I’ve often heard people say that, “Christianity is a crutch.”
I’m OK with that.
In Mere Apologetics, Alister McGrath points out that “one of the most familiar criticisms of Christianity is that it offers consolation to life’s losers.” Make no mistake – this statement, “Christianity is a crutch” is intended to insult believers – it implies that only weak people need religion.
When I was younger, this presupposition about Christians offended me but I’m a lot older and hopefully, a little wiser these days – I see things differently now. The reality is that we all do need help. We are all broken people, looking for something to sustain us. We are all looking for purpose and props to make our stories meaningful.
A crutch presupposes two things: (1) that there is a sickness or injury and (2) that a person is drawn to use some type of a remedy or support, hence the crutch.
With Christianity, God clearly states that the disease is sin, and that the disease is real. The remedy is not a religious crutch but rather, a relationship with Jesus Christ – a solid foundation.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. Matthew 7.24-27 NIV
I admit it – I am broken. I acknowledge that I do need the Gospel to give me a right mind. I am weak in my self. Left to myself, I will screw things up. I didn’t pull myself out of the muck and the mire. I was stuck and He unstuck me. I was dirty and He cleaned me. I was rescued and saved by grace alone through faith alone.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40.2 NIV
And I give God the glory.
I do lean on Him. I need Jesus in my days. Actually, I need Him in my minutes.
I, personally, do not see my faith in God as a crutch – I see Him as an answer – the way, the truth and the life (John 14.6) but hey, if people see Christianity as a crutch, that’s good news because we’re all crippled. My life has convinced me that Christianity is the only crutch that can bear the weight of my brokenness.
The truth of the matter is that Jesus never offered a crutch. He offered a cross.