Pass the Pigeon

Looking for Hope in a Chaotic World

Okay, we’re one day closer to the end of the world than we were yesterday. But whether doomsday is weeks or millennia away, the Christian message remains the same. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.

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Eric Metaxas

In case you hadn’t noticed, December 21, 2012, is just around the corner. That’s the day when the “world as we know it” is supposed to come to an end.

At least that’s what some people tell us that the ancient Maya predicted. Modern Maya, millions of whom live in southern Mexico and Guatemala, believe no such thing; but what do they know?

Even if December 22 winds up being pretty much the same as December 20, there will still be plenty of people getting ready for the end of the “world as we know it.”

These people are the subjects of a recent New York Times article entitled “How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia.” The article profiles a business outside of Denver calling itself “Red Shed Media Group.”

Red Shed’s products include the kind of things people are supposed to need in case our worst fears come to pass. Their book, “Making the Best of Basics,” is a “popular survivalist handbook.” It includes recipes for wild pig–described as “easy to prepare”–and dove pie, which requires that you simmer the birds for one hour or until they are tender.

The company’s owners insist that they’re not about “doomsday” but instead about providing folks in their minivans with “peace of mind.”

I don’t know about you, but contemplating a future where I have to simmer pigeons and their avian relatives for an hour isn’t exactly my idea of “peace of mind.”

Reading the article or seeing ads for cable TV shows like “Doomsday Preppers,” I can’t help but feel pity for people whose lives are so defined by fear. I suspect that they, not to mention the people at Red Shed, would reject such pity and find it condescending.

But a cursory glance at history, especially American history, shows that cashing in on the apocalypse has been a regular feature of American life. Just thirteen years ago, millions of Americans were getting ready for the Y2K apocalypse: stocking canned goods and Slim Jims, buying gold and other precious metals, and even building bunkers in anticipation of a societal collapse.

Chief among the cheerleaders for the apocalypse were many Christians. Listeners to Christian radio programs were asked to imagine what they would do if, two weeks into the “Y2K crisis,” a hungry family showed up on their doorstep.

Even when we aren’t forecasting societal collapse or other major disruptions, our default mode is often “doom and gloom.”

Yes, if we read the “signs of the times,” we can project where our worst ideas might lead. And, please don’t get me wrong: There is much wisdom in emergency preparedness. As the Times article pointed out, the aftermath of super storm Sandy “has shown just how unprepared most of us are to do without the staples of modern life: food, fuel, transportation and electric power.”

But when it comes to living in chaotic times, what is the Christian message? Love, peace and hope--these are at the heart of the Gospel. They are what people should think of when they hear the word “Christian.” That they don’t should grieve us.

I can’t help but wonder if the absence of hope these days isn’t at least partly attributable to our failure as Christians to model such hope. That we often come off as fearful should prompt us to ask where we’ve gone wrong.

Because if simmering pigeons is what passes for “peace of mind,” then we have failed at being the “light of the world.”

Further Reading and Information

How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia
Keith O'Brien | New York Times | November 16, 2012



I took from Eric's message that the point is to not be fearful in our preparedness.
Because the Bible tells us that no man knows the day of His return, we can be confident that anyone who declares they have the date of the end of the world or of Christ's return is speaking out of turn and without the authority of God. No "prophet," so to speak, can have a message contrary to the written Word of God.

However, if you base your assumptions of preppers, particularly Christian preppers, off of a Nat Geo show that is clearly staged to make anyone appearing on it an idiot, then your pool of resources on the movement is clearly lacking. As we have seen with the people who have suffered so terribly in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina before, the people who lost everything from the swath of tornadoes which cut through the country over a year ago, to the flooding and droughts around the country, preparing for disaster is not an exercise in futility or lack of faith. Is buying insurance a lack of faith? Is having a savings account a lack of faith? Is being responsible for your family's well-being and positioning yourself to help your neighbor in times of trouble now a lack of faith?

You will find that many Christians who have taken it upon themselves to be prepared and to learn to live more simply off the land actually consider their efforts a ministry and a way to reach those who are hurting with the love of Christ.

And just a FYI? Whether it's dove, pigeon, or chicken, you generally have to get it tender enough for use in various dishes by simmering for several hours. It's actually not that outrageous a concept. :)
Pass the Pigeon
I believe God's word that no man knows the date or the time that Jesus will come again, and I trust in God and have no fear as to the end times; however, I do believe that economically we are headed for some rough times, and I can see the value in preparing for the future by putting aside food when we can, just as God instructed Joseph to do when the famine was near. Of course, there are those who are fanatical about it, but I'm not sure what your point was this morning. There is absolutely nothing wrong with living off the land.
Eric, Eric, I guess I have to give you a pass since you are a city boy. If all you know about preppers is an article your read, and watching Doomsaday preppers on TV you are sadly misinformed.

Preppers by and large are the least fearful group of people I know, especially Christian preppers. Prepping is not about fear it is about stewardship.

Condemning preppers for preparing for the future would be similar to condemning the unemployed for seeking a job because they are worried about finances and not relying on God to provide for them.

My preps include a small farm that will in a time of disruption, take care of many other people. Having skills to provide for your family and others is not something to be poo-poo’d, it is something to be encouraged. Paul tells us to live quiet lives and work hard so we will not be a burden on others.

If you and your family need a place when something happens you are welcome here.

Randy Augsburger The Prepared Christain

BTW if you have had squab you have had pigeon.