http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-8k 11-18-14- Me Teaching at NeWay
http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-Y Radio show 705- have to listen with Internet explorer browser only [it’s a Wave file]
The video for this week was one of the ‘spur of the moment’ teachings- that I said I would do every so often.
There was a new guy in the group- he’s from Canada and said he was here in Texas doing street ministry.
I don’t doubt him- not 100% at least.
He said he has studied the bible in its original languages for many years- and seemed to know some stuff.
After I shut the video off- I took questions- it seems as if the brother had some questionable stuff- which is ok- that’s why I’m there.
I did my best to try and get some of his beliefs on track- and did some church history- ways we understand scripture.
He kept asking me what the original sin was- I did talk about the creation story somewhat.
I said they disobeyed God [don’t eat from the tree of knowledge] and the bible says sin is the transgression of the law- meaning- they disobeyed what God told them [simple?]
I did my best- he had a few other questions- sort of along the lines of a test.
If I may be so bold- I do know this stuff- and he seemed a bit off.
I found out later that he believed- from the original ‘languages’- that the sin was Eve had sex with the Serpent.
Ok- after I left the meeting I went to visit another friend- he also is involved with ministry- good guy- don’t get me wrong- I like these brothers.
Sure enough- he ‘taught’ the same thing.
When I was in North Bergen- yeah- this same question came up.
Ok- do the ‘original languages’ say this?
No- that’s the problem.
This belief does exist- like many others- in some other writings- but these were rejected by the church early on- as a matter of fact a guy at Timons had some questions about the ‘DaVinci code’- again- I taught the same thing.
Saying ‘just because a belief has been around- for a while- and you might find it in some very early documents [2nd, 3rd century Gnostic writings] - yet- this does not mean they are valid’.
The Canadian ‘preacher’ was at the mission today with a few other friends.
Normally I would take the guys with me- spend the day doing stuff- but to be honest- I stopped doing that- they saw.
What’s the problem here?
All 3 of these friends should be working- and in the old days I did do stuff with them- but no more.
I’m a retired fire fighter- I can- with a clear conscience- spend the day doing ministry.
But- if you are on the streets- doing ministry- and bumming cigarettes [yes- when I first met the brother- he is in the meeting on this week’s video- I told him ‘hope you’re not offended- but I smoke’- sure enough- he bummed one from me]!
The point- all the guys I was with today- yes- doing some ministry stuff- yet- they should have all been working- not looking for a day to just hang out.
This is indeed one of the changes I have made- and I think it’s best for all of us.
NOTE- In scripture- stealing- lying- ‘sinning’ in general- well- is bad.
Now- I’m no ‘saint’ [well actually I am- in the bible this word refers to all believers- it means ‘sanctified ones’].
But I noticed a funny thing- since I made some changes.
At the Coffee shop- sometimes I leave the laptop inside- and go out to smoke- a nice sitting area.
I always felt uncomfortable doing it- because if I did this with some of the ‘old crew’ it would be gone.
So- I have had to ‘learn’ not being around people who will steal- again- and again- and ag…
The other day- just as I was getting comfortable with it- I walked back inside and went to my chair- sure enough- my stuff was gone!
I asked Alex ‘I think someone stole my stuff’- does that happen?
He went up to the cashier- and before he could ask- I realized I was at the wrong chair- my stuff was at another spot.
I never realized how this affected me- and how it affects everybody.
Today at the mission a friend said someone stole the keys to his car- his wife was upset [they live on the streets].
He told his wife ‘look- what do you expect- we all do it to each other’.
It’s sad- I love all my friends- but I have felt for a while that things needed to change.
The friend who stole 2 packs of cigarettes from my glove compartment one day- I had him in the car a few weeks later.
I asked him to get something out of my glove compartment [I started locking it- but it was unlocked this day].
He opened it up- I forgot I had a pack in there.
As soon as he saw it- jokingly- he grabbed it and- without even realizing he was actually doing it as a joke- but I could see it was a ‘natural reflex’-
He acted like he was going to steal it.
I don’t think many of these friends realize that unless this lifestyle changes- they will never get anywhere in life.
THURSDAY- I’m going to do something right now- that I never planned on doing again.
Write a bit more about AA/NA.
The main reason I did not want to write on this subject anymore- is because I never was really ‘in the program’- in the sense that I never did a step.
I never had a sponsor- but only attended some meetings early on- and did read the big book.
Now- why write then?
One of the changes that I felt needed to be made- in my ‘transition’ season that I have been writing about- was I felt in all good conscience that I can’t be affiliated with previous ministries- for a few reasons- but one is they are strong in AA- to the point where at times I see many ‘cultic’ signs in some of the people I associate with.
What do you mean Cultic?
Since I’ve been back in Texas- I have had friend’s relapse- again- and they start the whole routine over ‘John- I called my sponsor and…’.
Ok- if that’s the track you feel you need to be on- fine.
But if after 30 years- and the track never lead to anywhere [in around 90% of the cases- this is true. The latest statistic I read was the success rate is about 10%- many in the movement do not know this- because they do not read the most up to date data on addiction- many feel it is in a way wrong to be informed about the issue].
So- even though I am now clean for almost 2 years- yet- in a sense- when I run into some old friends still in the movement- and not clean themselves [many are addicted to prescription pills- and some use pills that are not prescribed to them- yet they still count their clean date from the last time they drank a beer].
It’s almost like trying to escape a cult- they view all of life thru the paradigm of AA/NA- which is a danger sign.
These are all good people- and when I first started writing on AA I did not want to side track those who are finding help thru it- the 7-10 % of success stories.
But- there are the other 90 %- who still need help- and often times the relapse is indeed because they are in a legalistic bondage to AA/NA.
I’ve taught on this a lot- and this is the basis of Christianity [many of the videos I’m making deal with this- the freedom from a system- the law- and having a new life in Christ- not focused on some system- that’s the heart of the New Covenant].
So- even though I have determined to try and cut all ties with the movement- in some ways those who are in it- however well intended- seem to take a cultic approach.
If you attempt to keep a relationship- with others in the movement- you are viewed as needing to ‘get with the program’.
I fear many of the well meaning people in the movement do not see the danger.
When I was in N.J.- not this last time- but about 2 years ago.
The last meeting I went to there was a speaker [note- I do realize you are not supposed to talk about what was said in the meetings- let me say- I am not in AA- and I am trying my best to not step on too many toes here- one of the aspects of a cult is you do not talk about what’s going on in their meetings- so- when I share the things I learned- it’s so we can all benefit- I also realize the reason people do not share is so they can be anonymous- which is ok- I get it].
So- one of the last meetings I went to- there was a guest speaker.
As he spoke- he said he wished he could live his life without being in a never ending process of depending upon meetings- sponsors- the whole thing.
He described it as a sort of bondage-
But he said because he was an addict- he can never have a normal life- being free from addiction- unless he did this- for the rest of his life.
I didn’t say anything- and maybe he was having a bad day.
But his own testimony- from his mouth- was what I already began seeing at the time.
The fact is- the free gift of grace- does indeed free us from focusing our lives around overcoming addiction- that was indeed the great break thru of the Cross- that God would set us free- for FREE [meaning you do not have to focus your life around a system to be free- Paul the apostle taught in Romans 7 that if you do try harder to keep the law [any program that you think you need to follow to be free] that it actually strengthens the sin [addiction]. This is what is indeed happening in many of the 90% of those who are relapsing].
NOTE- When I read other literature on addiction recovery- just to broaden my understanding- I did not realize that there were many others who saw major flaws with AA/NA- many of these alternative approaches were developed because of some of the stuff I mentioned above.
Any movement- must in time be open to new things- and I have had people tell me that AA/NA was given by God to Bill W- and because it was given- by God- that’s why it ‘rarely’ fails for those who do it.
But it does fail- often-
And it’s ok to say this- it needs to be said-
But if your view is because it is a God given program- that man never had before- then you become a defender of a movement- much like a cult defends their beliefs- this is happening with many in the movement.
Some of the teaching that I did recently dealt with the SEX issue- how in the bible adultery [any sex outside marriage- even Porn addiction] is considered very serious.
The bible says ‘drunkards- adulterers- etc.’ will not inherit the kingdom.
Now- if you’re in AA/NA just to try and get free from a substance- that’s your prerogative.
But- in the biblical teaching- if you are ‘under’ [meaning sponsor type thing] people who do practice sexual sin- then those under you will never get free- from the thing the leader is in bondage to.
That’s a biblical principle.
[I have had many friends tell me that the porn/sex problem is one they cannot overcome- yet they stopped using substances- they do not realize the biblical principle I am writing about now- they need to know this- or the train will never stop]
I was invited to an AA celebration last year- I was told ‘you might not want to go- they are all renting rooms already- to sleep with each other’.
The person knew I would have a problem with that.
I said ‘what you have is hedonism- without the alcohol’.
Now- if that’s what you want- fine.
But Christians in the movement are submitting to sponsors- if they are involved in this- that the bible teaches you should not submit to.
Because the sex issue- in scripture- is just as bad [or worse] if done outside of marriage- as the substance.
The biblical principle is you can’t help others- if you’re in bondage yourself.
I often tell people ‘look- if you want help quitting smoking- I can’t help you’.
Because I smoke.
I wrote in the past that I felt the underlying issue to most addicts is lust- The BIBLE says ‘we have escaped the corruption that is in the world THRU LUST’.
If you are in a fellowship- that actively practices lust- you will never get free from it- and many of the people who have overcome drugs and drink thru the program- do indeed struggle with lust- porn- adultery.
Because of what I just told you- the bible is a higher authority than man- and any movement that allows you to develop your own conscience on sex- leads to a bondage- if at the end of your ‘sex inventory’ you come to a conclusion that is not compatible with scripture- which is God given.
This past month those of you who have followed my journey- you’ll notice some of the verses and old radio quotes dealt with the issue of how should believers relate to those living in sin.
I tried to strike a balance between being ‘in the world’ yet not of it.
I mentioned that in the letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul did say to have no fellowship with the brother who was in sexual sin- because his sin was open- and accepted.
Yet- in the ‘world’ you will have people who are living in all types of situations- and it’s ok to have ‘friends’ that are sinners.
Jesus was called ‘a friend of sinners’.
Now- the problem with joining with a group/fellowship that practices sexual sin [not all- but many- and I covered in previous posts that the movement has decided to take no stand against adultery- in the big book I gave you the section that left that open-and I have known people in the movement that said when they did their sexual inventory that their conscience permitted various sexual sins that scripture forbids].
Now- I’m not nit-picking here- the point I’m making is if a believer puts himself under the authority of a movement/sponsor- that permits sexual sin [which is very different then someone who struggles with sin- yet does not condone it].
Then they are violating the mandate to not be unequally yoked together- meaning when you voluntarily submit to the leadership of a person- or movement- that permits this- you are indeed violating scripture- in this area.
I read a book from some pastors who were pro AA.
At the time I too was ‘pro’ AA- until I saw some of these things.
In my time in AA- there was more than one occasion that I knew of younger kids- struggling with porn- who were getting advice/sponsorship from men who themselves permitted it- they told me that to them it was not a sin.
Yet- the younger ones they sponsored did not know they were under the ‘covering’ of men who practiced the same thing [as far as I know].
There was a very respected older man- in his 70’s- who is well known around the country for having brought many to sobriety thru AA.
One day I was working with a person from the streets- and I mentioned how I thought the sex issue- being openly practiced- was a problem.
I later found out that this highly respected older man- well did the same thing [I can’t explain it all- but the girl knew the man].
I said ‘I can’t believe it’!
The person told me that he’s just a leader in AA- and it’s not ministry.
Now- that might be ‘ok’ if your not a Christian- but if churches and pastors are ‘partaking’ of a movement that permits a very serious sin- bondage- and many young men in the movement are seeking deliverance from this very thing [lust- porn- etc.].
Then the church leaders need to re-examine their support- because if they are recommending to join a ‘fellowship’ that permits this- then in my view they are violating the scripture in the area of not associating [or at least recommending] a movement that permits this.
Now- this is not a critique of others who are just in the movement to get free from drugs/alcohol- this is a Christian based view that I feel is scriptural.
In essence- church leaders are telling their people to submit to leadership- that is in violation of the scripture willingly- openly- and not ‘repenting’- like the Corinthian brother.
And many of the younger [older] leaders in the movement practice sexual sin- because they permit it.
This is much different than working with people struggling to overcome sin- but know it is wrong.
The sinning brother at the church of Corinth was engaged in sexual sin- and was open about it- he saw nothing wrong with it.
That indeed is the position of many in the movement- those they sponsor WILL NEVER GET FREE from a lifestyle that the leadership condones- Do you now see?