If you’ve spent any time at a dealers/bootleggers house you know that us addicts are a paranoid bunch. That makes us much more susceptible to believing a good conspiracy theory. And what better conspiracy is there than one that targets religion?
Many stoners spend a big chunk of their time staring at the TV having their minds blown by Ancient Aliens. We’ve all found ourselves at 3am wondering how we got to an online video about how Christianity came to be by borrowing from other ancient religions and astrology or the gnostic Gospels.
Working with a number of addicts who claim atheism or agnosticism, we have learned that when pushed on their beliefs, they often concede that the biggest influence on their theology and doctrine has come from YouTube or the History Channel. The problem with this lies in the fact that the conspiracies pushed by these entertainment hubs is often contradictory and based on false claims.
We know for example, that most, if not all of the gnostic Gospels we’re written sometime in the 200’s AD and after. This means that none of them could have been written by those in whom authorship is claimed. Not only this, they were called gnostic Gospels for a reason, this is because they were never associated with mainstream Christianity like the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They were never “thrown out” of the Bible because they were never considered part of the Bible. The four original have been associated with the writers and have remained since the beginning as the true stories of Christ. They were all written before 100 AD and are therefore within a generation of the death of Christ. The latest find traces the Gospel of Mark back to Egypt around 48 AD. If Christ died between 28-33 AD then Mark was almost surely written soon after in order to make it to Egypt by this time. This same evidence debunks conspiracies that say Jesus’ life was made up and that He never truly existed. No serious scholar believes this today. Parts of 1 Corinthians date back to within a few years of Jesus death, one part in particular inviting the reader to ask one of over 500 who claim to have seen the risen Jesus, most of whom were still alive at the time of the writing. Many other theories exist that attempt to refute Jesus as nothing more than a literary character.
No, Jesus was not borrowed from the Egyptian story of the god Horus. http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/is-jesus-simply-a-retelling-of-the-horus-myth/
No, the Bible is not a book about astrology, as the “Zeitgeist” movie claims. https://www.gotquestions.org/zeitgeist-movie.html
No, Jesus was not an ancient alien, (I’m not even going to justify this with a link)
And no, the Da Vinci Code was not based on facts. https://www.gotquestions.org/DaVinci-code-truth.html
Just because someone wrote something online or said something on a television show doesn’t make it factual. We must learn to check things for validity and truth before coming to believe in them (that includes this blog.) The evidence for Christianity is overwhelming, and try as they may, no conspiracy can come against the truth of Jesus. If you want a good conspiracy theory, consider why Roman authorities covered up the resurrection. Consider that the guards outside Jesus grave were paid off to come up with a reason why Jesus’ body was missing when all they had to do to squash Christianity was produce the body of the One claiming to be the Christ. Consider why Christianity spread so quickly and why the men who saw Him alive were so convinced they were willing to die proclaiming what they saw. Consider Jesus.
Many claim that we can put the 12 Step Program itself in the place of God in our Recovery. There a couple of reasons why this can be a deadly decision to our recovery. First off, putting your trust in the program means one of two things: One must either place trust in an abstract idea that is intangible, therefore inexistent by a naturalistic framework, or you are placing trust in people; basing your sobriety on fickle members of a group in the same boat that you are. The latter is like trusting a kite to fly with no wind. You may get it to do what you want, but you’re going to be doing all the work.
Let’s look at the first option for replacing God with the Program: Putting faith in the idea of the program. Many say that simply exchanging the word “God” for the word “program” makes recovery possible for the atheist. However, doing this violates a substantial rule for the atheist. According to the naturalistic worldview, such abstract concepts do not exist. Immeasurable feelings like love, emotions, and moral principles are relative to each person. If this is true, then all of these concepts are merely figments of our imagination. In fact, the program you claim to put trust in for sobriety has no basis in fact. If people do not have intrinsic value bestowed on them, there is no such thing as good or bad. Because there is no objective moral law, there is no need for sobriety. Whether you continue or not depends only on how your brain has been predeterminately hardwired. But, should you choose to follow these principles despite your own worldview, you will find that the program is nothing more than a means by which to lead you to a true higher power, not a higher power in itself.
The next option for following the program and not God is to follow the people in the program. After all, they are tangible and personal, so this means you can hand your own relative will over to them. But consider this: In giving your will and life to another person, you are handing it over to subjectiveness. You would be giving yourself to a group of people who were in the same mess you were. We made mistakes. We made bad life choices. That is what brought us to AA in the first place. To speak personally and frankly, if you give me control of your life, I WILL mess it up. I couldn’t handle my own life by myself. Doing this puts a responsibility on every member or sponsor in your life that they were never meant to bear. Expecting any one person or group of people to take your life and will and make you better is a concept warned against in many 12 step circles: “We cannot, nor should we attempt to fix each other.” The others in your circle have enough going on trying to stay sober without getting caught up in your life.
No, the 12 steps were not meant to work by replacing God. Especially not with an idea or a person. The only way we get better is by giving our lives and wills to something with the ability to handle them. This highest power must have the ability to change us from the inside out, and it must be willing to. God is the only plausible answer to how the program works in practice. With Him, we have recovery not only from drugs and alcohol, but from the mess that we called life.
Should a Christian believe that addiction is a decision or is an addict born that way? This is perhaps the biggest question we face as the opioid crisis looms and people give their lives daily for one last high. The answer is far more complicated than a simple yes or no.
Looking at this problem from a Christian worldview may seem like an open and shut case. Of course we’re not born with it, it’s a sin and is therefore a negative decision that we make, right? Wrong.
We know that through Adam and Eve, sin entered the world. By attempting to play God, Adam effectively caused all mankind to fall victim to sins evil grip. Why is it that we have such an easy time accepting that we inherited our sin in general and such a hard time admitting that it is possible that a person could have inherited a specific sin?
We must put the physical disease/ moral failing argument aside for a moment and remember that first and foremost, addiction separates us from God and is therefore a sin. Meaning it may do justice to classify addiction as a “spiritual disease.” It acts as a cancer, eating away at our spirits until we are left with nothing. This sin enters our life through a choice on our behalf to commit it. But why would we make such a decision knowing the consequences? Is it possible that we were born predisposed to the particular sin of addiction? Man’s depravity is a genetic problem. It has been passed down since the fall and remains to this day. The Word says that before the fall everything was “very good.” There was no such thing as addiction; no sickness, no death, no pain, no reason to use. But after the fall, man was cursed and addiction along with sickness and death became a very real thing.
Science has proven over and over again that there is a direct correlation between parents who suffer from addiction and children who do the same. This is unarguable. But could it be that this is because each of us were born with a predisposition to a particular sin? This is off topic, but could this also be the reason so many homosexuals believe with all their hearts that they were born that way? The evidence for this is plentiful, not the least of which is found as experiential. No one woke up one day and decided they were going to be an addict. It began slowly, and kept on til our lives spiraled out of control. None of us wanted to be this way. Stealing from parents, hurting those closest to us, leaving our children, these were all side effects of this spiritual disease that we didn’t want to do but did nonetheless. It is not that we weighed the options, and decided that even if it killed us, it was worth it. It was that we made one sinful decision and suddenly that sin consumed us in such a way that it defined us.
Luckily, the Bible doesn’t just give us the problem, it also provides the answer. We were dead in our sins. Unable to save ourselves. But God, knowing our inability to do the right thing sent His Son to die as a ransom for our sins. We couldn’t win this battle alone, but God provided a way through Jesus. His love breaks family curses, it shatters the hold addiction had on us. Regardless of whether we were born with it or not, we don’t have to die with it. This is the most important thing to remember as we pray for those in addiction. Remember, no matter who you are, you were born predisposed to sin. And we each have that one sin that is particularly hard for us to shake. It so easily besets us that we find ourselves doing it when we don’t even want to. If we aren’t careful, we could wake up one day and find it has ruined our lives. For some of us, that sin is addiction. No matter the sin, Jesus provided a way out.
If you have spent any time whatsoever inside the circles of AA or NA, you’ve heard something like it. “You see that *insert random inanimate object here*? It can be your God if you want it to be.” It sounds kind of fun, giving your life and will over to the care of a doorknob. But does this theory really hold water?
This statement is usually made by an agnostic to an atheist or vice versa. It purposely seeks to dilute the need for God in the 12 step paradigm. The problem is that giving something the name “God” doesn’t give it magical abilities or power to save. An inanimate object only does what it was created to do. This means that those who give their wills to doorknobs for recovery will spend their lives opening doors for others. We must begin by defining the term “God” before we can go assigning it to random things for which it wasn’t intended.
Dr. William Lane Craig, one of America’s leading philosophers defines God as “A person without a body (i.e., a spirit) who necessarily is eternal, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and the creator of all things.” Let’s take this definition, that is generally agreed upon by philosophers and Theologans alike, and apply it to see what who the 12 steps tell us to seek for recovery.
The first part of the definition states that God is Spirit. This does not describe the endless objects that old timers tell you to look to for sobriety. You see, if God is the creator of all matter, He cannot be held down by it. This brings us to the next point, God is necessarily eternal. Just as God created space and matter, he created time. This means that He must work outside of time as we understand it. A doorknob has no such power, unless of course the doorknob is attached to a time machine. God is perfectly free, yet a doorknob only turns when acted upon by an outside force. God is omnipotent, yet a doorknob has no power outside of allowing you into a room. A doorknob also can’t be omniscient, as it doesn’t even know who turned it. Inanimate objects are amoral in and of themselves, so they can’t be perfectly good. Finally, seeing as the doorknob was created by man in a doorknob factory, it cannot itself be the Creator. A doorknob is not a power greater than yourself.
Whether AA/NA admit it or not, the 12 steps are pointing us to a supernatural Being. One that has power over It’s creation that the creation itself doesn’t have over itself (the power to keep us sober). Simply giving your life to the power of a doorknob does nothing to help you gain sobriety. It cannot do anything that you don’t make it do. Handing our recovery over to something that only does what we tell it to is the same as retaining power over recovery ourselves. We have all seen how well that works out. Man’s problem with God is precisely this. We don’t want to relinquish control, therefore we come up with ways to retain it. If you gain sobriety by following a doorknob, you have succeeded in gaining sobriety on your own, therefore the 12 steps do not apply to you.
Only Giving your life over to the care of the true God makes it possible to completely recover when we’re in the midst of addiction. Who is this God? While using the definition above brings us to monotheism, a closer look at the principles of our inability to recover alone (man’s depravity) and our need for salvation in the 12 steps brings us to Christianity. Any follower of Islam will tell you that their salvation is works based (our good deeds must outweigh our bad in order to achieve heaven.) Any follower of Judaism will tell you that adherence to God’s law brings salvation. Only Christianity recognizes our inability to live righteously on our own and offers us a savior in Christ Jesus. If you want true recovery, stop trying to do it on your own. Relinquish control not to a doorknob, but to a God that has the ability to change you from the inside out.
man stands before Pilate, beaten and shamed. Pilate asks what is perhaps the most significant question ever asked to the man who claims to be the Son of God. “What is truth?” The funny thing is Pilate doesn’t even wait for Jesus to answer. He moves on as if he hadn’t asked anything, let alone a question of this magnitude. In our modern culture of relativism the answer that Pilate walked out on has never meant more than it does right now. This truth must be found if we wish to follow any 12 Step Program to true recovery.
Pluralism, the belief that all roads lead to the same place, is the new norm in America. It is touted by those with “coexist” bumper stickers as the only way to look at religion and by traditional 12 steppers as the exclusive means by which to attain recovery. They brandish both/and as opposed to either/or ways of thinking. The problem with this lies in its fundamental break from the laws of logic. The pluralist holds that objective reasoning does not exist, therefore you must look at the world EITHER from a both/and point of view OR you are wrong. Do you see the problem here? Truth by it’s very nature excludes. If A is true, then the opposite of A cannot be true simultaneously. This is especially true of religion. Each and every major religion claims to be the only one that holds the truth. To claim that they’re all accurate would make the each view’s claim to exclusivity false, thereby making each religion false by association. This is called the law of non contradiction. Pluralism is guilty of this fallacy on many different levels.
When it comes to recovery from addiction, AA, NA, and other Anon programs have the same problem. Though they claim agnosticism as their religion of choice, the secular 12 steps are essentially pluralistic in nature. The “God of your understanding” mantra leads followers to believe that the 12 steps can be followed by any religious worldview. This is blatantly false.
Before coming to rest at a true worldview we must first understand one when we see it. A worldview is the framework through which reality is seen. It answers life’s most important questions: Where did we come from? Is there any meaning to life and death? Why is it good to do good? Basically, your worldview determines how you answer those nagging thoughts that keep us us at 3am while the rest of the world sleeps.
Presuppositions are underlying assumptions that undergird a worldview, holding it together. They are present in every one; ideas taken to be true. Upon these basic notions a mental framework is formed to give us a Cosmology that we can define our world with. A presumption must be able to withstand logical scrutiny, for if it is found to be untrue, the worldview itself will crumble.
In order to make our way up the 12 Steps, we must find their presuppositional underpinnings so that we can test these assumptions for truth. By doing this, we will be able to determine two things. We will determine if the steps themselves make sense logically and we will determine which worldview the steps assume to be the correct lens through which to view reality. Today we will with our first assertion: There is such a thing as objective truth.
This truth must exist. We must have the logical ability to come to it as well. if this presumption is true, then pluralism can not be, because everything is not relative to what we want to believe. This means there must be one true worldview, and all others false. This mean that there is one worldview that offers true recovery, and all others are simply borrowing from this one.
So what is truth? If Pilate would have waited around for the answer to his question, Jesus may have stated, “I Am.”
If Christianity is the worldview on which the 12 steps were built and the steps are emperically verified to bring recovery, then it would follow that Christianity is true. If Christianity is true, all other religions are false. If all other religions are false, then recovery must come through Christ, not any pluralistic view of the God of our understanding.
You are sure to hear it any time you find yourself at a crossroads in life. Change in your relationship status? Follow your heart. Looking for a new career? Follow your heart. Don’t know which way to turn? Follow your heart. It has become a cliché in our “me” society. Everything we do is based on our own thoughts and feelings. Life soon begins to look like the relativistic mess our culture currently resides in.
What gives this advice even more clout is that Christians are as likely as anyone else to say it. It just sounds good, doesn’t it? Following your heart sounds like something we should all be doing to “live our best lives now.’ It’s so common in this world where it’s hard to tell a difference between your favorite Pastor and a motivational speaker. It’s such an ego-centric saying that we want it to be true. But as we should know by now, correct and incorrect aren’t terms measured by how much we think something should be true. So lets be objective and find out what the Scriptures say about a man’s heart and our incessant need to follow it.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
The Word says that the very thing we choose to act as our guide is deceitful. Not just deceitful, but primarily deceitful. Lying to you is what your heart specializes in. Why? Because it is desperately sick. The reason our hearts are sick is because we are born with a sinful nature. Ever since the first man decided to play God and follow his own will instead of the will of the Lord, we have been completely immersed in sin. Following your heart is all about doing what you feel you need to do. We have taken God out of the equation and replaced Him with our feelings. When our feelings become our God, we’ve committed the same fatal sin as Satan. We have tried to become God over our own lives. This is idolatry and you are your own golden calf.
Christians, listen carefully… It’s not about you, But your heart will tell you that it is. Jesus said in Matt 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” You cannot say you want to follow your heart and follow Jesus simultaneously. Jesus came to save you from your heart. You see, left to our own devices we have more than a tendency to make a mess of things. Our own thoughts are those of evil. It’s a sickness that is held by every member of the human race. We have an inability to discover our true purpose and meaning outside of the will of God.
Proverbs 14:12 tells us “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.” This speaks directly to the desire in our hearts to follow our own paths, even if it means following them to our grave. We serve one whose will is much greater than ours, whose path and purpose for our lives far exceeds the things we dream up in our minds. Don’t follow something so sick and deceitful to your death, follow Christ to everlasting life.
Apologetics isn’t saying you’re sorry! The term “apologetics” is transliterated from the Greek “απολογιαν.” It means to make a defense. Apologetics is about defending the Christian faith. Bro. Chris Brown brings unique experience to the field. As a recovering addict/alcoholic himself, Chris Asks not only “Why do we believe what we believe?”, But “How does God fit into the paradigm of addiction recovery?”. Ever wonder why Christianity stands tall above other worldviews when it comes to bringing addicts to sobriety? How about how the 12 step claim of agnosticism holds up to reason? Bro. Chris Brown has answers. Book soon for your Church, Celebrate Recovery, or other ministry event. Call (606)425-0171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Listen, You haven’t met this alcoholic/addict. He was awful. A worthless, low down sinner who had no good in him. He deserved to die right there in his sins. This guy hurt everyone he ever loved. He never once considered those loved ones who watched him like one watches a bad trainwreck as he stumbled aimlessly through life. He was too worried about himself. He especially never considered Jesus.
This addict never once thought of the breath that God gave him as anything other than a way to measure his blood alcohol content. He was shameless and hopeless. He gave all he had to his addiction and left nothing for his family or friends. Why on Earth would the God of the universe want to die for somebody like that?
This guy didn’t even try to talk Jesus out of it. He may as well have driven the nails through Jesus’ hands and feet. He may as well have been holding the whip that tore chunks of flesh out of the Messiah. He may as well have been the one who spit on Jesus face and plucked His beard. He may as well have placed the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head. His addiction meant more to him than any relationship, especially his relationship with the man he just allowed to die in his stead.
So why would Jesus want to give his life for a man like that? I still don’t fully understand, but I’m glad He did. I was that addict.
Yet in the midst of my sin, when my heart was as black as night, he looked down outside of time and space and decided that though I was never worth it, I was worth it to Him. He became sin that knew no sin that I might become the righteousness of God in Christ. God became incarnate, tempted at all points like I was, yet without sin, and offered 33 years of sinless life as retribution for the things I had done. Horrible things.
See God doesn’t just specialize in making bad men good, He specializes in bringing dead men to life. His resurrection from the grave insures my resurrection from the same grave. God, being all just, couldn’t let sin go unpunished, yet being all loving, saw fit to make a way to Himself through faith. This kind of sacrifice is unfathomable.
Yet there it is. His salvation. In it, the very worst of the worst now have an opportunity to live. I mean truly live. You don’t have to continue punishing yourself for your bad deeds. You don’t have to throw in the towel and give up on the thought of a better life.
Addiction is a killer. Man left to his own devices will follow that killer thinking it supplies him life until his own death comes at it’s hands. But man when left to God’s devices can accept Jesus and take up a cross (an instrument of death) and follow Him to life. There is no sin he won’t forgive, not even addiction. If you sound like the addict I described, don’t fall for the lie that Jesus didn’t die for you. His grace can be yours today.
You walk in the door, the walls don’t cave in and the place doesn’t go up in flames like you thought it would, so that’s probably a good sign. It’s 11:05 but you promised yourself you were going to see what this Church thing is all about. It doesn’t matter if you’re late as long as your there, right? The doors close behind you and then it happens. Every head in the church turns around and begins to stare a hole through you.
You look around, there are some smiling faces, but they’re probably faking it, right? Even though there are only a few mean muggers in the crowd, their faces imprint themselves into your brain. The heartless, hollow eyes of the old woman in the second row. The look of disgust on the face of the old man parallel to where you are standing at the back row.
One kid whispers to his friend beside him and they both begin giggling. You know it has to be about you. A couple of old hens also quietly whisper, one looks to the other with an embarrassed look on her face. They must feel bad for you.
You could hear a pin drop as you walk in and take your seat. The worship Pastor looks down and does his best to ignore you. The piano starts playing and the moment you sit down, everyone else stands! The offering plate goes around and you find yourself scrounging up change to put in it. Everyone notices.
The Pastor finally comes forward, and it soon becomes evident that he’s been checking the Facebook page of your loved ones who vent about you. His sermon is like a topical study of your life. You feel a little convicted by the end of it but you’ve already made up your mind. You hate church people, so you hate Church.
If you had attended a little longer, you may have discovered that the lady in the front row had recently been made a widow. The man in the back was a deacon, he was just having a bad day; he’s actually a really nice guy. Those kids were laughing at a joke their Sunday School teacher had told them. The Worship Pastor wasn’t pretending to ignore you, he was looking up the hymn he had called out to the congregation right before you walked in. Finally, the pastor isn’t even friends with your loved one on Facebook, turns out he had been planning that message for a month. You were just there at the right time to hear it!
Sometimes, in situations that are strange to us, we project our fears onto the faces of others. This is when a grief stricken old lady or two kids laughing becomes the mean old woman and a couple bullies-in- training. It’s all about perspective.
Does this mean there are no mean people in Church? Absolutely not. Sometimes people will look down on you, talk about you, do something you disagree with, even purposely hurt you. But these people represent a small minority within the Church. This does not represent what Christians should act like. When these people hurt us, they are doing the exact opposite of Christ’s example. Remember when Church people hurt you that Jesus saved his harshest words not for the sinners on the streets, but for the Religious Pharisees in the Temple.
We must remember who we were in our past. If you’re anything like us recovering addicts, you would have sat through anything to get what you needed: a doctor’s office, a shady drug deal, or a visit to a bootlegger with a gun in his hand. We would do whatever it took to get our fix, hurting others, leaving kids, stealing, or worse.
What will you do to get your Jesus fix? Would you sit through a service while people stared at you? Would you volunteer for a ministry you know little about? Many zealous Christians claim they’d be willing to die for Him… Would you be willing to live for Him?
So maybe you have been hurt by someone in the church in the past; Should that stop you from following Jesus? Before answering, consider this: who were you following? That person? Or Jesus? If you’re following Jesus no power in Hell should come against you. Especially not that of those claiming to follow Him too. Don’t let a bad taste in your mouth keep you from the Living Water.
Many of us have been there. We skip a meeting or two, get a phone call from an old friend, find ourselves mysteriously surrounded by our triggers, or something happens with which we haven’t learned to cope, and it happens. We relapse.
What could be worse for the recovering addict than falling into relapse? The answer is simple… Staying in relapse. When our minds are clean we can see this as an objective fact, but in the moment our guilt and shame have this tendency to keep us hidden in the shadows. The pain we had fought, many of us for years to keep at bay has in a moment reared its ugly head. We find ourselves in the same line of thinking that got us into addiction in the first place. We start making excuses.
“Well, I’ve already had one, might as well go all out.”
“The group is gonna be so mad.”
“You’ve messed up this time,” a little voice in the back of your mind whispers. “God could never forgive you for messing up after all He gave you.”
There’s a fundamental problem with this. In relapse, our demons often tells us that we’ve messed up too bad to go back. They tell us to take just one more… And as they say in group, “One more is never enough.” Addiction seeks to destroy our lives, and in the middle of relapse it makes destruction seem like a good idea.
But all is not lost. God has not given up. Assuming we have lost God’s love is assuming we did something to earn it in the first place. We didn’t. He just loved us. We didn’t come to Christ by getting sober. We got sober by coming Christ. God knows that as long as we live in this flesh, we will deal with sin. He always offers us a way out, but we don’t always take it.
We’ve heard it said before that relapse is a part of recovery. But be careful not to use that as an excuse. The truth is, it is part of the recovery of some, but it doesn’t have to be.
When we mess up, it’s not because God isn’t big enough to save us from it; it results from us making a conscious decision not to heed his will, but our own. The beautiful part is that we find that instead of God being mad, He shows us His love in ways we had never experienced before. When we come to Christ broken from relapse, He wraps us in His arms the same way he did when we first got sober. When all else fails, his love remains. Never give up. A momentary lapse of reason does not have to lead you to jails, institutions, or the grave yard . Reach out. Call a sponsor. Call on Jesus. He’s still listening.
Is morality objective or subjective? The existence of good and evil and the concept of objective truth is hotly debated these days. Culture seems to be a tide pulling us slowly but steadily away from the anchor of truth to a more relative reality. Let’s consider for the sake of our recovery what difference objective and subjective truth have on our lives and what the world looks like through the lens of each.
The term objective means unbiased, unprejudiced truth, a fact of nature. It is not swayed by our feelings or thoughts about it.
Subjective means influenced by our feelings or personal opinions.
This matters to addiction recovery for many different reasons. While we were in addiction, we did many things we weren’t proud of. We lived in the shadows of subjectivity. Everything we did was based on how we felt in the moment. If someone shorted us, they did us wrong, if we shorted someone else, we were just doing what we had to do. Nobody enjoys stealing from Grandma, but we had to do what we had to do to get our fix… Right?
Wrong. We know it is wrong now just like we knew it was wrong then. The difference is that our moral compass is pointed a little more north now that we have got that junk out of our systems. See, something wasn’t “less wrong” back then just because we had to do it to get a fix. We just perceived it as less wrong so that we could do it without the guilt that comes along with messing up.
To the atheist and agnostic, there is no such thing as objective moral truth. This doesn’t mean all atheists are sociopaths, it just means that they have no hook to hang their coat on when it comes to moral objectivity. When pressed hard, many atheists state that there moral compass is based on their own feelings and opinions. This is all well and good until someone comes along whose “truth” doesn’t match the “truth” of others. G.K. Chesterton once said “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” Christians believe the reason the fence of objective moral reality is there is because as humans, God has given us all intrinsic worth. If I do something to violate you or your worth, I have done the wrong thing. If I affirm your worth, I’ve done the right thing.
When you start dismantling this fence, you begin devaluing human life. When it is torn down, evil awaits to make it’s debut. Without a moral law, we can’t even make the assertion that addiction is evil and recovery is good.
Many cry “If God existed, how could he allow such atrocities to affect mankind?” Well, when you assume there is such a thing as evil, you must assume there is such a thing as good. If good and evil exist, there must be a moral law. If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver, but that is who they are trying to disprove. It’s logically inconsistent.
The reason this matters is because if people don’t think they’re doing the wrong thing, they won’t stop. Step one is about admittance. Admitting that we are powerless over our tendency to do the wrong thing. Christianity offers a solution. Since we have no ability in and of ourselves to stop the evil of addiction, God came down and sacrificed Himself as a ransom for our sins. All the wrong we committed in our addiction has been nailed to a cross. We are now dead to the man who chooses evil, through faith in Him, we are able to do good. So, experientially, what do you think? Does a moral law exist? If so, God must exist. And if he exists, we have hope in our recovery.
When we are new to recovery, we found ourselves in a very fragile state. We’re mad at our concept of God, broken, hurting, and often alone because of the pain we have caused to others. Having finally admitted our powerlessness, and in no shape to make big decisions, we are suddenly hit with one the biggest questions that can be asked. What is your Higher Power? Who is the God of your understanding? These questions have driven many out the door, never to return to a 12 Step Program. Some refuse to open their minds to the possiblity of a power greater than themselves, and those that are open often have had bad experiences with mainstream religions. However, putting reservations aside and looking through a strictly objective lens, Christianity is found to be the only worldview through which the steps can be worked. We have heard why philosophical underpinnings such as atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, and deism hold no water when tried against a 12 step paradigm. Now, we will consider why Christianity works if we work it!
Christianity states that God is a Self-Existing, Supreme, Personal Being and Creator of the universe. We hold that man was created special, in the image of God Himself. We believe that since the fall of the first man into sin, we have all liven in a fallen, sinful state. This fallen state is what allows the evil of addiction to so easily beset us. Because our sins have separated us from God, we find ourselves in need of a savior. This savior had to live a sinless life, and had to give Himself as a perfect sacrifice for mankind. You see, God has to be all-loving, and all-just. So He made a way by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ to die the death we deserved in order that through faith in Him, we wouldn’t die in our sin, but would be granted eternal life. This faith results in a new creation. We are made new by Christ through the Holy Spirit and are given freedom from our sins. This means freedom from our addictions. Perhaps more so, we are granted freedom from the character defects that caused our addictions in the first place.
After making a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to God, and With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to begin the action steps. We are able to see our defects of character through new eyes. The ultimate Good now lives in us. Because of this, we are able to see the things that don’t measure up to that good more clearly and we are given power to renew our minds and subdue our bodies. We are able in Christ to put our addiction under arrest.
We are then able to maintain our new life by being kept in the hands of the one who saved us. We are able through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. He shows is his will, we follow it with the help of His Spirit.
Christianity is the only worldview that shows us the true problem and gives us a solution outside of ourselves. The basis of the 12 steps is admitting our inability to beat addiction on our own and turning to a real, loving God to help drag us from the pits. Since this is the case, Christianity reigns supreme as the only worldview through which 12 Step recovery is logically possible!