Why a Pastor is Worth the Same as a Doctor at the End of the World – Readyman

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Why a Pastor is Worth the Same as a Doctor at the End of the World

Posted on January 24 2019

Guess the percent of your prepper buddies who will lose it. Multiply that number by six. Take the odds of YOU losing it during a collapse and do the same.

For thousands of years, humanity lived under horrid conditions and dealt with immense suffering. The “medical practitioner” who treated mental problems and depression has been around as long as mankind: the priest.

If you don’t believe suffering can bring you and your family down, watch ReadyMan Challenge 3 or the History Channel show Alone and be honest with yourself: under what circumstances would your will to live, or your combat effectiveness, take a nose dive? It’s one hundred percent certain that there is a threshold beyond which your emotional self will fall out from underneath you. The only question is: will post-collapse circumstances pass your point of mental failure?

Yet, you can add a professional to your survival group who is adept at giving purpose and who can help even depressed people get “back in the fight.” In modern times, we use psychologists. For eons, we’ve used priests and pastors. You decide which would make the most sense in an apocalypse.

A good pastor can provide similar counseling to a psychologist along with a heavy dose of meaning and purpose, regardless of what people believe going into a collapse. It’s no accident that the military uses both: therapists and pastors.

Jeff Kirkham recently posted a scenario from the Conflicted Survival Card Game to the ReadyMen closed group on Facebook (click here to join for free.) It was about as vexing a scenario as you can imagine, and the question arose: what survival compromises would you make to honor your conscience? 

We began to discuss how faith and compassion might survive the collapse, and how our groups would mentally manage if we engaged in questionable, brutal behavior. Tim Evancich, longtime ReadyMan, quoted Nietzsche who said, "He who has a WHY to live can bear almost any HOW.”

Here’s the Conflicted Games scenario Jeff posted on the ReadyMen group:

“You were told by your scouts that a gang in a large caravan is headed your way and your community leaders identify a choke point where you could easily kill them all. It is well known that the gang travels with women and children and to ambush them would mean the death of innocents for sure. Your camp will be overwhelmed if you let them through due to their large numbers. Would you sacrifice their innocents in order to save yours? What would you do in this situation and why?”

The easy answer was: “I would sacrifice anyone’s innocents to save my own.” 

The real answer was: “If we sacrifice innocents, under any circumstances, our group will lose cohesion.” 

And that’s only one of a hundred ways a survival community might emotionally implode. A mental health insurance policy could be the difference between making it and being destroyed.

Enter the pastor. Typically, people returned to their faith roots when confronted with personal suffering and tragedy. Regardless of your faith tradition, a pastor provides one of Maslow’s critical needs: belonging (otherwise known as “meaning.”) Once safety, water, food and homeostasis (shelter) are handled, the next need to arise is a reason to live. Pastors and priests can provide that. Psychologists…maybe.

It’s a common imaginative failing among preppers: to fail to account for the mental breakdown that would undoubtedly occur in a collapse of society. Anyone who has experienced that kind of sudden mayhem will attest—our emotions are often the weakest link, even for those who swear up-and-down they’re mentally bulletproof. (Especially those who swear they’re mentally bulletproof.) If you doubt it, dig into Black Autumn, the fictional tale of a well-prepared survival group that hangs by a psychological thread. Then decide if mental instability in the fall of our culture could be a real thing.


Luckily, pastors and priests are easy to find; and if they’re Christian, they often have a faith basis for believing in the possibility of a collapse: the Book of Revelations. If your pastor also leads a flock, you could explore providing emergency preparedness help to that flock, which could expand your preparedness community with good folks.

For lots of reasons, consider adding a pastor or priest to your list of “skilled survival practicioners.” They might patch up more people than your doctor.


ReadyMen Closed Group



  • Darrell Dorrell: February 03, 2019

    Philippians 4 New International Version (NIV)
    Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
    4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

    2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

    Final Exhortations
    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

  • Agus: January 31, 2019

    There is a message from G-d. And it is natural for power to belong Under G-d.

  • Edwin: January 31, 2019

    Similar to the no atheists in foxholes nonsense? You really do not want someone who believes he has a message and a mission from a god. You do not want someone who may well make a passive aggressive bid for power.

  • Stan: January 31, 2019

    As both a Christian chaplain/minister and volunteer disaster responder with multiple organizations, I especially am grateful for this unique article and I heartily endore it’s positive message.

  • Dan S: January 31, 2019

    It’s not the Book of Revelations (with an “s”), it’s just the Book of Revelation (singular). Just one revelation with multiple iterations that the Apostle John received from God. A common mistake :)

  • Griz: January 31, 2019

    As a healthcare professional that had seen the aftermath of much violence, I thought I was prepared for the mental anguish disaster brings.

    But I was not even remotely prepared to deal with the aftermath of the OKC bombing. Aside from coping with the emergency and subsequent search and rescue, there was the ongoing struggle to perform mental “critical care” for the victims, rescuers, and victims’ families. I, too, was not immune and it took a while to admit my irrationality and volatility were clear signs of PTSD.

    Mental health professionals were helpful, but my biggest struggle was to find some purpose and meaning in it all, and reconcile what I THOUGHT God should be and do.

    That search led me to several awesome conclusions, among which was that God didn’t cause this; He is the author of life and not of death.

    I eventually went to seminary and became an ordained, bi-vocational minister. I certified as both a chaplain and a suicidologist.

    What I have learned is that people do not have to go through an apocalypse to be devastated and need a compass or a guidon. The loss of a job, relationship, or loved one can be enough to push people to the edge.

    The old adage, “Train like you fight and fight like you train” applies here. We don’t have to wait for TEOTWAWKI. For some people that day is today and they desperately need spiritual, emotional, and mental help now.

    And while I think theologic training is helpful, it is no substitute for each of us rolling up our sleeves and getting in the trenches with people today.

    You don’t have to have a divinity degree to be kind and compassionate.

    Grab the guidon and run.

  • Steve R: January 25, 2019

    I agree with this writer; I have trained as a disaster relief Chaplain and the stress and shock of violent tragedy will leave many unable to cope. I urge you to do any stress proofing training you can now.
    As a pastor, and a prepper I lean heavily on God and His word when those sticky Conflicted questions come up. I don’t comment much because my faith runs contrary to “most” preppers values. I am not a Quaker and will fight when needed but as did King David I will ask the Lord first.
    " What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
    I have much comfort. I started prepping currently because I felt led to, I felt the need to start preparing for my family, both immediate and church but, also my community.

    I believe we’re in the “times of sorrows” as described, and things will only get worse, they have to.
    Here are Jesus’s words about end times:
    Matt 24:6 “See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows”
    Matt 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

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