"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)

Behold The Man!

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, "Behold the man"! (John 19:1-5 KJV)

Krystal Meyers - The Beauty of Grace

Is "Church" a Cure for Addictions?

A troubled woman wrote about her frustration with her "addiction" program that insists she attend a "Bible" believing church--of their choosing, of course (which so happens to be Baptist). After trying several suggested churches in her area, she is now considering dropping her program because she is "turned off" by:

  1. the messages and doctrines being presented and blatant legalism, i.e.,
  • the fact each church has a varying list of do and don'ts
  • what is being preached is mainly against the use of certain gifts of the spirit; specifically, the necessity of "speaking in tongues"
  • hymns are considered the only "right" way to worship--any hand raising, hand clapping and/or the use of any contemporary music is strongly discouraged, even presented as wrong or evil
  • the belief that the KJV of the Bible is the only correct translation of God's word.

Worse, the dear woman has gone down to the altar at least 5 times over the course of a year and no one approached her with offers of encouragment, help or prayer.

My response:

Wow! I can completely understand your frustration!

I'm sure that the program you are currently associated with suggested a "Bible believing" church because they, like so many others, have found that a person cannot possibly hope to break free of any sin or addiction through their own strength or power. All sin, and addictions are just one form of sin, must be dealt with by humbly coming before God the Father, through His Son, Jesus the Christ. However, to believe that any "church", even a "Bible believing" church can be any type of "cure" for a person's sin or addiciton is simply wrong!

True freedom is found in confessing our sin, repenting (agreeing with God about our sin) and turning from our sin to the Living God. God has promised that then, He will give unto all that ask, His free and unearned gift of forgiveness and salvation.

More, He has promised anyone who turns to Him in child-like faith the precious gift of His most Holy Spirit. It is the Person of God's Holy Spirit Who will empower you, sometimes immediately and sometimes over a period of time, to break free from the chains that keep you from from living out God's purpose for your life. The chains that keep you from experiencing God's holy joy! That's what you were created for! Oh, I'm praying that you, too, have found this to be truth!

For a program to dictate which "Bible believing" church you must attend is presumptuous to say the least! There are many, many Bible believing churches. Just as there are many different types of Baptists. Not all Baptist are under the same "umbrella". There's hard-shell, Independent, and Southern Baptists. I imagine the list of "Baptists" is much longer, but those are the ones that I personally know of. For heaven's sake--God has a remnant of true believers in almost every denomination!

I am a proud Southern Baptist and have been for 34+ years. I don't believe I've ever attended a church such as you describe, but, frankly, I think I would run!

Dear one, there are many different ways to worship our God! Thankfully, most churches have come to recognize that they need to get "in-step" with the times. This does not mean that God's word, or the message of the gospel changes--God forbid! No, this means that the church changes its style in order to appeal to the "un-churched". This is Christ's mission call for the church--to reach the lost! The apostle Paul set the example for this in his day. To the Jew, he became a Jew. To the Gentile, he became a Gentile. Still, he preached Christ and Christ alone!

I recently moved away from a wonderful church family where the service was very contemporary--full praise band--no choir, but selected gifted singers who sang many of today's top contemporary songs. Oh, we were free to say, "Amen"! We were free to raise holy hands to the Lord! So, beloved, "...take the shackles off your feet and dance, dance, dance"! (Song by Mary, Mary!)

Oh, my, yes! There are many contemporary Christian songs being sung in churches today--songs that lift up the precious name of Jesus!

Truth is, I love the old hymns--but certainly not all the time! I was weaned (suckled) on the KJV, but I use many other translations and commentaries to help me to more fully understand God's word. Not a thing in the world wrong with that! Study to show thyself approved!
Now, personally, I believe the pulpit should be a place to preach the gospel. Social issues should be addressed, but to pick one particular issue to harp on, is, well, boring!

Speaking in tongues, or not speaking in tongues is not the issue--the issue is Christ! Speaking in tongues, or not speaking in tongues does not save a person's soul--Christ does! The church needs to stop guarreling over "disputable" matters!

I am assuming that you are a mature woman, so assume personal responsibility. I know this sounds harsh, but I am truly saying this with love! Start looking for another church home and family! It is your responsibility to make sure that the church you attend--the authority you place yourself under--is speaking and preaching truth! You will never find a church home until you make the personal effort to search for one! Oh, there's a church family ready to welcome you--ready to share your sorrows and your joys--ready to embrace you as their own! That's what the "church" truly is--the people and family of God!

Do not allow the evil one, satan, to trick you into leaving your addition program (although, you may want to consider another "program" of this type)--that may mean your demise! Don't lose sight of the fact that satan is a liar and a thief--bent on your destruction! Be aware of his tactics and, friend, this is one!

None of us today can afford to be "pew or bench warmers", soaking up all the garbage that is being spued from so many pulpits (not to mention television and radio). Again, take responsibility because we will be held accountable. Get into God's word! How can any of us possibly recognize these blatant false teachings unless we have hidden the Word of God in our hearts?

I pray you are a child of the King--that you personally know our Lord, Jesus Christ. If you do, all you need to do is ask Him to guide your steps and lead you toward the right path. Trust Him to keep His word! He who has called you is called Faithful!

If you have never asked Jesus Christ into your heart, do so now. You have probably never needed him more! Jesus has promised that "whosoever" calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" Oh, you, dear one, are a "whosoever"! Trust and believe! Believe and be saved!!!!

I know you are troubled and you want to give up! Don't!!!! In your pain remember that God is good! If you believe this truth then you can hold on in faith knowing His plan for your life is a good one!

Please know that I will be praying for you!