Chapter 1: Defining Terms
Copyright Michael Bunker 2009
Words Mean Things
Advanced communication, primarily the use of words, is one of the most important things that separate man from the lower animals. Man is able to use a multitude of creative and descriptive words, and this wonderful ability of communicative speech is a gift of God to aid us in our understanding and our living. Words, and the proper use of them, allow us to come to agreement, or to understand where we differ, and words allow us to perceive how very important our agreements or differences may be. It is said that the only hope we have of ever coming to agreement with one another is if we share the same information and if we understand that information in similar ways. Words allow us to identify concepts, thoughts, and ideas, and words allow us to communicate our understanding of those things to one another. Even the word “communication” has the word “commune” as its root, because we use words to commune with one another and with our God. Discussion or discourse is the primary form of communion between man and man, and prayer is the primary form of communion between man and his God. Communion requires communication, and communication requires that we have some agreement and understanding as to the meaning of the words we choose to use.
Unhappily, words today, like most things, have lost their real value. Conversation has become “talking”, and talking seems to have its value in quantity (the sheer number of words) rather than in their quality and in our mutual understanding of those words. Most conversation today is light and meaningless, and most modernists are able to have long and drawn-out “talks” where almost nothing is learned, decided, or actually communicated. Talk is everywhere – on the TV, on the radio, at the workplace, and as the total number of words have increased, true understanding and communication has decreased. It is quite common today for two people to have an entire conversation where both parties leave the conversation believing that they are like-minded and that they agree, when in reality they have in no way come to any real agreement at all. They have agreed using words, not realizing that they have each held different interpretations and definitions of the words being used. Nowhere is this tragedy more prevalent than in religious circles. Religious words have become stripped down and systematized until most of the world’s religions and denominations, some with patently opposite beliefs and understandings, have chosen to use the same lexicon, and have come to believe that they actually agree on the fundamental or principle elements of faith because of the similarity or likeness of the words being used. Some of the most important words that frame and define who we are as a people have completely changed meaning in the last 100 years. In the American system, the words of the framers of the United States Constitution have been twisted to the point that in many places they are now understood to mean the exact opposite of what they were intended to mean by the original writers. Different political and cultural parties choose to adopt meanings for identical words that often are in diametrical opposition. As I was writing this chapter I came upon a news report where a journalist was arguing for European style restrictions on the freedom of speech in America. Here is what this “journalist” said:
“I love and respect the freedom of speech. As a journalist I am absolutely dependent and reliant on the First Amendment. But we have to understand that freedoms can be abused, and some nations have wisely chosen to restrict certain kinds of dangerous and hateful speech in order to maintain a society where freedoms can exist and flourish. We have to decide whether we want to be the kind of society that uses the police to protect hateful and abusive speech that can lead to crimes and death, or whether we want to use the police to protect our freedoms and our society from people who would destroy the society using the freedom of speech.”
I would hope that any reasonably intelligent, historically knowledgeable, and fair reader would know that this journalist’s understanding of the freedom of speech is completely at odds with (it is, in fact, opposite of) what the framers of the U.S. Constitution had in mind. This is Orwellian doublespeak at its pinnacle. Every tyrant in history has used necessity as a primary argument for the abridgment of freedoms, and it was clearly expected and understood by the founders that freedom of speech was critical in restricting the ability for tyrants to use the argument of necessity to crush freedom. The purpose of this journalist is to give political and social “cover” for reactionary elements who hate and want to control and limit true freedoms. I use this as an example because this is certainly a case of words being used to mean the opposite of what they actually were intended to mean. And in this case, the words of reactionary tyrants will lead to actions, and those actions will lead to very real infringements and the eradication of true freedom. Words do mean things.
Ok, so why all the emphasis on defining words? Because the first word in the title of this book is SURVIVAL – a word that can have drastically different meanings to different people. During times of stress and trouble, when survivalism grows and thrives, the importance of communicating what we mean by such an important word is multiplied. In attempting to communicate, it is not as critical that our use of a word follows accepted or cultural norms (although that would be preferable), as it is that we share the same definitions. So long as we agree on the terms, we can communicate. If we share the same definitions, then we are able to commune in the arena of ideas and we are able to discourse more honestly about the how and the why of living.
Now, I must say here as an aside that this book and the ideas in it are very challenging to read, and they are very challenging to write. First, they are challenging to read because they run so contrary to the accepted thinking and the prevalent presuppositions of the day. Second, they are difficult to write for a few reasons. I want to address those reasons here so that the reader will have fair warning and an understanding of the challenges I have faced in writing this book.
I am a committed Christian (and YES, I understand that the word “Christian” is one of those words that no longer holds any real descriptive meaning or definitive power, and it is one which must be properly defined. I have done so elsewhere at great length, but do not have the space to do so here), and I understand that many of those who need the practical information that will be found later in this book, and who want to learn more about Off Off-Grid living, are not Christians. I have, however, been challenged by the difficulty of trying to present my philosophy without offending those who operate according to a fundamentally different worldview. I have determined within myself to just tell it how I see it. It would impossible for me to present my philosophy of living removed from the foundation of that philosophy.
I have been asked “Who is your intended audience?”, and I can honestly answer “Everyone”. I have not made the assumption that anyone who reads this is already a true Christian, but I have absolutely properly situated my whole philosophy and worldview on my understanding of what Christianity is and what it requires. It is, of course, not my intention to exclude anyone. Facts and truth are, in and of themselves, exclusive enough. In fact, I have determined that in order to be fair, I must be willing to insult everyone equally, and I include modern “christians” and modern “christianity” (which I reject wholly and not in part) in my condemnation of the world and the current world system. I know that this book could be written from several different angles. It could be written as a secular book, and the advice and counsel would be just as valuable (though temporal). It could be written from a Christian perspective with all separatist convictions tempered or removed, and I believe it would still have value. In fact, if I were willing to do these things, it would probably sell more copies and make more money. But I have rejected that counsel. The facts in the book are true whether you reject or accept my overt and sometimes offensive Christian Agrarian Separatism. I would have been a traitor to my conscience and a rebel to my convictions if I had tempered the book at all. I ask, therefore, that the reader simply read this book as a dissertation (and dispensation) of a new (actually old) philosophy and worldview, and that the reader glean what he or she can from it. In my life I have read dozens of books (as Jimmy Buffet would say “about heroes and crooks”) which describe and even proselytize for other religions and philosophies. I believe my God wants me to fairly examine and judge His claims, and I felt it necessary to do so by reading many philosophies and religious opinions with which I do not agree. I merely ask for that same courtesy, and that you read the material fairly and openly, and judge it for what it is.
Ok, let us get to these definitions, shall we?
The dictionary defines the word survive as “to remain alive after the death of someone, the cessation of something, or the occurrence of some event.” Further, it is to “continue in existence or use”, to “get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence; to live through affliction, adversity, or misery.”
At its very root, to survive is to live through or beyond some thing or occurrence. This definition, though technically proper, is entirely too bare and empty for our purposes. It is stripped of any spiritual truth, or any philosophy or context of living. To merely survive in a life that is remarkably short and fleeting, is hardly a philosophy worth embracing. Sadly, the modern concept of “survival” is wholly based on this empty philosophy. When you read of survivalism or survival today, it generally has this overall meaning – to live no matter what the cost.
Now, if we say that our philosophy is to live no matter the cost – then we must conclude that that cost may include our immortal soul and our eternal happiness. Would it ever be a good deal to trade our immortal soul and our eternal happiness for temporal and fleeting survival? Does anyone truly survive this carnal world? No, I would say, they do not. To anyone who values law and morality, and particularly to the Christian, this definition of survival is inadequate and even dangerous. So you see, if I were to begin to write or teach without properly defining what I mean by survival, I would do you a disservice, and I would feed into some scary and dangerous concepts that really have no place in the life and philosophy of right thinking people.
So I have chosen here to give you a working definition of what I mean when I speak and write of survival and survivalism. So long as we both are clear that this is what I mean when I use these words, then we are able to proceed in our discourse with understanding.
Survive – To persevere. To do all that is within my power to persist in my Christian duty, to maintain my Christian witness, to protect and defend all of my human and Christian obligations, and to continue to live obediently as long as God chooses to sustain my life and ministry. To stand.
My goal is not merely to continue to live at all costs despite the situation or danger that exists around me. Life is transient and passes so very quickly. My goal is to persist in my duties, to continue in obedience, and to live my life in such a way that, by the grace, mercy, and sustenance of God, I am able to stand and resist the dangers and follies of the world, the temptations of the flesh, and the wiles of the devil. My goal is to continue dutifully at my station, to stand against the tyranny of absorption and syncretism with the world, and to hold fast to the old and narrow paths wherein is found the good and righteous way. My way is not the way of the world, and I do not value cohesion and intercourse with any system which is contrary to the direct statements of my God. Were I to live for a thousand years in the way the world has defined as acceptable, I will have failed to truly survive. Were I to perfectly avoid all danger, peril, and consequence, and in doing so glorify the Prince of this World and his temporal and earthly reign, I will have failed to truly survive. I cannot say that I want to survive at all costs. I cannot say that “pulling through” is worth betraying my Master. I cannot believe that looking, dressing, and acting like the world is worth the evil that accompanies that mentality. I wish to survive to the Glory of God, regardless of what men say. The Bible says, that “whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24). This saying is a perfect paradox for the worldling or the modern survivalist, but for those who understand how to properly define survival, this saying makes perfect sense and is not paradoxical at all.
If we will survive, we must lose our lives. What can this mean?
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro 14:12). Now let us stay here for awhile and consider this. If it is true that the carnal man embraces a way that seemeth right unto him, and if it is true that the bulk of carnal men are at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7) and are pursuing a way that seems right unto them, then it must be true that the general and accepted way of the world is a way that seems right unto the world… BUT… it is the way of death. There is no true survival in that way. True survival, then, must presuppose that Godly men must go a different way than the way of the world:
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14)
Honest men and women without guile must operate on different principles, and their way must actually look and be different from the way that leads to death. This is a maxim, and all of our understanding of survival must rest on this maxim.
The way or philosophy of living that you find defined in this book may seem ancient or anachronistic, some might even call it “backwards”, but it is a way that has been proven through the centuries. In every era or region where men and women lived simply according to the principles of God, righteousness and holiness have thrived. As the Bible says, in order to return to true Godliness and a truly Biblical way of living, we must return to the old paths and the old ways. You will find this principle verse repeated in all my writings wherever you find them:
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jer. 6:16).
This principle is critical if we are to understand right living and true survival. Repentance is the God-given ability to understand that our current path and trajectory is wrong and perilous and will lead to disaster if we continue in it. Repentance is turning from that wicked way and returning to a successful way trod only by brave and hardy souls. The prophets of worldliness, urbanism, and industrialism have every interest in keeping consumers (lemmings) on the path that at its end must lead to destruction. The prophets of industrialism and consumption have every interest in defaming and rejecting any call to repentance of spirit and of life. The prophets of today have a vested interest in teaching people that separation is of the heart only, and that holy and Godly living is only an internal precept and not an actual calling. I understand this, and so should you. I understand that our call to true survival will not ever be popular, and few will ever heed it. But it is a holy calling nonetheless, and it is our duty to proclaim it.
In summation, when God took His people from Egypt (a type of slavery to worldliness and worldly wisdom), to the Promised Land, He promised that if they obeyed and followed His prophet (Moses), they would prosper and survive. No one believes that this promise meant that they would live carnally on this earth forever. Whether they stayed in Egypt or left for Canaan, they were eventually going to die. Survival, then, was the God-given protection and inclination to leave the world and the dominion of the Pharaoh of Egypt, in order to live simply and in a holy way (worship) under the authority of God alone. It should be said here that almost all of the Israelites loved the world too much, feared freedom too much, and never entered into the Promised Land. This is our model and “type” for separation from the world system. Survival is the process of trying to live obediently no matter what giants seem to be in the land (Num. 13:33.)
Off-Grid and OFF Off-Grid
I hope that by now you have noticed that the title of this book is a call to OFF OFF-GRID Living. This was not an error in typesetting. You have all heard of living Off-Grid, but most of you will have never heard of living OFF Off-Grid. It is necessary now that I define the two phrases, and differentiate between the two.
If you went up to the average person and you said, “I live off-grid”, the reply would likely be something like this… “Oh, that’s interesting, how do you get your power? from a generator? From solar power? From wind power?” You see, off-grid living today implies being separated from the industrial power grid unto a separate or independent power grid that supplies all the same perceived benefits and “necessities”, only (it is assumed) cheaper and more sustainably. So in the minds of most people, “off-grid” means that you supply your own power, or that you live with some alternative form of power. This form of living (living off-grid), though wiser and safer than living on the grid, never does investigate or question the principle foundations or maxims of modern life. It never really challenges the precepts and presuppositions of the consumer/colonialized life. Most people, then, do not even begin to consider that the so-called “necessities” of modern living are not actually necessary at all. I talk to hundreds of people who are considering separating from the modern world and moving off-grid. Their first impulse is always to ask themselves “how do I do all or most of the things I do now without being attached to the power grid?” But our philosophy ought to require that we look at every single assumption and question it. Every technology must be examined to see if, in the long run and with all things considered, this technology actually benefits us in the process of daily obedient living. Does this technology help or hurt our overall plan of being independent and separate from the world? Does this technology even deliver what it promises? Does this technology lock us into some necessary and continued adherence to the industrial system? (in other words, what does it really cost?) Is it sustainable? These things are not usually ever addressed or questioned, even by people who see the grid system for what it is and who desire to separate from it. For this reason, I have called the “off-grid” system just a step-child or an offspring of the grid system.
Some people today do indeed live “off-grid”, but they do not recognize that they are just one step removed from the grid. They have, in effect, created a separate grid system which, though it admittedly makes them a single step more sustainable than the world, in the long run it is just a faint copy (a copy of a copy) of the grid system from which they have endeavored to separate. Much of the meat of this argument will be fleshed out during the remainder of the book, but it is important for our purposes here that we identify a difference between “off-grid” and “off off-grid”.
Off Off-Grid Living
By contrast, the Off Off-Grid system is the system that is the most sustainable, the most separate, and is closest to the ideal way of living as portrayed for us in the scripture. By “Off Off-Grid” we mean that we have not just taken a single symbolic step away from the industrial/urban system by creating our own grid system with which to replace it. Off Off-Grid means that we are moving towards a purely God-reliant, separated, survival life. In the Off Off-Grid system, we have eschewed and rejected the accepted maxims of industrialism and urbanism, and we actually dare to question whether the perpetual 72 degree myth and the lie of “time saving” is beneficial to our long-term survival and happiness. We actually dare to question whether some very modern conveniences are really necessary. We actually dare to ask if we, as a people, are better off and more holy and spiritual since we have determined that carnal comfort is critical to our well being and happiness.
I know it is common, as I mentioned in the introduction, for ignorant worldlings to have an “all or nothing” mentality. This means that in the mind of the modern worldling, if you accept any technology or so-called “advancement”, it is absolutely necessary that you accept every technology and “advancement” without question. They will say “If you use any technology at all (such as a screwdriver, or a pie plate) then you are hypocrites!” I know that I cursorily handled the “hypocrisy” charge in the introduction, but since it is such a prevalent charge, I want to take the time here to publicly respond to it and to expand on my comments.
Agrarianism and Technology
I have written about this before in many venues and at great length, but we must emphasize again that we are not “anti-technology”. There is a really sick kind of institutional (colonized) blindness that assumes (whether purposely or not is always the interesting question) that any limits put on the use of technology is automatically hypocritical. Let me explain this in the same illogical thought process used and followed by most people:
Step 1: “Oh, you are an ‘Agrarian’… like the Amish. That’s interesting.”
Step 2: “Well why are you on the Internet, and why do you have a truck?” (Note: if you are not on the Internet, or you do not have a truck they will say, “Why do you use store bought tools or frying pans –which are all technology?” The assumption is that anyone who dares question or reject ANY technology, is automatically a hypocrite and should be ignored or dismissed).
Step 3: “If you are going to preach that technology is evil, then you should get rid of all these things.” So, according to the modernist, if you reject a home phone and grid electricity because you do not find them necessary, or because you do not want to allow some ungodly company to wreck your land and destroy the view by running poles and lines on your property, then you are a hypocrite and you must also reject frying pans and matches. Since any simple machine or tool can be considered technology, and since the worldling wrongly assumes that you reject all technology, then you are automatically a hypocrite even if the only technology you use is a stone wheel to crush walnuts. To most modern world-lovers ALL technology must be embraced without question. To the modern world, Industrialism, technology, and advancements are a complete and inviolable package, and with every toothbrush you must also warmly accept bluetooth technology. Regardless of the criteria you use, or the philosophy behind your thoughts in rejecting some so-called “advanced” time-saving gadgets (a lie if ever there was one), and accepting some others, you must realize that to the modernist industrial colonized mind you are a hypocrite if you do anything more than stand naked and starving in a cave until you die. There is no middle ground and no gray area. You must accept technology as morally neutral and embrace every bit of it, or you must reject every single bit of it without prejudice. Of course if anyone really believed this false dialectic it would prove every human ever born to be a hypocrite.
This is a really stupid idea, I know, but that is what the modern worldling thinks of any attempt at rejecting modernism. Even those who admire the simple life or who think it quaint and interesting will conclude (whether openly or privately, whether consciously or unconsciously) that the plain and simple separatist is really a quaint and simple little hypocrite. When they accuse us of hypocrisy, it is because they do not know what we believe (nor do most of them really care). The worldling accuses the separatist of hypocrisy, because if they do not, then they are faced with examining all the lies they have believed, and all the truths they must avoid at all costs. The principle truth that their worldview requires that they never, ever consider about themselves is this:
1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
The colonized mind must defend this world and its ways because it loves the world. That is a fact. It is a sad and scary fact, but it is a fact. The world will not listen to your reasoning as to why you have rationally and reasonably come to reject their worldview. They must not listen, because if they do they will come face to face with their primary love… their love of the world. They must embrace this world and never for a minute weaken their grasp on it, because it is all they have. Never mind that:
a.) their culture is evidently crumbling around them.
b.) with all their time and labor-saving devices, they must work harder with less (in real terms) to show for it. Where a man used to be able to work to support his whole family, now, most two-earner families must utilize mountains of debt in order to maintain a worse standard of living. Families suffer, marriages are temporary, children reject God (or embrace a fake ‘god’ of their own mind and creation), and the worldling can’t stop for a moment on the treadmill of this worldly life or they will be crushed under the weight of the cost of their lusts.
c.) their religion is designed to fit neatly into their worldview. It is rubber and flexible and doesn’t for a minute challenge or confront the world that it upholds so wonderfully. True Christianity was once called “Contra Mundum” (against the world), but today, in fact, modern “christianity” is merely the religious arm of the industrial world; it is a fully owned subsidiary of the world system that hates Jesus Christ (Luke 19:14, John 7:7.) This is why I call modern “christianity” Jesus Christ, Inc.
Religion (at least modern plastic religion) is indeed the opiate of the masses, and for those who are fully and completely brainwashed and colonized by the industrial religious cult, any defection from complete and idolatrous worship of technology and the industrial Leviathan is treason of the highest order.
So just who is the hypocrite? Let’s see…
Do our accusers embrace ALL technology without question? Of course they do not. Go to your accuser and ask them if there is any technology that they have rejected. Does your secular humanist have every gadget out there and does he accept all new technology without question? If not, why not? Has your modernist “christian” already received a Digital Angel personal tracking microchip? Then ask them if they will allow such a chip to be put into their right hand to be used for monetary transactions, and if they do not already have one of these, ask them “why not?” These tracking chips are already available and they have been for many years!
I saw a chef on a television show one time that used a hand whisk to beat eggs. Why would he use a hand whisk when beautiful and expensive electric egg-beaters are available to enable him to save time? The chef said that he used the hand whisk because it made the eggs lighter and fluffier and allowed him to have better control of the texture of the final product. Hmmmm… What can we determine from such thinking? Is it possible that some non-electric technology is actually better and more effective? Is it hypocrisy for someone to actually examine each technology and decide on a case by case basis if that technology is wise and good for the situation or the job? Would any reasonable person accept every technology just because it is technology and not examine the claims made by that technology? Would anyone really dare accuse a television chef of hypocrisy for refusing to use an electric egg-beater?
So, let’s get this straight… virtually every intelligent and sentient being makes value decisions about their use of different technologies and how they fit into their particular worldview, and how those things are used in the process of work. This is a fact. If other men are free to make value decisions (according to their worldview) about the technologies they embrace and accept, why then are we attacked for doing the same thing?
I will tell you the answer…
We are NOT attacked because of the technologies we choose to reject or accept. We are attacked because the philosophy behind our choices condemns and exposes the lies of industrialism and exposes the modernist’s love of the world. When some folks hear that we do not have grid electricity, in their consciences they hear:
YOU ARE BAD AND WICKED AND EVIL AND YOU LOVE THE WORLD
Now, if this were not true, they would not care and would not suffer much over it; but they know that it usually IS true, and that is what they are really defensive about. People are defensive because they feel they are being attacked, but since we have attacked no one, it must be the conscience of the modernist that is attacking him.
Technology and the myth of “Time-Saving”
There is a second issue at play here, and I want to address it here while we are defining terms. The second reason that modernists reject the concept of Off-Grid (and especially Off Off-Grid Living) is that they have allowed their minds to be bifurcated and fragmented (more on that in the next chapter). In addition to the assumption that all technology must be good (or at the least morally neutral), the worldling is taught from a very young age that technology saves time and effort and creates wealth and leisure time, which must be good.
During a speaking trip up north several years ago I was asked some questions about Agrarianism; questions that are actually pretty common today. The natural response by the colonized mind when confronted with Agrarianism as a philosophy is to question why anyone wouldn’t accept technology as good, beneficial and acceptable. The idea that all technology may not be beneficial runs completely counter to the training present in the colonized mind. People will ask, “So, am I supposed to get rid of my cell phone and my computer?” Others will say, “God gave us a mind. If we use our minds to create time-saving technologies aren’t we just doing what we’re supposed to be doing?”
There are some automatic pre-suppositions that create and support these questions or positions. The erroneous pre-suppositions are these:
1. As we have mentioned, that Agrarians are anti-technology, or reject all technology.
2. Therefore, as I have mentioned, if an Agrarian uses any technology, then he is a hypocrite.
3. Because technology is automatically good or at the least morally neutral, then any use of technology must also be morally neutral; therefore if technology can be used for things that are automatically considered good, then… Technology is good.
4. “Saving time” is automatically good, regardless of the results or the reality of whether or not real time was “saved” or not, or if the time saved is used for eternally good purposes or not.
5. Therefore if the human mind is capable of devising it, and it can be marketed as time-saving, efficient, or necessary, then it should be accepted without question.
There is a corollary to these false assumptions – another maxim of modern society. The corollary is this: If the corporate human mind can rationalize something as good, then it is good for all individual humans without question.
Here is an answer to these presuppositions:
1. As we have previously shown, Agrarians are not anti-technology, nor do we reject all technology. A frying pan is technology; a plow is technology; a shovel is technology. We all use technology and Agrarians do not at all universally reject technology. What we reject is the presupposition that all technology is good or at the least “morally neutral”. Because we reject (or are moving away from) some technologies as harmful to ourselves, our families, our way of life and our worldview, does not make us anti-technology.
2. The use of technology by a separatist Agrarian does not constitute hypocrisy. I’ve examined this issue at length in the previous section.
3. Technology is not universally or inexorably good, nor is it naturally morally neutral. It cannot be considered outside of its purpose and use, and purpose and use cannot be morally neutral. Some of these presuppositions intertwine. There is an assumption made by most colonized minds that technology is fundamentally good. Some people believe that in the very worst case, technology is morally neutral. In reality, every technology exists for a purpose, or is used toward an end. Every technology must be considered and judged as to whether:
a.) Its intended or actual use is positive towards our lives and worldview, and is conducive to our Christian survival, success, and happiness.
b.) The reasons and logic used to determine that a thing is “good” or not is true and Biblical. We do not want to produce “false positives”, by assuming that a thing is good just because it enables some result or action that is presupposed to be good.
c.) The results promised are actually the results received.
4. Saving “time” is not always “good”. In fact, in very real terms, there is no such thing as saving time. Time may be reallocated, but never “saved”. Some technologies promise to be “time-saving” when in reality none of us using that technology have any more time available for spiritual pursuits than we had before the use of the technology. “Time-saving” also assumes that “work” is not spiritual, and is a bad use of time. Regardless of our opinion on what might be a better use of time, time passes the same for all of us whether we use technology or not. In fact, “time saving” devices do not save time at all. A device or technology may shorten the amount of time necessitated by a certain job, but they do not “save time” at all. There is no “time bank” where saved time is deposited. We all just go do something else. For example, high-speed travel is considered a “time-saver”, but as we traveled faster, the world expanded and there were more places to travel. We used to walk to the garden for tomatoes and to the chicken-yard for eggs, now we drive to the store at 70 m.p.h. to get tomatoes or eggs. The question is, have we really saved time? Planting and growing tomatoes and raising chickens used to be considered by Christians to be spiritual and holy acts of faith and hope in the providence of God. By contrast, time-saving devices usually just reallocate time to some other industrial or unbiblical use. In fact, most time-saving devices actually cumulatively require more money (which takes time to earn or produce), more services (such as electricity, which requires money, which requires work), or they simply shift the time requirement elsewhere. If it were true that all the “time-saving” devices invented since the advent of the industrial age actually saved time, then the average citizen in the industrial society, because of the conglomeration of all the time-saving devices and methods used throughout the last century or so, would have nothing at all but free time on his hands. Why does it take more than one income to support a family today when it used to take just one? Well, it is not because incomes have not kept pace with expenses. The fact is that the average family has dozens (even hundreds) of time-saving devices that must be bought, maintained, and serviced (usually by debt). It takes at least two incomes to maintain all of the time-saving devices and advanced technologies! Unhappily, people in the time-saving society have less true relaxation and leisure time than those in the generations before the advent of the industrial society.
The presupposition exists that saving “time” is good for its own sake, as if just because a task took half the time then somehow we are better off (presumably doubly so) for the time saved. This is rarely the case. The cult of “time-saving” has never saved anyone any time; it has instead produced mentally and spiritually crippled people who are unable to do the most basic and necessary tasks. People today are ignorant of the means of basic survival and unable to hunt, grow, build, fix or create. Yet they believe they have some mystical bank filled with “saved time” deposits.
The argument for saving “time” has become an end in itself. No one is willing to ask the scary question “save time for what?”, or “what is the cost?” Are our lives really more spiritually full and complete now that we are surrounded by “time-saving” devices that must be served by us, no matter the cost? At the root of this deception is the question, “What are we here for?” If God put me here to be perfected as I am digging post holes and planting a garden and building fences, am I really well served to be able to do all of that in ¼ of the time with machines that do the job for me, separating me from the lessons God intends for me to learn, and leaving me to serve the machines and to spend more time on spiritually and mentally debilitating pursuits?
5. Just because the human mind is capable of devising it, and it can be marketed as time-saving, efficient, or necessary, does not mean it should be automatically accepted.
By rejecting the concept of “time-saving” as being intrinsically or unquestionably good, we can also come to the conclusion that many of the devices created by men for that purpose are also not good. Just because an invention promises me that it will save me time and be easy to use, does not mean that it is good for me to use it. Buying industrialized butter from a commercial chain store may be easy and nominally time-saving – but is it good? Would I have been eternally (and physically) better served to go through the process of making my own butter? Would it be better for me to know how to make butter? Am I more likely to survive if I already know how to make, and practice making, butter? Those are the real questions, and are the questions we are begged never to ask by the prophets of the industrial age.
Because of the high regard humans have for their own thoughts and ideas, they generally are not willing to question the character and the state of the mind that thinks the thoughts and that comes up with the ideas. By that I mean that man naturally believes his own heart to be good, and since his mind tells him something is good, it must naturally be good. Speaking of the mind of man, the Bible says that the heart (which is the mind) of man is desperately wicked, and naturally at enmity with God:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:6-7)
It seems to me it would be wise to automatically question whatever the world tells us is the way to do things. It seems to me that questioning worldly wisdom ought to be a default for those who seek to live life by a higher wisdom. It seems to me that I ought to automatically question something when my carnal flesh is naturally inclined to it.
Addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
It is interesting to note that in virtually every addiction, the addict must eventually become a salesman for the addiction (or of the addictive product) so that he or she can afford to feed the addiction. The dope smoker or the crack addict must eventually sell dope or sell crack in order to make enough money to feed his addiction. Likewise those who become addicted to the world and its time-saving and leisure devices must eventually become spokesmen and defenders of the ideas that support the sale and perpetuation of the addiction. There is a scary fact here that most people are too frightened to examine too closely:
If enough people were to pull out of the system and begin questioning all technology and rejecting most of it, then the industrial system that supports the massive sale of these addictive drugs at low cost will collapse.
Most of the people who defend worldly living are completely and utterly supported by that system. As I said before, they are un-sustainable as people, and they cannot live outside of that system. Therefore the thought of the destruction of that system necessarily means that they would have to separate from it or perish. Herein lies the conflict, and here is why this will be a very emotional and confrontational area of your life if you pursue separating from worldliness at any level. Revolution is warfare. This is the revolution, and welcome to it.
This leads me to the final term I want to define in this chapter, because you will need it for the next one.
A “rebellion” is an attempt by unauthorized and unlawful means to overthrow and replace a lawful system of authority or governance.
The word “revolution” has as its root the term “revolve” or to turn over or around. As opposed to a rebellion, a revolution is the overthrow or removal of an unauthorized or unlawful form of authority or governance, or a usurper government, with an authorized and lawful one. When an illegitimate power is overthrown by those with legitimate power you have a revolution. When a people who have been brainwashed since birth, forcefully colonized, and illegitimately ruled by a colonial power, throw off the shackles of that colonial power, it is properly called a revolution.
I have told you that the majority of all people alive in the world today have “colonized minds”. The decolonization process is painful and difficult, but it takes nothing short of a revolution to overthrow the illegitimate system that currently rules over the colonized mind and heart. The next chapter is about this wonderful and needful revolution.
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