Is Christianity a Crutch?

Or opiate for the masses? Those famous little suggestions by those who don’t accept the idea of God or Christianity in particular. It’s not really a bad question, although it is poor statement. Poor because it assumes the people you disagree with are unintelligent, unthinking drones. Never an accurate assumption.

But is Christianity a Crutch?

Yes and no in my opinion. I think it’s more difficult to live as a Christian, -especially as someone who believes in and follows the Bible. For one thing, the standard in the Bible is much higher than anyone lives. Whether we are talking about divorce or drinking or homosexuality, the Bible is much more strict than the world. In fact, to live as Jesus lived means sacrificing our own desires and self-centeredness. To live as Jesus lived means turning the other cheek, blessing our enemies, and putting others ahead of ourselves. It’s not easy to live as a Christian.

Paul would write: “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” -I Corinthians 15:19

Why are Christians to be pitied if they turn out to be wrong? Because (in Paul’s case and anyone else who actually practices what they preach) Christians could have lived life for the moment, could have indulged in many of life’s pleasures, could have done whatever they wanted, but instead left everything and followed Christ. They sacrificed, denied themselves, and held themselves to a standard the culture around them ignores and fights.

It’s not easy to live as a Christian. Christianity is not a crutch in life because it doesn’t make life easier. Christianity isn’t the opiate of the masses because following what the Bible says inspires and challenges, it doesn’t pacify and put to sleep.

Unless the sermon is really boring or something.

No Christianity is not a crutch or an opiate until you face death. It’s much, much, much easier to die as a Christian. It’s much easier to be at peace when peering into eternity -as a Christian.

Perhaps we’ve convinced ourselves and we are fooling ourselves? Perhaps we simply refuse to give up delusional hope? Or perhaps when a person has sacrificed, sweated, and bled for his/her beliefs; perhaps when a person has faced the arguments, the derision, the pull of the world to leave his/her beliefs and reject their faith; perhaps when that person arrives at death’s door, they not only believe because their parents told them to, but they believe because they’ve lived it, experienced it, and watched it work in their life! They’ve walked for years with the Savior who died for them and now feel confident He won’t suddenly leave them in death.

When you’ve put in the sweat, blood and tears…. maybe by that time, you believe because… well…. you know it’s real already.

It’s easier to die, not so easy to live…-from my perspective as a Christian.

This has a lot of meaning for me tonight. My father is fighting cancer and the prognosis the doctor gave him today was bleak. About 18 months. Every time I call him I usually say, “How ya doing?” And the reply is always, always the same:

“I’m blessed,” says the man with 18 months to live.

Should I be panicking? Should he be? Should we be getting 17 more doctor’s opinions, traveling to Mexico for experimental treatment, or taking the chance that the aggressive chemo with a 45% success rate will work and add one whole year to his life? Or should he trust the same God he’s always been trusting, forgo the harsh treatment and enjoy his final years believing in his heart that God may baffle the doctors (as my father has seen many a time) and extend those years?

Guess which one he’s choosing? Yeah. He’s leaving it up to God. It’s worked before, many times, and even if God calls dad home…and soon… well dad has no doubt in his heart what awaits. He’s been following this Jesus for a long time. He has been kneeling at the cross long enough to be convinced.

Life is harder as a Christian. A real one anyway.

Death isn’t.

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