Televangelist Jim Bakker, who relentlessly promotes his own brand of survivalist food buckets and other prepper gear, hosted a guest this week who argued that the Bible mandates that Christians be preppers.
In response to a question about “practical prepping” from Bakker’s co-host Lori Bakker, prepper author Ray Gano said, “What people don’t understand, especially Christians, is that God mandates it.”
Here’s how Gano gave Bakker’s prepper line a divine endorsement, paraphrasing the 15th verse from the biblical book of 1 Peter chapter 3:
He tells us to do this, says ‘always be ready to share the hope in meekness and fear.’ Always means always. Always is in good times. Always is in bad times. Always. And if we are not always ready, then how do we share the hope? And by being prepared, by having food on hand, by having these things on hand, it’s less of a distraction now that the enemy can use against us. And now I have that freedom ‘cause I’m not burdened with, ‘oh, wow, what are my kids gonna eat,’ or whatever, and now I can share the hope.
Lori Bakker likened Gano’s approach to her experience of feeding poor children before telling them Bible stories, and then segued seamlessly into a pitch for “all these amazing food offers,” including the enticing “Fiesta Pail.”
Gano’s creative biblical exegesis is a new twist on Bakker’s apocalyptic marketing strategy, in which his predictions of cataclysms flow into pitches for his products. During the Obama years, and when a Clinton administration seemed possible, Bakker repeatedly warned that preppers needed to prepare for coming persecution, nuclear war, societal collapse and/or God’s judgment. When Trump won, Bakker urged people to stock up in order to get through the “civil war” that anti-Trump rioters were going to start. But even with Trump in office, he warned in April that Muslims might soon “take over our country.”