By Reverend Isaac Unger - Used With Permission

crutchesI clearly recall the day that one of my professors and I sat for several hours discussing the validity of Christianity's claims and the credibility of the belief in the existence of God.

My friend was unafraid to declare his denial of God's existence and to affirm his belief that death for an individual ends everything.

I had been comfortably open in class that I believe in God and accept the values and principles of Christianity. Our discussion was not meant to dislodge on another from a respected stance. We simply wished to state the bases of our persuasion for and against believing.

My friend finally delivered what he thought was his most effective thrust. He did not apologize for reaching into his quiver and pulling from its pouch the arrow that critics have used for centuries in their attempts to silence the testimony of believers. How dull and bent those arrows have become and yet they keep on flying!

Calm and smug-faced, the professor presented his convincing summary, relishing in anticipation what he thought would be conclusive victory. He pushed the repeat button and we heard the familiar words once more, "Christianity is a crutch on which people lean."

I felt sorry for my friend.

In all of human history, who hasn't needed a crutch at some juncture in life? In Psalm 23, King David described a danger zone in his path of life. He called it The Valley of the Shadow of Death where danger lurked at every turn.

Then he saw his Divine Shepherd with a rod and a staff in His hands and he was comfortable. What a comforting crutch when it is in God's hand!

I am not deterred from believing just because of my inability to reason out and intelligently expound on issues that perplex the human mind. I do not negotiate persuasively with my God. I acknowledge my inadequacy to grapple with some events in my life and I cast myself upon the wisdom and power of God whom I understand only from my finite reasoning. Sometimes evidential occurrences bring me to the satisfactory conclusion that it is easier and safer to believe than not to believe. So, according to the light that I have in which to walk, let me be a good man; a Christian companion to those who need a friend. And let me lean on God when I am afraid of what assails me.

(Several years after my graduation, the professor invited me to spend a few hours with one of his classes. I cheerfully obliged.)

Copyright 2003, Reverend Isaac Unger - Used With Permission