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Some people see Christianity as a hospital religion, irrelevant to the healthy majority of society. They consider it something of an out-patients clinic or a periodic religious fix for those who can't cope with real life. It's a crutch for the weak.

Perhaps we have grown accustomed to crutches. Contemporary men and women are prolific in the production of a wide variety of artificaial support systems. We see all around us a desperate search for emotional and economic security or a mad quest for intimacy and pleasure, attained only at the expense of a resultant alcohol and drug addiction, crime, workaholism, sexual promiscuity, religious faddism, and regular visits to he psychiatrist. There seems to be no end to the superficial props people use while they go limping through life.

But not all props are so obvious. Many people rely on a good job, a house in the suburbs, or even romantic relationships for their security. Others turn to social activism or the power of positive thinking. In ways such as these, people try to meet their basic needs for meaning and fulfillment, or to neutralize the ineffectualness of their lives.

Some see Christianity as just another way to prop up a broken life. But the healing Jesus provides goes beyond superficial treatment. Christianity is a restorative religion. It is not a crutch at all> It's aim is healing, renewal and wholeness, not simply the ability to cope.

The Christian faith challenges its adherents with a whole fresh approach to life. Character is improved; relationships develop depth; community flourishes; self-understanding increases. Nothing less than a vibrant relationship with the living God is offered through Jesus Christ.

Many of the best minds and strongest contributers to sociery are found in the Christian community. These people are not limited to an single walk of life. The Christian faith promotes excellence in men and women of all ages, races, classes, and educational backgrounds.

But this does not mean that Christians are perfect. Far from it. They know they are a needy people. In fact, the recognition of brokeness is the first step to genuine healing.

But most of us don't even see our injuries. Or we won't admit them. But unless we face the reality of our wounds, we are condemned to hobble painfully through life. Our makeshift crutches don't really help. We desperately need radical healing. And this is what Christ offers.

Is Christianity a crutch for the weak and the helpless? Or is the accusation itself a cop-out, a smokescreen raised in denial of one's own needs? It can be intimidating to face the possibility that the living God has an absolute claim on one's life. And it challenges our delusions to think that we cannot be healed without him. But we must honestly confront that option. The issue cannot be swimply our own comfort or security. Ity is precisely when we shed our concern for our comfort that we begin to see ourselves for who we really are.

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