    after a couple of hours a truck came along and the people on board said, “Hey father, the flood is coming, we are here to rescue you, get on and we will drive you to safety”
    The Priest thanked them for their concern, but said “don’t worry my son, the Lord will look out for me”
    After a day the water had made it almost to the door, when a boat came along and the people on board said, “Father, we are here to rescue you, the flood is getting worse”
    The priest thanked them and again said, “don’t worry my son, the Lord will look out for me”
    After another day the water had reached the roof, and the priest was holding on for grim life to the top of the steeple, when a helicopter flew over and through the loud speaker begged the Priest to climb aboard to be flown to safety, the Priest said yet again, “don’t worry my son, the Lord will look out for me”
    The flood water rose even further and washed the Priest away and he died.
    Upon arriving at the pearly gates he questioned St Peter about why the Lord did not protect him, even though he had trusted him to save him.
    Peter Looked quite puzzled and said, “what are you talking about, we sent a truck, boat and a helicopter, what more were you hoping for?”

  9. David Turner says:

    When Jesus was telling His disciples about the future, in Matthew 24, He spoke about birth-pangs. He discussed this in verse 8 as being before tribulation (v9) and the defiling of the Temple in verse 15. That is a clear warning for His disciples to know what to expect. Since this passage has its own double fulfillment with the fall of Jerusalem to Rome beginning in 68 AD, we know that the latter fulfillment is certain because of the former fulfillment. Note in verse 16 Jesus gives a ‘bug out” warning that does not include going to grab a coat. History tells us that the Jewish population was hostile toward the Christians during and after the fall of Jerusalem because they did obey the instruction of Jesus and bugged out while they could. Why should we look at this passage as we watch the end coming near and not prepare for the birth-pangs that are already in the works and only certain to get worse? How do I know? Birth-pangs may go away but they come back stronger and stronger and closer together until the big event. If Jesus warned us then why not heed the warning? It is not a lack of faith. It is really an act of blindness or foolishness to know and not do anything for our own families and others.

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