Life Support: Why Does Fundamentalist Christianity Need So Much Propping Up?

My years in a variety of fundamentalist Christian churches taught me something: despite all claims to the contrary, these Christians do not really believe that their faith would survive if you took it off of life support.

Believers claim to have the spirit of the all-powerful creator of the universe indwelling and empowering them as “new creations in Christ.” Purportedly, the Bible is the living, powerful word of God – “sharper than any two-edged sword.” The believer’s faith is said to be a shield, able to “quench all the fiery darts of the enemy.” And yet…

There is the need for church services, men’s groups, women's groups, youth groups, Sunday School, seminars, retreats, Vacation Bible Schools, and summer camps. Churches surf the latest trends and shamelessly rip off the popular culture in an attempt to appear to be relevant and hip. Worship songs recycle the same set of concepts and metaphors: God loves me, I love God, Jesus died for me, you are the air I breathe. I’m lost without you - endlessly reinforcing what Christians already claim to believe.

‘Safe’ radio stations provide a constant stream of Bible teaching programs and religiously-themed music. Christian bookstores provide sanitized religious fiction (along with the Bible’s unsanitized fiction), faith-based movies and edited versions of mainstream movies, as well as kitschy Jesus trinkets and home decorations, such as the sickeningly-sweet Thomas Kinkade paintings. You can even dress in Christian clothing, emblazoned with Bible verses, Christian rock band photos, or faith slogans.

Fundamentalist parents consult Christian movie guides so they can know which films to avoid (most of them) and ‘godly’ men install monitoring software which will block porn sites, or rat them out to an accountability partner if they should wander into the red-light district of cyberspace.

Christian organizations and churches constantly seek to use the power of government to show favoritism towards, and enforce their religious views.

All of this betrays a massive lack of confidence in their god and their religion.

If something is vital and alive and thriving, it doesn’t need to live in a sanitized plastic bubble or a climate-controlled greenhouse. A healthy person doesn’t need to be hooked up to a bank of life-support equipment. If an all-powerful god exists, it certainly doesn’t need the kind of assistance that Christians insist on offering.

The very fact that fundamentalist Christianity needs so much coddling and protection is testimony to its falsity. Whether they consciously realize it or not, at some level, Christians suspect that the faith they profess is bullshit. That is why they work so hard to keep it propped up through their own effort.

Written by J. M. Green