Letter Re: Religious Versus Non-Religious Neighbors, Post-TEOTWAWKI

Mr. Rawles:
You were quoted as stating: “I’m often asked why I make such a ‘big deal’ about choosing conservative Christians, Messianic Jews, or Orthodox Jews for neighbors. The plain truth is that in a societal collapse there will be a veritable vacuum of law enforcement. In such times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God fearing that will continue to be law abiding. Choose your neighborhood wisely.” Perhaps you might clarify for your non-believing readers what side you would place them on come TEOTWAWKI. For the sake of full disclosure? It seems to me that in an overwhelmingly religious nation such as this, it’s statistically the believers one should perhaps be concerned about. Let’s not confuse those suffering from “bad theology” with those lacking a theology. Otherwise an excellent site. Kind Regards, – James C.

JWR Replies: First, I don’t consider the U.S. an “overwhelmingly religious nation.” Perhaps it was in the 1950s. But not today. Less than 20% of Americans now attend church regularly. In the main, people that believe that they will be judged for their actions in the hereafter will be the people that you can trust more to remain law abiding, post-TEOTWAWKI. I don’t doubt that there are some non-religious people that have strong morals and reliable compunctions against engaging in theft and violence. In fact, I know lots of them. (Including my father in law, BTW.) All that I assert is that folks like you (presumably very moral, upstanding, and law abiding, but not religious–or perhaps subscribing to a non Judeo-Christian religion) are in the minority in our secular society as a whole. I assert that there is just a thin veneer of civilization, even in First World countries. Most people have weak morals and no compunctions about taking what they want if they think that nobody is looking. You ask “on what side” will I place them? As for folks that aren’t faithfully and outwardly religious (meaning: in a faith that includes a fear of God and the judgment to come) then I would have to know them for a substantially longer period of time to discern their moral values and trustworthiness.

As for theology, yes, I am a purist. I feel strongly convicted to speak up about bad doctrine (2 John 10). Why must I be so forthright and absolutist? Because I believe that bad doctrine is leading millions of people down the wrong path. Nothing can shake me from the conviction that men are saved only by faith in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9) and that faith in Christ is a pre-ordained gift. (Ephesians 1:4-5, 1 Peter 1:2, and John 1:12-13) Further, I believe that God’s elect come from all nations and races. (Matthew 28:19.) And, to reiterate a theme that I’ve stressed in previous posts, I fully intend to dispense charity post-TEOTWAWKI to everyone in need, regardless of their religion. I consider that my Christian duty.