Sin or Disease?

As the war on drug abuse continues to lose ground, as did the war in Vietnam under President LBJ, Bible based programs to help addicts overcome their life destroying behavior continue to step up to the plate to better deal with the problem.

Recently, an open meeting to help people overcome their addictions was started at Oxford Valley Chapel in Fairless Hills, PA. The leader refuted the common mantra that addiction is a disease. He showed clips of politicians and drug rehabs spouting this lie.

Calling drug addiction a disease is a marketing tool used by snake oil salesmen.

One of the participants honestly asked questions about the conventional wisdom disease related model for drug, alcohol, and other addictions. One participant spoke of the power of God who can give you the power to overcome problems.

If an addiction is a disease, then addicts are not responsible for their behavior. If addictions are rightly looked at as sin, then Jesus will help us overcome this sin, and we will be healed, made whole.

The Bible, God’s Word tells us how to overcome sin, which destroys us:  “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:22-24

Critics of the disease theory, as reported on Wikipedia, say the disease theory, which is applied to drug and alcohol abuse “exists only to benefit the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services, and the disease model has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.”

All The King’s Horses And All The King’s Men Can’t Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

Some critics of the disease model argue alcoholism still involves choice, not total loss of control, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual; the disease concept gives the substance abuser an excuse. A disease cannot be cured by force of will; therefore, adding the medical label transfers the responsibility from the abuser to caregivers. Inevitably the abusers become unwilling victims, and just as inevitably they take on that role. They argue that the disease theory of alcoholism exists only to benefit the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services, and the disease model has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.

These critics hold that by removing some of the stigma and personal responsibility the disease concept actually increases alcoholism and drug abuse and thus the need for treatment. This is somewhat supported by a study which found that a greater belief in the disease theory of alcoholism and higher commitment to total abstinence to be factors correlated with increased likelihood that an alcoholic would have a full-blown relapse (substantial continued use) following an initial lapse (single use). However, the authors noted that “the direction of causality cannot be determined from these data. It is possible that belief in alcoholism as a loss-of-control disease predisposes clients to relapse, or that repeated relapses reinforce clients’ beliefs in the disease model.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_theory_of_alcoholism

Drug abuse and alcohol abuse have a common root: A character flaw. Some 12 Steps programs, which by the way have historically been very successful, combine healing from drug and alcohol abuse with other problems. What’s said about alcohol abuse can be said about drug abuse.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. …”   -Proverbs 23:29-35

At the shared meals for the homeless and needy in Bucks County, PA I’ve noticed signs for 12 Steps programs.

There are a few other, walk in programs to help people overcome their addictions in the greater Bucks County area:

Breaking The Chains of Addiction, a faith based group that helps people overcome their addictions, meets at First Baptist Church in Morrisville, PA, 50 Pennsylvania Avenue, Tuesdays, at 7 p.m.  Breaking The Chains also meets in South Philly at Third Baptist Church, 2400 S. Broad St Fridays at 7 p.m.

Celebrate Recovery, a national program that helps people overcome drug and alcohol addictions as well as other problems, has a few chapters not far from Bucks County.  Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. New Life Presbyterian Church, 425 East Roosevelt Blvd. In North East Philly hosts Celebrate Recovery.

http://newlifephilly.net/celebrate-recovery

The church needs to bring light to the world, helping to restore broken people.

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi 

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! That where there is hatred, I may bring love. That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. That where there is discord, I may bring harmony. That where there is error, I may bring truth. That where there is doubt, I may bring faith. That where there is despair, I may bring hope. That where there are shadows, I may bring light. That where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted. To understand, than to be understood. To love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.”

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “

-Matthew 5:13-16

Every Thought Captive

Another shooting! This time at the airport in Florida.

Why is this always happening?

Being controlled to murder earthlings by an alien force can certainly be ruled out. But actions begin as a thought: hatred, malice and envy – evil thoughts. We all have evil thoughts; nobody is perfect. But when we entertain these thoughts and hold them captive, we end up acting on them.

“The tongue utters only what is already in the heart (Matthew 12:34). Acts of sin besides what the tongue commits proceed from the same evil heart (Matthew 15:17-20). Matthew 7:16-18 confirms the impossibility of changing an evil heart, as it can never produce good fruit. God must completely replace it with a wholly different nature for it to produce good fruit! Before being changed, it can produce only evil fruit.”  -Matthew 15:17-20

Cops: Mental Health Crisis Led To Fatal Birthday Stabbing reads the headlines of an article on LevittownNow.com about a man who came home at four in the morning  and attacked his girlfriend with a knife. Although the police state that this sudden attack was a “rapid descent into a major mental health problem,” weeks before, the attacker’s parents saw there was a problem with this “peaceful, well respected and generous” man.  http://levittownnow.com/2016/10/15/mental-health-crisis-led-to-fatal-birthday-stabbing/

What fuels evil acts such as mass shootings?

Since the Garden of Eden, humans were tempted.  Satan, in the form of a snake, tempted Adam and Eve, telling them that if they eat the forbidden fruit they would be like God, knowing good and evil and will gain wisdom. The crafty snake also told our first parents that God didn’t mean it when he said they will die if they disobey Him. Since then, people have been following the father of lies.

Lies have been circulating before and after the election of Donald Trump. One common, persistent lie is that Mr. Trump is a racist. Not only is this false witness, not based on any evidence, but is counterproductive and harmful to the black community. Professor of Economics at George Mason University Walter E Williams expounds on this thought: http://walterewilliams.com/blacks-and-politicians/

Just as Dr. Williams urges people to stop tolerating and making excuses for the despicable and destructive behavior of individual blacks, some people have put a lid on bad behavior of homeless individuals who exhibit outlandish behavior at the community meals, particularly coming to the meals drunk, verbally and physically threatening other guests as well as actually attacking people! One such person in now in the Bucks County jail.

As a result of holding people accountable for their behavior, the community meals have been peaceful. People not only eat in peace, but have a wonderful time meeting with friends and edifying one another.

To stop bad behavior, you must understand and act on the root cause. It’s sin. All the King’s Horses and All The King’s Men in government can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again. We hear the incessant mantra that “drug addiction” is a disease and not a character flaw, weakness. Operating under this premise has exacerbated the epidemic of overdoses, many fatal. Of course, as is the case with liberals, results don’t matter, just as long as people praise their intentions and they get their money!

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.”  -Hosea 6:1