Survivalism, Part 1


Survivalists believe that the responsible thing to do before the inevitable breakdown of society is to become self-sufficient. One will need adequate supplies of food and water to last for months (if not years) of anarchy and chaos. People need to provide for their families. Those who fail to take measures should not count on hand-outs. “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Prov 22:3).

Further, one would be foolish to trust that normal human civility will suffice to maintain possession of one’s cache. It may be necessary to defend it with force. Further, the time to load up on ammunition is now — before gun stores close.

It would be foolish to stay in or near a city. Better to plan on surviving in a rural and (preferably) isolated area. A sturdy shelter will be needed (underground is best), and a generator may also prove helpful if and when public utilities are completely disrupted.

What are the fundamental components and assumptions of survivalism?

  • Things are going to get bad. (Even if they don’t, it’s wise to be prepared.)
  • God wants us to stay alive. Injury and death must be avoided (at all costs).
  • We should stockpiling water and food guarantees so that we have enough to survive until such time as things are safe again. (Think Old Testament siege conditions, as in 2 Kings 6 and 2 Kings 18.)
  • A cache of weapons and ammunition is crucial. If someone trespasses onto my property I am justified in using lethal force, especially if he is attempting to raid my provisions.
  • Since society will be in a state of chaos, we should plan to live in a secure shelter (amply furnished and supplied).
  • Since money will lose its value, wealth should be converted to gold, silver, or other intrinsically valuable media of exchange.
  • We shouldn’t count on rescue. Normal disasters elicit assistance from the government; this time the cavalry won’t be coming to save us. In effect, God helps those who help themselves.

Next week
Today we suspend judgment about survivalism. The point was to be one familiar with it.

In the second (and final) part of this short series, I’ll offer a biblical response to survivalism, simple and to the point. In the meantime, if you’d like to explore the topic in more depth than I plan on in this study, here are some places to explore, to get your started:

  • The website of Modern Christian Survivalist, which attempts to combine survivalism (as I have delineated it above) and the Bible.
  • The article by Focus on the Family: A Biblical View of Survivalists and Preppers fear “sanctified paranoia,” which is a nice intro to the issue.
  • The Survivalism page at Rational Wiki. The article is very well done. “Meet Your Neighbor, The Survivalist” (CNBC, 29 May 2009), about a survivalist who has stockpiled far more food than he could ever eat, so there’s plenty to share with others.

Doulgas Jacoby