Madelyn Murray O’Hair (who fought successfully to remove prayer from school) famously said, “Religion is a crutch and only the crippled need crutches.” She was so crippled with hatred for her father that she chased him around the house with a butcher knife, trying to kill him.
Jesse Ventura said religion is a “crutch for weak-minded people.” Before he went out and sued the widow of the American military hero Chris Kyle. He was so crippled with…something…that he sued a widow.
Always a bad plan to attempt to deride religion by calling it a crutch.
First, some of the very best, most excellent people in history were…religious. Washington, Lincoln, Wilberforce, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Martin Luther AND Martin Luther King.
Second, there will come a day in every man or woman’s life when it will be proven that we are all crippled and in need of a crutch.
WE all have bodies and minds that are broken and battered and bruised that will eventually die and decay.
WE are all crippled.
Some try to overcome it through bravado and bravery and pompous comments, some just hobble along until they die, and some deny it to the end.
The truth is…if I live long enough to see life beat the arrogance out of me, and I use just a little bit of the wisdom God gave me, I’ll get to that place where I personally realize that I, just like every other human being, am actually crippled.
I’m crippled in a hundred different ways. Do I need a crutch? You bet I do.
In John 6, Jesus does a remarkable thing. He’s massively popular with around 15,000 men, women and children following Him. So He preaches a sermon that DRIVES EVERYONE AWAY. He cuts His own popularity from 15,000 to 12 disciples!
He notices this and asks his inner circle of 12, “Do you want to leave Me to?”
And Peter the bold, Peter the outspoken, Peter the “often wrong but never unsure” has what may be his greatest moment of inspiration and clarity – he just nails it.
Peter says, “Lord, where would we go? You have the very words of eternal life.”
The words of Jesus are more than clever prose or poetic expressions, they are life itself…for today and tomorrow and forever and ever and ever.
So I misled you a bit. Kind of.
Religion can be a crutch. Jesus is not. A crutch just helps a cripple hobble along, Jesus will carry us along, and in His Kingdom will heal completely.
Isaiah wrote about Him almost 3000 years ago. Isaiah 35:6 says “The cripple will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!”
I’m crippled in a hundred different ways. Do I need a crutch? You bet I do. At my best, at my worst, I’m entirely dependent on Jesus…the one whose words are life itself…for today and tomorrow and forever and ever and ever.
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