addiction

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by joe williams, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. joe williams

    joe williams
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    I have read with interest the threads on depression.I would like you're input on addiction.Is it a moral issue or a chemical imbalance.I am involved in an addiction ministry and believe modern psycological teachings have done great harm to the cause of Chtist in the area of addiction.In effect is Christ sufficient to set free?
     
  2. doodlebug

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    This is hard question to answer, as my father-in-law has struggled with alcoholism, as did another man who went to our church. I think that in the case of drugs and alcoholism, at first it's a choice, but after the body gets used to the substance, it's hard to break the body's need for it. That's why people go through withdrawals. I do believe that Christ is a major part in someone's recovery, but I also believe depending on how deep the substance addiction is, that they need other assistance such as counseling, detox, etc. The substances alter your thoughts, and I don't think that rational decisions can be made under the influence no matter how close a walk with God you have. This is just my opinion based on my experiences though.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    The addiction issue is totally different from mental illness in one very big way.

    A person has to choose to take the first drink or smoke the first joint. The person with mental illness has NO CHOICE.

    That said, some people do have a genetic disposition that causes the effect of that first drink or joint to be much greater than it is in other people. That doesn't negate the fact that they still had a choice.

    As far as breaking the cycle of addiction goes, I believe both the spiritual and the physical issue must be dealt with hopefully at the same time. There have been case where addicts have been healed upon accepting Christ, but I don't believe it happens every time. It may be possible that God has something for some to learn through their struggles with addiction.
     
  4. bapmom

    bapmom
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    joe,

    we have an addictions program that our church runs every Friday night. My husband and I work in it. It sees alot of success, through introducing people to Christ and helping them have a deeper and closer relationship to Him. So yes, Id say that Christ is very sufficient to set free. In fact, that's one of the main slogans of the program, "the Truth will make you free", meaning Jesus of course.

    However, for those in some very serious physical addictions they might need to go through a detox first, and then go to our program. Some drugs get so into your system that the initial detox period requires some medical supervision.
     
  5. Plain Old Bill

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    Sounds like you have an excellant ministry.
     
  6. joe williams

    joe williams
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    Bapmom,I am involved in same ministry,Reformers Unanimous.Great ministry.One of our greatest obstacles is getting past wordly programs.I believe in detoxing,but not council.For instance,I used to be involved with a jail ministry.A man there came to me and said they finally figured out why I have a gambling addiction,Its because I have a chemical imbalance,I believe it was Bi-polar.What about Homosexuality or Child molestation?Modern psycological teaching looks at this entirely different than the word of God.
     
  7. Mark Osgatharp

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    So now Christ plays only a "major part" in conquering sin. My, my, my. No wonder the Baptist churches are going Sodom in a handbasket.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  8. FundamentalDan

    FundamentalDan
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    I believe that most addictions have an underlying spiritual problem to be dealt with. In my experience, there is always an underlying cause that they are trying to ignore or forget about that is driving them to their addictions. We must treat this underlying problem first before we can help them break the bonds of addiction. I am not necessarily against detox, but I think the spiritual problem will often take care of the addiction. It is like Christ said:

     
  9. Petrel

    Petrel
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    Some addictions are physical addictions--the body becomes biochemically accustomed to having that substance present, and when it is withdrawn physical symptoms like vomiting, convulsions, shock, and even death can occur. Other drugs are psychologically addicting but do not become physically required.

    Then I don't think that the craving they might experience is something that is morally wrong, it's just an automatic response to thinking about taking the drug. The moral dimension involves how that person resists the temptation to take the drug again and the way they resolve to make changes (in friends, "hang-out" places, joining support groups) to remove the things that trigger that craving and try to remove that psychological addiction.

    I've heard of people suddenly being healed of their addiction when they are saved, but it doesn't happen to everyone. For most it's plain hard work.
     
  10. jshurley04

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    Wow, good responses so far, except for that one person that continues to twist and misquote the position of others to advance his poisionous belief.

    I believe that God works differently in each person. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, it always begins with a personal choice. Once the person has conditioned his body to chemical abuse it becomes a medical issue to rid the body of the toxins. When you deal with any counseling situation, the physical must be cared for first, so detox is a must and must also be under medical supervision. The body can get really cranky when it comes off of addiction. Once detox is taken place, then proper counseling with scripture must happen. If it is a person who does not know Christ is involved, obviously the first direction takes should be towards salvation. If it is a Christian involved, then they should be taken down the path of repentance for defiling their body by choice and shown and taught how to rely on Christ as being all sufficiant to overcome any need for abusive substances. In either scenario, someone must stay close to the person and work with the person for quite some time. It is the personal connection to show and demonstrate how life relying on Christ and without drugs/alcohol will look.

    When you deal with someone that is addicted to these things and has no desire to come off them, there is nothing that can be done. UNLESS, you are able to show them their need for Christ and they will accept His forgiveness. When that happens, the convicting power of the spirit is able to do the work in the heart of the new Christian. Once they accept Christ, I believe that the Spirit gives each person a "walk away" ability one time. That means that they can walk away and never have a desire to come back. I have personally witnessed this with several friends of mine. I was with a friend who accepted Christ and that night he poured out his beer and alcohol and never went back. He held on to his smokes though. One day, after discussion by both of us, riding down the road, he simply tossed them out the truck window. He has never gone back to either. He knows that if he ever picks them up again, it will be a battle to ever put them down again.

    I believe that Christ is sufficient in conjunction with medical help to allow the body to start over with the help of Christ.
     
  11. BM

    BM
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    I agree with jshirley04, my husband and I are involved in a volenteer spiritual boot camp(6 month-1 year) program for men with alcohol and drug addictions. We make sure they have been detoxed before we accept them into the program. We show them how they can overcome their addictions through Jesus Christ. We have about a 70% success rate so far and we have been open 2 1/2 years. We teach them that when they leave the Ministry it is their choice which way they go because we give them every thing they need to make it spiritually while a resident.

    ....Becky...
     
  12. SAMPLEWOW

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    Joe, I'm a recovering addict , God has changed my life so much in the past 2 years. This question you ask is most difficult to answer, while God and God alone keeps me clean and sober,I believe that if I let my gaurd down just a little bit I would lose it again. I will say I believe I'm closer in my walk with Christ than the average person. I am thankful for the need to keep Christ so close. On the other hand I still catch myself day dreaming about using ,and I promise you I DO NOT want to ever go back there,but I think Satan is always there whispering to me , telling me how much fun it would be.

    I think that God has to be "THE" program or you had just as well throw in the towel!
     
  13. El_Guero

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  14. joe williams

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    Thanks for the responses,
    Sample,Ilived in Sheridan for several years.
    I guess the thing that concerns me is that we have given so much to secular society in the way of the problems of living.Some Pastors even believe that its better to send them to some recovery program and let them deal with it.My wife bulemic and a drunkard for years and it was the Lord that set her free!In fact while in Sheridan she went to a "Christian Psycologist"and she put her on antidepressants and said she would be on them the rest of her life.But as she grew in the Lord she gained freedom from both of these habitual sins.
     
  15. SAMPLEWOW

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    well,Joe williams, praise the Lord that your wife believed on Gods promises. I got right with God,and away from drugs and alcohol through a secular program right in sheridan,but I think your right on in your thinking. The christian people do count to much on secular programs and not enough on God. I hope to start a program if it be Gods will after I get done with school. I'm at Frontier Shcool of the Bible now. God has blessed me so much. I hope to serve him full time after getting out of school.
     
  16. SAMPLEWOW

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    When were you in Sheridan and do I know you ?
     
  17. Pickerel

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    I am an alchoholic. I used to live for booze, it's all I thought about, where I could buy it all the different kinds etc. I started off slowly in my drinking career, but after a few years I found out I could not do without it! I started having physical problems, as well it was affecting me mentally, especially my memory. I tried to quit dozens of times, poured my booze down the drain, vowed I'd never drink again! I even phoned AA a few times, but never went. Does anyone know what it is like to be an addict? Try going three days without food, you think you won't crave food? I thought I was going to die, I knew drinking was going to kill me. The booze would not let me go and I was powerless to fight it! I asked God for help, but nothing happened. You see, I still wanted to do things my way! One night I was just so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I decided I needed to do something.I prayed to Jesus and completely submitted to Him. I admitted that His way was the only way, I told Him that I did not want to drink anymore and I cried out to Him to save me. That night when I went to bed I did not feel any different, when I woke up in the morning it felt as if I had never had a drink in my life! I couldn't believe it, I didn't want it, it didn't even appeal to me in the slightest! About five years later (never had a drink) my wife was having a delicious looking drink on a hot summer day (booze). I thought well I just have to try it to "taste" it. I took a sip, it tasted like GASOLINE in my mouth! I couldn't believe how bad it tasted! The Lord had really fixed my problem! I am totally undeserving of His mercy, but He cares enough for me, to pull me out of the mud and wash me off! I am a nobody from nowhere, what He did for me He will do for you. He loves us more than we can comprehend! No one can now tell me now that God does not exist! Praise be to Jesus for saving my life twice!

    Tyler

    P.S. Yes Christ can and DOES help those who Submit to Him ALONE/COMPLETELY...! [​IMG]

    Only Christ Saves!
     
  18. joe williams

    joe williams
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    I lived in Sheridan from 1990-1996.I managed JB'S RESTERAUNT on Coffeen ave.
     
  19. SAMPLEWOW

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    yes,to everything you said Tyler.


    No, I don't know youjoe but I used to eat at JB'S a lot.
     
  20. paidagogos

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    Oh?
    How do you know this? How can you rule out a series of choices that became a pattern and caused the so-called “mental illness”? It has been demonstrated that so-called “mentally ill” people who were thought to be incurable do get better when confronted with responsibility and forced to make right choices.

    Think of this from an IP point of view. Consider the mind to be the software and the brain to be the hardware. If the mind is considered self-programming, then bugs in the software can produced by the thoughts and behavior. Therefore, the problem is not the brain, but the mind, and the individual is still responsible. (I know this is overly simplistic but I wanted you to see it clearly from another model. IMHO, the old “mentally illness” model is defunct and more harmful than helpful.)
    Again, how do you know it is genetic? This is only one explanation of several possibilities from the data. Of course, genetic predisposition is the thing nowadays because people want out from under the responsibility of how one lives. This alone makes me suspicious of genetic determinism. Perhaps it is harder for some due to habituation. Habits rule our will. Or, it may be that some have not developed the inner tools that control inhibitions. Or, it may be that our neural chemistry is “trained” by out behavior. The neural pathways for a specific behavior do become more prominent with repetition of the behavior. Or, it may be some other reason. Now, just how do you know? You made a strong and definite assertion.
    Has it ever occurred to you that the process is not a matter of healing? It is not healing if you throw away the old outdated “mental illness” model. It is a matter of repentance. Many times the so-called repentant sinner is simply trying to get out of the mess that he faces. He is sorry for the trouble facing him but he has no disgust for his sin. He would still like to enjoy the sin’s benefits (i.e. the pleasure of feeling good while doing it) if he could escape the consequences. There is no godly sorrow. He is not broken and sorrowing because he has sinned before a righteous and holy God. But, he does want to escape the consequences so he goes through the motions without a change of mind and attitude toward his sin. He is bound to fall into it again. The problem is that he experiences no true repentance (i.e. OT = about face and heading in opposite direction; NT = change of mind) and he loses his motivation when the consequences disappear. The problem then is spiritual, not spiritual and physical.
     

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