…In the words of the Gospel, “They have loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” This principle shows itself in men trying not to recognize the truth, but to persuade themselves that the life they are leading, which is what they like and are used to, is a life perfectly consistent with truth. Slavery was opposed to all the moral principles advocated by Plato and Aristotle, yet neither of them saw that, because to renounce slavery would have meant the breakup of the life they were living. We see the same thing in our modern world. —Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Is Within You
As Christian preppers we are called to look honestly at our daily lives and ask whether they embody the truth which we claim to believe. Some passages of Scripture may be obscure or difficult to interpret. Many are perfectly easy to understand yet rather difficult to live. It’s simple to say that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. But do we treat the earth’s bounty as though it did not belong to us, as though we held it in trust for one whom we revere? It’s easy to understand the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (or, indeed, the narrower commandment, found in the same chapter of Leviticus, not to profit from the blood of our neighbors). But how many of us profit from cheap goods made by global neighbors working in conditions which we would never tolerate for ourselves?
The global economy makes these basic questions extremely hard to answer. It’s hard even to find out where our trash ends up being dumped, where our energy is generated, where the food we buy is grown, where the goods we buy are made. Homesteading helps to set us free from this shadowy system and make our use of the world and our treatment of our neighbors much more visible.
That doesn’t entirely solve our problems. We’re still capable of carelessness and waste even when the places where we live and work are directly affected, and of malice and hard-heartedness even toward the people whom we know and see daily. But it’s hard for us to ignore or deny the damage we do. It’s easier for our consciences to confront us with the truth and bring us back to repentance and renewal through God’s grace.