In his article titled: “Godly Intoxication: The Church Can Minister to Addicts” CCEF President Tim Lane begins with a story:
John was a good friend. He and his wife, Suzanne, attended the church I pastored before my tenure at CCEF. John and Suzanne had been alcoholics. They met at an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. John and Suzanne would tell you that their lives were saved by AA. They also said that this would never have happened in church. In fact, it was AA that led them back to church.
Their experience should give us pause. The church can learn lessons from it. Is the church a place that can minister to people like John and Suzanne? Can we offer acceptance and support to people who struggle with life-dominating addictions? Do the Scriptures and the grace of the gospel even speak to addictions? Do we have something better to offer than the host of secular recovery groups out there?(JBC 26:2, p.4)
In his article, Tim Lane establishes a resounding Yes! to each of these questions. Yet the church is usually the last place addicts look for help. This should not be so, and he casts a broad vision for how churches can become places where addicts feel right at home amongst God’s people.
Purchase and read the entire article in the Journal of Biblical Counseling (volume 26:2) here.
Lauren Whitman is a content curator at CCEF. Lauren is also a counselor and an editor for the Journal of Biblical Counseling.