Homesteading, when done properly, can help defray some of the costs of living. When done wrong, it can be rather costly. Many godly people in the Bible were farmers, and I believe that when Jesus is sitting on his throne in Jerusalem, then most of the people in the world will return to farming. And so, I say why not get ahead of the game, and start learning about it now?
But for now, while we await our Lord's appointed time of arrival, as Christians, we should make it our ambition to lead quiet lives, to work diligently with our hands, and help those in need with our surplus. That admonishment can certainly apply to city slickers as well as homesteaders. And I think the two current homesteading communities that display this Christian model well, are the Amish and the Shakers. Sure, some of these communities lack the true gospel as their foundation in favor of belonging to a church building or philosophy, and many sects, or branches of their communities could be considered to be cults by some, rather than being truly "Christian", even so, they do show it is possible to live apart from the world system and not only survive, but thrive.
However, even they realize that they cannot completely be separate from those around them in the modern world. Even many of them have reached out to others outside their closed communities out of necessity, with their goods and services that they provide by just doing what they do best, farm. But not many suburban homesteaders have the benefit of close knit communities that are set up like the Amish and Shakers' internal support system. More often than not, urban and suburban homesteaders are strung sparsely along the paved roads of modern civilization. The only tie that binds them are the billions of miles of cables that are hooked to our computers. So, what happens when the plug is pulled during a major disaster?
You can't send milk, or eggs through the computer, well, not yet anyway. Many are not as prepared for a real month long natural disaster (like a flood) as they fancy themselves to be, so how much less are they prepared for an indefinite "zombie" apocalypse? So why bother with urban or suburban homesteading then? Well, the truth is that while we are to be in the world, we are not to be of it, and that includes not adopting the pervasive apocalyptic panic that seems to underlie the whole homesteading movement. A Christian can still adopt many of the virtues that the homesteading movement offers, without going off the deep end and becoming last stand vigilantly survivalists.
And so, I must ask - why? Could it be that selfish compromisers are ruining it for the rest of us law abiding citizens, rather than this restrictive attitude being a supposed attack on personal freedoms? Probably so, because that is usually why restrictions are applied-- when abuses occur. I'm sure you'll agree that it is not practical, or wise to keep a horse, a cow, or 20 goats on a small urban or suburban property. Yet I'm sure there are some (eh-hem) pig-headed and harebrained people that try to do that very thing.
Zoning laws are set in place for a reason. We may not like all of them, but they are there to protect all of us from our selves, and especially those who lack any shred of common sense. But like all double edged swords, these restrictions can be another means of controlling the masses, where our urban zoo overlords dangle the carrot of self-sufficiency in front of our faces, while keeping it just out of reach. Well if that is indeed the case, then let's not give them fuel, or reason to impose more limits on our freedoms through disobedience, okie dokie? If you feel a zoning law is bad, or unreasonable, then legally work to have it changed, don't just do what you think is right.
Let us Christians not forget, that our Lord and God is more than capable of taking care of his own people in times of need, and in what ever way he sees fit. The Bible is filled with such cases i.e. the 40 years the Hebrews spent in the Sinai dessert, Elijah hiding from Ahab and Jezebel, etc. This is where the faith and the patients of the saints kicks in.
So rather than accepting the world's earth worshiping ideals, and attitude of seeking and settling for compromise, or the survival of the fittest fallacy, I will instead adopt the more healthy attitude of cooperation and an interdependent view of suburban homesteading. And I hope you do too.
I can see that the world’s brand, or its modern approach to homesteading, may seem like it is based on cooperation and human good will on the surface, but it is really based on the evils of selfishness and compromise. If you are thinking of joining the homesteading band wagon, then some questions for you to consider are:
- Is this a life-style something I really want to pursue?
- Will my family be supportive and help contribute to this way of life?
- What are the financial, physical, mental, and spiritual demands we will be facing?
- What will be the lasting fruits that these philosophies cultivate and produce?
- What will really happen, if and when all hell breaks loose?
- How can I avoid the Utopian model of the modern homesteading movement in favor of turning to the Lord and trusting him to supply our needs in times of trouble?
- How do I avoid looking upon others in need as a nuisance and blight upon humanity, instead of trusting God and helping others who were not as wise to prepare?
These questions, and many more, should be asked and carefully considered by the Christian who wishes to take up any form of homesteading. I realize that somethings can be over thought, but this isn't one of them. Personally, I would love to buy a $400,000 28 acre piece of land in Millville, Ca. that has meadows, and trees with Clover Creek running through it, and be able to build my dream farmhouse on it, but that is simply not financially feasible right now.
And to be honest, I wouldn't have the full support of my husband and children. And since I'm not getting any younger and I feel I'm too old to do this stuff on my own, then I might as well forget about this lovely dream. Even so, I can still learn all I can about homesteading, and do what I can to practice certain aspects of it where I am now. I believe that "fortune favors the prepared mind," if I may quote Dr. Louis Pasture. It has also been said that a society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members. Therefore, I believe that if the prevailing attitude in our modern society is one of self-preservation, then it won't survive. That is why it's a good thing that the Lord will shorten those last dark, and evil days to come, because if he didn't, then any survivors would indeed annihilate each other to protect their own survival.