Heal The Land

I don’t know what she was on, but most likely a young woman was on something when she locked herself in the lady’s room at a fast food restaurant in Bristol, PA last night. A paying, female customer who needed to use the lady’s room found the lady’s room locked over a period of more than fifteen minutes. She intermittently went to the rest room door, knocked several times and asked “is anyone in there?” Over and over, but no reply.

Finally, an employee unlocked the door to find a young woman passed out on the floor. But shortly, the woman got up, and like the bride of Frankenstein, started walking away. As she walked out of the rest room, the woman who was waiting to use it remarked “other people need to use” the lady’s room. I didn’t hear the response, but the bathroom hog’s tone sounded smug, flippant.

It looked like she was trying to get into her car. Employees walked out, and the woman sauntered off. The police were called, and soon an officer showed up as did an ambulance with its lights flashing and sirens blaring. I think they found her.

I read the book Narcotics Anonymous a few years ago. By a former druggie’s own testimony, he admitted that a drug abuser is selfish – that the whole world revolves around him and the only thing that matters is getting that high. How he affects others is of no concern.

This was the case last night. It didn’t matter to that woman that she locked herself in the lady’s room, as if it were a flop house when there are other people who may need to use it.

The problem with the war on drugs is that authorities are placing all the blame on drug pushers. I’ve seen the signs in lower Bucks County “Push Out The Pusher”, with the message to call a number to report suspected drug dealers. I’ve read that authorities said, in so many words, that they are going to mollycoddle drug users.

Now counseling for druggies, dopes, is good, just as it was for drunks in the early 20th century. We finally realized that to resolve the problem of chronic drunkenness, we’re not going to do it by taking away everyone’s liquor.

Today, US Attorney Jeff Sessions is going about fighting the “opioid crisis” the same way we did with the alcohol problem during prohibition. To quote an old folk song “When will they learn. When will they ever learn?”

To overcome the drug problem, you have to go about changing individuals from the inside the right way. Calling drug abuse a disease is an epidemic in itself. Here in a brochure from the Bensalem police entitled “Bensalem Police Assisting in Recovery” (BPAIR) it states “Our primary goal is to connect people with substance abuse disorders with treatment programs and facilities. “Substance abuse disorders?”  That makes it sound as if these druggies have some kind of genetic problem they were born with. Are they lactose intolerant? Truth is, drug abuse is a matter of the will, and, as stated in the 12 Steps program, a character flaw. It’s a choice, a sinful one!

The problem with calling drug abuse a disease, as I’ve heard it called by many in authority – politicians, that nudge from the Addiction Network – is that it absolves the doper of responsibility for his behavior. It’s to say it’s not his fault.

“Alcoholism” and “addictions” are simply sin. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” — I Corinthians 15:34. “The primary problem is moral and spiritual, not medical, and cannot be addressed without that perspective,” wrote Franklin E. Payne, Jr., M.D., Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, Georgia.

“Addiction is a disease – not a personal failure”, said congressman Donald Norcross, D-New Jersey, in reference to the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force he’s part of. http://levittownnow.com/2017/05/31/congressman-fitzpatrick-named-vice-chair-bipartisan-heroin-task-force/

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.”

The alternative to the Elliott Ness Round the suppliers up initiative and that it’s not their fault it’s a disease agenda is a program that reflects the views of A First Century Christian Fellowship, which later became known as The Oxford Group, which made regular reference to God. Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, by the way, greatly minimized the use of God in the program.  Today, Celebrate Recovery closely matches the philosophy of The Oxford Group.

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

Only when we return to God and following his ways will we be able to deal with the drug and other problems.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Stop! In The Name Of Love!

At the next meeting at the Celebrate Recovery program I’ve been going to we will talk about denial. For those of you in Doylestown, De Nile is not a river in Egypt.

Recently, I mentioned to a smoker that my dearly departed friend and companion Sandi would still be around and would have gotten around better most the time I knew her if it weren’t for a lifetime of smoking those nasty cancer sticks. “You can’t prove that”, was the response from the smoker, who had started to cry a short while back when the smokes ran out and I would not pick any up for this friend who has trouble getting around.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

⦁ Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.

⦁ Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:

⦁ Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

⦁ Illegal drug use

⦁ Alcohol use

⦁ Motor vehicle injuries

⦁ Firearm-related incidents

⦁ More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States.

⦁ Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.

⦁ Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

⦁ Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.

⦁ The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.

I recently met someone at a community meal I’m very fond of who smokes, by her own admission, to cope with problems. She said she quit for a while, but then something came up that she had trouble dealing with it. She told me she realized she had to learn to cope with problems another way. I told her that Sandi quit for about a year towards the end, mainly because she couldn’t get around and that I would not get smokes for her. You did that because you cared about her,” my newfound friend touchingly said. Yes, and because I care for her and others I try to convince people not to smoke. Not abruptly, by saying “you vill stop” (with a German accent) and mainly on these blogs, which some people are afraid of. If you are the emperor, I’ll blog that you need a new set of clothes.

People have a free will and, as per one of the rules in the Celebrate Recovery 12 Steps program, you don’t try to fix people. That’s God’s job.

I channel Diana Ross and The Supremes and sing “Stop! In the name of love. Before you break my heart.” My heart is broken over Sandi being one of Johnny Smoke’s victims. Johnny Smoke is an evangelist for a rogue mission church: Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes.

https://youtu.be/NWm6PUGpfVU

Helping people to cope with their problems without alcohol, drugs, including cigarettes or through other bad ways is why Celebrate Recovery, a national program with local chapters, was created. I’ve been having trouble with anxiety, depression, anger/frustration, resentment, so I go to a meeting once a week in Northeast Philadelphia. I am not in denial, and I know De Nile is not a river in Egypt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv6tuzHUuuk&feature=youtu.be

A program such as Celebrate Recovery is an alternative to the official nuthouses where by default the homeless are sent, with their legal dope and psychobabble. http://newlifephilly.net/celebrate-recovery

As former first lady Nancy Reagan said “Just say no” (to drugs). When someone wants help getting cancer sticks, just saying no is the best thing you can do for them. It’s the Christian thing to do!

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  Ephesians 5:11

There is Hope For The Broken Hearted

Christmas comes once a year”

 “And every man must have his share”

 “Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer

-Famous limerick that plays on the radio in Guyana, South America at Christmastime

Again, this Christmas, another Willy in lower Bucks County, PA will be in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer. Like the one who spent Christmas in jail last year, loud, crude, callous, violent behavior put him in prison.

It is sad that Willy has to spend Christmas drinking sour ginger beer in jail, but it’s equally sad what he did to put him there. It was selfish, drunken behavior, where he verbally and physically attacked someone, saying vile things to her and to a witness to his barbaric behavior that caused the problem. Over the past 3 ½ years, people have tried to help him overcome the besetting sin of drunkenness, trying to help him get to the root of it. This Willy had some terrible things happen to him, but he thinks he’ll find deliverance and peace from the bottle.

Society must have rules. Otherwise society breaks down into barbarism, as was the case with English schoolboys in The Lord of The Flies. The point of the story is that there is evil with humans, and it must be restrained. The island the boys get stranded on is a microcosm of society.

https://www.enotes.com/topics/lord-of-the-flies

This Christmas Sandi, with whom I was very close will not be with me. Brain cancer took her away. I had spent the last three years with her, going in and out of ERs, hospitals, and physical rehab centers. We had good and bad times. There were times I wanted to give up on her, and times she wanted to give up on life. But I was committed to her, and we worked things out, getting ever closer with time.

Cancer wore Sandi down, stopping her from doing more and more things. Early on, she wanted to volunteer helping animals or volunteer in a food pantry. But that didn’t happen. For the longest time, she worked puzzle books. That stopped. She needed a walker. But even with the walker Sandi had a hard time getting around, even getting up from a chair or in and out of my car. But as her condition worsened, instead of wanting to give up and escape through things like alcohol, she fought the cancer, getting a better attitude. She sometimes said “Jesus is in my heart”, and, a child of God, she started acting more Christ-like. She reflected God by being pleasant with the nurses and aides in the nursing home, returning greetings, smiling at them, even thanking them. About one aide, Sandi remarked “at least he’s friendly.”

I am having trouble dealing with losing Sandi. There are other ways to act out, escape than alcohol or drugs. Sometimes I feel like snapping out, and I’m finding it harder to exercise self control and not lash out at annoying people, like people who make too much noise in the quiet area of the library!

Besides attending Grief Sharing meetings, I just got out “you’ll get through this: Hope and Help For Your Turbulent Times” by Max Lucado to help me get through with this rough time.  Max uses scripture to help people get through bad times. For example, he uses the story of Joseph, who was thrown into a hole and despised shows how God uses bad for our good. We should not, like Curly of The Three Stooges, lament that we are “a victim of soy cum stances!”

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

I’m also continuing to go to Celebrate Recovery meetings, which not only helps people overcome drug and alcohol addictions, but with other habits, hurts and hang ups.

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

An important thing to remember is that God will get you through. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-12

Also remember that Christ was born in Bethlehem to save you from sin and give those who confess they are sinners and believe in Him will have everlasting life. Christ saved us to be light to the world. Reaching out to the brokenhearted, as people have to me, is a way of showing this light.

Got A Light?

 

Cigarette smoking is more than an habit to many — it’s a religion.

Although now I know that before a smoker opens a pack and taps it against his/her palm countlessly, the purpose is to better pack the tobacco, this still strikes me as a ritual, a prelude to worship. Many smokers religiously light up, like a panting deer stopping for water at a stream.

I’ve had smokers approach me and offer me as much as $10 for one cigarette! One difference between tobacco and heroin is that tobacco is legal. And, as smokers have told me, tobacco is harder to kick than heroin. Heroine does, however, more quickly lead to anti-social behavior such as stealing and job loss than does tobacco. Cigarettes are a slow poison, and heavy use triggers sickness and work callouts and often to the cancer center.

Like other drugs, once cigarettes become your idol, you crave more and more, yet you never really become satisfied, except, perhaps, for a moment. “Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” Ecclesiastes 1:8

For decades, we have been enticed by the lure of sister nicotine – though ads, integration in the movies where lots of scenes of people smoking are shown, billboards, and even at one time, believe it or not, doctors promoting smoking! They should be tried for malpractice. The tobacco industry and its henchmen have glorified smoking, saying it’s glamorous, cool.

Sister Nicotine and the Holy Smokes is a false religion. To restore people to health, mentally and physically, we need to reject the false gods of the world and turn to a higher power than ourselves, God.

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

As a Presbyterian, in the Reformed tradition, I was taught that cigarette smoking is not inherently a sin. It was those silly Baptists (as my father was raised but changed) who believed it was wrong to smoke, drink or chew and not go with girls who do. Maybe not the chew part, but it makes a funny rhyme. But now I think the Baptists were right about smoking.

It was ironic that at a community meal a homeless smoker asked one of the hosts at a Baptist church for a cigarette. I said softly something like “a Baptist church is not the place to ask for a cigarette”, and started to chuckle. The host was gracious and politely said he didn’t have any cigarettes.

My close friend Sandi is in a nursing home. She caught lung cancer, which metastasized to the liver and brain, because of a lifetime of smoking. Decades ago, a physical education/health class instructor in college told the class that he’d like to go down south and burn down all the tobacco fields but added “Don’t tell your parents I’m really going to do it; I’m just trying to make a point about how bad smoking is for your health.”

Since I started caring for Sandi, I got the idea to contact that instructor, who was a 2nd Lt. Army Ranger who served in Viet Nam, to burn down the tobacco fields with him. I looked him up on the Internet, but found that he had died. I could imagine the headlines if the ex Ranger and I actually did this: TWO WACKED OUT VIETNAM VIETS BURN DOWN DIXIE TOBACCO FIELDS; THE RETURN OF SHERMAN.

Just a qualification, smoking has a more negative affect on some people more than others. And like alcohol, not everyone gets addicted, but many do.

When you get addicted to anything, it affects the way you interact with others and you may display anti-social behavior. As the 12 Steps rightly acknowledges, addictions, which are really besetting sin, are a result of a character flaw.

In the book Narcotics Anonymous I read a personal testimony of a former druggie who said that he had no moral compass with his addiction — that he would stoop to anything, including stealing from his own mother!

Being hooked on cigarettes approaches this problem.

Got a light?

There’s a problem when people start think that if the government approves of something, it’s OK. The government is populated by people, who, unlike God, are fallible. The government approves of abortion, same sex marriages, and gambling. It doesn’t mean it is right. These things are morally wrong!

A man who had to leave his apartment was homeless for five days and four nights before he ended up going to a colony of homeless people and meet with the Memorial Mob homeless advocate.

He was no longer going to wander homelessly alone.

After he finished the first community meal AHTN took him to, he fished out some change and said he’s trying to find enough money for cigarettes.

The new kid on the block was overheated, exhausted, and probably hungry when someone gave him two Bucks to help him out.  There wasn’t two dollars that same night after dinner just a few hours after someone gave it to him.

This wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last person who when someone gave a homeless person money for food or drink, used it to buy cigarettes.

We all have our flaws. It’s just a matter of kind and degree. Sandi is a child of God, made in His image, and has intrinsic value. I’ve been camping out by her bedside daily, to feed her – she sometimes drinks her beverages erratically and the staff doesn’t have the time to keep checking back to see when she’s ready to finish her drink – and to assure her that there is someone on this earth who cares and that God has her in His hands.

Although you don’t want to enable people’s bad behavior and sometime just have to walk away, people should not be written off. Sandi is a good patient. She smiles, doesn’t curse out and fight with the nursing staff when they are trying to help her or make excessive demands like others, but cooperates with them, smiles, and often says “thank you.”

Our pastor said that Jesus only brings up sin when he can heal people from it. It is my hope that my words will convince people to not start or continue destructive habits. I didn’t listen to good advice, but finally I saw the light and came around.

A few years ago, I overheard a conversation about some drug that gets people very high, very cheaply and is extra dangerous. I heard a guy say that this drug kills people much more quickly than other drugs. This doesn’t matter, he explained, because all the user is interested in is getting high. Nothing else matters.

Burning down the tobacco fields is not going to resolve the false religion of Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes, no more than just pushing out the pusher will cure the drug abuse problem, no more than Eliot Ness and his Untouchables not letting anyone have booze.

To restore health, mentally and physically, you need to reject the false gods of the world and turn to a higher power than yourself, God. Healing is not instant, in fact it’s slow, but if one hangs in there, he/she will be better off.

Realizing you need the power of God in order to overcome besetting sins is the first step, as found in Celebrate Recovery’s 12 Steps and Biblical comparisons. The program is not just for addictions, but for other hang ups, bad habits, and hurts. I’ve been going to Celebrate Recovery to help me deal with Sandi’s cancer – for God to give me the serenity to accept that which I cannot change, and the courage to change that which I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18

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