The Cross & The Culture:
Christianity | A Crutch For Psychological Impairment
Is Christianity a crutch for the psychologically and emotionally impaired? Questions are great; they reveal one’s underlying assumptions. As a Bible-Believing Christian who spends a reasonable amount of time street preaching, preaching in prisons, and preaching in rescue missions, I encounter many interesting questions to consider. The question at hand relates to the use and validity of Christianity, but it reveals a significant lack of understanding. The extent of this lack is compounded in the negative direction or becomes excusable in the positive, as demonstrated by the skeptic’s deportment. Some genuinely ask questions in the hopes of gaining understanding. Others, content in their ignorance, only ask to facilitate their scoffing. I have found that common or repetitive questions tend not to be original thoughts but instead parroting some common source of influence (College Professor, Hollywood Stars, News Media, etc.). A few assumptions are implicit in this question which is commonly asked by many people. First, Christianity is a mere crutch for those who are mentally halted or emotionally unstable. The second assumption is that psychologically impaired individuals compose Christianity while assuming sanity only exists in the secular world.
One cannot overemphasize the failed state of psychology. Over time psychologists have joined the social elite, jockeying for power, status, and relevance. A lack of significance is best remedied in our modern age by sliding off the moral cliff into pits of confusion. The question becomes, “How can confused experts appear intellectually enticing?” Choosing to move in this direction seems to be moral cowardice, but that assumes an ethical framework existed from which to cower. Social disasters, both large and small, are the result of a system of choices. As has been well demonstrated in recent years, the world has no boundaries to limit its options. Morally speaking, the world consists of malleable creatures willing to conform to any perverse viewpoint. This conformity is seen as heroic, strong, and progressive. Toward what they are progressing is unbelievably unclear. But, this is where natural opposition from Christianity is brought to light. Our rigid morality is defined biblically. It is worse than a theoretical moral system. It is outlined on paper, in writing, and by a righteous transcendent being. We are unwilling to move with the course of this world, thereby prompting the idea that Christianity serves as a crutch for those who simply want to stand in place.
Our understanding is that the word of God defines our moral framework, and we thereby accept accountability for our actions. We know what to expect, we know our boundaries, and we learn to tend toward righteousness. That does not mean we adhere perfectly to this framework, but we have the necessary guides to keep us on track. On the other hand, the world around us is hastily shedding constraints. Thus they no longer desire the police and intend to defund them. What about prisons? Empty them of the people apparently held there unjustly. Not because we have reached the proposed state of utopia, in which all men can live together peaceably. No, we are entering an age in which culpability is despised. Ethics, genders, and laws are imagined to be societal constructs that can be changed or dismissed. As society moves in this direction, crime runs rampant. But, in their system of belief, criminality is a construct. It is odd to see societal imaginations become physically harmful. This game is fun for amoral agents to play until they are robbed, raped, or otherwise physically violated. It is only then that moral constructs regain relevance.
But, Christianity is a crutch for the weak; that is the claim. Oddly, those who provide such verbal pandering often stumble to their cars in drunkenness. These, I presume, are psychologically fit; they do not need Christianity. For them, weekly religious rituals of depleting finances at the local bar or nightclub will suffice. I once preached outside such a place of enlightenment, a bar called “The Backdour” (pronounced “back-door”). As one lewd fellow of the baser sort after another passed by, they zealously expressed their discontent with “my God.” I suppose he doesn’t mix well with alcohol. Again, consider the assumption, “I do not need a crutch like Christianity” – they have glorious weekends of drunken frolicking to assist their hobbling. They lack the wisdom needed to realize their self-prescribed cure is just an extension of their frail existence. When the highlight of a person’s week consists of alcohol blackouts and perverse forms of sexual immorality, it’s obvious a crutch would not help such instability. This religious freedom, or orthodox adherence to worship at the local bar, is not limited by race, finance, or age. Of course, the older the attendees, the more piteous. This odd admixture of age groups is standard. I suppose it provides the younger generation with a view of their future. One might be tempted to think such visuals are deterrent, but somehow the young and psychologically fit persevere.
What of the crowd more dedicated to the religious use of alcohol than the weekend warrior? When preaching on the streets or in rescue missions, I often encounter society’s “alcoholics.” The Bible calls them “drunkards” and deals harshly with their chosen lifestyle. They are sad sights to behold, their lives ravaged, relationships cut off, employment long gone, no sense of personal responsibility, but they have an opinion regarding the validity of Christianity. Such expertise is generally hard to find but is more accessible by the day. This crowd’s discontent is often based on their desire to remove reward from conduct. They hope to receive positive recompense, having done nothing to earn such.
More specifically, they hope to remove negative consequences, despite the merit. In their mindset, one should be able to live, feel, and think in a way that is independent of reality. Connecting feelings with facts has tangible consequences. To make matters worse, meeting people who adhere to a moral framework designed by a holy God further incites palpability. The illumination this provides between choices, actions, and their actual state of being sparks righteous indignation. As long as one can play the role of societal victim, it may in no way change their state of being, but it does make them feel justified in being there. People of this mold have no desire to trace consequences back to their decisions or behaviors. Denying themselves this opportunity enables them to continue in a mindset of false hope. This way of thinking provides the groundwork for the perpetual existence of evil. According to God, the imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually, and modern man is working hard to keep it that way.
Whether speaking of the weekend warrior or the full-time over-achiever, the drunkard is easy to pick on from a biblical perspective. The Bible is so clear regarding not only the abuse but simply the use of such substances. Proverbs 23:29-35 KJV describes with great brevity the vicious cycle of the life of an alcoholic. ”Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” This passage beautifully notes the vicious cycle of substance abuse, as well as the accompanying victim mentality. The two become inseparable as this chosen lifestyle develops. The respective addict repeatedly elects to seek the damaging substance, only in the end to declare “they” made me do this or did this to me. Their personal choices in this matter should in no way be examined. The Bible goes on to say: Proverbs 20:1 KJV: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” This lack of wisdom is a pandemic raging in our streets with destructive transmissibility. Offer such an one help from God’s word, and they will laugh the offer to scorn.
Of course, this is not exclusive to individuals that drink; they just happen to be one example. The reality is any person who rejected Christianity could have received transformative help. They had the option to escape financial ruin, sexual perversion, laziness, lack of character, failed relationships, and broken families. The Bible says God gave all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3 KJV). Yet, people choose their approach to life as though every approach is valid. They are offended at the suggestion there may be a better way. Thereby proving the Bible they reject to be accurate, Proverbs 16:25 KJV: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Christianity and its “psychological misfits” are strange to this world. Their odd use of clean language. The peculiar way in which they deny alcohol or drug use. Their bizarre attachment to modesty and covering their flesh. Their unusual lack of gender confusion, and they even know which restroom to use. Then there is the uncommon practice of paying bills and the anomalous behavior of maintaining personal responsibilities. They even adopt the abhorrent mindset of loyalty to their spouse and shunning divorce. This approach to life is odd to non-Christians. Moral degradation alongside scriptural drought produces a world ready to accept any form of perversion. But, there will be no place of acceptance for a biblical framework, no matter how solid the lives founded thereon prove to be.
I understand those who profess to be Christians have failed in one or more of these areas. Christians have been unable to uphold every biblical expectation, but this does not infer trouble with Christianity. The word of God exists as light to help sinful man, and all have sinned. What’s astonishing is people whose lives are in disarray readily point out the shortcomings of others. I’m not attempting to argue Christians are perfect, but rather that all men everywhere are imperfect and in need of God’s help. Christianity is the solution, and Jesus is still the answer for a world of broken people. Luke 5:32 (KJV) “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” We might consider the level to which one life is broken versus another. We can accept the reality that one life might have fared better than others, but regardless of the level of success or failure, the solution is the same. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Maybe some have not come as short as others, but all are inadequate and in need of the Saviour.
A society that condemns individuals who believe Exodus 20:13 KJV: “Thou shalt not kill.” is heading in a tumultuous direction. When an idea like Exodus 20:14 KJV: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” is vilified and the committing thereof is glorified, it is no wonder Christians are marginalized. In light of this contrast, consider me a psychological misfit; “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 KJV. This semantic standing is deeply significant; it sets the groundwork for imaginations that perpetuate evil. One’s dissatisfaction with life, addiction, and state of being are all said to be mere pathological phenomenons. At least, that is the current and popular propaganda. Thus their lot in life is legitimized, their claim of victimhood is justified, and they are reassured they do not need God. Perhaps they have not considered they are toying with him from whose face the heaven and the earth will someday flee. But this same God is love, and his mercy, grace, and forgiveness are available now.
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13 KJV. The life of a Christian is built upon absolute truth provided in writing by the true and living God. The more an individual gives themselves over to God’s word, the more stability they should expect. But, this comes with a risk: being accused of lacking intelligence or lacking psychological soundness by the world. Ironically, a world that believes they cannot know anything for sure, gender is malleable, drunkenness is fun, and fornication is a sport. The frivolous nature of the world elevates personal pleasure over duty and responsibility. This denial of responsibility is seen as a quest for human freedom, but unfortunately, the struggle to liberate consequence from duty is ongoing. Thus far, the result of this quest has been to facilitate the rise in nihilistic behavior. The likes of which I am afraid we have yet to see the depths. These respective ideological battles serve to prove the existence of sin. They can see it clearly, but they refuse to identify it in scriptural terms. They are determined to sow one seed and yet to reap other than that which they planted. The cycle will continue, seeds will be sown, and everyone is supposed to pretend together the wretched weed that grows is nothing more than a beautiful rose. There will be no acknowledgment of what is happening, however obvious it may be to everyone.
That brings us to one of the world’s most coveted doctrines: tolerance. Meaning: “Believe what we believe and live like we live so we can tolerate you.” Oddly, the adherents of this doctrine respond to biblical morality with intolerant outrage. They offer no valid replacement for biblical standards, just shouting down dissidents into submission. Regardless of the depravity of their behavior, if they could just convince Bible Believing bigots to forsake moral standards, utopia would instantly appear. A bloody and wicked utopia, but utopia nonetheless. Blind ideology leads people into open displays of lunacy; the more the world declares itself tolerant and non-judgmental, the more divided it becomes. Of course, they don’t realize that claiming oneself tolerant requires judgment to conclude the boundaries of said tolerance. If one decides they disapprove of nothing (i.e., tolerance), why does an idea like tolerance exist? To be tolerant of something, someone, or some group, is to judge they possess qualities with which I disagree but intend to overlook. This doctrine is used (mainly as a tool for Marxist Cultural Revolution) to facilitate the idea of life without restraints. It lends to the illusion that one is free to think, love, feel, or live in any way they desire. In reality, the doctrine comes with forced beliefs, which will cause one to be aligned with what is presumed to be the free class. We know they are the free class by their forceful use of repression, otherwise known as tolerance. The idea that people exist one must decide to tolerate is both incoherent and condescending. It elevates the tolerant individual to a place of moral superiority, but morality is ground they gave up long ago. To select a group or individual and then determine their need to either be tolerated or given special protection is in and of itself discriminatory. But we all must pretend to be tolerant and non-judgmental or suffer the consequences of not being, well, tolerated.
In the public realm, it’s difficult for Bible-Believing Christians to have discussions along these lines. The conversation requires some basis in reality. Unfortunately, we are facing a world that renounced truth long ago. This detachment must exist to help facilitate corrupt narratives. Objective facts are only relevant to individuals intending to live life with reality in view. Otherwise, biblical truth and objective data are offensive and will be attacked, not because they are wrong, but because they offend the psychologically fit’s weak psyches. In this brave new world, diversity means strict uniformity. Inclusion means selective exclusion, and man could mean woman. The basis for what is offensive or not is determined solely by the momentary popular woke opinion. Discussions in which Bible-believing Christians try and formulate some mutual foundation of truth only spark a game of bitter recrimination. Attempts at such conversations require a great deal of bravery and fortitude on behalf of the Christian. Woke mobs are inclined and well-prepped to use moral blackmail, and no matter how non-sensical the premise, they have the multitude on their side.
The standard response of certitude by reality is strange, how hateful people tend to become what they hate. Christians were once accused of attempting to shove their religion down people’s throats. Listening to the crocodile tears of passersby, one would have thought roaming bands of Christians were rambling through the streets with hands-full of Christianity to force down the throats of otherwise tolerant and non-judgmental victims. Of course, they have become what they hate, actual mobs who will force their prescription of tolerance on dissenters. Public and enthusiastic assent to the agenda will be required, simply disagreeing will be considered criminal activity. Consider for a moment a conversation reproving a person of this sort of sin. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Unfortunately for the disillusioned tolerant mobs, life does come with responsibility. The Bible defines those responsibilities and instructs us on how to maintain them. All men everywhere are expected to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Once reconciled, we are to maintain a relationship with God through rigid adherence to his word. Ample time in the Bible is required to understand this relationship fully. The world at this point is insane. Psychology was once man’s attempt to direct this insanity, but now it is a weapon used to attack nonconformists. Christians, on the other hand, are to be separate from this world. We accomplish this through obedience to biblical truth, regardless of the tantrums of this world.
Defining Christianity as a crutch highlights confused presuppositions. It demonstrates a misunderstanding of the nature of man. It also exhibits the person’s insufficient knowledge of the problem Christianity solves. These are matters of eternal consequence, not simply a crutch to help aid someone, mostly well, but slightly stumbling through life. Finally, man’s first and greatest need is to escape deserved condemnation. When a building is condemned, no one would suggest adding a few crutches to hold it up, it must be torn down and a new structure built in its stead. Christianity is more than a crutch; it is the foundation for an entirely new building. Without this foundation, life is on shaky ground. Since, as the sparks fly upward, man’s natural tendency is toward trouble. The world’s solutions will always stand to exacerbate the very problem it sets out to resolve. There is one way to escape condemnation and proceed on solid ground.
John 3:18 (KJV) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Jesus also said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 KJV. The trouble with being lost is we don’t realize it until we have gone too far out of the way. An unfortunate difference between people driving the highways and people living life: when driving, they will go to great lengths to get back on track once they realize they are lost. They will push overtime to make up the lost ground if necessary. Yet, through the course of life, they do all they can to prevent the realization they’re lost. They lash out at anyone who would suggest they have sinned against a righteous God. They prefer to travel the lonely and burdensome highways rather than turning to God for help. Christ died for sinners, thus providing a means to escape condemnation. A heavy price to pay for a mere crutch. Without Christ, you are more than halt or lame; you are condemned. I encourage you to escape that condemnation.
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Missionary Thomas Irvin
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