Everywhere you turn, you hear about places that deal with addictions. There are many varieties. Some are fancy schmancy. There’s one ad on TV that starts with soft, soothing music looks like someone is about to get acupuncture, there’s a pool and a gym – a fancy resort! There are other places that are in more humble and simple settings.
In cases such as heroin addiction methadone is needed to curb cravings and make addicts more stable. Addiction becomes a medical problem in part. Besides physical addiction, there is the battle in the mind. Methadone is just a temporary fix, or should be, to help those engaged in voluntary slavery to be redeemed.
The opioid and other drug abuse crisis is a spiritual problem. Our country has turned away from God. People have stopped going to church, and even many who do, don’t attend a Bible believing church.
Just as our nation has been turning away from God, addictions have been exploding out of control.
In King of Prussia, PA., where I grew up, drug addiction really started taking off in the early 70s. Some new kids on the block corrupted their last name and proudly called themselves “the Doper-racks.”
The rotten fruits of the true church losing its influence on the country hasn’t been the case just in the past few decades. In the 1920s and 30s America experienced the gangster epidemic. In the 1920s the church turned away from God, lacking fidelity to scripture, dead to the Word. My mother used to call these liberal churches “social clubs.”
An example of the churches falling off from God’s word was the Presbyterian churches. In the 1920s, the once theologically sound Princeton Theological Seminary caved to pressure to come down to the level of the mainstream Presbyterian churches at the time. They had polluted the church with modern liberalism. Instead of being a light in a dark world, the church turned the light off to the truth, leaving people in darkness.
One former Princeton professor who walked in the light was J. Gresham Machen, who went against the grain and took flack in order to take a stand against liberalism in the church.
The history, as found on the Westminster Theological Seminary website: https://www.wts.edu/history/
After Dr. Machen lost his position at Princeton and his church charged him with insubordination and removed his credentials as a minister, he took some bright young scholars with him and crossed the river to start Westminster Theological Seminary, just outside of Philadelphia in 1929.
In his book “Christianity and Liberalism”, Dr. Machen declared that liberalism teaches not a lesser form of Christianity, but an entirely different religion.
The worldly answer to alcohol abuse was the government decreeing prohibition, eliminating the supply. I wonder if anyone called it “alcohol abuse disorder”? Likewise, today authorities think they can resolve the drug problem simply by pushing out the pusher.
It was ministering to broken people that helped get Christianity back on track, more scriptural.
To help people overcome the enslaving sin of alcohol abuse, a Christian minster founded “A First Century Christian Fellowship” in 1921, 14 years before Alcoholics Anonymous was established.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:18-20 Ephesians
The original 12 Steps, influenced by A First Century Christian Fellowship, which later became known as The Oxford Group, made regular reference to God. Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, greatly minimized the use of God in the program.
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
Enter the Biblical Counseling movement circa 1970
For more than 45 years, the founder, pastor Jay E Adams has been promoting Christian counseling using the words of Jesus rather than psychological theory. Dr. Adams was a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and the director of the Doctoral program at Westminster Seminary in California. He is also the founder of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Philadelphia, the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, and the Institute for Nouthetic Studies. http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography
In his book, How to Help People Change, Dr. Adams wrote “…generally your counseling itself should demonstrate that the Bible has the answers to human problems, and that, when properly used, it provides the practical solutions to the exigencies of life.”
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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 3:14-17
In the Bible-based tradition of the Oxford Group and Dr. Adams is CLPRM, which has been reaching out to addicts. Here’s their philosophy: http://www.clprm.org/what-we-believe/
The faith community in Bucks County will come together to reach out to addicts on Saturday, October 13 at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA at Bucks County Faith Summit II; The Faith Community and Addiction – What You Can Do. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bucks-county-faith-summit-ii-lower-bucks-co-tickets-50166620713
Events such as Bucks County Faith Summit II and counseling will be enhanced by attending a Bible believing church, one that doesn’t succumb to every whim of doctrine, Bible studies, prayer, Christian music and fellowship. Counseling, as Dr. Adams explains in “Critical Stages of Biblical Counseling”, is basically a pit stop to take care of problems that slow down progressive sanctification so the putting off of sinful ways and putting on Godly ways can continue in the church and other venues that help the believer become more Christ-like.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross to save “good” people, but sinners. Addicts are no different than anybody else.
“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