Religion as a coping mechanism

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Rufus, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    How would you respond to somebody who would tell you that religion is just a coping mechanism/or a crutch invented by men to avoid bad situations.
  2. Caroline

    Caroline Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'd mostly just laugh. Being a Christian has gotten me into a lot more bad situations than it has gotten me out of. Also, as the Christians were being fed to the lions in ancient Rome, I bet none of them were thinking, "What a great coping mechanism Jesus is! He has made my life so much easier! Being a Christian has helped me avoid so many bad situations!"
  3. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with Caroline that while it is a common objection, it is pretty laughable. I would really challenge who ever said that to define and break down what it means to be a crutch and go through the components one by one.
  4. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    My faith helps me endure a lot of nonsense and abuse (including the person who made the silly comment) knowing that I have an eternity with God.
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Christianity does help one to cope.

    Crutches do help people to walk.

    Does the questioner suppose these are bad things?

    Does the questioner propose a superior coping mechanism? Or does he unreasonably assert that he alone has no need of dealing with anything bigger than himself?
  6. FedByRavens

    FedByRavens Puritan Board Freshman

    Being a Christian has been so difficult that if I weren't regenerated I would have left it behind a long time ago. Scrutiny, mockery, and loneliness is nobody's preference. Although when I'm closest to Him there is an unexplainable peace. A question I would have for the person is "If something brings comfort i.e a crutch, does that demean it's validity? "
  7. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    I am excited to reply to this. A dear friend of mine was actually converted by this issue.

    She was at a bonfire with Youth For Christ or some such, raised an atheist and not much interested in religion. She also struggled with a hip disorder which gave her a noticeable limp and had done so all her life.

    The preacher at the bonfire addressed the idea of Christianity being a crutch and made the dramatic demand, "Are we not all cripples?" And she said yes, and was saved at that time.

    I have never forgotten her story, she is a vibrant and faithful Christian.

    So my response to such an objection would be to say something along the lines of, of course, we are all cripples and in great need of help. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God," etc.
  8. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Perhaps I would say,"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
  9. John Bunyan

    John Bunyan Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm actually happy by that question, because Greg Koukl recently made a video on this subject.
  10. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    Not a crutch. A stretcher. Because I can't even limp into eternal life.

    BTW, I always like to ask atheists what noble, good, moral movement has ever been done in the name of atheism.
  11. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    "Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God". -- Tom Stoppard
  12. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Excellent. I had not heard that one.
  13. Theogenes

    Theogenes Puritan Board Junior

    The one I heard was, "It's not a crutch but a wheel chair!"
  14. Bethel

    Bethel Puritan Board Freshman

    I think that this statement is a great example of today's moral relativism (or "religious preference"). This moral choice dichotomy was explained by Francis Schaeffer as a 'two-realm theory of truth': the upper story being nonrational & noncognitive and the lower story being the rational & verifiable. Instead of attacking religion directly, someone who classifies it as a coping mechanism has relegated it to the emotional upper story which takes it out of the realm of true and false.
  15. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    My Christianity helps me "cope" with the wrath of God.
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