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Can You Be a Christian and a Prepper?

Home preserves for the prepper pantry

Home preserves for the prepper pantry

It seems like an odd question but there are those out there who feel that if we are followers of Jesus we should not be prepping, that prepping is a lack of faith in our Lord that He will provide for us. There are others out there that believe that if you're not prepping you are tempting the Lord because you're failing to look after yourself. What is the answer?

What Does the Bible Say?

With regard to prepping it almost seems as though the Bible contradicts itself. On the one hand it seems to support prepping but there are other passages that seem to support the idea that we shouldn't be doing anything, that all we need is faith in Jesus. Which is right?

Faith over Prepping

Here are Bible passages that people use to support the idea that only faith is necessary or that God will provide for us:

  • Matthew 6:25-34 - "Therefore do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you"(verses 31-33).
  • Luke 9:3 - "And He said to them, 'Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece."
  • Job 38:39-41 - “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait? Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?"
  • Exodus 16:35 - "And the children of Israel ate manna forty years until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan" (God fed the children of Israel bread from heaven for 40 years).
  • 1 Kings 17:2-7 - God fed the prophet Elijah with bread and meat that the ravens brought him and he drank water from the brook that God instructed him to stay near during the first part of the three year drought he declared in the land of Israel.

Examples of Prepping

Here are Bible passages that people use to support the idea that we should be prepping or that prepping is Biblical:

  • Genesis 6:14-22 - God commands Noah to build an ark to hold living creatures and his family and enough food for his family and all the animals.
  • Genesis 41 - Joseph hears Pharaoh's dreams and interprets them to mean seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph suggests appointing officers over the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty and store them up as reserves for the land to be released during the years of famine so that nobody will perish.
  • 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."
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 - "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread."

What is the Answer?

As a Christian, to prep or not to prep seems to be the question. On the one hand Jesus tells us to have faith and not worry about what we will eat or drink and on the other we are told by Paul to be able to provide for our own households. The Bible does not contradict itself so what should we be doing?

If we look to the Bible there are instances where Ruth for example, had to go out and glean the fields to get food for her and Naomi. She had great faith, but she still had to work to get something to eat. God commands us six days to work, but the Sabbath is a day of rest.

In the case of Elijah and the widow, there was a famine in the land and because of her faith, God never allowed her flour to run out or her flask of oil to become empty. God miraculously provided for her, her son and for Elijah. This however, was not just daily living, these were extraordinary circumstances.

When God provided manna for the Israelites in the desert as well as quail it was miraculous and He sustained them until they got to the promised land. Once they arrived and settled they had to provide for themselves.

God can miraculously provide in any circumstance. We should have faith and not worry no matter what the circumstances are. It's reasonable and smart to put food away and provisions if it's relevant to where you live and your family so don't feel you are being unfaithful if you don't live day to day as the Israelites did in the desert.

We are not to trust in our preps, we are to trust in God. It is wise to store a little food and water for emergency but be sure to look to God first when disaster strikes. Our physical bodies and this life should never be our focus. Our focus is to do His will, not our own.

A Well Stocked Pantry

A Well Stocked Pantry

The Hidden Danger of Prepping

My main caution about prepping when it comes to faith is to be careful not to solely rely on your preps to save you. Do not put too much confidence in your things, our confidence and our hope should always be in Christ first. Remember the parable of the rich fool? Luke 12:16-21:

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

This parable that Jesus taught precedes His teaching to not worry about what to eat and what to drink. We are told to seek first the kingdom of God because we are known of God and He knows what we need and will provide for us, no matter the circumstances.

We are not to trust in our preps, we are to trust in God. It is wise to store a little food and water for emergency but be sure to look to God first when disaster strikes. Our physical bodies and this life should never be our focus. Our focus is to do His will, not our own.

I realize this sounds contrary to what is being said on all the prepper channels on YouTube and and so forth. Our goal as Christians is not to survive this temporary world, it is to bear witness to others and to do His will.

Could you walk away from all your preps? Could you turn your back on everything you have stockpiled and trust that God will look after you if you had to leave it all behind for whatever reason? I think that's a good test to gauge where our faith truly lies.

© 2022 Carolyn Dahl

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