Friday, January 17, 2014

Are addictions behavioral or genetic: Bible vs. Disease Model

A Christian where I worked, a reformed alcoholic, told me "You know alcoholism is a disease don't you? They discovered that in 1956!" Wait a minute! People have become addicted to alcohol for thousands of years and yet it was just termed "a disease". Something sounds fishy in Denmark!

To avoid modernism I look first at older volumes. The revised original 1913 Version of Webster's Dictionary states that a "disease" is "An alteration in the state of the body or of some of its organs, interrupting or disturbing the performance of the vital functions, and causing or threatening pain and weakness; malady; affection; illness; sickness; disorder; -- applied figuratively to the mind, to the moral character and habits, to institutions, the state, etc. "

First off, according to this definition, a disease is a change in the normal state of the body or its organs. It's not a mental condition or of the mind. Although the brain is an organ, it's the brain that's damaged by excessive alcohol consumption. "Addiction" is mentally engrained by behavior according to the pre-modernistic definition:

From the same resource (1913) an "addiction" is "The state of being addicted (devoted to a customary practice); devotion; inclination."

It's not the alcohol which is the source of addiction, but the behavior associated with the use of alcohol! People who are addicted have lives devoted to consuming alcohol. One can see from the definition of "alcoholic" is:

(ibid) (1913) an "alcoholic: is "A person given to the use of alcoholic liquors. "

Brief and to the point! A person who consumes alcohol on a regular basis is an alcoholic. My, how times have changed. By that definition most people are alcoholics... and maybe they are!

Hence, from the 1913 pre-modernistic definitions, alcoholism is not a disease, but a lifestyle of devotion to consuming alcoholic beverages. It's a behavior problem!  What does scripture say?

Ephesians 5:18 (ESV) "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit..."

"Debauchery" is "extreme gratification in sensual pleasures."  Pleasures are "of the flesh", but we are to be "filled with the spirit". Hence, getting drunk is a behavior problem, according to Paul.

Sin are thoughts or behaviors. It's disobedience. God doesn't penalize people who have diseases. In fact, the afflicted are uplifted by Christ and he performed miracles on many! Alcoholism is a sin as can be seen:

1 Corinthians 6:10 (ESV)  "Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. "

Failing to "inherit the kingdom of God" is eternal damnation. Drunkards (alcoholics) are damned, unless of course they repent.

Isaiah all but used the word "alcoholic" in this passage:

Isaiah 5:11 (ESV) "Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!"

Rising early to start drinking is a fairly consistent description of an alcoholic's behavior. With the preceding it should be clear to the Christian that alcoholism is not a disease, but a sinful behavior. Who is wrong? God or enabling psychiatrists? It's obvious that the Christian is to believe God who is Truth rather than those who have "what is falsely called knowledge".

I seldom read texts or listen to documentaries published or produced after 1940. It seems that modernism began to creep into American society exxponentially at about that time due to progressives in government and education.

What is modernism? It's a socially progressive trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve and reshape their environment with the aid of practical experimentation, scientific knowledge, or technology." (Wikepedia).

Hence, modernism and progessivism are synonomous. Whereas, religious tradition and faith puts full confidence in God, modernism discredits God and desires to establish science as pre-eminent to God and scientists as well as philosophers know mor about the creation than the creator!

The progressive movement is a product of The Enlightenment. This is the period where science and philosophy took precedence over religion.  Like socialism, another product of The Enlightenment, religion is said to enslave man in ignorance and is an impediment to social justice and societal development. Clearly, modernism is atheism  or the religion of "Reason".

Modernism teaches Epicureanism. People, on social issues, are encouraged to do as they please, There is no right or wrong. Truth has shades of gray and what's wrong for some is alright for others. Modernism is the "pleasure principle". People are intolerant and hateful if they criticize the behavior of others! Hence, modernists remove any type of condemnation of people's behaviors. Their method of excusing bad behavior is calling behaviors of debauchery "disesases". This is reflected in the modern definition of alcoholism:

"Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing. It is medically considered a disease, specifically an addictive illness..." (Wikepedia).

Note that according to God, alcoholism is a sinful behavior. According to modernists alcoholism is a disease. Someone's wrong! Diseases are deterministic. If their is no cure for a disease the person is doomed, maybe not now, but with time. However, behaviors can be changed. It may be difficult, but is possible. With the assistance of God who answers prayers, behaviors can be changed!

Anecdotally, this is obvious! Salvation changes people. I know many addicts of alcohol, heroin, morphine and other hard drugs who were instantaneously delivered from the addiction of drugs when they turned their lives over to Christ! What medical treatment or psychiatry failed to do, God came through. All we need is faith. Yes, God can heal diseases with prayer, but with a disease there is little that you can do. With behaviors, it's possible to change by changing one's life.

Not only is the "disease model" used as an excuse for alcoholism, but that same model excuses homosexuality, bestality, theft, and even murder. Now, people do things wrong, not because they are evil, but because they have a "disease". (Of course I realize that homosexuality has been removed from the list of disorders by the modernists. Incidentally, modernists in the APA have recently stated that sex between adults and children can be helpful is some cases! How twisted is society going to get  before we destroy ourselves?)

There is hope for alcoholics. It's not a "higher power". It's God who became flesh. Jesus delivers us from sin! It's not a psychiatrist. They are perpetrators of modernism. Many are crazier than the crazies who come to them. They're not even accountable in most cases for ruining lives!

God is the "sin doctor". He repairs the mind, body and spirit. Trust him to deliver from sinful behaviors!

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