3. The Biblical Answer
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.