Why does a crutch become a bad thing when it's Christianity?
I think the answer that most critics would give is this: if Christianity is a crutch, then it's only good for cripples.
Even agnostics believe very strongly that you ought not believe anything very strongly (which is why it is so hard to be a consistent agnostic).
We all have a creed that we live by, whether we can articulate it or not.
God did not say to Moses, "Stop putting yourself down. My prayer is that all of us at Bethlehem will find the secret of productivity and usefulness and happiness NOT in the pleasures of self esteem, but in the power of sovereign grace. For all things come from thee, and of thy own have we given thee" (1 Chronicles ).
In other words, even when David and his people were performing an act of virtue, David did not yield to the impulses of self-esteem. Solomon "O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in" (1 Kings 3:7). Could this be why Jesus said, "Among those born of women, none is greater than John" (Luke )?
Back in 1978 I spoke in Aspen, Colorado, to a gathering of Inter-Varsity students and people off the street.
At the end of my talk one of the students asked a very common question. I can't remember how the conversation went from there. My return question would be, "Why is the thought that Christianity is a crutch considered to be a valid criticism of Christianity?
But not everybody is "blessed." When Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," he does not mean everybody. That is why it is so appropriate to take the first and second beatitudes together. For I will be with you, I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. "I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life" (1 Timothy –16).The reason I say it is a SENSE of powerlessness and a SENSE of bankruptcy and a SENSE of uncleanness and a SENSE of unworthiness, is that, objectively speaking, everybody is poor in spirit.Christ is a stumbling block and an offense to Emerson and to all the Terry Cole-Whittaker's of our day—yes, and even to us—because it takes the disease that we hate most, namely, helplessness, and instead of curing it, makes it the doorway to heaven. Abraham In dealing with the Lord about Sodom and Gomorrah, he said, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes" (Genesis ). Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of tongue" (Exodus ; ). You can test whether you agree with this by whether you can gladly repeat the words of Isaiah , "Fear not, you worm Jacob . The tablet on his grave reads, The secret for William Carey was not self esteem. "A wretched, poor, and helpless worm," he calls himself, knowing very well his sin and failures.Jacob When Jacob returned to the promised land after spending 20 years in exile, he wrestled with God in prayer and said, "I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness which thou hast shown to thy servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies" (Genesis ). The reason God got angry at Moses is not because of his humble assessment of his own abilities, but of his lack of faith in God's ability. Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak" (Exodus –12). His secret was in the last line of his epitaph: "On Thy kind arms I fall." This was his secret in dying and this was his secret in living.