Providing For The Elderly

Q. This is an interesting subject! I personally don’t believe in building a bomb shelter, just in doing my part to provide for the emergency needs of my family in accordance with 1 Timothy 5:8, which says, ” But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Is that a faith problem?

A. The original question was about stocking up in anticipation of a breakdown in society due to an economic collapse. In 1 Tim. 5:3-8 Paul wasn’t speaking about this kind of emergency preparedness. He was referring to men who were not taking care of their widowed mothers and grandmothers, leaving it to the church to do so.

In verse 4 he wrote, “If a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.”

Then in verse 8 he continued, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I think this passage was intended to remind us of our ongoing responsibility to the elderly in our immediate family and does not pertain to emergency preparedness as it’s spoken of today.

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