Beans, Bullets, Band-Aids and Bibles: Faith When the World Falls Apart, by Pastor Terry

As preppers we have all heard of the Three B’s those would be beans, bullets and Band-Aids. An alliteration for food, protection/sufficiency and medical supplies. We should know their importance and for the most part practice it as part of our lifestyle. In our home we utilize a fourth B, the Bible. Let me explain why we feel the Bible is just that important.

I am a bi-vocational pastor serving in the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. In case you don’t understand the meaning of bi-vocational I support my wife and I with a full time job while I pastor a full time church. Small rural churches utilize this type of pastorate very successfully. There is a stereo-type that is inappropriately applied to bi-vocational pastors, one that questions their qualifications. I have earned degrees in electrical/electronics technology and hold an earned Doctorate of Theology from an accredited seminary.

Why did I go through that seemingly self centered introduction? I feel it is important for you to know a little about me considering the subject I am writing about. “Faith when the world falls apart” you see it is easy for you and I to talk about our Christian beliefs when things are going well, but, when the world comes unraveled faster than a cheap sweater, our faith is subject to do the same. Just like you, I get up early, go to work every day, come home and take care of my homestead and family, plus I have the responsibility of pastor to a small group of Southern Baptists at a local church. In addition to this my wife and I are preppers.

Some see the pastor as a wimpy little man who is sickly, who preaches three times a week and is never heard from until he is called upon to do a wedding, funeral, baptism or similar activity. Unfortunately this all some people see of their pastor, but the pastorate is much more. It is about people. Likewise the Bible is about people and their faith in God along with His willingness to answer their prayers. Faith is arguably the most powerful force on the face of the earth. People put their faith in many things, each other, equipment, stores, weapons just to name a few. I want challenge you to think about these things a little differently, think of them as instruments of faith. If you are a person of faith (in God) then you know He can use anything or anyone to meet the needs of His people. For faith to be effective it must be understood and to understand it we need our Bible. Ideally a concordance and good Bible dictionary would make a wonderful trio but if you have a good study Bible handy and are willing to use it God can and will work miracles through it. As you read through my article think about the Bible as your fourth B.

We do approach prepping from a biblical world view, believing that at some time in the future the Lord will rapture the born again believers (the Church), removing us from the Great Tribulation spoken of in the book of Revelation. Furthermore we understand the Bible to teach prepping from both the old and new testaments. For example the book of Proverbs tells us in chapter 30 there are four things upon the earth that are little but extremely wise; the ant, the spider, the locust and the conies (small fury animals that live in the rocks of Sinai). Each of these are used to represent an aspect of prepping; the ants are not strong but they prepare their food in the summer when it is abundant, the conies make their homes in strong fortified places, the locusts have no leader but they work in groups to accomplish their work and survive and the spider is able to defend itself and establish itself in any area.

So how do I approach the “4, B’s”? The answer is much like you do. We store food that is bought and grown in our small garden. Our goal is to keep at least one year stored. Sometimes we fall short sometimes we exceed but we are usually in the ballpark. We have medical kits and first aid kits; my wife has extensive medical training from her military service. She has put together supplies needed for simple colds and flu to minor surgery. We have firearms for hunting and home defense along with an ever-growing supply of ammo.  We also have traps, fishing gear, tools, hand powered equipment and many other necessities for a prepared homestead. Unfortunately pastors are viewed as weak and passive and sadly enough some are, but that wasn’t God’s intention for the pastor. We were to be leaders among His people and examples before the world. Look at your history! During the Revolutionary war England exclusively blamed the war on preachers and pastors, claiming they enflamed the attitude of independence by preaching it from the pulpits. This led to an attempt by the British government to destroy all remnants of religion that did not vow loyalty to the throne of England. Here in the colonies the result became known as the “Black Robe Regiment” a band of preachers and pastors who fought along side the citizen militia while providing spiritual support and encouragement. Pastors are still targets today, targets of the biased media, targets of those who begrudge our message and in an ever increasing role target of the political machine (if we don’t adhere to their doctrine). 

This is where the fourth “B”, our Bible ,comes into play. If you have a Bible in your house then your retreat should not be without one either, neither should your G.O.O.D. bag/kit be without one. When there is only you and a small group of like minded men and women in a stressful and possibly dangerous situation you will be strengthened, encouraged and given hope by God’s word. When personalities clash because of cramped living conditions time spent alone with the Bible can provide you with the spiritual insight you need to properly handle a difficult situation. If you are called upon to lead a group what will you base you decisions on, democracy is fine but how will you determine your vote? The Bible can provide insight into making every decision. The group as a whole may go a different direction but you can be at peace with your vote and how you arrived at it. When read and studied there are military strategies that can be used for retreat protection and defense as well. What about the need for group worship, someone can take a Bible with some study and prayer time and put together a very encouraging and productive study. After all when TEOTWAWKI comes, there probably will not be many churches open for normal services; many will take on roles as homeless centers, hospitals or hospices with the pastor being occupied in those capacities. Unfortunately many pastors will simply flee the responsibility they have committed themselves too, if you are in this situation someone may have to step up, without a Bible that will be hard if not impossible to do.

What about children? How will you calm them? Anyone who has visited vacation bible school or Sunday school has heard stories like Noah’s ark, Daniel and the lions den, or the Christmas story and Easter story. These and many more can be very soothing, educational and encouraging to children. The Bible can be used to guide them through activities or conduct plays as entertainment for young and old alike. Also children may not have our experience in life but they are very observant and can come up with very difficult questions, your Bible can be a source of answers and comfort for them during this time.

Most every prepper has stored firearms and sufficient ammo for protection of property and hunting game. We are prepared for the worst. Aren’t we? Have you ever shot anyone? Have you ever taken the life of another human being? How much thought have you given it? I’m sure some of our brave military have been in this situation and they understand the point I am trying to make. I’m not trying to soften anyone up. You see I too believe in protection of life and property and I will enforce it when and if necessary, I expect you will do likewise. After the adrenaline rush is over and you sit down alone and relive the event that just unfolded, how will it affect you? Having a Bible to rely on during this time can be crucial for the spiritual and emotional health of someone coping with a traumatic event such as a gunfight. Being able to show someone where God permits this action and does not hold that person accountable can be the difference between a person living a normal life or living under the question of guilt for many years.

Finally there is a topic that I believe is near and dear to each one of us, injury, sickness and death. During a social/economic collapse many things will take place, among them will be gunfights, sickness, disease and even death. If a friend or colleague of yours is shot and there is a possibility that it is fatal, can you give them hope to cling too. This may be all they need to survive, but could you provide it? In the case of influenza, dysentery, malnutrition, pneumonia or any other illness or disease could you comfort the ill or the family of an ill child? The Bible gives us a foundation and the words to provide hope to men and women in these situations and those similar to them. There are many instances where miracle recoveries have taken place because of faith that was provided from the words of the Bible. Faith is very powerful and it will be very necessary during TEOTWAWKI. Just as people will live during this type event they also will die. Conducting a funeral can be one of the most difficult things a pastor can do, what if there was no pastor available, but it must be done. What if you had to do it?  Without a Bible where would you get the words that would provide comfort to the family? The word of God is powerful and it could provide the difference between someone giving up or continuing to work for a better tomorrow.

I remember a line from the Clint Eastwood movie “Pale Rider” when the town boss gets off the train and asks his son about the gold panners the son tells his dad that they were beaten down until a preacher took up with them. Irate; the boss tells them: “That’s the worst thing that could happen, he can give them hope.” That’s what the Bible can do for you it can give you hope when life seems darkest. Make it the fourth B in your preps.