Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Chapter 2

John 8:34 says we are slaves to sin.

Welch seems to be mainly describing alcoholism, allowing that other addictions have similarities.

People don’t like to talk about sin, but sin is our biggest problem.

Proverbs 23:29-35 vividly describes alchohol addiction, including the allure, the damage, and the irrational cravings.

An addiction seems to render someone helpless. Yet, we are culpable for our sin. He faults the addiction-as-a-disease model for making it seem that an addiction is a sickness that is not someone’s fault.

Even though an addict feels out of control, he or she finds an ever-expanding list of reasons to act out. He lists forgetting, “drinking at” someone, avoiding pain, and numerous other purposeful reasons behind performing the addiction that feels so out of control. This reveals a tension between the out-of-control and the intentional aspect of addiction.

Cravings
Cravings are real. There are 3 kinds:
1) Craving while sober
2) after the first drink, then you want more
3) when physically dependant

If there are immediate physical withdrawals, you may have to deal with those before you can get down to the spiritual long-term aspects of conquering the addiction.

Addictions are a voluntary slavery. There is a purposeful element, yet an enslaved, out of control element.

He offers this definition: addiction is bondage to the rule of a substance, activity, or state of mind, which then becomes the center of life, defending itself from the truth so that even bad consequences  don’t bring repentance, and leading to further estrangement from God.

Our hearts are basically sinful. That is the fundamental element of addiction. Life influences, including both nature and nurture, also influence one’s choices to addiction.

Some people find a hybrid view between addiction-as-sin, and addiction-as-a-disease. They think that addiction starts out as sin but turns into a disease. Welch rejects this view also. He believes that addiction remains a sin issue, but that it hardens and traps its victim into a cycle of repitition.

It is important not to use the sin issue to condemn someone who is addicted. Jesus came to save, not condemn. Addictions lead us away from the Lord. We need to confess and repent. As we see our sin, we may tend to despair. But remember that God forgives (Psalm 130:3 and Eph 1:7). Confession and forgiveness are at the core of bringing health to our whole being.

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