Can brain surgery solve a person’s addiction problem?

Read WORLD Magazine’s February 23, 2022 article by Addie Michaelian here! Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a new, highly experimental brain surgery that attempts to regulate one’s cravings, or what the Bible calls desires. Addiction is viewed by the majority of treatment specialists as predominantly a physical problem (i.e. a disease or a disorder) so it makes sense that secular entities would pursue remedies consistent with their worldview.

The WORLD Magazine article yesterday that quoted TAC Founder, Dr. Mark E. Shaw (note: Dr. Shaw never used the word compulsive though it appears in the article!) did a good job showing the facts of this one man’s experience. Dr. Shaw’s many printed resources proclaim the message even further.

“Physical addiction occurs when you repeatedly satisfy a natural appetite and desire with a temporary pleasure until you become the servant of the temporary object of pleasure rather than its master.” [Shaw, p.27] [1]

Dr. Shaw’s view on the matter is simple: the spiritual component of addiction won’t ever be solved by brain surgery. The solution is the Lord Jesus Christ which is why we proclaim the truth of God’s Word and proclaim His excellencies to a lost and dying world.


(summarized from The Heart of Addiction Workbook, Introduction pp 1-3, available at Focus Publishing, Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, etc)

  • Christians, who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, possess the only source of power to change in a way that pleases God.
  • When you believe in the supremacy of Scripture, the Holy Bible, you can then agree that God’s Word is authoritative and to be obeyed.
  • When you are willing to dispose of the world’s definitions of the problem and embrace what God says about your life then…

freedom in Christ is available.

heart of addiction

Available with bulk discounts at Focus Publishing!

  • When, as a Christ-follower, you believe that the Holy Spirit works inside you to produce what God desires for you–and begin to obey rather than quench the Holy Spirit– lasting change can happen. (Shaw p.3) [2]
  • “God labels “addiction” as sin since He holds us responsible for the sinful choices we make. God called “addiction” two names in the Bible: “idolatry” is the general term and “drunkenness” is the specific term.” (Shaw, p. 3) [2]
  • “This worldly definition of compulsive behavior wrongly allows you to be free from responsibility for your actions, because your addiction is “irresistible.” Simply put, you cannot ever resist the temptation to use the addictive substance. The word “compulsive” implies that even God Himself cannot stop the addict from using…. Since God created the compulsive addict to live in a uncontrollable manner due to the “irresistible impulses” to act “irrationally,” then God Himself is responsible for the “compulsive” addict’s behavior according to society’s inaccurate definition! The is not a biblical view of addiction.” (Shaw, p.24) [3]

  • “The word “compulsive” wrongly allows the addicted person to deny responsibility deny God’s power to change them, blame their parents’ genetic make-up, blame parents for poor upbringing as a child, blame God for making you in this manner. These ideas are not true!” (Shaw, p.24) [3]

Due to the TAC network and your support, we have been given an even greater platform to proclaim the truth about addictions, that…

“the behavior is habitual sin that is so automatic that it appears to be “compulsive,” but the behavior is really planned in advance and rooted in your own thought life. To change your thoughts, and behaviors, a distinction must be drawn between the words “compulsive” and “habitual.” (Shaw, p.25) [3]

God says:

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) ESV [4]

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2) [4]

Thank you to so many of our supporters and our TAC network, who are a main part of the reason TAC has been successful at sending a different message–the message of HOPE– Jesus Christ radically transforms lives through spiritual heart surgery! And that’s Good News!

Need Help?

The Addiction Connection offers hope and healing 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.


[1] Mark E. Shaw The Heart of Addiction, A Biblical Perspective, (2008, 2018) Focus Publishing: Bemidji.

[2] Mark E. Shaw, The Heart of Addiction Workbook, (2008) Focus Publishing, Bemidji.

[3] Mark E. Shaw The Heart of Addiction, A Biblical Perspective, (2008, 2018) Focus Publishing: Bemidji.

[4] Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.