It does no good to say that you are not a prepper. Everybody’s a prepper. This is one of Rushdoony’s inescapable concepts, not whether but which. It is not whether you are prepping for some future scenario, but rather which future scenario you are prepping for.
If you have a metric ton of freeze dried food in the basement, two generators, and enough ammo to last you through the entire zombie apocalypse, then you are prepping for one kind of scenario. If you have a metric ton of leveraged debt in the attic, two bankrupt pension funds, and three surly teenagers who are disgusted with you and your ways, then you are prepping for something else entirely. And it better not be any rougher than a slight chop on the pond underneath your frail canoe excursion of a life. So to speak.
What I thought to do here is put together a list of seven areas where Christians ought to take stock of their lives and situations as they consider the accelerating deterioration of the culture around us. All of this should be done in a spirit of calm prudence, and not panic. Panic helps to motivate your thinking to go fast, but it doesn’t help it to go in a straight line.
And yes, I know. Each one of these points could be developed much more fully. But here they all are in one place.
Treasure in Heaven
The first principle is that you must trust in God, and not in the strength of any of these principles in themselves. God is sovereign, all the time, and God is good, all the time. This is the only one of these principles that provides us with an absolute security. Treasure in heaven is untouchable and ultimately secure. You could follow all the principles of earthly prudence there are, and still lose everything externally.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal”
Matthew 6:19 (KJV)
What this means is that you must do anything you do in this regard in the spirit of a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). You make any and all preparations that you make, and then you offer them up to God as a sweet-smelling sacrifice. If you have genuinely offered it up to God, then it follows that He can do as He pleases with it.
Remember the heroes of Hebrews 11. Some of them conquered kingdoms and stopped the mouths of lions (Heb. 11:32-35a), while others were tortured or lived in caves (Heb. 11:35b-38). But all of them lived and died by faith, and all of them had treasure in Heaven.
Find and join a body of like-minded believers. If there are no like-minded believers in your area, then you should be able to start a community of like-minded believers, and the upside is that you will all fit in your living room. Start there.
You must stay with your current church if your current church is faithful. If it is not, then you must find and join a faithful church. If there is no faithful church anywhere in your region, then you must start a faithful church. If that is not possible for whatever reason, then you must move to where there is a faithful church.
And by “faithful church,” I do not mean a church that is orthodox enough. I mean a church that is led by men of Issachar, who understand the times and who know what Israel should do (1 Chron. 12:32).
Cultivate Your Calvinism
Of course, I hasten to add, I am not using Calvinism here as a flag of party spirit, but rather as a form of theological shorthand.
As you study the Word, pay particular attention to the doctrines of grace. Pay particular attention to the sovereignty and goodness of God. Pay particular attention to the concluding section of Job, where God speaks from the whirlwind. There is a glorious master plan, and God Almighty has all of it in the palm of His hand, and we understand a small fraction of one percent of it.
A Calvinist is not someone who knows all the details of that master plan, not even close. A Calvinist is someone who knows someone who knows all the details of it. And remember that it is in circumstances like these—those that are barreling down on us—where Calvinism has the opportunity to be altogether lovely. Calvinism is always true, but when the flickering light is the kind of light that is cast by Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, Calvinism is beautiful.
Live as though God were God, and as though we are not, and live in a way that becomes a true encouragement to those Christians who are not grounded in the Godness of God.
Minimize Debt and Other Forms of Ephemeral Income
Our economy is enormously complicated, and it may not be possible to just detach from it and go. But it is still true that the borrower does become the lender’s slave (Prov. 22:7), and you should pay down your debts as much as possible, including the mortgage on your house. If you can eliminate debt, do it, and if you can’t, then do what you can to minimize it.
Do not rely on the promises made to you on the basis of bankrupt pension funds. If you have money coming to you, it might or it might not. You know. If you budget for it, planning on it, it should be in the column that you have labeled gravy. Look elsewhere for the essentials.
Choose Your Location Wisely
This last year has been quite revelatory. We have seen exactly how much our ruling class is willing to dictate to us (are we at four masks yet?), and we have unfortunately also seen how many of our Christian leaders have been prepared to capitulate. It has revealed that collectively the evangelical church has an understanding of church/state relations that is as deep as a wet spot on the pavement. So look at how things are likely to develop where you live, and then decide if you will have the maneuvering room that you will need if you continue to live there.
If you decide that you need to relocate, then you should use these principles to make up your list of pros and cons as you consider various possible places to resettle. In addition to factors like church, family, schooling for your kids, job, etc. you should look closely at the policies that are likely to be coming down the pike at you from your governor, or likely future governors, and your legislature. So as you consider your location, evaluate things like tax policies, regulations, and so on.
If you need to head for the tall grass, head for the tall grass.
The need to prioritize family has to be held in balance with the previous principle. You want to be able to take care of your aging parents, for example, but suppose they refuse to leave downtown Baltimore. You have a greater and more direct responsibility to your kids.
But whenever possible, make room for all your people. A person who does not care for family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). Remember that when Paul makes this comment, he was talking about extended family, and not the immediate nuclear family.
That might seem a little cryptic, but what I mean is this. When you are playing shortstop (and the other positions, for that matter, but especially shortstop), you are thinking about various scenarios all the time. If it comes to me, I throw to second. If it goes to right field, I cover second. If it . . . Not only so, but you could explain why you need to cover second in that circumstance.
My emphasis here is on the why. You need to study baseball, in other words. This is a sneaky way of telling you to study Protestant resistance theory. If they outlaw guns, what will you do? If HR at your company decrees some pronoun insanity, what will you do? If they clamp down on the entire economy, will you buy anything on the so-called black market?
Okay, one other thing. Maintain a sense of humor. You will need it. But also remember that your jokes may be like that pension fund thing. Not everyone gets it.