You don’t need a PhD in history to know that the American empire has run its course and is in terminal decline. We’ve passed the stage of parasitic infection, where the host remains alive and functioning, and have moved into the devouring of the corpse by a multitude of hyenas and vultures. Plagues, famines, poverty, civil strife, violence, and humiliations seem to be our fast-approaching fate.
As you watch the collapse of law and order, you may wonder, “Where is God’s mercy?” Why isn’t He putting a stop to this? I can’t speak for God, but I wonder if we deserve God’s mercy. We took the blessings that He had granted the nation and killed over 60 million unborn children, abolished chastity, perverted marriage, and have institutionalized the medical abuse of children through transgenderism. It would be more than just for us to deserve an outcome similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Yet we remain alive, residing in a country that is unlikely to make it through this decade in one piece. How then will we escape from the hyenas? How will we hide from the vultures? I am only a spiritual baby, and cannot tell you what to do, but I’d like to share the principles that seem likely to preserve my salvation.
Perform your duty of state
What is the job or role that God has entrusted you with? Are you a mother, father, husband, wife, son, or daughter? Are you a teacher or student? Are you a charity worker, bureaucrat, employer, or shepherd who provides for a flock? That role has not changed. You still have a duty to perform and may not leave stranded those who depend on you.
Whatever work you have to do in accordance with your position and profession, whether it is to hold the reins of some government organ, to judge someone, to teach someone, to write something, to engage in some kind of art or handiwork, to plow the fields, to sow grain, to reap or to thresh, to mow and gather hay, and so on, do all of those, for whomever you do it, whether for yourself and your family, or as a duty to others, do all this as if for the Lord God Himself, that is, do it because the Lord God demands it from you, and because that work is God’s work. —How To Live A Holy Life by Metropolitan Gregory
My high school had a lot of fistfights. Whenever they happened, whether in the cafeteria or hallways, students would drop what they were doing to get a front-row view of the action. Isn’t the very same going on today when we gawk at the daily news or scroll through Twitter seeking images of political violence? We forsake our duties to watch the fights, and yet it’s the simple obedience to those duties that will help those closest to us get through the tribulations of the future.
I am a son, a brother, a writer. I must continue to serve my family in a way that is first and foremost spiritually profitable to them, and secondary to what makes them physically comfortable, and I must continue to use the gifts that God gave me to act as His herald, directing thirsty souls to the source of living water. I cannot throw these duties away to obsess over outrageous videos that appear online, and I must not let communists and the demonically possessed distract me from what needs to be done in the present.
Learn how to protect yourself
The past twenty years may have been the safest in recorded history, so safe that young women could go out in the cities, get drunk, and stagger into a taxicab without automatically getting assaulted. Those days are coming to an end. One day soon, you may not be able to walk alone unarmed in your own neighborhood.
As police departments lose both the authority and will to enforce the law, the restraints on criminality will be lifted. First it will start with incessant petty crime and commercial thefts, then muggings and burglaries, and finally brazen carjackings, armed home invasions, and violent assaults. People will be killed just for the thrill of it. Heinous acts will be done without fear in open view of surveillance cameras. You will call 911 and no one will answer, and even if someone does, the police were defunded and cannot arrive for many hours, if at all.
Your best weapon is not one you can hold in your hand but one that you carry everywhere: your mind. Use it for self-awareness of your environment and quick judgement of abnormal or dangerous human behavior. When I lived in South America between 2007 and 2008, a time when it was far more dangerous there than it is now, I didn’t carry any weapons on me, not even pepper spray. I simply stayed out of the bad neighborhoods, did not walk around at night, and avoided shady characters, which was enough to keep me safe.
The violence in the United States will get to a point where you may need more than just your mind. There is a large variety of options to defend both home and person, and it’s up to you to do the research in order to protect yourself based on your situation. Chances are that you may have to become more familiar with batons, pepper sprays, knives, guns, and swords. You will learn more about door bars, motion detectors, and home cameras. You will also have to make decisions about rules of engagement. Will you shoot when the communist is on your lawn, when they’re trying to break through your door, or when they’re already in the house?
Using force is not just about killing the enemy to protect your physical body but also safeguarding the salvation of those you love. If a communist kills your child before they were able to make the choice for Christ, or kills grandma when she needed more time to prepare for her deathbed confession, what kind of eternal damage was done? On the other hand, if you’re walking with Christ, and thirty communists barrel down your door, is it reasonable to kill them all instead of taking up the martyr’s crown for greater rewards in Heaven? This is a personal choice that you must decide on, and it’s best to do so before the enemy comes to our door, because for many of us, they will. The best I can do is take prudent steps that address the most common threats and leave the rest up to God.
Become a member of hyperlocal society
The United States no longer belongs to you or your ancestors. It will no longer allow you to receive an overflowing sense of pride. It is in the process of turning to ash and dust and so it’s best to overcome the temptation that you can “save” a country of 320 million people or reverse its course when at least half of those people do not want to be saved and much rather see you dead. Once you accept this fact, you can begin to make a positive impact on those who are less than a mile away from where you currently live.
It won’t be any good to have a trusted friend with an arsenal of guns who lives across town from you. When the electricity goes out and you can’t get a cell phone signal, you won’t have any way of communicating with those who even live a short drive away, but you will still be able to speak to the neighbor on your left, the one on your right, and the one who lives across from you. When it comes to war, those beyond walking distance will find it difficult to help you. Having friends all over the country is fine to get a perspective on national events in peacetime, but during acute periods of danger, they might as well live on another planet.
Participate in everything that impacts your most immediate living area: HOA meetings, neighborhood watch meetings, city council meetings, farmers’ markets, even yard sales. Say yes to anything local. When you build enough rapport with a neighbor, tell him your concerns about the violence you’ve seen elsewhere. Exchange phone numbers and make tentative plans. Invite him and his family for dinners. Send messages if you notice suspicious people in the neighborhood. Soon you’ll be able to identify the neighbors you can trust in hard times and those who don’t seem to care.
If you’re thinking that you can go it alone, the bad news is that you can’t. You will tire out and need sleep, making it easy for the enemy to pick you off. Unless you operate as a team to maintain a vigilant 24-hour watch, you will succumb. Start testing people to be your allies while you still have time.
Tactically defend and preserve your faith
I can’t be the only Christian who was disappointed by how most Churches responded to the coronavirus lockdowns. They obediently followed the authorities without a word of protest. In my zeal I had thought that we don’t allow the secular world to interfere with our worship, but the real world requires more pragmatism, so I pray that God enlightens our bishops to make the right decisions.
As Christians, we are allowed to resist authorities when they obstruct our faith or demand we commit sinful acts. It is also within your rights to push back using legal means against local mandates that violate your religious freedoms. You can protect your holy buildings and statues against those who seek to desecrate them and you surely can disobey any call to renounce Jesus Christ, even if it comes at a cost of martyrdom. At the same time, we are called to obey the authorities in matters that do not obstruct our faith, even if it may be inconvenient. This includes wearing a face mask.
Wearing a face mask in a supermarket does not obstruct your faith. If you want to resist that order in a civil manner like I do, that is your choice, but we cannot say that wearing the mask in places of business is spiritually damaging. Christendom is full of historical examples of direct and severe persecution, so we must not lump in our own desires for convenience and earthly freedoms that stem from our personal will, even though the force that requires us to wear a mask in the supermarket is the same who is eager to lock the doors of your church. Nonetheless, we cannot get into a position where we resist everything because we don’t like it, for that lacks humility and sends us down a dangerous road of pride that will be spiritually costly to us in ways we don’t expect.
Obeying the authorities—who I believe are evil—has been a stumbling block for me, but I know that any resistance I perform should be level-headed with the main goal of giving glory to God, not myself. As discerning as you must be when deciding to use lethal force against an intruder, we must also use discernment when it comes to disobeying authority figures who were given to us by God for our spiritual benefit, even if they happen to be evil, and even if we cannot see the benefit of doing so in the here and now.
Secure at least one month of food, water, and supplies
We take for granted that supermarkets are fully stocked with food, but the coronavirus pandemic has warned us that this cannot hold true forever. Even now, several months after the worst of the lockdowns are over, many supermarkets and big-box retailers are having trouble keeping items in stock. If this is the case during peacetime, things will be far worse in the case of nationwide violence, where supermakets will completely empty within 72 hours with no sign of restocking. Mass panic will ensue.
If a hot war occurs, municipal and sanitation workers will be taking care of their own instead of dutifully arriving to work at 9am. When you turn on your faucet, water may not come out. Electricity, internet, and cell phone service may fail. While you can’t prepare for every single thing that may go wrong, you can at least focus on food and water. You can survive without food for three weeks but only three days without water. If you can secure a plan for these two, you’re better prepared than most of the population. Throw in a generator and propane gas supply for cooking and you may be able to bug out for greater than a month without much trouble.
One thing we have to be careful about while prepping is pretending God doesn’t exist by solely surviving through our own strength. Having a month’s worth of supplies is reasonable to me, but crafting a bunker with years of food would be making the assumption that God does not care about me at all and will send not a soul to help preserve my worldly life (assuming He wants my worldly life to continue at that time). Deciding what is reasonable or excessive is a question of your faith, so use prayer to help arrive at an answer.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? —Matthew 6:25-26
On one hand we can be tempting God by not using any of the intelligence He gave us while on the other hand we forsake him by having a high level of fear just like an atheist who wears a face mask while driving alone in his car. As Christians, we are likely to settle on a solution that allows us to receive our daily bread while not losing sight of the spiritual bread that is even more important.
Deepen your faith through prayer
What a great opportunity to live in these times where you are aching for safety, protection, and emotional comfort. Prayer remains always on the edge of your lips, ready to call out to our King for his sweet mercy. Take advantage of the loss of law and order by praying daily, both day and night. Give alms to those less fortunate than you to put the crisis in perspective and realize that you still receive many blessings from God. Remain vigilant against committing sin and continually ask yourself how can you help your neighbor and give glory to God.
Many men express how they wish to have been born during a different time, an easier time, but what a compliment from God to watch the United States burn before our very eyes! He would not have put us here at this time unless He knew that we could handle it as long as we lean on Him. We are spiritual athletes asked not to compete at sea level but in the 7,350 feet altitude of Mexico City. Our lungs are not receiving enough air, but God will give us air, and if we are blessed enough, he will grant us a crown so that we can serve as a faithful witness to Christ.
I don’t know how those who lack faith or a prayer life will make it through the next decade (or even the next year), not to mention what will happen to their souls after they die, but that is not our business. If the Gospel was brought to you, it is your choice to accept or deny it. Let people choose to care about their salvation based on the free will that God gave them.
A lot of men have asked for my thoughts about leaving the country and going to a land where Christians are least likely to be persecuted in the near future (Russia is often mentioned). There is even scriptural support for fleeing persecution.
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another.” —Matthew 10:21-23
That said, I don’t feel the persecution has begun in earnest. I’m still able to attend church every Sunday, pray daily, and publish Christian articles like this without fear of the police apprehending me. Deciding whether to flee or not, especially if you have a family, may be the hardest decision you’ll have to make, but I can tell you that I would only leave this country if I never intended to come back again, even to visit. My leaving would be permanent, and if I do leave with a plan on coming back to visit often then things were probably not that bad in the first place. Ask yourself if you want to leave because we can no longer be Christians or if it’s because you’re scared and want to escape discomfort.
The current decade is sure to include continual violence and adversity, yet it turns out that the best way to respond is through “boring” actions: performing your daily duties, having a self-defense plan, experiencing fellowship with your neighbor, purchasing a water filter, and praying unceasingly. Maybe you were hoping I’d tell you to organize into a militia and start seeking high-level intelligence contacts to infiltrate and destroy communist groups, but I won’t waste my time on actions that do little for me spiritually and are sure not to reverse the direction of a country that lost its faith long before I was born. Yes, I will take the boring path of pure faith, because I can’t let war or rumors of war disrupt my salvation and for those whom I love. God may have removed his blessings for America, but there are plenty of blessings left for us as we pick up the cross and carry it across the carnage of a nation that has only begun to die.
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