I had a curt online exchange recently with someone who disagreed with my stand against protesting. The person stated that protesting was a biblical precedent (rule or guide) and so was a permitted Christian response to the world.
I disagreed, and I also based my argument on a biblical precedent.
Christians are to follow Jesus in everything they do. The New Testament is an amendment to the Old Testament. As with most amendments, the foundational document remains valid unless directly addressed and modified in the newer one.
And here’s my point – if Jesus told us a new way to respond that in some way opposes the Old Testament way, we are to follow Jesus. In other words, Jesus’ directives take precedence over Old Testament directives, so Jesus’ directives are our new biblical precedent.
So, for instance, we are no longer to exact an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth from our enemies, but to love them, and to bless and pray for them. Yes, an eye for an eye served as the biblical precedent up to the time of Jesus, but it is no longer valid. It has been amended.
The same goes for prepping. I put a few noses out of joint a few months ago when I questioned people’s prepping efforts. The only prepping we born-again believers should be do is girding our loins, reading our Bible, keeping our lamps well-oiled, and hanging with God. That should be the sole extent of our prepping. In this, we follow Jesus’ example.
From the start of his ministry, Jesus essentially lived on the run with his followers. He didn’t stockpile goods and weapons and hunker down until the worst had passed. He knew that would make him a sitting duck. So he was constantly on the move, working (preaching, teaching, and healing) as he went. Yes, Joseph in the Old Testament did what you might call prepping by stockpiling food and other supplies in Egypt against the coming famine, but that is Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that the guy who prepped and stockpiled and then sat back on his heels, congratulating himself for his efforts, was dead the next day. All his prepping was for nothing.
Prepping in New Testament times (that is, today) is a way of saying to God: “I don’t have faith that you’ll look after my needs, so I’m going to do what I think should be done without consulting you first. I’m going to buy enough food to last me for a long time, just like that guy in the New Testament who stockpiled his food and then died the next day”. That’s what food and supplies prepping says to God if you’re a born-again believer. It’s essentially coveting. And if you don’t want to stop coveting preps, you’re like the rich guy who got depressed when Jesus directed him to sell all his goods, give to the poor, and follow him. That is the New Testament precedent.
What it all comes down to is this: As born-again believers, we are to heed Jesus’ directives, which are New Testament amendments to the Old Testament. So if anything in the Old Testament conflicts with what Jesus did or told us to do, we do what Jesus did or told us to do. It’s as simple as that.