Everyone running to politicians for funding in order to fight the drug abuse epidemic does not cut it, exclaimed an animated presenter at a workshop at the Bucks County Faith Summit/We Can Do It Together event Saturday in Newtown, PA. Instead, a grass roots, autonomous group like that of Narcotics Anonymous with everyday people, recovered drug abusers is what is needed to help people get clean.
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.
Drug and alcohol abuse have a common root.
The Oxford Group
Originally a movement called “A First Century Christian Fellowship”, the group was founded by a Lutheran minister who had had a born-again conversion in 1908 in a chapel in Keswick, England. Dr. Bachman, the minister, 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.
Today, there are groups and meetings held in churches that treat drug addictions as sin (we all are sinners), which through Jesus can be overcome. It was a breath of fresh air that the convention promoted a faith-based solution to the problem of drug abuse.
Christian booklets and other materials were available at some of the many stations at the convention. There was a copy, in summary form, of Narcotics Anonymous. Faith based talks and Christian songs were included in the convention.
At the workshop before the one with the animated presenter, the presenter called addiction a disease. Someone in the audience challenged calling drug abuse a disease. While waiting in line to fill out some paperwork, I figuratively gave her a high five.
Drug abuse is a choice, a sinful one. It is, as Biblical counselor and author Ed Welch said, voluntary slavery.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 13-14
With God, you can overcome the involuntary slavery of drug abuse.