Is faith in God a crutch?
Frequently naysayers claim that faith in God is an emotional crutch for the weak, needy, or simple-minded. Disbelievers of faith in God are often people who have not had a personal and divine, spiritual experience. Scoffers often quote Karl Marx’s famous statement: “Religion is the opium of the masses.”1 This line of thought views faith just as a ‘fix’ for people much like a drug -- something to make them temporarily feel good.
Dr. Jeff Levin, PhD., explored compelling evidence of the connection between health and an array of spiritual beliefs and practices. His study show frequent church-goers report higher levels of good health and experience less disability, fewer days in bed, and fewer ill symptoms than non faithful. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that monthly church attendance cut in half the risk of death due to heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, suicide, and some cancers. Another study showed that coronary care unit patients who were prayed for by strangers fared better than those who did not receive prayer.2
Faith in God helps us through life with incomparable comfort, support, and direction. True faith is not a ‘temporary fix’; it leads to our eternity in heaven. Jesus said “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul adds, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Is faith in God a crutch?
Is faith in God a crutch? It is up to every individual to choose to have faith in God or to reject it. And is claiming faith real or an excuse used for another purpose?
If one is using faith to run away from something, justify something, or to take shortcut to peaceful living, then yes, for him or her faith is a crutch. If one’s faith is from the heartfelt desire to have a relationship with God, then no; genuine faith in God for this person is spiritual fulfillment.
Before judging another, we should examine his life. If one’s faith is real, he will live his life every day as a testimony of God. If it is not real, he will show little evidence of spiritual fruits in his life (See Galatians 5:22-23). There are drastic differences in having true faith in God, and being religious or issuing a false claim of faith.
Religion is often demonstrated by being legalistic, strictly traditional, and living without love for and intimately knowing God. Yes, some people use the concept of faith as a crutch, but their faith is not really in God. They may be non-believers or don’t understand religion vs. relationship. Genuine faith in God means believing He is omnipotent, dependable, sovereign, fully able and true, and then living every day entrusting your life to Him.
1 Karl Marx, Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Collected Works, v. 3 (New York, 1976).
2 www.religionandhealth.com (Further results can also be found in Levin’s book, God, Faith, and Health – John Wiley and Sons, Publisher)
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