The atheists assert (often in the most arrogant fashion) that Christianity is a crutch to people who can’t cope with life. I think this is an interesting assertion. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the atheist is correct; Christianity is a crutch so that we poor deluded souls can try to make it through this painful and otherwise unfulfilling life.
We are now going to jump to a humanistic “crutchless” universe. In this universe, man is a product of chaos. In this universe man is an animal with a history of evolution from other animals going back billions of years until he reaches his beginning, viz. primordial soup (or some other imaginative biological beginning). His ethics come from what “is” or majority opinion. But what is his purpose? Let us hear the profound wisdom of Bertrand Russel:
“That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the gravel that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievements must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built…Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his day proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate for a moment his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary and unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.”
Simply put, man does not have a purpose. Not only this, but man’s “sure foundation” is despair. The sure foundation of Christianity is Jesus Christ. Presumably, we choose our foundation to escape this “truth” of unyielding despair. But what is the crutch of atheistic humanism?
You may have been thinking that atheism doesn’t have one. We are, after all, considering for the sake of argument that Christianity is a man-made concoction invented by fearful men to get away from despair and we thought the atheist did away with this “crutch”. But does he? Well, if you examined Rusell’s excellent paragraph you might have wondered – like me – about the reason for not committing suicide with such an outlook of life. After all, this life is painful. Why go through it? There is no purpose to life. All is hopeless despair. You’re an animal, and a miserable animal at that. Suicide may not only be a temptation, but more then that, it is the only logical course of action to take. There are no values, no purpose, and no reason for living. All professing atheists do not commit suicide so we must point out this inconsistency, and further, their crutch. We know they have a crutch because they don’t all commit suicide. Logical atheism would be extinct in one generation since all of its adherents would be advocates of suicide.
Let us just put things the way they are instead of viewing the world as an accident and mankind as animals. Atheists cannot speak of the “crutch of Christianity” with any authority without committing suicide first. Their accusations are vain. In reality, their words come from a deep rooted rebellion against the God of Scripture and a hatred for His laws and Sovereignty. Their accusations are kin to the words of the heathen who take counsel against the Lord and against Christ saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” But in so doing, they kill themselves and wrong their own souls and “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision”.
Contrary to humanistic thought, man does have a purpose and that purpose is to glorify his Creator. Man, contrary to humanism, is not an animal; man is created in the image of God. All is not bleak for everyone. For those who believe in Christ alone for salvation there is purpose. But the unbelieving shall be justly damned. With Dr. Gordon Clark I affirm,
“If they reject such a godless view of the world, if they turn away from an empirical study of science and politics and seek the living God who has spoken a more sure word of prophesy, then they may know the purpose of life and of the universe, and they will be enabled to face the next war, the ensuing dark ages, and the evil nature of man at least with equanimity. Indeed, they will face it with more than equanimity, for they will know that history is not moving towards utter futility, but towards a glorious reign of righteousness when the kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.”
Let the atheists jeer at us for believing in the Almighty God of Scripture. May we not mock them in return because the logical conclusion of their philosophy results in suicide? That is a principle that is impossible to live by.
Proverbs 8:36: “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”
– Jesse Murch