A survey about the end of the world made the news today. While the headline is “Nearly half of Christians believe we are living in the end times,” there is more to the story.
Here are some figures from it:
- 39 percent of the U.S. population believes we are living in the end times. 58 percent say we are not.
- 47 percent of “self-professed Christians” believe we are.
- 76 percent of black Protestants believe we are in the end times, the highest percentage of any group in the survey.
- 63 percent of evangelicals agree.
- 29 percent of those who “adhere to a non-Christian religion” believe these are the end times.
If we extrapolate out that 39 percent figure, that’s about 130 million people who think we are living in the end times.
Why Aren’t there More Preppers?
I’ve read estimates that between five and ten percent of the country are preppers, even though most are not hard-core preppers. That’s a big gap between those that are prepping for the end of the world and those that believe the world is going to come to an end.
Some with strongly held religious beliefs may expect to be snatched up and transported into heaven during the Rapture. They must be quite confident as this means they are not prepared for the Tribulation that is expected to follow.
Personally, I‘ve always believed God helps those who help themselves, and I like to have all my bases covered. I also think life as we know it can end by means other than the rapture. To believe in God means you must also believe the Devil is out there seeking to cause as much trouble as he can.
Another reason I think more people are not preppers is that prepping takes money out of your daily living expenses and sets it aside in a “savings account” of food and gear. When 69 percent of the population are living from paycheck to paycheck, few think they can afford the cost of prepping. (But can they afford not to?) Fewer still are willing to make the sacrifices required to prep. You know, like skipping that Latte and buying a couple cans of pork and beans instead.
Prepping Requires Sacrifice
When you buy some canned goods and put them in your prepper pantry, you are buying food you won’t be eating in a week or a month. It is taking money that won’t pay for a couple Happy Meals, a month of streaming services, or a bottle of wine and tying it up in goods that just sit on a shelf. That’s a sacrifice, and it takes a degree of maturity to accept.
Prepping is also delayed gratification, something difficult for most Americans. The idea of preparing for something that may not happen for months or years is difficult for people who are used to getting their every want and desire fulfilled at the click of a button. We can watch any movie with the press of a button, order any food and have it brought to our door, place an order on Amazon.com or another website and have it delivered the same day. No wonder no one wants to wait for the end of the world.
Prepping Takes Maturity
If you are a prepper, congratulate yourself. Prepping takes self-control and discipline. It requires a certain degree of maturity that too many lack. For example, I know there are 200 MRE deserts and at least 300 small foil-wrapped Dove dark chocolates in boxes in my store room, and I have to sit here some 30 feet away and resist eating them. I can’t sneak one or two, because if I do, they’ll be gone when I really need them. That is where the self-control and discipline comes in.
Not buying a $4,000 system with a solar generator and 800 watts of folding solar panels is also showing self-control. I don’t want to accumulate debt by making a large purchase. No debt is helping me survive inflation. It is helping me minimize my monthly expenditures and stay on budget. Thirty years ago, I would probably have bought a side-by-side and a solar power system, but I’d struggle to pay my bills. I owed money to the credit card companies from the time I was 20 until I was 40. I don’t want to see those 18.9 percent of 24 percent interest payments again. I’ve learned my lesson, and that’s part of maturity too.
Are we Living in the End Times?
I don’t know if we are living in the end times, but it can sure seem like it. Maybe people felt like this in the late 1960s or in the 1970s when the Vietnam war was churning out dead Americans by the planeload and the politics had everyone roiled up. We bounced back from that and beat inflation, but that’s no guarantee we’ll do it again.
I’m going to keep prepping. I hope you do too.