Missionary Papers: The Cross & The Culture
Missionary Papers, The Cross & The Culture:
Is Christianity not a sort of psychological crutch?
Questions are great, they reveal certain assumptions. As a Bible-Believing Christian that spends a goodly amount of time street preaching, preaching in prisons and preaching in rescue missions; I encounter many relevant questions. This one, in particular, reveals much regarding the thought process of the individual asking. Furthermore, the more common or repetitive a question is, I find they tend not to be original thoughts, but rather parrotings of the discontents of some other larger influence (College Professor, Hollywood Stars, News Media, etc.). Let’s consider a few assumptions made here. The first assumption, Christianity is a mere crutch for the many in life that are somehow halt or lame. A prop for the weak incapable of standing firm under the weight of life alone. The second assumption, psychologically impaired individuals compose the makeup of Christianity. As though sanity only exists in the secular world.
The crutch of Christianity?
The members of society that tend to provide such verbal pandering also often stumble to their cars in drunken a stooper. They don’t need Christianity when weekly religious rituals of depleting finances at the local bar or nightclub will suffice. I once preached outside one such 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.
Yet consider the assumption, especially coming from the masses that compose such groups. “I do not need a crutch like Christianity” they have glorious weekends of drunken frolic to assist their hobbling. They don’t realize their self-prescribed cure is just an extension of the frailty that is their life. When the highlight of a persons week consists of alcohol blackouts and perverse forms of sexual immorality, I would suggest far more than a crutch is needed.
Also, consider the crowd more dedicated to the religious use of alcohol than the weekend warrior. When preaching on the streets or in rescue missions, I encounter what society has dubbed “alcoholics”. The Bible calls them “drunkards” and deals harshly with such lifestyles. There have been fewer moments of illumination in life than when drunk homeless individuals boldly declare they have no use for Christianity. 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 the Christian life.
No limiting the crutch?
The drunkard, whether speaking of the weekend warrior or the full-time over-achiever, are 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. Also consider, Proverbs 23:21 KJV: “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” As well as, Proverbs 20:1 KJV: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
This is not exclusive to individuals that drink, they just happen to be one example. The reality is individuals that rejected Christianity could have received help, a crutch if you will. They would have escaped financial ruin, sexual abuse, sexual perversion, laziness, lack of character, failing relationships, troubled families, etc. 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 own approach to life. They take offense at the suggestion there may be a better way. Repeatedly proving the Bible they reject to be true, 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?
Biblical Christianity is strange to this world. Christians are odd because they use clean language. They don’t drink or use drugs. They dress modestly covering their flesh. Gender is not a point of confusion. They understand which restroom to use. Christians pay their own bills. They maintain their responsibilities. They are loyal to their spouse and shun divorce. This approach to life is considered odd to the world around us.
I understand some who profess to be Christians have failed in one or more of these areas. The fact Christians have failed to uphold every area of biblical expectation does not infer trouble with Christianity. The word of God exists as light and help to sinful man, and any that will submit thereto will walk in a helpful light. What’s amazing is people whose lives are in complete disarray readily point out the failures and 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.
The mentality of the crutchless?
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 stand out. In light of such contrasts, consider me a psychological misfit; “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 KJV.
“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 sound truth provided by a holy God. The more an individual gives themselves over to God’s word, the more stability they should expect. This comes with risk, being accused of lacking intelligence or psychological stability 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. I’m not certain how they know they can’t know anything, but we will stick with the Bible.
The “crutch” of the issue?
One doctrine highly promoted by the world is that of tolerance. Which actually means: “Believe what we believe and live like we live so we can tolerate you.” Such models of tolerance commonly respond to biblical morality with righteous indignation. They offer no valid replacement for biblical standards, just shouting and name-calling dissidents into submission. Regardless of the depravity of their behavior, if they could just convince Bible Believing bigots to forsake moral standards, what a utopia this world could be. A bloody and wicked utopia, but a utopia nonetheless.
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 abandoned reality long ago. Apparently it was bigoted and lacked tolerance, so the world asked it to leave. This detachment must exist to help facilitate corrupt narratives. Objective facts are relevant to individuals intending to live life with reality in view. Otherwise, biblical truth and objective data is offensive and will be shouted down, not because they are wrong, but they offend the weak psyches of Neverland.
Life comes 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. Ample time in the Bible is required to understand this relationship. The world around us at this point is insane. Psychology was once man’s attempt to define, explain and direct this insanity, but now is a weapon used to attack dissidents. Christians, on the other hand, are to be separate from this world and its insanity. This can only happen through adherence to biblical truth, regardless of the tantrums of this world.
Far more than a crutch?
Finally, I would take things a step further. Christianity is more than a crutch, it is the very foundation for every aspect of life. Without this foundation, life is on shaky ground. Anything labeled “Christianity” that is void of God’s word is Christian in name only. Since, as the sparks fly upward, man’s natural tendency is toward trouble. The solution will always be to make decisions based upon clear biblical teaching. This will remove the painful limp through life and it pleases God.
Jesus himself 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. But an unfortunate difference between driving the highways and living life: when driving, people will go to great length to get back on track once they realize they are lost. They will drive 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.
The Lord also said, “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17 KJV. The Bible also says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10 KJV. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance and there is none righteous; this fact naturally includes all men everywhere. Christianity is not a mere crutch for the few people that need assistance. It’s the solution for all things pertaining to life and godliness. Christ died for sinners to save them from the condemnation they deserve. Jesus did not die on the cross to help a few people that needed a crutch. He died for the sins of the world. If you have never placed your trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, you are more than halt or lame, you are condemned (John 3:18 KJV). I encourage you to escape that condemnation. Escape with the same fervor you would conjure in preparation for a zealous night out on the town.
Thomas & Kristin Irvin
Ambassadors for Christ