Often critics define “religion” (however they define it) and, more specifically, “Christianity” as “a crutch”.
I, for one, welcome the metaphor! Define religion how you must for your rhetorical point, I say. We need only remind them that when their rant is done, they should be sure to be nice boys or girls and listen in turn.
Central to Christianity is the cross of Jesus. Literally, it was arguably the most painful and humiliating method of execution ever invented by the evil minds of men. Symbolically, it is a reminder that God is in ultimate control of history. As bad and as dark as things have been (and they may get even darker and worse in the very near future), God is still managing the events of history; He’s just as much in control today as He was when His own Son hung naked and helpless on the said cross. (Should a critic demand that we explain why this or that happened, we must remind them and ourselves that our job is not to understand every how or why, but to entrust ourselves to the One Who does justly.)
The cross is a crutch indeed. It has supported and sustained men and women of all races out of the mire of misery that humanity has been entrenched in since the beginning and introduced them to a hope of a future glory while not neglecting to add to their experiences in the here-and-now. As history itself has shown, the teachings of Jesus have brought about a tremendous moral and material improvement to mankind worldwide and they continue to do so today.
So, since a crutch is the instrument used to prop up a person during the time they are unable to do it alone, it makes a fitting metaphor for Christianity. It’s that one stable, anchor to which we can cling tightly to during the difficult days of our humiliation in this present evil age. After dealing with our daily pains and trials and the deaths of those we love, we can also look at it and remind ourselves of the promises God has given all Christians of a new body and a new world where neither will be harmed by the effects of sin.
Now whenever I see the cross, I remember Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and all that they entail for each and every genuine believer. Death doesn’t win. Evil doesn’t win. Life swallows death. Good triumphs over evil. End of story.
content © 2014 Joshua Warren