Condemn Principles Not People

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
Socrates  

Defining your terms is just a start in order to have an honest discussion about a subject and to avoid confusion, misunderstandings. I’ve challenged the idea that we should minimize the stigma that goes along with addiction. 

For those of you in Doylestown, the definition of “stigma”, used in this context:   

“A mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.” -Dictionary.com 

The act of abusing drugs, alcohol, food and other things is disgraceful, sinful. God made us in his image so we have intrinsic value, and all of us are sinners. Even author Gore Vidal, who championed homosexuality, wrote that a homosexual is not who you are, but what you do.  

Drug addicts don’t just affect themselves, but their family, friends, and society. In the Levittown, PA vicinity, crime mushroomed in neighborhoods after the recovery houses came. About a hundred of them shot up in the community.  

People need to be protected from drug abusers. One particular drug user, who, in his own words is the “King of the panhandlers”, wore something that gave public notice like The Scarlet Letter. I’ve seen him wear a shirt that conspicuously read “MONSTER.” Actually, I think the word was for Monster Drinks, but it serves as a public warning. I’ve noticed that people who regularly drink Monster Drinks have turned into monsters (you are what you drink). It could, however, just be a coincidence.  

Condemn the principle, not the person  

At an inpatient addiction center in lower Bucks County, PA, a counselor told the group of visitors I was with to practice tough love – have rules and borders. If, for example, your kids get completely out of control, then you need to kick them out of your home and get them to the proper place. But never condemn them, the counselor stressed.  

Who will throw the first stone?  

A long, long time ago, when Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They wanted to stone her, and they were not talking about getting her high on weed. They asked Jesus what he thought, to test him and get him busted. Jesus bent down and wrote something on the ground with his finger. When they kept questioning Him, He replied “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” They split, leaving Jesus with the woman. He asked her “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 

She said, “No one, sir. “ 

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” 

The act of doing dope should be stigmatized, not the person. The stigma of addiction and other sins can be removed by stopping this foolish, destructive behavior. Jesus told the woman she was not under condemnation, but she has to stop her sinful behavior.  

To get yourself straight, you must not blame others, your circumstances, as did Curly of The Three Stooges (I’m a victim of soy-cum-stances), your environment, your race, your gender, your situation…   You must acknowledge your addiction is a result of a character flaw, sin. 

http://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/twelve-steps 

Great Googa Mooga

“So heroin, it’s just as real a disease in our world as cancer is…” says a Fox channel 29 Philadelphia news report linked to Levittownnow.com. http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/225069155-story

As former President Ronald Reagan said in presidential debates when his opponents made a weak, flawed, stale argument,  “There you go again.”

More recently, Donald Trump detractors have been making the bogus charge that The Donald is racist, with no evidence. As Rush Limbaugh said, a racist is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal. A post on Facebook has Oprah Winfrey saying that anyone who disagrees with Obamacare is racist. Former President Jimmy Carter said that people are against Obama because they are racist.

Repeat a lie enough times, said Hitler, then people will believe it.

The lie that drug abuse is a disease keeps being repeated ad infinitum ad nauseam.

The bogus statement from the recent channel 29 link on Levittownnow.com was part of a report about recovery houses in Levittown. Fox 29 is right, however by saying “Levittown, …where there’s an entire market based simply on recovery, in the form of halfway houses.” In the vicinity of Levittown, PA, there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 recovery houses.

The recovery houses in lower Bucks County are just a money making racket, at the community’s expense. Crime in recovery house ridden areas have experienced increased crime. People from local recovery houses frequent the Levittown public library. Most of them cause problems in and around the library. As a result of the invasion of druggies, the library had to hire a security guard and put cameras in the library.

Many of the druggies who fly out of the doors of the recovery flop houses become homeless, and join the local population. One reason the general homeless have been harassed at the library and nearby Veterans Memorial is that they are lumped together with the druggie and other problem homeless.

Politicians say more taxes will solve everything!  Another article on Levittownnow.com reports that PA Governor Big Bad Wolf (who blows people’s houses down by fiat to make them homeless)  and state lawmakers “have been instrumental in many of these methods, by reversing 10 years of funding cuts to drug and alcohol treatment by expanding Medicaid.”

Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis repeats the sounding joy (for the drug treatment hustlers) that substance abuse is a disease. “It’s time to get rid of negative stereotypes. Addiction is a brain disease, not a moral failing,” said Tennis, who continued “Stigmatizing the disease, so that our loved ones feel too ashamed to get help, only increases the number of Pennsylvanians who will die unnecessarily.”

http://levittownnow.com/2016/11/29/surgeon-general-releases-first-report-addiction/

Politicians are appealing for more taxes for drug treatment, which they say will save healthcare, lost productivity and criminal justice costs. This presupposes that their programs work. They don’t.

According to Tennis, 3,500 drug overdoses occurred in 2015. He expects the number to grow.

This is quite a disease, known as substance abuse disorder (SUD) to take out all these people.

The only way I can explain the SUD epidemic is that aliens implanted secret messages in the brains of people that programmed them to do drugs. What we need is to get Flash Gordon to deprogram the  druggies – of course, at taxpayers’ expense.

The PA Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary has it backwards. By calling drug abuse a disease you absolve the user of culpability. This sends a message that you don’t have to change your ways – as it says in the Bible, to put off the old and put on the new.  If you think you are doing nothing wrong by doing drugs, then you’ll keep doing it until you die. It’s an end game. As Neil Young sang “every junkie’s just a settin’ sun.”

Instead of having less deaths by drug overdoses by not pointing out that the problem is a result of a character flaw, you’ll have more.

Of course, you accept the drug abuser as you would any other sinner by hating the sin but loving the sinner.

You may be able to fight cancer with chemo and Opdivo, but you can’t combat substance abuse with a psychotropic drug, which, by definition, “is a chemical substance that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness.” Isn’t this why the hippies did drugs in the 60’s – to expand their minds? We see where that got them.

Some psychotropic drugs are used for medical, physical problems, such as to fight Parkinson’s disease, headaches, and for hormone problems.

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

There’s a problem when emotional and spiritual problems are treated like you’re dealing strictly with physiology, which, defined: “the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.”

When you do, you become like the people described in the 60’s song In the Year 2525:

In the year 3535
Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today

Whoa-Oh-oh!

In other words, we become robots!

And to reprogram a robot who takes drugs, you just have to order it, as they say in the military “At ease, disease!”

To quote the Temptations, “Great googa mooga, can’t you hear me talkin’ to you, just a
Ball of Confusion that’s what the world is today. (yeah, yeah)”

In reality, because we are creatures created in the image of God with a free will, to resolve substance abuse problems, which are actually a result of besetting sin, you need God’s help and guidance to overcome them. The kind of program that will help is one that follows the proven 12 Steps program. Celebrate Recovery is a national program that works.

http://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/message-from-rick-warren

Substance abuse, like any other sin, is a matter of the will.

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas 1:14–15).

Equip for Every Good Work

How to best counsel someone with a problem, such as drunkenness is being wrestled with in the marketplace of ideas.  Addressing the question of whether Christians should attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or treatment centers, Wayne Jackson challenges the idea of what he calls  a “hybrid religio/secular organism” such as AA. He’s concerned that, although the goal of the programs may be noble, they dilute the Word of God and don’t fully help people.

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/385-what-about-alcoholics-anonymous

Early on, AA had a schism.

In 1921, a Lutheran minister founded A First Century Christian Fellowship, which was later called the Oxford Group.

The minister summed up the Oxford 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

AA co-founder Bill Wilson joined The Oxford Group and learned their teachings but later broke away. These teachings influenced the structure of AA and helped form the foundation of the 12-step program.

The schism: AA subscribes to the idea “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” The Oxford Group: The Biblical view that the King of King and Lord of Lords can break the chains and set you free of any bondage holding you captive. Expedia reports the differing views: “In AA, the bondage of an addictive disease cannot be cured, while the Oxford Group stressed the possibility of complete victory over sin.”

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

Fidelity to scriptures isn’t a concern that started in the 20th century with counseling people. During the early years of the church, the apostle Paul and company toured the churches to make sure they were in line with God’s Word. In Sunday school class, when I saw a diagram of the route the apostles took, noticing the guys were traveling away from Crete, I remarked that they must have been running from the Cyclops. I was mistaken. The Cyclops hung out in Sicily. He liked Sicilian pizza. That’s one thing we have in common.

In the 20th century, churches in America, liberal churches, lost fidelity to scriptures. To them, the Word of God didn’t mean the Word of God, but was subject to human ideas that contradicted God. My mother used to call these churches “social clubs.”

While the traditional churches in America were preoccupied with fighting liberalism in the church, they let secular modern psychology infiltrate their ranks. For people who came to the church with problems, churches took on a policy of defer and refer to the modern mental health menagerie.

Don’t let me tell you where to go (some people have told me where to go) to church for counseling and for fellowship with true believers and communion with God. Study the Bible and learn for yourself and find a church that most closely matches scripture. This is a trend that Martin Luther started with the Reformation.

It’s important not to mix worldly beliefs that contradict scripture in counseling and in other matters. Sure, they may have in common the goal to help people. But some things just don’t mix. I wouldn’t hang out with the Cyclops just because with both like Sicilian pizza.

There are counseling programs out there that are in sync with scripture. One national one is Celebrate Recovery. It uses the 12-step program and matches each step with scripture. It seems to follow the philosophy of the Oxford Group. http://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/twelve-steps

The closest Celebrate Recovery program from lower Bucks County, PA is in Ewing, NJ. Visit the link above to find Celebrate Recovery locations in your area as well as to learn more about the program.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

-2nd Timothy 3: 16-17