Missionary Papers: The Cross & The Culture
Is Christianity not a sort of psychological crutch?
Questions are great because 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 good questions. This particular one reveals much in the thinking of the individual asking. Furthermore, the more common or repetitive a question is, I find they are not original thoughts but rather parrotings of the discontents of some other larger influence (college professor, Hollywood, News Media, etc.). Let’s consider a few assumptions made here. First, Christianity is a mere crutch for the many in life that are somehow halt or lame. Secondly, psychologically impaired individuals compose the makeup of Christianity.
The crutch of Christianity?
First, the idea that Christianity is a crutch of sorts. The members of our society that tend to provide this verbal offering are often stumbling back to their cars in a drunken stooper. They somehow do not need the crutch of Christianity, only their weekly religious ritual of depleting money, possibly even money they themselves have earned, 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 distaste for “my God.” I suppose he does not mix well with alcohol.
Yet consider the assumption, especially coming from the masses that compose such a group, “I do not need the crutch of Christianity” – they have their glorious weekends of drunken frolic to assist their hobbling through life. They don’t realize their own self-prescribed cure is, at very least, partly causing the frailty that is their life. When the highlight of someone’s week consists of alcohol blackouts along with further abuse of their body through sexual immorality, at least hoped for though often not realized, then I suggest they need more than a crutch they need a complete overhaul.
Now let’s consider the crowd that is far more dedicated to their religious use of alcohol. When preaching on the streets or in the various rescue missions of our cities, I often encounter what society has dubbed “alcoholics”. The Bible calls them “drunkards” and deals brashly but honestly with this chosen lifestyle. There have been fewer moments of enlightenment for myself than when drunken homeless individuals boldly declare they have no use whatsoever for Christianity. They are a sad sight to behold, their lives ravaged, relationships cut off, employment long gone, no sense whatever of personal responsibility, yet the Bible says concerning them: “when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again” Proverbs 23:35 KJV.
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 this substance. I referenced Proverbs 23:29-35 KJV which 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.” Had these individuals the “crutch of Christianity” they might have known to disdain such a destructive substance.
This is not exclusive to individuals that drink, they just happen to be one example I face often. The reality is an individual that has rejected biblical Christianity could have received helped. They would have escaped financial ruin, sexual abuse, sexual perversion, laziness, lack of character, failing relationships, troubled families, etc. The God of Christianity said in the Bible that he gave to us all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3 KJV), yet people choose their own approach to life. As a result, they suffer the consequences of their choices. They take offense 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. I want to be clear, I’m a mouth-piece for the groups within “Christendom” that profess to believe the Bible. Christians odd because they use clean language. They do not drink or use drugs. They dress modestly covering their flesh. Gender is not a point of confusion. Which restroom to use is not a problem. Christians expect to pay their own bills. They are diligent in their responsibilities. They are loyal to their spouse and shun divorce.
Now, I understand that everyone knows someone who professes to be a Christian and has failed in one or more of these areas. That person chose to step out without their “crutch.” The fact that Christians have failed to uphold every area of biblical expectation does not infer that the trouble is with Christianity. The word of God exists to be a light and help to sinful man, and any that will submit to it will walk in the light and experience help. Failure to do so results when the individual chooses to reject the Bible. What’s amazing is people whose lives are in complete disarray readily point out the failures and shortcomings in the lives of others. I’m not attempting to argue Christians are perfect, but rather that all men everywhere are imperfect, Christians included. As such, all desperately need the guidance of the God that created them. A “crutch” if you will.
The mentality of the crutchless?
When a society condemns individuals that believe, Exodus 20:13 KJV: “Thou shalt not kill.” – we are heading in a tumultuous direction. When an idea such as Exodus 20:14 KJV: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” is vilified and the committing thereof is glorified, it is no wonder the Bible-Believing Christian stands out. What’s sad is the fact “standing out” appears more like a sore thumb rather than a fresh drink of water. Regardless, 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. Sound morality based upon sound words are expected in a Christians life. Words, of course, that are found in God’s Holy Bible. The more individuals give themselves over to God’s word, the more sound and stable their lives become. This will come at the risk of being accused of lacking intelligence or psychological stability by the world around them. Ironically, a world that believes they cannot know anything for sure, gender is malleable, drunkenness is the only source of fun, and fornication is an Olympic sport; we will happily stick with the Bible.
The “crutch” of the issue?
One doctrine highly promoted by the world is that of tolerance. What they mean is: “Believe what we believe and live like we live so that we can tolerate you.” These tolerant individuals commonly respond with righteous indignation when biblical morality is offered. The triggered individual offers no valid replacement for the biblical standard, nor do they try and prove the morality of their immoral behavior. Instead, they frantically build the case that condemnation of the immoral activity is proof of intolerance. Regardless of the drpravity their behavior. If they could just convince us Bible Believing bigots to forsake all moral standards, what a utopia this world could be, a bloody and depraved utopia, but a utopia none the less.
In the public realm, it is difficult for Bible-Believing Christians to have this sort of discussion. The conversation must first start with some sense of reality. Unfortunately, we are facing a world that is rapidly embracing every sort of and any amount of lack of reality. The suggestion that a real world exists created by a real God who placed real boundaries for man to follow is almost considered a violation of civil rights. This detachment from reality must exist in order to help propagate their shallow narrative. Objective facts are only relevant to individuals that intend to live life with reality in view. Otherwise, biblical truth or objective data is offensive and will be shouted down, not because they are wrong, but rather because they offend the weak psyches of Neverland.
Life comes with responsibility, the Bible clearly defines what those responsibilities are and instructs us how to practice 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 maintain this relationship. Our relationship with God is directly related to the time we spend in his word. The world around us at this point is insane. Psychology was once man’s attempt to define, explain and direct this insanity. Psychology is now a weapon used to create legal precedent for attacking dissidents. Christians, on the other hand, are separate from this world and its insanity. This can only be true through adherence to biblical truth, regardless of the dictates and tantrums of the 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, so far as it is attached to biblical truth. 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 crutch will remove the painful limp through life and please 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. Finally realizing we are lost is hard to swallow. But there is 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.
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 later tells us, “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 you. Christianity is not a mere crutch for a few people that need some assistance. Christianity is the faithful dedication to Christ. He died in place of all sinners to save them from the condemnation they deserve. Jesus did not die on the cross in order to provide a medical clinic for life’s occasional illnesses. 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 night out on the town.
Thomas & Kristin Irvin
Ambassadors for Christ