10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #10 Christianity is a cop-out for people who need help or don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives
“Christianity is a crutch.” This statement is something that you would hear used by atheists, the most famous of which in modern times is Richard Dawkins. He said such things as, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.” In other words, Christians don’t want to think for themselves, so we just explain creation and other things that we don’t understand as of divine origin. Dawkins insults the intelligence of every Christian and completely discounts the possibility of God or there being something in the world that cannot be explained by “science.”
What other things do people say Christianity is a crutch for? I can think of two big ones and I am sure there are a lot more.
First, some people may say that Christians use the grace of God to justify doing bad things. They think that because we are Christians, we can say that those bad things that we do (sin) aren’t our problem any more – Jesus has taken that sin away. This answer seems easy doesn’t it?
But take a look at Romans 6:1-2. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” We can see that the truth is quite the opposite of this misconception isn’t it? A true Christian realises that sin in their life hurts the God who they love and mars the relationship they have with him. Instead of Christianity being a motivation to sin because it no longer matters, Christianity becomes a motivation NOT to sin because of what Christ has done for us and our love response to that sacrifice.
In addition, if you want to get technical, it would only be a cop-out if as a Christian I said that sin wasn’t my problem, or it wasn’t me who did the sin? But we know so deeply how sinful we are. We are just sinners saved by grace.
What about when people say that we use Christianity to find value in our lives so that we have a purpose, and in that way we use it as a crutch? Last night I watched “The Story of the Irwins” on TV, talking about the life of Steve Irwin and his wife and kids post his tragic death. Both Steve and his kids made the statement that their ultimate purpose in life was to save the animals and to pass on that conviction and desire to their kids. When they said this, I turned to my wife and said, “Isn’t that sad.”
While there is nothing wrong with trying and wanting to save God’s amazing creatures, indeed it’s a very noble cause, how does it compare to the eternal purpose that we as Christians have – to seek to glorify God and make him known.
Anyone who thinks they don’t need the crutch that is Christianity is deluding themself. We are all broken people – yes even those who don’t think they are. Every single human being without Christ is missing something and often the seeking of purpose is in an attempt to fill that hole. And all they are doing is making another crutch for themselves. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “He has put eternity into man’s heart.” St Augustine said it beautifully to God in his Confessions, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
So yes, Christianity is a crutch to give us meaning and purpose for our lives, but in the end it’s a crutch that everyone in the world needs!