Faith a Crutch for Losers?|
Q.My family and some close family friends insist there are no such things as absolutes and that Christianity is just a crutch for losers who can't make it in the real world. They think I use faith to compensate for those things I'm not. They ridicule me and my beliefs whenever we get together. How should I respond? What should I say? Should I even say anything at all?
A Spiritual Dimension?
What astounds me are the "absolute" statements skeptics are dumping on you! "Christianity is just a crutch for losers." Isn't that an absolutist declaration?
Besides, you would think that with all the problems of drug addiction, alcoholism, terrorism, murders, wars, and the threat of nuclear extinction, people would quit picking on Christians. It astounds me that mothers, fathers and friends in our Western culture can become so sidetracked and obsessed that they focus their hatred on Christians rather than face the real problems of today - like members of Al Qaida who would like nothing better than to destroy them and their families!
One might even think there is a "spiritual" dimension to all this! You would think a parent would be grateful for a Christian child. Yet, they seem to favor the kids with drug and alcohol problems or even those who belong to murderous cults.
Nevertheless, Jesus warned us that if they persecuted him they will persecute you. See our article called "Family Cruelty" for more on this subject.
No Absolutes Absolutely?
Returning to paragraph one, skeptics contradict themselves when they accuse you of believing in absolutes. When someone says, "You are narrow-minded and there are no absolutes," remind them gently that this is a narrow-minded and absolute statement!
Hospital of the Universe
We suggest that if they accuse you of using religion as a crutch because you can't succeed at anything else, politely inform them that Christianity is not a crutch. No.
Christianity is the whole darned hospital!
Furthermore, we all need this hospital desperately! We're all sick with dying bodies, living in a decaying world, and existing with inferior and substandard mental processes. We don't "work right." We were meant to function better than this. The Bible informs us of this fact clearly. That some function a little better than others is no excuse. We are all still dysfunctional beings!
The Bible says it this way:
THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT
THERE IS NONE WHO
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE,
TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.
(Romans 3:10-12, NASB)
It isn't easy to hear this message and we can guarantee your family won't like it. Yet, dislking something doesn't make it untrue. It is realistic and fits our dysfunctional world, doesn't it?
Quarantined Planet to Breathtaking Regeneration
In fact we are all so dysfunctional that C.S. Lewis suggested we live in a hostile, broken, dying world that is under quarantine from the entire universe. Very few other creations in the universe are allowed to be here. Those who "break the rules" are currently confined in a celestial dark place called Tartarus (Jude 1:6).
Replacing Defective Parts
Sadly, for all unbelievers the only temporary "cure" they have for death is possibly "cloning" or replacing defective body parts - something still in the future-tense. This is an incomplete and unsatisfactory solution.
Ultimately, it is tragic for them as they will someday learn. How would you like to be 99 years old with bionic arms and legs. The sinful, decaying body and inferior mental capabilities are still there. That dying person just has a few new body parts. He will still die.
Shake the Dust off your Feet
Sometimes arguing with unbelieving family and friends about the truth does not work. There is a point at which we need to "shake the dust off our feet and move on" (Matt. 10:12). Perhaps we can make new friends and fit in better with those who respect better the views of others.
If your family can find nothing better to do than to ridicule your faith when you attend church or share your worldview with them, perhaps this is your time to "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matt. 5:12, NASB). Perhaps you should pray for them and leave it up to God to change them. (I know that's hard).
Unlike your unbelieving family and friends, you can look forward to complete regeneration of the physical body and a newly created earth and universe.
Yeshua's resurrection is our proof of this. That means new or restored bodies, a new earth and worlds, new or restored animals (possibly including cherished pets), a New Jerusalem, and a new universe. From our current quarantined planet we will witness breathtaking regeneration.
I'll take this "crutch," thank you very much!
Missler, Chuck and Mark Eastman. 2001. The creator series. (CD). Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House. www.khouse.org.
Muncaster, Ralph. 2004. Examine the evidence. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
Ross, Hugh. 1996. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Authors Valorie Emilio holds an M.A. in History from UCLA focusing upon early church history. Ken received his B.S. from CSULB and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University.