Thursday, February 05, 2009

Follow-up from yesterday's post at "Friendly Athiest."

Yesterday, I posted a link to a conversation going on over at "Friendly Athiest." Richard posted his thoughts on the comment I left, but he did not leave a way for me to contact him in reply, so here it is:

Thank you for taking the time to write a response to my comment and thinking with me.

I said in my comment, "AA does not work because of the absence of God as Objective Personality" to which you replied, "Let me guess. And that “Objective Personality” is only described in the Good Book, right? But we do have to have that description filtered through a human being’s subjective interpretation, right? Someone like perhaps………"

Why call the Bible the "Good Book?" Where did you get that idea? The Bible records stories of people being burned alive, children being torn from the womb, mass killings, cannibalism, heads being cut off, hangings, stonings, rape, incest, adultery, lust, prostitution, bodies being eaten by worms, “men of God” running around drunk and naked, and so many other distasteful things. The Bible does not hide human atrocities, our lusts, hatred, love of violence . . . it exposes our sins and warns that God will bring every work into judgment. He will punish murderers, rapists, thieves and all liars. How will it be with you on Judgment Day, when all sin will be punished?

Also, what do you mean when you say, "we do have to have that description filtered through a human being’s subjective interpretation, right? Someone like perhaps………" Don't think for one moment that I speak for God. He speaks for Himself. Are you trying to say that subjective interpretation, reason and propositional truth are incompatible? Please clarify.

I also said, "God conforms to no one. This is idolatry. Including so-called atheism. The reason for the failure rate is this: unless one surrenders to the true and living God, there will be 100% failure rate." To this you asked, "When you say “no one,” does that include you? Or do you mean God conforms to no one except for your favorite set of concepts and descriptions? How can you claim to possess the knowledge of the “true and living God” if he conforms to no one?" Yes, that includes me--God does not conform to me, or anyone else or their concepts and descriptions for that matter. I can claim to possess the knowledge of the True and Living God because He has explained Himself in time, space, history, conscience and through propositional truth.

You also said, "You are also ignoring the details of the study. By saying that there will be 100% failure rate without surrender to your favorite “true and living God,” you are disregarding the people who do gain on-going recovery without doing whatever you mean by surrender. People do recover without using your method. They exist. Making your assertions with your eyes closed does not make those people disappear."

I am sorry to have misled you to think that one must surrender to my "favorite 'true and living God'" simply because I say so. God Himself has asked this of mankind, not me. It is not His will than any should perish but that all should come to repentance; that is, turn from their sins and put their faith and trust in His finished work through Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.

You said, "I provided addiction counseling to ten thousand patients for ten years. I was very good at my job, testified by both my patients and my colleagues. We tried everything and anything we could; Psychotherapy, 12-step programs, secular programs, pastoral counseling, church-based support groups, medical treatments. NOTHING WORKED WELL. Most of the patients eventually failed and eventually died. From where I was I could see no difference in the outcome based on the method. Generally, addiction treatment is like picking through bodies in a blasted building and stumbling upon a few live ones."

First, thank you for sharing your extensive background and your hard work with people. As a counselor, you understand the necessity of looking for symptoms and cures. You also know that if it were possible for any one person to deliver himself from any one of his troubles, he could deliver himself from all troubles. Why does mankind keep stumbling and falling? "By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." (2 Peter 2:19) This is not my method--God has provided the cure, only men love their sin too much to take it--they prefer the disease and its consequences.

I am sure you strove for excellence to the best of your ability; however, you confirmed the fact that 10 out of 10 people die and no program, group or treatment can provide any help whatsover to turn that tide. This merely confims what the Bible says, "the wages for sin is death." One cannot be counseled or programmed out of death.

The truth of the matter is that every person is caught in addiction--it's called "sin pattern behavior." God has provided the cure in the Lord Jesus Christ which includes freedom from the power of sin while we still live, freedom from the presence AND penalty of sin when we pass from this life.

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