June 07, 2010

The Best Offense...A Good Defense?

Recently I've noticed more and more negativity toward people of faith. I happen to follow Christ and his teachings, but this cynical, pessimistic view of religion is extending far beyond Christianity. A Facebook status I read recently had a comment where a self-professed agnostic stated that "religion was a crutch" that was used by people who were not mentally strong enough to handle life on their own (paraphrase). I took offense to this statement, and honestly, it made me angry.

This feeling and response made me question when it is appropriate to defend not only my faith, but the rights of anyone who falls under the "religion" umbrella. I did not comment on the FB thread because my attitude was not in love and respect, but instead in anger and for the sake of an argument. I realize that it is important to defend faith whenever we are directly persecuted, but how do you defend against a generally negative attitude toward all religion?

I generally do not like using churchy cliches and sayings, but I have kept coming back to the argument that my beliefs are, for lack of a better phrase, about a relationship, not religion. The person who stated that religion is a crutch could probably be right, but I have realized through this past week, that I no more use Christ as a crutch than I use any other good friend or family member as a crutch. Just as I would rely on a close friend or a family member during tough times, I know, although more significantly, that I can rely on Christ. And just as I would celebrate positive life events with a good friend or family member, I can do the same with Christ. If this means that I am using my religion as a crutch, I suppose I am also using my friends and family as "crutches." True, I also believe that Christ died for my sins and rose again and therefore gave me the opportunity to have eternal life, but I don't feel that believing this makes me mentally weak.

On the contrary, I believe having faith in something makes me mentally stronger. It is easy to doubt everything. It is easy to be pessimistic as the negative slant is often more apparent than the positive one. I don't feel it's okay to bash anyone for what they believe. I may think that those who do not follow Jesus are wrong, but I would never call them weak-minded, or say that they are using Islam or Buddhism or atheism as a crutch. I'm not okay with the fact that it is acceptable to put Christianity down as "for the weak." My hope today rests in the fact that He that is in me is greater than he who is in the world.

2 comments:

The Nanny Family said...

Interesting post... very thought provoking :) I would say I definately use my relationship with Christ. I don't know if I'd use the word "crutch" but okay. Like you, I use my friends and family as "crutches" too. I've always thought that life must be so much harder for those who don't have a relationship with God when life is tough. There have been a couple of really hard times in my life that I don't know how I'd have gotten through it without Him. Does that make me weak? I think if God's on my side I'm pretty darn strong, because I'm never alone (physically, mentally, whatever...). I feel kind of like David in that sense. Tiny boy against the big "tough" giant. I still win - so what if they think we're weak.

emily davis said...

agreed. it pisses me off.

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