Opiate of the masses?

Someone I love believes Nietzsche’s statement: Religion is the opiate of the masses. I’ve been on both sides of this so I would like to unpack my interpretation of the statement.

To state the incredibly obvious, Nietzsche was condescending to Christians. They were stupid, easily-led fools who self-medicated their unthinking, worthless existence with the “opiate” that when they die everything will be made right. They don’t think enough to understand “science” and that evolution is fact, not just theory, and so there is no after-life. This is all you get, and you had better get it now while you can.

According to Nietzsche Christians are wasting their lives.

Now that I am a Christian I realize Nietzsche was reasoning out of ignorance. In frustration of not understanding Christians he condemned their behavior using human reasoning. Amazingly the Apostle Paul had the same reasoning as Nietzsche. “If this life is all there is, then we Christians are to be pitied above all people.” Without surrendering to Jesus, without knowing Him and His eternal power, without a relationship with him, you are not able to trust His guarantee of everything to come.

The someone I love lives for this world, what you can see, have, control. They are proud of their possessions and accomplishments. It is an attempt to create the appearance of value, hoping that others will be impressed and give them the value they long to have for themselves.

But they are already INFINITELY valuable. Just the way they are.

Jesus, the one they don’t trust because he could have stopped all the pain they have endured, is the only one that truly loves them and proved it by suffering to pay for all their sins; offering forever life with him and offering meaning for all the pain they have endured, so they can know the joy of loving and helping others who have been hurt as they have.


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