Is there anything practical in the Bible to address addiction? What does God’s Word tell us about our modern world’s various modes of getting drunk (pills, fentanyl, weed, heroin, alcohol, etc)?
Dr. Shaw hosted Oliver Underwood of The Damascus House on TAC’s podcast entitled “Habakkuk and Addiction” (#149). Underwood leads a men’s residential program for addiction that is recommended by The Addiction Connection.
Discussing historical context and verses from Habakkuk, Dr. Shaw and Underwood, who is also a CABC with TAC, also brought out current trends in addiction such as pressed pills, fentanyl labs, drug dealer profiteering, and the tragedy of increasing overdose deaths during the pandemic. Effective addictions solutions are being offered by many local churches now, and the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers God-honoring answers for addiction. The disease model of addiction stigmatizes people because it puts individuals into their own groups based solely on their addictive choices.
DOES IT TAKE AN ADDICT TO HELP AN ADDICT?
DOES IT TAKE AN ALCOHOLIC TO HELP AN ALCOHOLIC?
The sad part of the self-help, recovery, and treatment world’s grouping system, according to Underwood and Shaw, is that participants tend to think that they truly are unique – that no one else can relate to them unless they are in the same struggle. So groups like Gamblers Anonymous, N.A., A.A., and countless other support groups proliferate.
ETERNITY IS AT STAKE
People are running to drugs for rest, and for solace in the midst of the fear, anger, and despair of the world’s current circumstances, but they are dying unexpectedly every day. The person caught up in an addiction to pills or any other drug obtained from illegal sources doesn’t even know the true and complete contents of what they are taking from day to day. If they do realize what they are taking, the average person doesn’t know what a lethal dosage of fentanyl is (or any street drug for that matter).
The scary thing is that fentanyl is being sprinkled into street pills to make more money, but it’s killing people.
Really and truly, nobody knows what is in the heroin they inject, or the cocaine they snort, or the pills they got from their supplier. No one even knows what is in the weed people obtain from their friends. It’s not harmless. Who is growing the marijuana, or how powerful is it? Whose hands have tainted it, and with what substances?
THE GOSPEL: THE ONLY REAL HOPE
The Addiction Connection calls all Christians to action for the glory of Christ’s name and Kingdom—let’s offer people “the hope of the Gospel for the heart of addiction.” We cannot change people’s hearts, but Dr. Shaw says,
“We have answers. And we can connect people to programs like the Damascus House who are doing great work with men… walking beside people and letting God’s Spirit do the work in their hearts to change their desires.”
Addictions biblical counselors have a message of hope, not disease. Underwood emphasized that Christians don’t need to be afraid to come alongside people who are caught up in addiction.
Shaw and Underwood emphasize that there are answers in God’s Word.
Whether you are a pastor or a person in the congregation, you CAN reach out to help a person stuck in an addiction. You can ask questions and get people the help they need—whether that be connecting them to a medical detox or just ‘entering in’ to their lives, offering to give them biblically based counsel and help.
The Addiction Connection recommends that you start your search for a residential or non-residential program here.
The answers for life are in Jesus Christ, who forgives all your sins, even those sins associated with an addiction of any kind. Jesus is the hope the world needs. Local churches around the world are rising up to proclaim the true message of freedom from addiction, not just recovery from a disease, but transformation in a new life in Christ.
The Addiction Connection offers hope to those struggling with addiction. Start your search for biblical programs here.
Consider contacting one of our Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselors who are available to help you.
Residential Programs we recommend.
Non-residential Programs we recommend.
Do you want to start a Biblical outreach to those in addiction? Check out this disciple-making curriculum we created just for you entitled Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED.