The Solution for The Drug Epidemic is God

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:

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.

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:

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.

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

Run Away! Run Away!

Run away! Run  away! This is what the Knights of The Round Table said in the movie Monty Python and The Holy Grail when the guardians of a French castle in England hurled cows, chickens, geese and even the Trojan Rabbit the knights forgot to get into over the wall at them. This was after the French insulted the knights after they demanded the French help them with their quest to find the Holy Grail.

Likewise, after the Salvation Army Levittown PA Community Center hurled its slings and arrows at me, I ran away. It was not only an insult to me, but to the church at large (although it is a quasi-church).  The Salvation Army scoffed at noble attempts to minister to the homeless, spewing insults at them, demeaning and disrespecting them.

At the community meals for the homeless, the host, Queen Latifah, talked to them like they were criminals or children. They are not allowed in until the dot of 6 p.m. and the Salvation Army can’t wait to get rid of them. Queen Latifah told me not to hang around the homeless because they are a bunch of cutthroats who would take advantage of me.

On one occasion, a guy who had been homeless for a few days came to the Salvation Army food pantry. He was disoriented and flushed. He didn’t know where to go. It was very hot outside. After we helped him, I offered him a ride to the Levittown public library after I went off duty. As he sat waiting for me in the air conditioned lobby, cooling off, a staff member snapped that he is not allowed to hang around in the lobby. I explained that I was going to take him to the library, where he can get the homeless bus to a community meal and talk to someone about getting help. The staffer reluctantly agreed to let him wait for me.

The Levittown public library is also a place where a homeless person is considered a persona non grata. The Countess of Carlisle of the Levittown Salvation Army Community Center told me that people who visit the library don’t like the homeless, so the librarian has a right to keep them out by making them feel uncomfortable there. Because I disagreed with the Countess on this matter, she used her position to thwart an offer I had to write for the Salvation Army.

There have always been churches that forget that they are representing God and need to follow his ways. As it says in 2nd Corinthians 5:20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

On his tour of the early churches, the apostle Paul and company found the church at Corinth to be a rogue church. They started becoming like the pagan world around them. Teachers in this church were not teaching scripture, but their own distorted versions of Christ’s teachings. Before long, sinful behavior cropped up.

Just as Captain Casper Milquetoast, the Levittown Salvation Army boss didn’t lay down the law to the rogue members at the community center, the church at Corinth didn’t do anything about the ungodly behavior of some of its members.

Not only did people in the church know about the sins of professing Christians in the Corinthian church who refused to mend their ways, but those outside the church knew about the hypocrisy. As a result, God told the rest of the church to separate themselves from these hypocrites. .

This is why I disassociated myself with the Salvation Army. It was “hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no more no more no more no more…”

The church today is divided between loyalty to scripture and contamination by the world.

About 1929, the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey, once a scripturally sound institution, polluted it’s teachings with worldly modernists influences.

Shortly thereafter, four facility members ran away from Princeton and formed Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia.

On definition of Modernism Merriam-Webster gives: often capitalized: a tendency in theology to accommodate traditional religious teaching to contemporary thought and especially to devalue supernatural elements.”

In literature, modernism breaks with tradition and ushers in a Brave New World.

Modernists are nut cases, as exemplified by novelist Virginia Woolf. She was anti-Christian and stereotyped Jews, although she married one. She was an elitist, a femi-Nazi.

“Though happily married to a Jewish man, Woolf often wrote of Jewish characters in stereotypical archetypes and generalizations, including describing some of her Jewish characters as physically repulsive and dirty.  For example, while traveling on a cruise to Portugal she protests at finding ‘a great many Portuguese Jews on board, and other repulsive objects, but we keep clear of them’.  Furthermore, she wrote in her diary: ‘I do not like the Jewish voice; I do not like the Jewish laugh.’ In a 1930 letter to the composer Ethel Smyth, quoted in Nigel Nicolson’s biography Virginia Woolf, she recollects her boasts of Leonard’s Jewishness confirming her snobbish tendencies, ‘How I hated marrying a Jew—What a snob I was, for they have immense vitality.’

In another letter to Smyth, Woolf gives a scathing denunciation of Christianity, seeing it as self-righteous ‘egotism’ and stating ‘my Jew has more religion in one toenail—more human love, in one hair.’

Woolf and her husband Leonard hated and feared 1930s fascism with its anti-semitism. Her 1938 book Three Guineas was an indictment of fascism.” -wikipedia

In college, Woolf’s To The Lighthouse was required reading. It was an incoherent, nihilistic rant, something one would hear while visiting folks in a nuthouse.

Modernism, or any non-Christian, worldly view has no place in the church. This is why you should find a church that teaches the true Word, and hold people accountable by reading the Bible yourself.

And, as found in the book of James, God requires us not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds. Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” -James 2: 14-17