Addiction is A Worship Disorder

In places like Bucks County, PA, All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men are unable to put people broken by addiction back together again. As there are increasingly more overdoses and deaths, the faith community has been moving forward to help rescue people from the sin of voluntary slavery.

As Bob Dylan sang, “Something is happening but you don’t know what it is? Do you? Mr. Jones?”

https://www.bobdylan.com/songs/ballad-thin-man/

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bob+dylan+ballad+of+a+thin+man&refig=00000000000000000000000000000000&ADLT=STRICT&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dbob%2bdylan%2bballad%2bof%2ba%2bthin%2bman%26FORM%3dEDGENA%26refig%3d00000000000000000000000000000000%26ADLT%3dSTRICT&view=detail&mmscn=vwrc&mid=14447A5F236754C7473D14447A5F236754C7473D&FORM=WRVORC

The Christian community knows what is happening and what drug addiction is. It is a result of sin. Instead of worshipping God, addicts worship their desires and go outside of the kingdom of God.

Do you want to conquer the voluntary slavery of addiction that destroys your life, will kill you, land you in jail and long-term rehab, a nuthouse, and destroy relationships?

One way to keep losing the battle against addiction is to call it a “drug abuse disorder.”  A better term is Ed Welch’s “worship disorder.”  “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” -Romans 1:25

Ed Explains: “Life is about God. It is about worshipping him, trusting him, knowing him, and loving him. The deepest problem for addicts is that they are not worshipping, trusting, knowing, or loving the true God. Instead, they are running and hiding from God or rebelling against him…the deeper problem is the addict’s relationship with God himself.

http://www.redemptionhouse.net/chronic-joy/2018/1/4/addicts-cross-addiction-is-your-only-hope

To help people have victory over the voluntary slavery of addiction and giving them a new life, Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) was created. On Saturday, September 8 CLPRM hosted the Relapse Prevention Walk and Fundraiser in Bensalem, PA, which reached out with the gospel message of hope for addicts. CLPRM runs several ministries. One of them of them is Conquering Addiction. http://www.clprm.org/recovery-ministry/

Another faith-based ministry in Bucks County is the Bucks County Faith Summit II, to be held at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA on October 13, 2018. The topic this year is The Faith Community and Addiction – – What You Can Do!

This is a FREE EVENT that is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bucks-county-faith-summit-ii-lower-bucks-co-tickets-50166620713

In the movie The Untouchables, Eliot Ness’ right-hand man Jimmy Malone told him how to get Al Capone: “You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way!”

You wanna fight the thuggery of addiction? Go to God. That’s the Christian way!

The fight Eliot Ness and his Untouchables waged against Al Capone was tough, vicious. So is the battle in the mind against drug addiction. In the movie, Capone opined “When you got an all-out prizefight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. ‘N’ that’s how you know who won.”

Likewise, addicts are in an all-out fight for their lives. And when the fight is over, either the addict or the substance of his/her affection is left standing. And that’s how you know who won.  https://youtu.be/YopeA0XAq80

Can you put two and two together?  In Bucks County, someone who abused drugs for decades, after accepting Jesus was redeemed from voluntary slavery in about two months, which is phenomenal! When participants in group counseling were asked what they were doing to help themselves, she said “I go to a Bible study.”

There’s an Army Rising Up!

Most people agree that there is a drug epidemic and that something needs to be done about it.  But there is disagreement on what to do about it.

If I hear drug addiction being called a disease or the term “substance abuse disorder” one more time, I’m going to scream and the men in the white coats will have to take me away.  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=They%27re+coming+to+take+me+away+song&view=detail&mid=F3AD7DF2942EF1FAC7FBF3AD7DF2942EF1FAC7FB&FORM=VIRE

I am not the only one who attacks the conventional wisdom, the mantra that addiction is a disease. As argued on Wikipedia.com, “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.”    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_theory_of_alcoholism  Alcohol, drugs, and other abuses have a common root.

Substance abuse disorder is one of many psychobabble labels that trap people into assigned behavior that if taken seriously, they may end up being sentenced to for life. This is a caste system, where once you are in a particular place in life you are stuck there. There is no room for change. By the modern psyche standard, if you sprain your leg, then you are stuck with a sprained leg the rest of your life. May as well tell someone who sprains a leg that he has sprained leg disorder.

People can be changed. Human problems are rooted in sin, which drives bad choices in life. If you get right with God and walk in his ways, you’ll be changed into the way God created you. Dysfunctionality happens when we stray from God’s ways. The Bible is sufficient to handle all human problems of the heart. The holy spirit gives you the power to restore your mental health.

There was a Smorgasbord of groups at CLPRM’s Relapse Prevention Walk and Fundraiser Saturday that use a Biblical approach to conquering addictions.  “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” -2 Timothy 3:16

Of course, there were actual food vendors at the event.

The various tents at the relapse prevent events allowed participants to learn about the philosophy of the different organizations involved by talking to representatives and by picking up their pamphlets. It’s a free market approach to the problem that’s been plaguing our land.

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 on April 28, 2018 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.  People can pick from the many groups that are out there; a sample was represented at the Relapse Prevention event.

Instead of running to politicians, you should examine programs you or your loved ones need to help conquer the voluntary slavery of addiction.  There are good, Biblically-based programs in Bucks County, PA that will help, as found, for example, with CLPRM: http://www.clprm.org/recovery-ministry/

Breaking the Chains of Addiction is another faith-based program in the area that helps people overcome their addictions. It 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.

There are also Biblically sound residential places that provide healing. For example, America’s Keswick in Whiting, NJ:  https://addictionrecovery.org/colonyofmercy/

Faith-based programs to help people conquer addiction are on the rise. In these kinds of programs, relapses are much less common.

There’s an army rising up; there is power in the name of Jesus.  https://youtu.be/uRITvdh_K8M

God’s Way to Conquer Addiction

A local politician mentioned, at Saturday’s Relapse Prevention Walk and Fundraiser, about Pennsbury school district moving on programs to fight the drug epidemic. On Saturday the public had a chance to learn about how CLPRM, unlike all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (who can’t put broken people back together again) is tapping into the power of the gospel to help rescue addicts from the destruction brought by voluntary slavery.  http://www.clprm.org/recovery-ministry/ 

At the relapse prevention event were live Christian bands, proclaiming the truth of Jesus as were those who gave their testimonies of how they conquered addiction. A guy from law enforcement briefly spoke on how, after he brings criminals to justice, is concerned about how they are doing and wants them to succeed, which efforts like CLPRM and the faith-based organizations can bring.  He offered a booklet he gives to prisoners to present the faith.  It is “Bad News For Good Guys And Good News For Bad Guys.” 

Christians are sinners saved by grace. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”  –Romans 3:23 

The drug epidemic is the result of a spiritual crisis in America. The problem is idolatry. Edward T Welch, Christian author, counselor and facility member at the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) in Glenside, PA 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.” 

“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   One god of this age is evidently drug abuse. 

At the Relapse Prevention event were tent stations, many of them faith-based organizations that help addicts fight their problem Biblically. I would like to see that the predominance of groups that find hope for addicts in the power of the gospel become a microcosm for our society! Then we will win the battle against the evil of drug addiction! 

I know from personal experience that God can work miracles in people’s lives. A redeemed addict conquered her addiction after being presented the gospel, attending faith-based programs, talking and associating with Christians, reading Christian materials, and ultimately accepting Christ to be her Lord and Savior. She had battled her problem for decades, frequently relapsing. 

When you accept Jesus into your heart, your sins are forgiven. But God continues to work in you throughout your life, putting away the old, sinful ways and putting on God’s ways, righteousness.  “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6   

Here in Bucks County, PA, as in the rest of the country, people are searching for a solution to the drug epidemic. The power of God and the Bible, whom God wrote through men, is the answer, my friend. 

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

The Only Thing Necessary…

 The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

Unless you’ve been on Mars and have had no contact with Earth, you would know that people are dying like flies and lives are being destroyed by the voluntary slavery of drug abuse.  

To prevent this evil from triumphing, the faith community has been coming together to fight this evil at the Relapse Prevention Walk & Benefit on Saturday, September 8 at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Bensalem, run by Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM).  http://www.clprm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2018_FLYER_Relapse_Prevention_Walk__Fundraiser.pdf 

Between Bucks and Montgomery County, 1044 lives have been wasted from overdoses.  

Back in 1972, Neil Young called attention to the danger of drugs in his song “The Needle and The Damage Done”.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Needle_and_the_Damage_Done   Young had this to say about the song: “I am not a preacher, but drugs killed a lot of great men.” Interesting that Neil brought up a preacher in this context! 

Although someone very close to me got clean for months, past use caught up to her and God took her home.  I got to see the evil, dark world of drugs, and the past love of my life inspired me to do something to help others to keep this evil from triumphing.  After unsuccessfully battling her voluntary slavery for decades, she acknowledged that it was only her coming to faith In Jesus that gave her the victory. 

Faith-based anti-drug programs work! As I’ve said in earlier blogs, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men can’t put broken people back together again. Only God and His Word can! 

Sponsorship for the Relapse Prevention event has recently doubled! 

Christians are teaming up for the event.  Some Christian groups have been promoting this noble cause on their Facebook pages. Some have been posting about it and interacting with other entities, sharing thoughts and Biblical knowledge and applying to helping people break free from the chains of voluntary slavery. I’ve been reading posts on the Breaking The Chains of Addictions Facebook page as well as on the CLPRM page and its website. I’ve also been reading brochures from various Christian programs, many of them left at CLPRM’s  Conquering Addiction meeting. I’ve found these resources Biblically sound.

To better serve those struggling with addictions, I’ve been reading as much of this material I can find, along with books on addiction, counseling and the Christian faith, as well as the Bible. The Bible addresses all of life’s problems of the heart, and equips us to deal with them.  

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” -2 Timothy 3:16 

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.

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