3.1 Introduction

Living with alcoholism nurtures a spirit of hopelessness. It’s a statement that God is not able. But here faith in God is tested. We can have realistic hope for the better. Prayer changes things. Alcoholism isn’t an incurable disease. The example and inspiration of the person of Jesus changes things. And God changes things, miraculously. He does do wonders in radically transforming human lives (9). We believe He did wonders in the past, for we claim to believe that the Bible is the word of God. We must perceive the connection between what He did in the past, and what He is capable of doing today. This is why the Psalms often ramble on about what God did, e.g. at the Red Sea, and then go on to powerfully plead with God to intervene right now in the life of the Psalmist. Biblical history is not bunk. It is not dead history of mere background interest. Those events are alive with power and relevance- for this God is our God. His arm is not too short that it cannot save nor provide (Num. 11:23).

It is universally accepted that the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous [see Appendix 1] and attendance at their meetings is by far the most successful method of overcoming alcoholism. But it’s a shame for us to have to admit this undeniable fact. Because that organization is not even Christian, even if some of the philosophy behind it overlaps with Christianity in the wider sense. True Christianity, skillfully and sensitively ministered by other recovering alcoholics, ought to be far more powerful than the ‘12 steps’ of A.A. A form of Christian Alcoholics Anonymous is what we're outlining in this study. We ought to be sought out from far and near for our success in intervening in and identifying this problem. But we have barely begun to even recognize the problem as a community, let alone do anything about it. With the undoubted truth which we are blessed with, we ought to be the cutting edge for the world of this generation; and our harnessing of Bible truth to the alcohol issue is just one of many areas where we ought to be out there proving it. The real issues of alcoholism revolve around truth and recognizing the true nature of sin, temptation, the Biblical ‘devil’, God and His power to save. In these areas, the Christian community has been blessed with great and true insight into what the Scriptures really teach. Yet that truth must not remain merely theoretical, propositional, theological truth. We need to take it out on the streets and show the power of that truth in practice; not only in the changing of lives, but in a quality of transformation unseen in any other system of therapy. You see, curing alcoholism is all about coming to truth. The set of doctrines we believe is ‘truer’ or more Biblically accurate than anything else I have come across. Yet those doctrines are designed to elicit a way of life; the true doctrine leads to the true life. And it is a true life, not mere knowledge of doctrinal propositions, which is the cure for alcoholism. This is what makes our potential as a community in this world so exciting, especially in the context of battling alcoholism.

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