Since the Christian Discipleship Centerís program is based upon the Scriptures, we do not hold to the disease model of addiction. From passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, God tells us that drunkenness is a sin for which He holds people responsible, and for which His judgment will shut them out of His eternal kingdom. He also describes believers as those whose changed hearts have freed them from this sinful behavior through the justifying and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:19-21 lists drunkenness as one of the sins that manifest the fulfilling of the desires of the flesh, and thus it is also worthy of the judgment of God. Proverbs 23:29-35 describes the habitual response pattern of one who consumes alcoholic beverages in an improper way and for the wrong reasons. The consequences are fitting for that person who abuses alcoholic beverages and deceives himself by its effects. Logically and spiritually, we must conclude that God would not condemn someone for a sinful behavior like drunkenness if the cause were a genetic or physical factor over which the person had no control. And nowhere in Scripture does God relieve men of their personal responsibility to make the proper choices and obey Him through the help that He offers in Christ through the Holy Spirit.
These statements do not ignore the fact that the term ďalcoholismĒ describes a very complex and difficult condition that includes a physical dependency upon the drug. Godís mercy teaches us that He Himself recognizes that sinners are both victims as well as perpetrators of their own sin. He desires to reach down in pity and deliver them through His saving and sanctifying grace. As Godís servants, we must minister His compassion and not be judges.
Psychology and the medical model remove hope through their elements of determinism, blameshifting, and dependence upon professional treatment. But the Scriptures offer tremendous hope, because alcoholism as a sin can be forgiven and overcome through Godís provision in Christ. Our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection has freed us from an obligation to fulfill the desires of our sinful flesh. We are not under the law, but under grace, with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to live Godís life out in our new nature. The epistles clearly describe the process of putting off the old man, being renewed in our mind and heart, and then putting on the new man and being restored into the image of Christ. It works for drunkenness and chemical dependency, just as it does for gambling, immorality, stealing, and many other sins which are often described today as ďaddictionsĒ by the medical and psychological establishments.
We understand alcoholism to be a habitual response pattern that is firmly established in our sinful flesh. It is Godís great work to deliver us from the power of indwelling sin and its effects in our thought life, emotions, and actions. Self-help, psychological and medical solutions can never address the true solution that is needed for a believer who is spiritually alive in Christ, but still defeated by the habit patterns of sin.
At the Christian Discipleship Center we believe our program is unique and effective for any and all who will respond to Godís Word in faith and discipleship. We seek to minister spiritual healing by leading men and women into Godís full forgiveness and restoration. We help them to find assurance of their salvation and to accept their identification in Christ as the basis for their recovery. And we address many areas of life that go beyond simply the ďalcoholismĒ manifestation of the flesh. We teach them Biblical ways to think, respond and choose, and we equip them against Satanís attacks and schemes as well. We help them develop solid ways of rebuilding their life and character, so they may restore the important relationships with their families and church. Our focus is not on the problem of alcoholism, but on Christ!
We may accept and use those ideas and methods that others have found to be helpful in working with alcoholics, but only if they do not conflict with our firm Biblical philosophy and approach. We are not a medical facility, and we do not adopt medical models to accomplish sobriety. Ours is a spiritual program. The supreme means of accomplishing our goals are the personal aspects of our staff giving unconditional love, teaching Godís truth, and modeling discipleship and personal growth, and seeing God transform lives!