There is a perception that Christianity is a defense mechanism that some people construct to give them security and assurance. The perception is that Christianity is a psychological crutch to help weak people deal with their fears and insecurities. This is essentially to say that religious people invented their father figure in heaven as a security blanket to ward off fears and heal their wounds.
There is no universal truth in regard to the existence of God and humanity’s relationship to him.
Religion is the invention of some people to cover their wounds and give them something to believe in so they can have confidence.
There are only special types of broken people who turn to religion out of their need. If someone is basically whole, they have no need for religion or a relationship with God.
The Christian religion is not a universal truth and sin is not a universal condition.
Address the perception that only obviously broken people turn to Jesus:
Of any Christians you know, why do you think they have embraced Christianity?
What is it about Christianity that is attractive to weak people?
Strong leaders like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., (or any other leader/athlete/famous Christian the person may know) embraced Christianity. What about them? Why would they be Christians?
Take the “I agree with you” intriguing approach by making statements that invite a response. Here are two avenues to do that:
From my own experience and what Jesus says, I’d say he is much more like oxygen than a crutch.
If they ask what you mean, you can say that everybody needs Jesus just like we all need oxygen to breathe.
I’d have to say that you and Jesus agree on this up to a point…
If they ask what you mean, share about how Jesus explained that people who came to him were like sick people going to the doctor. People were coming to Jesus because they believed he had the cure for their sickness of sin. But Jesus wasn’t saying that only weak people were attracted to him or that only some people had sin. He was saying that all people have sin, but that only some people are willing to admit to their need come to him for the cure.
Deal with the assumption that Christianity is a fiction:
You’re assuming that Jesus is a false cure (that people have made it up), but is there such a thing as a “bad cure?"
If you have a broken leg, then getting it reset and casted is necessary to be able to walk normally again. The cure is necessary and good. So what if the cure that Jesus offers is true and good and necessary for all?
To deal with the notion of sin, quote G.K. Chesterton, who wrote a letter to a magazine’s question to readers, “What is the problem with the world?” His answer: “The problem with the world is me.”
This raises the issue of original sin: that we are all inflicted with since like bacteria that lives in our body.
There is no special category of broken people.
Many people rely on crutches that offer cures. For example, people use antidepressants to overcome their anxiety and depression. Do you think it is bad to rely on a drug like that for one’s mental health?
Christianity is the only true and good way to answer our deepest needs and longings.
Share your own story of how you need Jesus and how he has worked in a broken area for you.