Reach Out!

“It is not necessary to be a professional in order to counsel another Christian. There are a number of passages in which the Scriptures call every believer to counsel.”   -Jay E Adams, founder of the Biblical Counseling movement in an interview with Table Talk. “I have covered these passages in several of my books, such as A Theology of Christian Counseling and How to Help People Change, but here I would mention just one: Colossians 1:28—where believers are encouraged both to teach and counsel (in some translations, the Greek word noutheteō—used there—is translated as “warn”) one another.

The only professional known to the Scriptures is the pastor and the other elders of the church who, especially, are summoned to this duty,” Dr. Adams continued.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/competent-counsel-interview-jay-adams/

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”  Colossians 1:28

In my last blog, I argued that the volunteers in Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) are not professionals but are just a group of folks who are on a noble quest to help those suffering from the voluntary slavery of addictions overcome their problem through Biblical means.  http://www.clprm.org/about

There is a lot of Biblical teaching and admonishment going on at CLPRM events, such as the Friday night Conquering Addictions meeting at the Christian Life Center in Bensalem, PA and the monthly Saturday night coffee houses.

http://www.clprm.org/recovery-ministry/

The Bible has all the answers, all the solutions for personal problems. God knows you. After all, He created you and knows what makes you tick better than any shrink. We become dysfunctional when we don’t follow God’s rules – when we don’t obey his commands, including our addictions in one form or another.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” 2 Peter 1: 3-7

To learn more about the blessings of following God’s word, read Psalm 119.

When you don’t walk with the Lord, in the light of his word, you find darkness, death.  http://levittownnow.com/2018/08/27/second-man-facing-charges-after-overdose-death-of-woman/

It’s gruesome stories like the one about the young woman in the story who died in her home from an overdose that is the raison d’être for CLPRM.

As Iron Sharpens Iron

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17

They are not therapists. They are not professionals. Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) are just a group of folks who are on a noble quest to help those suffering from the voluntary slavery of addictions overcome their problem through Biblical means.  http://www.clprm.org/about

For CLPRM, relapsing is a major concern. It has become such a big deal that on September 8, it will hold a relapse walk and fundraiser. http://www.clprm.org/relapse-prevention-walk-and-fundraiser/ 

Quitting the voluntary slavery of an addiction is one thing, but staying off an addiction is another thing. It’s not just a matter of simply abstaining, which is good, but you need to get at the root of the problem. When people can’t handle life on its own terms, instead of seeking God’s help, they look for deliverance in the god of this age. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

Despite being rescued from an initial addiction, addicts continue to engage in destructive behavior which only brings them misery. What the demon Screwtape tells his demon nephew Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters in their mission to bring down a Christian to their father, Satan, applies: “An ever- increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return – that is what really gladdens Our Father’s heart.”

The promise of being delivered and creating better living through chemistry so to speak, only to be let down is analogous to the lines in Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night.”

Another fella told me he had a sister who looked just fine
Instead of being my deliverance, she had a strange resemblance
to a cat named Frankenstein

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=sam+cook+it%27s+a+saturday+night&view=detail&mid=93973378BE0C2869A3E793973378BE0C2869A3E7&FORM=VIRE

The dark world of the drug culture is the world of Frankenstein! It’s a monster created by sinful people. Users go broke, are alienated from their loved ones, they enter the pit of despair, go to jail, rehabs and sometimes institutions, and go early to the grave as well as the nuthouse.

I’ve known and heard of people who have engaged in such destructive behavior – repeatedly relapsing for as long as 30 years. One I knew well finally got clean after decades of living in the dark world of voluntary slavery and came into the light of Jesus, which was the only way to break the chains of addiction. But it was too late! But the chains were broken and heaven’s gates were opened.

You don’t have to be a drug addict or a drunk to mess up your life. I did.

I had lost my job and was going to lose my house. I lost things bit by bit, as did a woman in an episode of The Twilight Zone. In the episode, every time this spendthrift missed a credit card payment, she lost something. First the cat, then the dog, then her kids, then her husband, then her car, then her house. I lost my home Internet connection, I was soon to lose my wife, my dog had already died, and I was running low on food. I was also starting to lose my mind.

For food, I went to a local Salvation Army pantry. I also needed someone to talk with, as I was anxious and depressed about my situation. I took a Salvation Army magazine home with me and started reading it. I emailed a particular section. Someone replied to my email and wrote that it was a of a call for help. It was! Following the respondent’s advice, I visited the church come Sunday. One of the officers was in early. She let me in and we talked before Sunday school. I hadn’t been to church regularly for years. I listened attentively. I was broken. During the singing of “What a Friend We Have Jesus” I hung on every word, which was projected on a screen. When we hit the lines “oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear…” I broke down in tears. The thought that I didn’t have to have the mental pain I was in and that I could find peace in Jesus just touched me.  “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:8

The root of my problem was that I was sinning, not living a Godly lifestyle. I prayed to God, confessed my sins and asked Him to bring me back to him. I got on the right path. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

To help me get back in the pink, which certainly wasn’t in a wink, I volunteered in the food pantry. It’s good to have responsibilities. More recently a homeless guy who had a drinking problem told me he got a job, and added it would keep him out of trouble. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop!

I took my laptop to the local library and started doing online freelance writing. After a time, I started writing these blogs. For a time, I worked doing deliveries and working in the store doing odd jobs at a furniture and mattress business.

Both the drug user and I continued to keep destructive behavior at bay, by hanging with the right people and by doing the right things. Informal counseling and going to meetings such as Celebrate Recovery, an “addiction” meeting at a church, which morphed into a Bible study, reading Christian materials and to church. The drug user called the addiction meeting a Bible study.

Counseling, as Biblical Counseling movement founder Jay E Adams explains in “Critical Stages of Biblical Counseling”, is basically a pit stop to take care of problems that slow down progressive sanctification so the putting off of sinful ways and putting on Godly ways can continue in the church and other venues that help the believer become more Christlike.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross to save “good” people, but sinners. Addicts are no different than anybody else.

It’s important to attend a church that follows the Bible strictly and doesn’t succumb to every whim of doctrine.

In the 1920s, mainstream protestant churches were polluted with worldly ways.  They were not holy, which means to set apart from the sinful world. Their world view was reflected in the moral and financial poverty of the times. It was ministering to broken people that helped Christianity have more fidelity to scripture.

To help people who abuse alcohol, in 1921 “A First Century Christian Fellowship, later known as The Oxford Group, was created, founded by a minister who was truly born again, 14 years before Alcoholics Anonymous. Although AA used Biblical principles from The Oxford Group, it minimized God. The added “God as we know him” was incorporated to appease non-Christians.

The practice of regular people with problems using the Bible to help one another, as CLPRM does, was the case with The Oxford Group. A “professional” could not help a drunk back then, and shrinks, along with all the other professional horses and all the king’s men, can’t today.

Back in 1931, an American businessman with a major problem with the bottle was treated by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung for a year and stopped the problem drinking. It wasn’t long before he relapsed. He came back to Dr. Jung, who told him that he was a nearly hopeless case and advised the businessman that his only hope might be a spiritual conversion with a religious group. He did. After attending meetings of The Oxford Group and having convinced the root of his problem was sin, he fully recovered.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

Drug and alcohol abuse have a common root.

Dr. Bachman, the minister who created the Oxford Group, summed up the group’s philosophy:

  • All people are sinners
  • All sinners can be changed
  • Confession is a prerequisite to change
  • The change can access God directly
  • Miracles are again possible
  • The change must change others

The Oxford Group preached that addictions are a result of sin, and that confessing sin, asking God’s forgiveness is what will enable people to overcome their addictions. Addictions such as alcohol and drugs are not a disease, a problem that we just “catch” but are a matter of choice. Only God can allow addicts to gain control of uncontrollable lives.

You Can Conquer Addiction

An epidemic as pervasive as the black plague is sweeping over our land. Only, contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not a disease. The opioid and other drug problems are destroying lives and killing people as a result of the voluntary slavery people get involved in, the root of which is a spiritual crisis in America.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are failing miserably at helping to put broken people back together again.

Recently, churches have been stepping up to the plate to more effectively deal with this spiritual problem. The problem is idolatry. Edward T Welch, Christian author, counselor and facility member at CCEF, wrote “that we have chosen to go outside the boundaries of the kingdom of God and look for blessing in the land of idols. In turning to idols, we are saying that we desire something in creation more than we desire the Creator.”

Back in 1633, George Herbert advanced this idea in one of his poems:

The Pulley. 

              VVHen God at first made man,
Having a glasse of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) poure on him all we can:
Let the worlds riches, which dispersed lie,
               Contract into a span.

               So strength first made a way;
Then beautie flow’d, then wisdome, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
               Rest in the bottome lay.

               For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewell also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts in stead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
               So both should losers be.

               Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlesnesse:
Let him be rich and wearie, that at least,
If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse
               May tosse him to my breast.
While the establishment in places like Bucks County are fighting the war on drugs by hunting down pushers with the Push Out The Pusher program, like treasury man Elliot Ness fought the alcohol problem during prohibition, church related groups are fighting the problem by changing people from the inside.

http://levittownnow.com/2018/08/09/push-out-the-pusher-program-nets-first-conviction-reward-payout/

One such initiative is the upcoming CLPRM Relapse Prevention Walk and Fundraiser, to be held on Saturday, September 8 at Fireman’s Field, Rockhill Dr & Richlieu Rd, Bensalem, PA. Registration is at 11 a.m. at Bensalem Township Community Park, Richlieu and Galloway Rd, and the walk will begin at 12:00 p.m.  At 1 p.m. CLPRM will hold a fundraiser at the Christian Life Center, 3100 Galloway Rd, in Bensalem. There will be live music, food, activities, vendors, resources and special events. 100 percent of donations go to help people with addictions.

There is hope for addicts in the power of the gospel. All scripture is sufficient for all matters of the heart, including the idolatry of drug and alcohol addiction. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17  To this end, CLPRM holds Conquering Addiction each Friday from 7 p.m. till 9 p.m. at the Christian Life Center in Bensalem. http://www.clprm.org/recovery-ministry/

Also, the 2nd Saturday of every month in the Edge building at the Christian Life Center, live music, coffee, cake, fellowship and devotion are featured at the Conquering Grounds Café. Both the regular Friday meetings and this “coffee house” are free.

You are not alone in your addiction. God and his servants will help you overcome! Christians are on a rescue mission.

We are therefore Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  2 Corinthians 5:20

Caveman Club by Sancho Panza

Are women you are trying to pick up at homeless meals getting too difficult to catch? Did another guy take your gal you used to take there? Is the gang of girls you are trying to collect, like Charles Manson, nothing more than a dream? 

Well, do as Lying Larry does. He uses Caveman Club to catch his prey.  

As Lying Larry says, women don’t have any sense in choosing the guy they want to hang with. Women are incapable of making decisions on their own. They need guidance and persuasion.  

Caveman Club also serves to keep the competition away; to keep the gals from making the wrong choice. 

Caveman Club.  Don’t go to a homeless meal without one! 

Caveman Club, by Sancho Panza.  

 Image result for caveman clubs

Don Quixote Telling Sancho Panza About Caveman Club, Which He Wants Sancho To Market