Mark Affleck

Christianity: An Opiate to Escape Life’s Discomfort?

December 29, 2018
Spiritual Growth

Reality is obstinate and stubborn. Obdurate and inflexible. Recalcitrant and uncompromising. Reality is what will not go away when we stop thinking about it or escape momentarily from its grasp.

Yes, Christians have been accused of escapism for a very long time. Karl Marx accused Christians of using their religion as an opiate to escape life’s discomfort. 
This dystopian view of our faith fuels the never-ending search for truth as we subconsciously or consciously ask—Real or Unreal?
un·re·al·i·ty   The quality of being imaginary, illusory, or totally unrealistic.
re·al·i·ty    The state of things as they actually exist without idealism.
The lines between fantasy and reality have blurred to such an extent that we prefer fantasy over reality because we think it will distance us from our perceived discomfort.
But there is hope!
Since God wants us to confront reality, I turn to and embrace one thing that is securely in the REALITY column of life–God understands life’s complexity, pain, and uncertainty.
When we scramble to find an escape from reality, Jesus points us to the path he has already traveled and promises to guide us to green pastures (Psalm 23:2).
This is the ANCHOR REALITY that resides under the tumult and travail of life’s reality. It prompts me to ask God to help me see in and through him the certainties of my Christian faith.
To illuminate the hope that emerges out of reality. And to keep me from settling for a watered-down, unreal version of faith that requires escapism to sustain.
The Bible doesn’t give us an escape from reality.  It forces us to face life’s disappointments and limitations head on. And that’s ok with me. How about you?
I ask God to illuminate the hope that emerges out of reality and keep me from settling for a watered-down, unreal version of faith that requires escapism to sustain.
Does your faith imply that doubt and suffering somehow undermine your faith?  Do you have easy answers for all the questions of life?
“These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:17


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