Over at Blog and Mablog, Rev. Douglas Wilson has an interesting article on preparing for the post-Christian age which, as most of you will have noticed, is already upon us. Everyone, he notes, is a “prepper” in that they are preparing for something–climate change apocalypse; threats to religious liberty; sometimes even both. In Mary Eberstadt’s magisterial 2016 book It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies, she relates that across North America and the West, Christians are having conversations about what the future will look like for them and for their families as society realigns its values from Scripture to the Sexual Revolution. I’ve been part of many of these conversations; plenty of them have happened on my podcast and on this blog.
The whole thing is worth reading, but a few of Wilson’s points are particularly interesting. Here are three of his “7 Principles for Navigating a Purple Cultural Meltdown”:
Minimize Debt and Other Forms of Ephemeral Income
Our economy is enormously complicated, and it may not be possible to just detach from it and go. But it is still true that the borrower does become the lender’s slave (Prov. 22:7), and you should pay down your debts as much as possible, including the mortgage on your house. If you can eliminate debt, do it, and if you can’t, then do what you can to minimize it.
Do not rely on the promises made to you on the basis of bankrupt pension funds. If you have money coming to you, it might or it might not. You know. If you budget for it, planning on it, it should be in the column that you have labeled gravy. Look elsewhere for the essentials.
Choose Your Location Wisely
This last year has been quite revelatory. We have seen exactly how much our ruling class is willing to dictate to us (are we at four masks yet?), and we have unfortunately also seen how many of our Christian leaders have been prepared to capitulate. It has revealed that collectively the evangelical church has an understanding of church/state relations that is as deep as a wet spot on the pavement. So look at how things are likely to develop where you live, and then decide if you will have the maneuvering room that you will need if you continue to live there.
If you decide that you need to relocate, then you should use these principles to make up your list of pros and cons as you consider various possible places to resettle. In addition to factors like church, family, schooling for your kids, job, etc. you should look closely at the policies that are likely to be coming down the pike at you from your governor, or likely future governors, and your legislature. So as you consider your location, evaluate things like tax policies, regulations, and so on.
If you need to head for the tall grass, head for the tall grass.
The need to prioritize family has to be held in balance with the previous principle. You want to be able to take care of your aging parents, for example, but suppose they refuse to leave downtown Baltimore. You have a greater and more direct responsibility to your kids.
But whenever possible, make room for all your people. A person who does not care for family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). Remember that when Paul makes this comment, he was talking about extended family, and not the immediate nuclear family.
Wilson is interesting because although I disagree with him on many things, he is thinking seriously about what the future will look like for religious people in a post-Christian society. I discussed the Benedict Option and how to navigate the years ahead on my podcast with Wilson earlier this year–some of you may find it interesting: