Now, let’s take on the crutch. The statement “Religion is nothing but a crutch” perplexed me because it’s a true statement. How is this so? For this explanation, let’s look at the purpose of a crutch. A crutch is a device used to help aid our ability to walk when we are injured. Ok, simple enough, right? Now you can probably guess where I am going to take this from here. Removing the word religion in its context of ritual and pageantry and replacing it with Jesus Christ, we now have “Jesus Christ is nothing but a crutch.” Well, exactly. Of course, Jesus Christ is a crutch. We are to lean on him when we are broken and injured. Jesus is not going to push us to do the right thing; if that were the case, he would be a gurney instead of a crutch. Instead, we lean on him as a crutch when we need help to walk in the direction we are supposed to go. If we step too far out away from our crutch or make too many steps, we will likely fall.
The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans,
27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. – Romans 3:27-28 (NLT)
We have to have faith that our crutch is going to support our weight. You could paint your crutch pretty colors and decorate it, making it a flashy object that gets attention. You could have it measured and professionally set up to be the perfect height for you, but if it can’t support you when you need it to take a step forward, then it is nothing but a showpiece.
The same goes for a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our crutch, our firm foundation, our rock. It doesn’t matter what we do to make ourselves look steady and all together; what matters is that we should lean on Jesus Christ proudly with a strong faith that he can support us through even the rockiest of pathways in our lives.
So the next time you hear someone say, “Religion is nothing but a crutch!” proudly remind them that religion is not the crutch, Jesus Christ is, that he is the only thing strong enough to hold us up when we are in danger of getting knocked down.