Occam’s Razor is a notion that among opposing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected as most likely. For example, if you come home and find that next to an open window your floor is wet, it is a better assumption that it rained while you were away then the conclusion your neighbor came over flung a bucket of water in your house. This same concept applies not only to beliefs, but also our actions, and should be considered pre- and post-TEOTWAWKI.
Bear with me for a moment as I set a baseline. If I had a special camera recording everything I’ve done and thought in my life, heck even the last week, and it was made into a short film of the highlights and low lights and was then broadcasted to friends, family, or even strangers, I would run away in embarrassment. If you’re honest with yourself, you’re in the same boat as I, not by nature a good person who deserves God’s mercy, but actually deserve his wrath. God is love, and is uncompromisingly just; he has to punish those like myself who have lied, stolen, looked with lust, used his name as a swear word, etc, etc. Only a corrupt judge would let someone as guilty as I go free without payment.
Only when we understand this can we understand the cross! Christ literally took the wrath of God that we deserve upon himself (See Isaiah 53). He literally took the penalty I deserve, but as a sinful man could never pay for. When He opens our spiritual eyes to that reality, repentance and faith are a natural reaction of gratitude, not as something done to earn favor, but as a reaction to His unmerited grace. And God’s purpose in all that we and the entire universe experiences, is to bring Glory to Himself, mainly through the person of Christ Jesus. When it comes down to it, He truly deserves the rewards of His suffering. I don’t deserve anything except His divine judgment, and he amazingly gives me the opposite! Adopted into the family of God instead of remaining a child of wrath…truly a gracious God!
So back to my main point of this article; the end all be all, is the Glory of Christ, He deserves it, and quite honestly it is also for our best. You see, when we do what is right in His eyes, things go better for us even in this temporal world. Lying, stealing, cheating, drunkenness, argumentative, lacking mercy for others, boasters, selfishness …they all get us in trouble. Growing in virtue has its rewards and closeness to God, its pursuit is what brings true happiness. Sadly the pursuit of happiness for many is the opposite of virtue; it’s just doing what feels good in the moment, and leads to heart ache and of course eternal consequences. God will not be mocked – he knows who have come to Him for a “get out of jail free” card, and those who truly understand they deserve His punishment and live accordingly out of the grace and faith he bestows on them in their understanding.
Whatever our decision when it comes to what we do, the question we should ask ourselves when we have more than one option, is which one will bring the most honor to Christ. The most logical option when it comes to how we interpret scripture and our doctrinal understanding; is which conclusion brings the most glory to Christ. Christ’s Razor if you will. For example: Does it bring more glory to Christ if us doing good helps us gain acceptance into heaven, or does it bring Him more honor that he paid fully for our sin and our works are because of His amazing grace? Which gives Him more glory, us choosing Christ, or Him choosing us? Does it bring Him more glory for us to share our faith without using words (Gandhi actually said this), or to also verbally share the Truth of Christ’s amazing mercy to those who are perishing?
“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” – Tim Keller
So moving this into a TEOTWAWKI situation, for me this has major implications on our choices to bug in, bug out, our charity to others, how our preparations affect our current lifestyle, and how we should prepare spiritually for the hardship that is coming. Is our goal is to merely survive the coming collapse or should we use it to grow closer to God? Charles Spurgeon once said, “When you get bitter waters…do not throw a drop of it away, for that is the water you have yet to drink. Accept your afflictions. They are a part of your education.” You see our character grows when we are faced with trials, not when everything is going good in our own eyes.
Everyone personally needs to come to their own conclusion about each of the many issues we will each face, but I’d like to share our personal conclusions on a few based on the aforementioned Truth:
- What is our main purpose in life prior to and after TEOTWAWKI? My conclusion is that my primary goal pre or post TEOTWAWKI no matter my financial situation, job, health, etc. should be to preach the word in season and out of season. Sharing the Truth of Christ is not just for Pastors (which I am not); it is for all believers in Christ, pre and post TEOTWAWKI! If we understand what Christ has paid for on our behalf, how can we possibly stay silent to those who need saved from their sin against a Holy God? If Christ truly has changed your life, if your not coming to Him for selfish reasons (to simply avoid Hell or Go to Heaven), then you have Faith you are certain of, a Hope that is sure of what you know. Sharing our faith in Christ is not hard; there are many resources out there to get you started. My absolute favorite is WayoftheMaster.com. There is a video on the bottom of the main page called “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” that will radically change your view of our Christian witness.
- Bug In or Bug out? Now I may be wrong, but I believe most ‘Survivalist’ who read this blog has the same primary goal whether bugging in or out – and that is to survive. If the news of Christ is true, and it’s changed your life, you know the meaning of life is the glorification of Christ, and to die is actually gain. I’m not suggesting at all that we not try and survive, but the biblical mindset the purpose of surviving is to share Christ with others by our actions and words. Whether we see it or not, God always turns bad situations into good for those who love Him (see Romans 8). I am convinced that when false foundations (money, job, family, and even religiosity) crumble, the Truth of Christ, the only firm foundation will be sought and found, Christ will be glorified in our struggles! We live on almost 10 acres (mainly wooded) surrounded by farm land, but only 30 minutes from a fairly large city. Our family has personally decided to bug in as we feel this will give us the best opportunity to fulfill what God has called us to do. Christ being glorified comes higher then mere survival, living another day.
- Security – Jesus Himself stated, “let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36). Self defense is biblical; Jesus was not only for it but also for the protection of others. If a group of rapists and murders take out your family because you are unarmed and/or unprepared, you are also responsible for the blood of the next family they attack. We will fight not because we want to kill, but because we want to protect life.
- Survival Group – Does everyone in the group need to have the same conviction about the primary purposes of the group? First, we have decided our bug-in location is to be run, at least initially, by a leadership team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). A leadership group that does hold to the same core beliefs. Others will be allowed in the group who do disagree on the primary goals of the group, they will however be expected to adhere to certain codes of ethics, responsibilities, and even attitudes. My goal of course will also be to try and win them over to the Truth; by my actions, logic, and sound doctrine. But only God, the Holy Spirit can ever change someone’s heart.
- Mental – We will be a group of Prayer; a group that makes studying God’s word a priority. We experience the most personal growth when we go through trials. Let’s make the best of it and allow Christ to conform us closer to His image. Adaptability, Focus. May sound minor, but one attitude we will insist on is, consistent complaining is not acceptable. If you have a complaint you must present at least one viable option. Complaining is a form of self righteousness and coveting; not being grateful of God’s rich mercy when we rightly deserve His wrath.
There are plenty of other areas we could discuss, but the foundation of all remains the same. Now is the time to get your spiritual house in order. In Mathew 7 Christ says that “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’… everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Phillipians 2, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”