TSHTF vs. Faith

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tx_floods's picture
tx_floods
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TSHTF vs. Faith

I want to get others' opinions on a matter I've been struggling with about the whole TSHTF scenario. My wife and discussed this earlier tonight, and I want to get your opinions. How do you reconcile the TSHTF scenario with your walk of faith? My wife asked me if anyone on this forum discussed topics from a religious/spiritual perspective. I thought about it for a minute, and said, "No, I don't think so." We happen to be Christians but you don't have to be; I'm interested to know your views if you believe in any sort of higher power.

On the one hand, as Christians, we believe that God is Good and God is in control, of all things. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and (I forget the other one. Omni-something-or-another). Jesus said some powerful words about not worryng about tomorrow; That God wll provide everything we need. In one of the Epistles, some guys got admonished for trying to plan out for next year, not knowng what time will bring

Yet, on the other hand, history dictates that bad stuff happens occassionally. Really bad stuff. The Jews were really rounded up and killed in huge numbers. The Germans and French really shot at each other across trenches in no-man's land for no good reason. People really went hungry in the Great Depresson.

How can I reconcile my attempts to prepare for TSHTF with my trusting in God for the outcome?

Please don't blast me for posting this, as I'm not trying to convert anyone to my belief system, nor will I counter anyone with the belief that my way of thinking is the only "right" way to believe. I really don'e care how anyone decides to worship or not worship. I am truly looking for some help in how to reconcile this in my own life. Thanks.

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

I think this is fine to post...I wouldn't worry about it.  I know the general US culture has become almost hateful toward anyone talking about first-order things like faith, worldview, philosophy, ultimate meaning...anything other than nihilism/hedonism is repulsive to pop culture...but this website is not the generic US sheep culture.  

In my view, first-order issues such as this are the primary issue to work through to be sure your actions are in line with your deeply held inner sense of meaning...Christian or not.  

So, what about the questions you raise?  I take issue with the particular groups in Christianity that preach laying down and surrendering to government, to whatever life throws your way, etc.  I think that is a misread of scripture and doesn't incorporate the whole message.  I don't want to get into hermeneutics and exegesis here, but I'll simply say I think standing up to fight for what is right (justice, community, love, life, etc) doesn't mean you're non-Christian, or non-Buddhist, or non-whatever.  Being religious or philosophical doesn't mean you need to sit down shut up and be a sheep that lets tyrants or criminals or surreptitious forces walk all over you.  

If you're looking for a particular "proof text" to oppose the epistle you're referring to that has you flummoxed, just look at Noah, or the rage for justice in the Psalms/Jeremiah, or look at the way Jesus handles the money changers in the temple, or look at Luke 7:36-50 where Jesus slams Simon (symbol for today's "powers that be") for being a jackass and not doing what's right for the needy woman looking for compassion and love and community.  There are plenty of texts that say it's ok to fight, prepare, etc.

I think the huge benefit of this type of philosophical/religious/spiritual discussion within a website like this is the simple reminder that we are small, our lives are short, we all return to organic chemistry in the end, so perhaps we shouldn't let fear/anxiety/the need to be in control and have power totally overwhelm us (I'm preaching to myself here...I'm the biggest violator of what I just said!!).  Of course, just a trip to Redwoods, Muir Woods, Sequoia reminds us of the same thing as we are dwarfed by 300' tall trees that have been around since BC times.  On the timeline of spiritual existence, an economic crisis here or there is pretty much irrelevant.  Shalom.  :)

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

tx -

Here's my take.  If you've tried to live your life according to the goodness that you know and have been taught, then what is there to reconcile?  As whatever is coming unravels and occurs you will either be ready for things or not.  You will make it through it or not.  And in the end, it doesn't really matter - if you have been as true to your faith as you humanly could have, then things will ultimately work out.  And if you haven't, well someone already covered that for you now didn't He?

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Well, let me jump in as an atheist.

To me this world matters, its not a waiting room for an eternity of bliss or suffering. I don't and can't rely on a supernatural force to provide for me and mine. I have to do it myself, along with any friends or allies I make along the way. 

Tx - what you said about history shows me that your reason is fighting your faith, its greatest enemy imo. Questions like that are what led me give up my faith in a supernatural entity.

I really hope this thread does not turn into a flame war and I hope that answers your question?

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

 

Well, if you are trying to reconcile the idea of bad things happening on earth with the idea of a good god, I might suggest that if a God exists, it may love us too much to interfere.  If we suppose that the divine is good, then the ultimate goal of the divine would be to see each human grow and learn to become good themselves.  People cannot learn to love if their lives are constantly being meddled with.  People cannot learn to improve themselves if they are never given the chance to err.

Our lives on this planet are very short.  I might suggest that our most important goal here is to learn to be better people. 

It is easy to be a kind and loving person when others are prevented from harming you.  It is easy to love life and accept the world when nothing bad happens to you.  It only becomes a challenge when miserable things happen to you.  These are opportunities for the individual to improve themselves.  It is how we act under the most trying conditions which tempers our characters.  When our relatives die, when we suffer, and when we must watch others suffer, that is when our faith in love and beauty is tried.

Love is a skill.  It is not something that happens.  The person who says that they would love others, and see the beauty in life, if only others did not act badly toward them and bad things did not happen is rather like the painter who insists that he is waiting for the right object to come along, and when he finds the right object, then he will paint beautifully.  No, a good painter can paint any object.  A truly good person is able to keep their faith in love and beauty no matter what happens to them.  Faith and love are skills which are learned.  Personal growth of all kinds only happens under challenging conditions.

You say the holocaust was "bad."  From the perspective of our society, sure it was bad.  Hitler was a bad person.  But from God's perspective, was it really "bad" for every person that was killed as a result of the war?  Is long life necessarily a cosmic good?  A million years from now, will you really care whether you lived 42 years and died in war, or lived 76 years and died of natural causes?   What's the difference?  Wouldn't you care much more about the kind of person you were?

It has long been said that the only thing we take away from life is our good and ill deeds.  A person must have the opportunity to improve themselves.  If you look at it this way, then god might see it as a crime to meddle too much in the world, and deny people the opportunity for growth.

So, what about trusting god for the outcome?  It depends what outcome you're looking for.  If you're trusting god to provide a life that will challenge you in every way, and put you in the kinds of situations that will allow you opportunities to be a better person, then I'd say you're in the right place.

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Dogs, I love the sense of surrender in your post.  Restful.  

Zombie, I think you're right to read a bit of a war in Tx's post between reason and faith, but it's the particular form of faith that uses proof texts as a way of finding "truth" for our world...it's usually labeled "evangelical" though that can be an unfair name based on all the political baggage it brings.  I think that's Tx's struggle...it doesn't mean he has to give up faith.  It's a particular view of faith and scripture that can be problematic for some minds (not for others...and that's fine) because it sets up absolutes, splits, etc. that will inevitably conflict with something within our experience, our world. But the beauty of faith is that it is fluid enough to meet others where they are psychologically, socially, interpersonally...that's why there are so many versions of it (christian, native american, buddhist, jewish, muslim, atheist, etc and tons of versions of each of those).  I revel in the beauty of that diversity nowadays.

Like you, I chucked faith that is entirely other-worldy or supernatural and views existence as a "waiting room for an eternity of bliss or suffering" as you put it, but I have no problem with people who adopt that version of faith.  Again, that's just one of many flavors or perspectives on faith...atheism is likewise just another faith perspective. There is much more out there than just the way we were raised as kids, or the way TV portrays it, or the way an odd neighbor we may know lives it, so we (me included) need to be careful not to base our views on all religion only on our past experience of it.  I enjoy the wonder in hearing someone else's faith perspective that differs from mine...it's like being touched by a new song, a new piece of art, a new face.  It is that person's way of yearning for more, of wondering about meaning, of loving and being loved...

After leaving my childhood's version of faith and a 15-yr hiatus in spiritual no-man's land and then atheism (it ended up not working for me...I'd love to swap stories with you offline about how our journeys have gone) I have found profound meaning in the Christian story that is imminently non-supernatural (but also supernatural), very much worldly, very much relational and human, very much incorporating past present future rather than just an ecclesiastical future.  This is a completely new lens through which to view it compared to the way I was raised.  It aligns very much with the buddhist, jewish, native, celtic, etc stories also.  The power is in humans blessing each other (via the imago dei which provides a glimpse of God), community, rest/delight/beauty, relationships (both horizontal relationships in the human realm and the earthly/environmental realm and vertical relationship with God).  In my view, the flavor of Christianity it sounds like you were raised with focuses too much only on the vertical (supernatural) at the expense of the horizontal, the here-and-now, the world, and I think that's unfortunate.  It sets up the faith/reason divide.  That divide doesn't have to exist...it's a symptom of religion in post-Enlightenment modernism.

Well, I wasn't expecting a theological discussion tonight!  A pleasant surprise.  Time for bed.  But as I wished Tx, I also wish you...Shalom (rest, delight, beauty).  :) 

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Actually, I believe that God is still in ultimate control and will protect his people as he did the Israelites in the desert. 40 years and their clothes did not wear out. Fed them with manna, water from rocks, a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. But he also told them to prepare before going out. (the first passover. the lamb- it strengthened and healed them/ also they took jewels and precious things from the Egyptians "in order to offer to my God-said Moses" )    So there is the relying on God but also the preparing. They are not mutually exclusive of one another.

I recommend looking at Dave Wilkerson's website   http://davidwilkersontoday.blogspot.com/   for good Christian viewpoint. He has viewable books and teachings and some practible things to do to prepare. Recommendations like preparing for 2 months of food and supplies, much like these websites say. He also has some prophesies scenarios like what are talked about here.

hope this helps.  All Christians need to be prepared and need to help others in this time. This time is prophesied as the Harvest time. let us all labor together for the Lord.  It is a time not to panic but to be filled with peace. Knowing the prince of peace.

 

 

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Hi all, This is my take on the Book of the Revelation, from the point of view of fossil fuels and electricity being the major players: Right at the end of the Book of the Revelation seven vials are poured out. The REAL action kicks off when the vial is poured on the seat of the Dragon. A dragon is an ancient beast, reptilian, highly intelligent, hangs out in the depths of the ocean or underground, hoards treasure, can fly, work miracles, fiery, blows smoke... ...all the things oil and the fossil fuels can do. Oil is even called snake oil by some. Some believe that oil is ancient decomposed dinosaurs! The Dragon then gives its energy and authority to a terrible beast: fossil fuel generated electricity. In the presence of this beast a second beast rises out of the land: nuclear electricity. An image of the beast is conjured up, (television) which everyone worships. This threesome (dragon, first and second beasts) are worshipped by all of humanity and its very hard to survive without them. They completely totally, utterly -*literally*- run the world. They are the true Global Super Powers which make Bohemian Grove's entire membership past and present look like a bunch of lapdogs. So the vial is in the seat of the Dragon - PEAK OIL. Immediately evil spirits come out of the mouths of the Dragon and the Beasts - alternative energy. But the world doesn't collapse because of peak oil/vial in dragon seat, the SHTF because of the fall of the Great Whore of Babylon. The Great Whore of Babylon (THE BANKS) rides a beast, and this beast is quite interesting.. it flashes on and off...in the words of the prophet "the beast which was, and is not, and yet will be". Anybody who understands how binary works will recognise that the Great Whore is sitting on an electronic system, without which world banking and the superbanks wouldn't be possible. Its the fall of the Great Whore that brings on the apocalypse true. Read Revelation 18 to see how explicit prophecy can be. Now it gets (even more) interesting.. Thereafter, as if we weren't already pounded in this perfect storm, the Lord rides out of the Sun on a white horse accompanied by many, many others. This event wipes out the Beast, just like a coronal mass ejection from the sun wipes out electricity. Then those who would take captive will be taken captive, locked in their houses unable to operate the gate opener. This event is described in many religious texts as God coming to live on earth with man. Coming on the clouds, every eye to see. For an in depth look at CME's go to the Space weather site and learn how fragile our technological existance really, really is: http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=07&month=01&year=2009 J R Tolkien described this situation in the Lord of the Rings. The kings of the earth wanted to be more powerful than they intrinsically were as humans, and took rings of power from the dark lord. The kings were able to excersize great power, but the power wasnt' their own, and because they weren't using their own power they became wraiths. The Holy Spirit is that force which we have in us, that energy and effort with which we do things. For example: God gave us legs, we don't need cars. Giving our tasks to electricity or fossil fuel is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. We were put here to tend and keep the garden. As Jesus said over, over and over again: "blessed is he who overcomes". One of the tricks of survival is that we must obey His commandments, one of which is to give away everything we don't really, really need to the poor, and be poor ourselves. On Judgement day, its the poor who will judge us, who will say " I was hungry and you didn't feed me, naked and you didn't give me clothes". They are already singing "a hungry man is an angry man". The whole of the Book of the Revelation is very pin point about everything that is happening now, including sections on the motor car, mobile phones, and the glut of alcohol that is available to everyone everywhere since the industrial revolution. Being saved doesn't mean we escape doing Jesus commandments, in fact He said "If you love me you WILL do my commandments. He also said "The Kingdom of God is THIS place, with those who give offence to the meek removed from it.". We will be required to overcome, go through the 'selection' process, and be worthy of the paradise that this world will be when all this madness destroys itself. We will finally be free. I hope I've put this across clearly.. We're in deep solar minimum now but on our way to solar maximum, when solar activity is increased. Coupled with the weakening of the magnetosphere which previously deflected cosmic weather away from us, a major CME hitting earth and frying electricity is more than probable, it is inevitable. To try and be brief, which hasn't happened because of the immensity of the subject, I've not gone into the horns and crowns of the beasts, the four riders, any of the trumpets, the seven churches etc. If anyone wants to discuss these.. I'm keen too. Best of luck to all people who are interested in the spiritual side of things.. there's great hope and a great future for those who are going to pass through to the other side of what is happening now. Katie PS here's a short list of what a person of faith can do in preparation for .. now. - get rid of most of your stuff by giving it away to those who don't have. Don't let your ego get involved or tell people what you did - practice a bit of fasting, or get into a habit of one meal a day - do whatever you can by hand. Wash your own clothes. Go to bed early, get a good nights sleep and wake up to watch the dawn. Don't stay up at night burning plutonium/uranium/parrafin or any other burnable with a nasty after effect. Do what you can in daylight and rest when its dark. - walk wherever you can - eat what you can uncooked, go raw even. Raw fruit and vegetables have phytochemicals which protect against the sun. These magic goodies are killed in cooking. - start a local Eden forest by planting and tending fruit trees. - have an open heart, he who tries to save his own life will lose it. Don't die for any of your possessions. Love people more than stuff. - have a cheerful, joyful attitude because soon we are going to be FREE.

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

I am guilty of getting very caught up in what is going on in the world.  I went back and read Eckhart Tolle "The Power Of Now" and "A New Earth" to realize again that all we have is this present moment.  It's amazing how unconscious we as a people are and how we always live in past or in the future and never live in the "now". 

There is a section in "A New Earth" where he talks about being right, making wrong.  And that there is nothing that strengthens the ego more than "being right".  Being right is identification with a mental position and you need to make others wrong in order to get a stronger sense of who you are.  It is that sense of superiority that the ego craves and through which it enhances itself.

Your ego is not who you are.  It's an illusion. 

Be alert to the here and now.  Be present to this moment, it is all you have.

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith
tx_floods wrote:

I want to get others' opinions on a matter I've been struggling with about the whole TSHTF scenario. My wife and discussed this earlier tonight, and I want to get your opinions. How do you reconcile the TSHTF scenario with your walk of faith? My wife asked me if anyone on this forum discussed topics from a religious/spiritual perspective. I thought about it for a minute, and said, "No, I don't think so." We happen to be Christians but you don't have to be; I'm interested to know your views if you believe in any sort of higher power.

On the one hand, as Christians, we believe that God is Good and God is in control, of all things. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and (I forget the other one. Omni-something-or-another). Jesus said some powerful words about not worryng about tomorrow; That God wll provide everything we need. In one of the Epistles, some guys got admonished for trying to plan out for next year, not knowng what time will bring

Yet, on the other hand, history dictates that bad stuff happens occassionally. Really bad stuff. The Jews were really rounded up and killed in huge numbers. The Germans and French really shot at each other across trenches in no-man's land for no good reason. People really went hungry in the Great Depresson.

How can I reconcile my attempts to prepare for TSHTF with my trusting in God for the outcome?

Please don't blast me for posting this, as I'm not trying to convert anyone to my belief system, nor will I counter anyone with the belief that my way of thinking is the only "right" way to believe. I really don'e care how anyone decides to worship or not worship. I am truly looking for some help in how to reconcile this in my own life. Thanks.

Floods,

There actually was a long and contentious discussion regarding faith on a Religion and Politics thread. You can review that, if you like. It doesn't exactly answer your concerns, but you can easily get an idea of how spirited, and sometimes mean-spirited, discussions on faith can become.

My advice, for what little its worth: As faith is a personal decision, ones reconciliation of their faith with worldly events also must be a personal journey. 

If you would like to hear more of my take on things, send me an email, and I'd be happy to discuss it.

[email protected]

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Hi again, the preview comment had all the spaces and carriage returns but when I posted it its in one big lump! Here's the spaceweather url which doesn't seem to have come out in its entirety:

 http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=07&month=01&year=2009

katie 

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith
tx_floods wrote:

How can I reconcile my attempts to prepare for TSHTF with my trusting in God for the outcome?

Somehow, I'm reminded of what Jesus said when he talked about giving to Caesar's that which is Caesar's and giving unto God that which is God's.  Meaning, there is the spiritual and the worldly - both exist side by side.

One thing that does concern me a great deal, as I read and hear all the many ideas and thoughts being discussed...  I believe that the things we think, the things we envision, the things we focus on... those become the fruits of tomorrow.  We humans create and cause to exist the world we live in, from our smaller personal worlds to the larger global scale.

It is important to remember, while preparing for this unknown future that we "fear" may happen, we must not operate out of fear.  Though we will constantly find ourselves going back to a state of fear, we must resist that emotion.  For what we fear is what we may cause to happen.  The negativity all over the world is growing exponentially right now.  This will serve no good purpose and must be countered.

Instead, we must envision the world that we DESIRE to exist.  What can we envision and do to make the world better?  We need to each ask the question and set about to make those things happen in our lives.  How great can our world be?  Only as great as our thoughts are.

Resist fear and replace it with a vision of what you want, what you can be and do.  This is not an encouragement to blow off reality because we do have to operate within the facts that surround us.  But there will be a world of difference between actions based in hope and faith and a well thought out vision of good things and the world we will create from actions based in fear or hopelessness. As a real world reminder of what courage and hope and vision can accomplish, remember our forefathers, John (and Abigail) Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, our US troops, Martin Luther King, and countless others who gave so much but whose vision created a better world.

These ideas are helpful to me in resolving the conflict between preparing for TSHTF with a faith in God.

All the best,

Skyriver 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Hi tx_flood,

Don't just trust in God for "the outcome", trust in God for YOUR outcome.  Of course there are spiritual people on this website, we simply are spirit in the flesh.  I too am a christian.  I am also a cancer survivor.  Durring cancer treatment I read a blog from another cancer patient that said "cancer is a journey, trust it".  This filled me with one of Gods universal truths that this life is a journey and through happy, sad, suffering, and sunrises and everything in between we are supposed to trust and learn.  Trust and learn.  Trust and learn.  It's the same for everyone (we are spirit) regardless of faith and circumstance. 

 God luck,

Rocketgirl1

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

I think it was the writings of historian Josephus where I gleaned this. But TSHTF in AD 70 with the destruction of the Jewish temple in a major way.

While surrounded by Roman brigades there was no food. People were eating grass, drinking the stores of olive oil held in the temple and cannibalism was practiced (I won't gross you out with the details of the latter).

Did God intervene to help his chosen people in that moment? No. I suspect that He did not intervene because the temple destruction was part of the master plan.

So, those of us that wax religious need ask ourselves a question: Is the fall of Babylon (interpreted by many as the fall of the world trade system as predicted in Revelation) a part of the master plan? Is this what we are seeing now?

If it is, we are on our own and we must be prepared.

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Don't get me wrong (nice post jerry don10) PREP LIKE HELL!!

but also trust whats happening.

Prep for others and give generously.

trust and learn.

 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith
strabes wrote:

Dogs, I love the sense of surrender in your post.  Restful.  

Surrender, acceptance, reconciliation, fatalism, realism - whatever - you say potato.........

In the immortal words of Publilius Syrus

"Tis foolish to fear what cannot be avoided."

The old guy was pretty smart huh?

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

it might  be helpful to think in terms of spirituality rather than religion.

i love the quote of wayne dyer " we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience we are spiritual beings having a physical experience"

one of my favorite books is the "practice of the presence of god" by brother lawrence . he was a worldly man who entered a monastery later in life. he was the cook. he became the spiritual hub of the monastery. people would go to him for advice before going to the abbot.

when asked about the terrible state of the world he would reply that " that was god's business, my business is to cook and wash the pots"

the earliest  avatar, zoroaster  came with the teaching of good thoughts good words and good actions. after 5000 years it seems to hold up pretty well. all we need to do is lead a normal life with good thoughts good words and good actions and god will take care of the big picture. for the atheists here forget the god part.

for an inspired life beyond the ordinary consider selfless service

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith
skyriver wrote:

One thing that does concern me a great deal, as I read and hear all the many ideas and thoughts being discussed...  I believe that the things we think, the things we envision, the things we focus on... those become the fruits of tomorrow.  We humans create and cause to exist the world we live in, from our smaller personal worlds to the larger global scale.

It is important to remember, while preparing for this unknown future that we "fear" may happen, we must not operate out of fear.  Though we will constantly find ourselves going back to a state of fear, we must resist that emotion.  For what we fear is what we may cause to happen.  The negativity all over the world is growing exponentially right now.  This will serve no good purpose and must be countered.

Instead, we must envision the world that we DESIRE to exist.  What can we envision and do to make the world better?  We need to each ask the question and set about to make those things happen in our lives.  How great can our world be?  Only as great as our thoughts are.

Resist fear and replace it with a vision of what you want, what you can be and do.  This is not an encouragement to blow off reality because we do have to operate within the facts that surround us.  But there will be a world of difference between actions based in hope and faith and a well thought out vision of good things and the world we will create from actions based in fear or hopelessness. As a real world reminder of what courage and hope and vision can accomplish, remember our forefathers, John (and Abigail) Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, our US troops, Martin Luther King, and countless others who gave so much but whose vision created a better world.

Really great sentiment, skyriver! 

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Dear all,

I highly recommend the book "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community" by David C. Korten.  This would be the one book that I'd like people to read following the Crash Course if I could get them to read no more than one book.  For me this was the best place to connect all of the dots, including spirituality. 

Cheers,

James

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Re: TSHTF vs. Faith
Dogs wrote:

Surrender, acceptance, reconciliation, fatalism, realism - whatever - you say potato.........

Yeah I didn't mean surrender in the competitive us vs. them sense, but rather in the self vs. world, or self vs. self sense.

 

All, I wasn't here for the previous thread that you say got contentious, but I think it's unfortunate that we don't want to discuss such issues in community.  Compassion, tenderness, openness, understanding is all that's required and then we realize how common all our supposedly different worldviews/philosophies are. Relegating these discussions only to the "private" realm is the problem with Enlightenment rationalism/modernism...it means that public/community discussions will be about nothing "meaningful" in the metaphysical sense...no ultimate "why" will be allowed, but only the rational "what"...after spending years pursuing mastery of the rational what and demonstrating mastery with good grades at the best schools and good money in "good" careers, I gotta say I find it empty, boring, meaningless.

Having said that, I do understand the divisive nature that our nationally polarized media and political system have created within this realm...and how some churches, pastors, groups get caught up in the fight themselves.  So, I understand how a thread like this could go nowhere and just result in attacking each other.  I grieve that.  I actually think it was partially planned by TPTB to divide us thusly, and thereby stifle such discussion about meaning. I grieve not living in a community that values dialogue about ultimate meaning...in the US our sense of ultimate meaning is whether we are right or left...completely irrelevant...so pursuing affluence became our practical meaning over the last 50 years...that's why I decided to abandon corporate life and go to seminary.  Now that I'm soon graduating, I'll have to get creative about keeping/creating such a community.

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strabes
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Posts: 1032
Re: TSHTF vs. Faith
skyriver wrote:

Though we will constantly find ourselves going back to a state of fear, we must resist that emotion

I enjoyed your post but I don't think the answer is to resist it.  We all have a fearful internal aspect of our selves...for some it's more dominant, even pathological, than others. It's based on the infantile fear of frustration/separation from our caregivers...the feeling of being endangered.  That's a useful emotion that needs to be honored, understood, known, cared for within us rather than rejected, repressed, resisted.  If it's resisted, it only grows in mystery and power and results in people who think they are shiny/happy and not fearful, yet they endorse a society with tough militarized police forces to supposedly make us safe and governments that take care of us with seatbelt laws, etc.  Turning toward our fear in compassion is I think the answer to defusing its harmful potential.  

 

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jkibbe
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Posts: 71
Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

I thought I'd share my $0.02 since I've been struggling with the same thinking lately.

Here's a few thoughts I been having -- from a Christian perspective (realizing not everyone agrees or cares!):

1.  This world is not our home.  In a sense we're strangers passing through.

2.  We need to remember that 'the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil' (greed is obvious in much of our financial woes) and that we can't serve both God and money.

3.  We're instructed to invest all that God entrusts to us wisely -- parable of the talents.

4.  We are God's stewards and should be a blessing to others (willingness to share vs. hoarding).

5.  Just as Joseph stored up grain for seven years, we need to be aware of the situation around us and be willing to take action to prepare for the 'famines' to come.

-Jason

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Gungnir
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2009
Posts: 643
Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

I've had a long relationship with varying religions, and came to a
simple conclusion, they are all wrong, my opinion don't flame me, I
think they're wrong for me, you might have different experience.
Incidentally as Atheism is a belief I throw that into the religion
bucket, which frequently upsets a lot of atheists, belief of no supreme
being is just as dogmatic as a belief there is.

I'm a practising agnostic, I do believe in the spiritual and think
the description of "do not think we are physical being experiencing the
spiritual, but we are spiritual beings experiencing the physical"
there's been too much coincidence in my life for me to not consider
that there is some grand plan at work (I'm not convinced that there is
intelligence there), destiny, higher self, "gods will" or whatever. I
guess I'll find out one day and that day will come soon enough for me
even if it's 200 years away.I also don't think that the physical and spiritual are separated, but more intertwined than we can imagine, I studied quantum physics, and relativity at university and the simplicity and elegance of the theorums and the behaviors predicted make me believe that they're actually closely intertwined if not coincident. Different reference frames, but coincident in space and time.

My agnostic spiritual beliefs are not at all at odds with a TSHTF
scenario, we're natural beings but unlike all other natural being we
adapt our environment to suit us, rather than adapt to suit our
environment. Over the last 2000 years we've gradually adapted our
environments extensively, some of this still exists, and some is gone,
its an evolutionary process, we move forward and fall back, and move
forward again. Its cyclic but as we expanded to fill the globe, the
impacts of the forward motions and falls has been mitigated, by
transferring resources from areas of plenty to areas of scarcity,
frequently creating areas of scarcity where there should be plenty, and
vice versa, and probably over the past 500 years the falls have been
slight and the forward progress has been great but it's only delayed
the inevitable. I do think we're heading towards a new era, and that
will have some teething problems. I do hope though that at the end of
the transition we're more at peace with our natural place and
environment than we currently are. I think that this is important both
for our survival as a species, but also important for us to accept that
there are times when solving the immediate problem just creates a much
bigger problem later.

To answer the original posters reconciliation, in his religious terms, God helps those who help themselves.

I
prefer "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" but ultimately its the
same thing. Do not trust so much in your belief system that you expect
that some miracle will occur to save you because of that belief. The Miricle is to
trust in yourself, and your abilities, intelligence, skills, and
determination, then ultimately it should have no impact on your
relationship with your deity. If the deity exists, is Omniescent,
Omnipotent, then they just know they can spend less time worrying about
you being prepared, and spend more time on those less prepared, isn't this in a small way helping out? Don't you consider that under normal expectations this would be rewarded, rather than punished? If an Old drunk guy was ordered to build an ark while drunk, and then laughed at and ridiculed about it, then surely you acting for your survival is at least as admirable, maybe you got the message and that's why you're here.

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tx_floods
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 1 2009
Posts: 155
Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Well, I would like to thank you all for playing so nice. I read the thread referenced above, and WOW! What a mess! I had second thoughts before I posted the original, due to the nature of the topic, but felt like I needed some other opinions for a sounding board. At any rate, I'm ready to close this topic down before it degenerates like that other thread.

Here's what I'm going to do: I am going to do what I believe I have to do to take care of my family; No one else is going to do it for me. The Gov't certainly won't; I have to make my own best decisions. I'll take care of working it out with God on my own. Thanks, CM, et al, for the info and for opening our eyes.

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skyriver
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 30 2008
Posts: 20
Re: TSHTF vs. Faith

Thank you, too for your comments back to me.  I think you're right in what you're saying up to a point of fear becoming the driving force in the actions we take, other than recognizing that fear is a protective mechanism against danger.  I don't believe its helpful, though, to base our actions going forward on our fears. I actually didn't mean to try to resist fear in the sense of repressing it but resist it by the power of knowledge and strength and courage... to arm oneself with strong thoughts and strong will, based in realities.  And to build a future based on our best thoughts, not our fears.

 The main point is that  whether we intend to our not, we create our own future.  It is better to think it through and envision the future that we want. And we can ultimately build a life that suits our needs and beliefs.  To fail to think or to react in fear to the situations we may perhaps face in near future will not help us or others near as much as planning and acting with courage and integrity.

When I look back on the things that have most helped me in life, it's not the things I feared... but the things I wanted and worked hard for.

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