Religion is a Crutch!

Madelyn Murray O’Hair (who fought successfully to remove prayer from school) famously said, “Religion is a crutch and only the crippled quote-religion-is-a-crutch-and-only-the-crippled-need-crutches-madalyn-murray-o-hair-117-14-62need 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.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Weak-minded people like Washington, Wilberforce, Tolkien, Martin Luther AND Martin Luther King (none of these weak-minded people sued a military widow).
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.

Amen amen!

 

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Top Reason We Aren’t "Feeling" God


In this “experiencing God” thing, the big question is, in the words of King David in Psalm 139, “Where go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?”  
Answer? Nowhere!
God IS everywhere.
He ISalways present.
And we CAN’T get away from Him.
So WHY in the world can’t I feel Him??
God is always present, but we don’t always experience His presence.
God is present in the world that the atheist lives in, but he or she is completely unaware of God.
God is present in the world that the Christian lives in, but he or she can go for long periods of time completely unaware of God.
See anything in common there?
John Piper says it this way, “God’s manifest, conscious, trusted presence is not our constant experience. There are seasons when we become neglectful of the Lord and give Him no thought and do not put trust in Him and we find Him “unmanifested.”
If I’m not experiencing God’s presence day by day, moment by moment, then how do I change that?
I have to get over myself. One of the greatest obstacles to experiencing God is…wait for it, wait for it…

Pride
 Pride is dependence on myself.                                                           
Humility is dependence on God.
AW Tozer said it well :  “The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet
       
                       come
                                          to
                                                        the
                                                                      end
                                                                                    of
                                                                                              themselves.

We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.”
God opposes the proud (James 4:6), but God can do such wonderful things with the humble …because the humble:

have come to the end of themselves. 
And at the end of yourself, you know what you find? 
You find the beginning of God.
For today, try practicing total dependence on God by praying, either out loud or to yourself, about everything you need. Jesus prayed,  “Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.” That’s a elementary prayer. A first grader prayer. A child’s prayer. A “holy man or woman of God prayer.”
When in India on a mission trip, we worked with a man who would pray, every single time we got in the car, before we began moving. What a great way to express our moment by moment dependence on the Lord, especially if you’re doing a rush hour commute.
As you seek the Lord through the day, remember:

 What I have…is not from me.  Everything I have is from Him, so everything I have is a reason to thank God. To praise Him through the day as He provides…for everything big or small. 

For today…seek God by declaring your dependence on Him – praise Him for all you receive, ask Him for all you need.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Phil. 4:6 NLT

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