Sunday, February 13, 2011

Addiction Vs. Sin

"It's hereditary. It's not sin--drinking, that is. It's a disease." Either you take the road of continuing to drink, or you join Alcoholics Anonymous some say.

But wait. Alcoholism, drinking too much, or becoming addicted to any substance is not a disease--it's sin. Dr. William Playfair in The Useful Lie writes:
No one can demonstrate that a gene causes alcoholism just as no one can demonstrate that a gene causes adultery, lying, thievery, blasphemy, or any other such behavior. These are sinful activities in which we choose to participate rather than diseases we inherit. (pp. 47, 48)
How do people deal with their sin of alcoholism? They feel guilty, and maybe that’s all. They avoid stopping what gives them pleasure. Edward Welch writes on p. 81 in Addictions: Banquet in the Grave--Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel:
Some drug abusers, adulterers, and other addicts, through a great deal of practice and hardness of heart, are morally insensitive. Their consciences have been seared. However, you will probably find that addicts feel much more guilty than you might think at first. They feel guilty for hurting others, guilty for rebelling against a holy God. And, if they use drugs or alcohol, the only way they know how to deal with their guilt is (guess!) to do more mind-altering substances.
Maybe a DUI or the threat of a divorce makes them stop and they use a Twelve Step program with a higher power—“God as we know him.” Some get stuck with meetings and treatment and consider themselves forever recovering.

However the Christian can be moderate and wisely follow God’s direction. He is recovered. If he has tolerance for alcohol, he chooses abstinence rather than moderation. Scripture points out that drunkenness is a sin (Ephesians 5:18), and advocates moderation. I Corinthians 6 talks about believers who were drunkards, but who now are right with God. Welch says, "The wise and godly person loves to have God tell him what to do." (p. 278)

What is the solution for sin of addiction for believers of Jesus Christ?  Expensive, lengthy treatment from the recovery industry and psychotherapy? No. God's forgiveness and God's control is the solution.  (See Romans 8:7-9) Accountability within a body of believers as well.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
and make no provision for the flesh.

Romans 13:14

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