I am a Christian. My faith is central to who I am and how I think. Therefore, it is central to this blog. I am also an agrarian. Put the two together and you have a Christian agrarian. I believe Christian agrarianism is the Biblical imperative. I believe the “good life” is found within Christian agrarianism. I could have called it the “abundant life.” That might be a more appropriate description of what my family and I experience here on our little 1.5 acre homestead. It is a life full and rich with the blessings that come when Christian agrarianism is deliberately embraced and pursued.
My Christian agrarian worldview is distinctly different from the worldview of our mainstream culture. And it is often very different from mainstream Christianity. Those who pursue agrarian-centric Christianity are, to one degree or another, separatists. We endeavor to resist the syncretism that invariably happens when Christianity blends with ungodly modernism. Separation from such things is, of course, what Christians have been called to do from the very beginning.
A person recently asked this question in the comments section of this blog:
”Can you tell me what a Christian agrarian is? I never heard that before.”
I suspect you have never heard the term "Christian agrarian" because the mainstream media has not reported on it and there is no organized national association that puts out press releases, and so on and so forth. It is a quiet, decentralized, grassroots movement and that is, in my opinion, best. You can learn a great deal about Christian agrarianism at this essay which I wrote awhile back:
What is Agrarianism? What is Christian Agrarianism?
I am opinionated but I am not a contentious person. I'm not looking for an argument and I almost never speak out in this blog against the beliefs of others. I simply share with people about who I am, what I believe, how I live, and why I live this way. Nevertheless, some people have taken offense at my words, especially in recent weeks. Here is a comment from a person who read my essay, Hope For a Troubled America and disagreed with what I had to say:
”Hope comes to our country when we recognize that we are all humans and fellow citizens first. There lies our unity under our secular Constitution. All you seem to want to do is separate people into heathens and 'true Christians'. That is your right, but the fact is your faith is a minority world-wide. If you cannot love your neighbor unless he is a Christian, I don't have much faith in you.”
And here’s another recent comment posted to my essay, Boys Will Be Warriors (Part 1):
”I feel the need to state that you have a right to your perspective, but to me, you and your ‘agrarian Christianity’ are disturbing… I have seldom read such a load of hogwash. It’s interesting (to a limited extent) to follow your convoluted logic. Your ‘strong,quiet hero full of testosterone’ is just a jumped-up fantasist.”
Obviously, such people have deep-seated differences and, I dare say, they have significant misconceptions about what I’ve written. But that is to be expected. Frankly, I’m very surprised that, three years into this blog, I have not received more criticism.
Three years ago I felt strongly that the world (certainly the U.S.) was in the beginning stages of significant transition. Our pagan, debt-based, fiat-money economy was faltering. If past history is any indicator, such a system must inevitably fail. Today, people are really feeling the decline of the American dollar. We are just beginning to reap a harvest of financial hardship.
Three years ago, the Industrial Monster, fueled by the free flow of plentiful, cheap oil was threatened by the problem of demand outpacing supply. But only a few people seemed to understand this. When I told my friends about Peak Oil they listened politely but didn’t believe a word of it. Even still, with the price of fuel skyrocketing, if I mention the whole Peak Oil situation, they still don’t believe a word of it. The masses just don’t get it. Or they just don’t want to face up to the reality of it all, even as the scenario is unfolding.
I have been a vocal critic of Industrialized Agriculture (a.k.a., Big Ag) from the beginning. Agriculture was the last segment of our culture to be industrialized and it may well prove to be the most foolish of industrial endeavors.
In an early blog posting here—before food shortages and ever-higher food prices became front-page news—I wrote the following in an essay titled, Food Independence Under God:
”The probability of Peak Oil, and the assurance of higher energy costs means that food from the corporations will be more expensive. Beyond that, natural disasters (including pandemics) and geopolitical happenings will make some or all corporate foods unavailable at times and in places. Disruptions in the food supply could be minor, short-lived and localized, or they could be major, long-lasting (even permanent) and widespread. To depend on the Industrial Providers in the face of this reality is foolishness.”
Then, later in the essay, I had strong words—words that I still firmly believe:
”For Christians to put their full faith and hope in the provision of this industrial [food] system that is in total rebellion against God is akin to participating in the rebellion.
Obedience to God calls for breaking the ties that bind us to ungodly industrialism. Obedience calls for us to grow our own food. This is why God himself showed Adam how to plant a garden. And God says that if a man does not work, he should not eat. Do you see the connection?”
One of my earliest essays was titled, The Industrial Providers. I removed that essay and several others when I published them in my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian. But in celebration of three years of blogging, I have reposted the essay to this blog. You can read it here: Industrial Providers: Understanding The Oligopoly
I have used this blog to present Christian agrarianism as the proper response to pagan industrialism. More than a proper response, I believe it is also the proper “antidote” for the many failures of industrialism. Bearing that in mind, I have tried to inspire and encourage others to return to rural-based, faith-and-family-centered, debt-free, more-self-sufficient lifestyles. I've heard from many readers who have done just that, and I have been encouraged as much by their testimonies as they say they are by mine.
I’ve also heard from many people who feel convicted to pursue the Christian agrarian lifestyle but are discouraged by their inability to do so. They have a vision of what they would like their lives to be like and are discouraged because they can not attain it. To them I always say the same thing: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, as the Lord leads you, and be content in that. Christian agrarianism is not a destination as much as it is a journey. And every journey begins with a step, followed by another step, and so on.
Another reason I’ve blogged these years is to chronicle the exploits of my sons as they grow up. One day they will be able to read the essays and look back and better understand the wisdom of this way of life. There is, after all, no better way to raise children that in the agrarian paradigm.
I have written here of my own vision to one day own a larger section of land, debt-free. That vision is still there. Until it comes to fruition, we live "the abundant life" on the 1.5 acres God has given us, and we are ever so thankful for it.
Long-time readers may recall the time when we almost bought the old Grange Hall property near our home. I was even going to get a mortgage, something I have never done and have been opposed to my whole life. As the deal was progressing, the bank decided to change the terms and I came to my senses. Looking back, I think I wanted to “help” God fulfill my vision. That would have been a mistake. So now I continue to work and save and wait.
Speaking of working and saving, when I started writing here three years ago, I did not intend to discuss my part-time Whizbang Books business. But I eventually did and it has proven to be a wise business move. The Google search engines are good to me and my Poultry Processing Essays in particular get a lot of viewers.
An offshoot of the Whizbang Books business has been my 17-year-old son Robert’s, internet business of selling rubber poultry plucker fingers. In the past year and a half, Robert has sold tens of thousands of plucker fingers and has shipped them all over the world. Better yet, he hasn’t spent a cent of his profits. He told me he would like to buy land with the money one day. At the rate he is going, that goal is a possibility. Perhaps we can combine our savings and purchase land together. Wouldn’t that be something!
So blogging has opened up opportunities that would never have otherwise happened. And blogging here has been quite an adventure. I have met a lot of wonderful folks. The most amazing thing has been meeting relatives I never knew from both sides of the family. And it has been so neat to hear from readers who read my Tribute to my Grandmother Kimball and either commented or sent me e-mail letters saying that they remember my grandparents.
It is interesting to note that I came to blogging after being inspired by Scott Terry’s Homesteader Life blog. I found my way to Scott’s blog after reading Rick Saenz’s blog Dry Creek Chronicles. And I came to Rick’s blog after receiving a copy of his “Draught Horse Press” book catalog in the mail. I did not order the catalog. I must have been on a mailing list he used. That catalog was the best “junk mail” I ever got.
Do sequences of events like that happen by chance? Does anything happen by chance? I don’t think so.
By the way, “Draught Horse Press” has become Cumberland Books and now sells all my Whizbang Books.
Bloggers come and bloggers go (does anyone remember Farmer Buie?). We all have our season in the sun. One of these days, I will move on from blogging. I don’t know when that will be. I still feel I have a lot to share and say. Maybe I will blog until I die. Maybe that won’t be long. I really don’t know. But I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my “ruminations” here over the past three years, and, Lord willing, I will continue the dialogue in the days ahead.
Thank you for joining me in the journey.