The “Prepper” Movement is Completely
Antithetical to Christianity
There is much symbolism in advertising.
Companies are generally not in the habit of targeting select markets unless they are confident that their product meets the values and needs of the individuals comprising that market.
Thus, advertising can teach us a great deal about certain demographics, especially when we see the same commercials saturating a target audience across numerous platforms. For example: people who watch football generally like drinking beer.
As a mere consumer myself, I have noticed that survivalist supply providers seem to have taken up permanent residence across the various platforms that I consume – specifically, conservative news media. For example, My Patriot Supply, a survivalist food provider, is the official preparedness sponsor of TheBlaze. This same company also partners with Conservative Review to ensure its audience is prepared “for any crisis.”
My Patriot Supply is just one of a number of survivalist supply providers that broadly canvasses the conservative thought space. Interestingly, these various companies seldom advertise on frequencies catering to the political left.
Painting with a broad brush, evangelical Christians generally consume political news, views, and commentary from outlets on the political right.
Equipped with this basic information, we can safely infer that conservative Christians are the most likely element of our culture to express a fear of total economic collapse through hyperinflation or a devaluing of the dollar. We Christians fear that disastrous social policies that devalue life and the nuclear family unit will gradually bring about societal collapse. We fear that the actions of foreign enemies will threaten our power grid and national security.
How we are choosing to act upon these fears reveals a critical flaw in how we have elected to live the Christian life. This flaw is intensified once we give consideration to the most frequently issued command in the Bible: “Fear Not!”
There is nothing inherently wrong with prepping so long as these survivalist efforts never rise above their rightful status as a secondary strategy to address dire circumstances. The primary strategy for the believer must always remain the obedient pursuit of the Great Commission. Christians must boldly take the Gospel of Jesus Christ outside of the four church walls to demonstrate how the love of Jesus Christ can restore and repair any degree of brokenness within the culture.
Prepping becomes immoral when it inappropriately ascends into the exclusive role of being the primary strategy for addressing perceived societal turmoil. Prepping is a defensive strategic initiative that constitutes passive societal engagement. This idle activity siphons energy and resources out of a society for the primary purpose of insulating the individual and/or his close knit family from harm.
If Christians become passive in withholding the truth from a decaying culture, who is the true party responsible for the looming downfall of America?
Preppers boasting openly of their arsenals of ammunition and ready reserves of food do little to fulfill Jesus’ utmost commandment of loving their neighbor as themselves. Was not the man who buried his talent labeled a “worthless servant” before being cast into the outer darkness? (Mt 25:14-30)
Less than six months ago, the Chicago Tribune published an article about the “American Redoubt,” a term used to describe the survivalist flight of Christians and political conservatives to the American northwest. The first two paragraphs of the piece explain how a couple in their sixties cashed out of the stock market, invested in gold, stockpiled food and ammunition, and retreated to several wooded acres in northern Idaho in fear of a total economic collapse.
Although the author of the article notes that the survivalists are “mostly Christian,” there is nothing in the piece to suggest that his time spent with the survivalists had much of a life-changing impact. In fact, his concluding editorial remarks imply that he observed a complete oneness between the actions of the redoubters and the values of the world:
“What they have looks like an idyllic retirement experience: his and hers recliners in front of a big-screen TV, a ‘side-by-side’ all-terrain vehicle in the barn, an art studio for (the retired wife), a carpentry and machine shop for (the retired husband), and a sweet-natured dog named Moose.”
Could there be a better demonstration of lighting a lamp and then hiding it in a clay jar? Preparing for what is perceived to be the coming tribulation by waiting to deploy a strategy of self-preservation is the exact opposite of what we should be doing to express our love for our fellow man!
How’s this for irony? The Emperor Nero is widely remembered for fiddling while Rome was burning, a historical event leading to the deaths of scores of Christians. Two thousand years later, scores of Christians are stockpiling and preparing only so they may sleep comfortably while America burns.
Father, forgive us; we know not what we do.
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