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CELEBRATE RECOVERY EXPOSED

CELEBRATE RECOVERY VS. SCRIPTURE

Chapter 8 Excerpt from WHO’S DRIVING THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH?

BY JAMES SUNDQUIST

Published by Southwest Radio Church Ministries

SINNERS-ANONYMOUS—IS THIS A BIBLICAL MODEL?

This morning I was curious why the word “anonymous” is in Alcoholics Anonymous, particularly since Anonymous groups are pillars in the PDC/CGM Theology through such programs as Celebrate Recovery. So I went to the AA website and found out. Something seemed rotten in the State of Denmark, but I could not quite put my finger on it. I knew the CGM/PDC has a host of Anonymous Programs in its churches and curriculum, including a sexaholics anonymous type of program. There are several problems I have with the program in general, Biblically speaking, such as we are “powerless.”  Would a sex offender say he is powerless to obey God? Or if he has a victim mentality, would he say, “I just can’t help myself from molesting children”?  These issues, including the concerns over “a higher power” are well known and addressed already. But the “anonymous” issue stuck in my craw. This was not as easy to discern, as there are issues of sin in our lives which could remain anonymous, or at least known to only those involved in the offense (both the perpetrator and the victim(s) and to one or more who are spiritual to help lead them to repentance.) But here is the major breakdown with “anonymous” regarding what the Bible says about it. First, I can not find anywhere in the Bible where it recommends putting all of the people with the same problem in a targeted group where they can commiserate and help each other “recover”. If you have seven pedophiles in the church, do you create a class and put them all together? Doesn’t I Corinthians 15:33 read “Do not be deceived: “bad company corrupts good morals.” Does it say put them in the same group? Or do you mark each and every one of them to identify them and then separate them out from the flock (and each other)? The Bible teaches that you would surround each one with good examples and the spiritually mature. Another glaring problem I see is that the Anonymous charter gives a type of diplomatic immunity, whereby the individual NEVER has to be exposed publicly, or before the congregation according to Matthew 18 or Ephesians Chapter Five, unless, the individual chooses to do so. And this anonymity is supported and defended by the “anonymous” charter. So, for example, if a brother in the Church (whether a member or not) were confronted for sexual adultery or fornication, was confronted by one or more other brothers or sisters (still note no group of other like offenders), then the Elders if he or she still has not repented (still no group), then before the entire congregation (still no group of like offenders), the Biblical procedure of Church Discipline is preserved. Finally, should the brother or sister not repent, removal from that local Body of Christ should be Biblically exercised and mandated. But even then, after this sinner is turned over to the other “higher power”, Satan himself, there is still a pathway of restoration left open for this fallen brother or sister to return to the church. But this person must still repent and once restored demonstrate the fruit of his or her repentance. But with the “anonymous” model or charter, such as a Sexaholics Anonymous type group that is promoted by a host of PDC/CGM programs, the person committing these ongoing acts could cling to the pre-agreed arrangement and charter position of remaining “anonymous.” Who could then pierce this veil of unbiblical protection? This person could remain sexually anonymous…and active, and repent publicly only at his or her own behest, and remain so forever. If someone were to confront him or her, this person could say “but you told me I could remain anonymous, and besides the charter permits me to remain anonymous….and you can’t violate my anonymity and confidentiality!” Should any who is wise among them decide to act Biblically, they would violate the “anonymous” charter, and the person in this group would easily be able to challenge any person who broke this confidence. Of course, were a brother to decide to act Biblically in this example, he would be branded intolerant, unforgiving, and insensitive to Harry or Mary’s felt needs! So sin in the body, or such leaven could continue to work until the entire lump is leavened with impunity.

So let us examine more thoroughly if, in fact, the Bible really does support the idea of “anonymous” groups within the ongoing body life of the church as well as it pertains to the procedure for Church Discipline.

Does “anonymous” sound like what Jesus meant in Matthew 18:7: “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”?

Is “anonymous” what Paul meant in Ephesians 5:11 when he writes: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

Is “anonymous” what Paul meant in 1Timothy 5:20 when he writes: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”

Is “anonymous” what Paul meant in 1Corinthians 5:1-11: “It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you…. when ye are gathered together (i.e, in the church)…. To deliver such an one unto Satan (in other words REMOVE him from the church) for the destruction of the flesh…. Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? But now I have written unto you not to keep company (or does it say form a fornicators anonymous group and keep them in the church?), if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

Is “anonymous” what Paul meant in: 2 Corinthians 13:1 “This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

13:1 Deut. 19:15

Does “anonymous” sound like what Ezekiel meant in: Ezekiel 33:6 “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”

No, Sinners-anonymous groups have no place in church life because there is simply no foundation for it Biblically. (Plug any word you want in front of the word anonymous…see “anonymics anonymous” below.)

In terms of conversation and story-telling in anonymous or Celebrate Recover Groups, Scripture actually gives the opposite counsel about what not to speak about what these people do in private. The inverse of this is what we are to speak…

Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Jam 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Phl 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Finally, the Bible does not speak of rounding up a group of like, or targeted sinners that I can recall, except to destroy them, e.g., the earth swallowing up the murmurers and God slaughtered of the company of false prophets. It is he or she who is more spiritual, one who first goes to the fallen brother to gently restore him or her. The only time a group appears is when the many who are spiritual go to the ONE brother or sister to confront…the next group is the congregation. But it is always a process of putting the sinner in good company, not bad company with more bad company to corrupt their morals even further. There is absolutely NO model in Scripture for this “group think.” The only example I can possibly think of is a hospital…and you could argue that the church is a hospital of sinners. But carefully note that no one goes to the hospital to hang around and get well from someone else with the exact same disease….it is the doctors and nurses and equipment they surround themselves with…but these are all WELL PEOPLE, and medically trained staff, all of whom would be disqualified in an Anonymous or Celebrate Recovery Group, RIGHT?

If the church uses AA or any one of its many 12 Step hybrids, why don’t they call alcoholism what the Bible calls it: “drunkards.” It never ONCE calls it a disease! IT never once calls a drunkard a victim, though there certainly are victims of drunkards, such as car accident victims and battered wives. And even if the higher power is Jesus (as though Jesus could be a force vs. a person, or a Tarot Card, or a Ouija Board, or a Crystal Ball….as though Jesus can be summoned up…that is pure sorcery), it is of no value, because the prayer is asking the higher power for something Jesus would never ask us to pray. He never told us to pray that we recover from being a nonexistent victim. He never told us to pray that we recover from having a nonexistent disease. He never told us to pray that we recover from being born a drunk. He would never ask us to pray a prayer that we are powerless to obey, when he already told us that obedience is ALWAYS an option over disobedience (Romans 1:21 says that NONE are with excuse). He never told us to pray that we will always be in a perpetual state of being a “recovering alcoholic”, so Lord, help me stay in a state of recovery, but never be FREE or delivered. He never told us to pray that we recover when he already told us to repent. I did a search for the word recovery throughout the entire Bible. It always meant either property or land being recovered, or recovering from a physical disease, so that recovery meant being restored to a previous state of being healthy physically. Never once did it refer to behavior or recovering from what comes out of the heart of man. Never!!

Phl 4:6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Phl 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If we do this how does this leave any room or any need for AA, THRIVE, PDC, CGM, SHAPE, Temperament Tests (based on theories of Occultist and atheist Carl Jung), or Celebrate Recovery? Note further that the peace of God exceeds understanding, or leaning unto your own understanding. So at best, even with hidden knowledge of ourselves revealed to our understanding, we are still left with only our understanding which can NOT release the peace of God.  So our hope of peace is crippled on both counts and can never walk if gleaned from any form of Psychology or Anonymous Group.

FOR COMPLETE REPORT AND ENTIRE CHAPTER 8 EXPOSE OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY:

Who’s Driving The Purpose Driven Church Chapters 8-11

OTHER RECOMMENDED RESOURCES EXPOSING CELEBRATE RECOVERY

A WAY THAT SEEMETH RIGHT:

http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2568

WHY I REJECTED RECOVERY PROGRAM:

http://www.exdrunkard.com/reject.html

TESTIMONY OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY ATTENDERS AND VICTIMS WHO WERE IN PROGRAM FOR YEARS:

CELEBRATE RECOVERY VS. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS CHART

Rejoice Now in The Netherlands:

http://www.rejoicenow.nl/page/celebrate-recovery-heresy

EXPOSING CELEBRATE RECOVERY

By Barney Clynch:

http://www.12stepexposure.com/
Two questions for CELEBRATE RECOVERY program participants:
Which one of the 12 Steps in Celebrate Recovery contain the Blood of Jesus, without which there is no way you can draw near to Christ?

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which be bath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, and having a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water ”

Hebrews 10 19-22.

2.  “Recovery” presumes by its own title that there is something to recovery to..i.e. a previous state.  But Christians don’t want to return to anything in the old man there is nothing there to recover.  The old man is dead.  All you do with AA and Celebrate Recovery is prune a dead tree…all you have left is a stump…but it is still dead.  But if you repent, you become a New Creation all things become new (not recovered)…plus is recovering a constant endless process in CR as it is in AA where you never escape being an alcoholic even if you never drink a drop the rest of your life, you remain in a perpetual state of bondage.  But this is not what the Bible teaches when a person is born again and passes from death unto life and darkness into light. I repented (ONE STEP) from alcohol and was set free!

http://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/sermons/forever-celebrating-recovery/

CELEBRATE RECOVERY CONTRADICTIONS
BY BARNY CLYNCH
07/15/2011

The following link is provided as evidence firsthand how Rick Warren introduces Celebrate Recovery in “his own words”. The link is taken from the official CR website. A few comments follow:

http://www.celebraterecovery.com/?page_id=1916

Here is what Rick says in the opening paragraph:

“The Bible clearly states “all have sinned.” It is my nature to sin, and it is yours too.  None of us is untainted.  Because of sin, we’ve all hurt ourselves, we’ve all hurt other people, and others have hurt us.  This means each of us need repentance and recovery
in order to live our lives the way God intended.”

The very few opening statements actually sound good at first until Rick does two things:

CELEBRATE RECOVERY CONTRADICTION #1

1. He brings up the issue of “hurts”. The terminology he uses for “hurts” is part of CR’s watered-down terminology for “sin” as “hurts, habits, and  hang-ups”. He started out Biblical by introducing sin but then proceeds to contradict himself by introducing “hurts”. In his introduction, he repeatedly uses the phrase “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” instead of “sin”.

CELEBRATE RECOVERY CONTRADICTION #2

2. He says, “Each of us need repentance and recovery”. Rick, explain to me in appropriate Biblical terms how a person can accurately “repent” AND “recover” at the same time? Repentance of sin focuses on the “here and now”. It takes immediate responsibility for any sins of the past, forsakes those sins entirely, and presses forward by faith. “Recovery” focuses entirely on the past. People in 12 step recovery programs including Celebrate Recovery are given an indication they must repeatedly “return to their past” in order to heal themselves “in the present”. To put the terms “repentance” and “recovery” in the same sentence is contradictory. It is like attempting to mix oil and water. The two terms are in direct opposition to each other.

CELEBRATE RECOVERY CONTRADICTION #3

Rick Warren makes the following claim about the nature of the Celebrate Recovery program, “What we need is a biblical and balanced program to help people overcome their hurts, habits and hang-ups.Celebrate Recovery is that program.Based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory, our recovery program is unique, and more effective in helping people change than anything else I’ve seen or heard of.”

Rick claims, “Based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory”. However, in an investigation conducted by The Berean Call ministry at Celebrate Recovery’s 2005 summit conference, listen to what T.A. Macmahon discovered about this claim by Rick Warren, “CR is highly promoted as completely biblical and not psychological, yet the key speakers for CR Summit 2005 were clinical psychologists Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud. Psychologist David Stoop, the editor of Life Recovery Bible (CR participants’ mandatory paraphrase Bible, polluted with psychotherapy commentary), is a favorite speaker at Saddleback’s CR Large Group meetings. The CR leadership manual advises, “Have Christian psychotherapists volunteer their time to help instruct and support your leaders.”4  You can’t have it both ways, Rick Warren. You simply have made one claim which was proven to be nothing more than an outright contradiction in its exposure.

CELEBRATE RECOVERY CONTRADICTION #4

Additionally, Rick claims the following feature of Celebrate Recovery, “This recovery program addresses all types of habits, hurts and hang-ups.  Some recovery programs deal only with alcohol or drugs or another single problem.  But Celebrate Recovery is a “large umbrella” program under which a limitless number of issues can be dealt with.   At Saddleback Church, only one out of three who attend Celebrate Recovery are dealing with alcohol or drugs.  We have dozens of other specialized groups too.” “Hurts, habits, and hang-ups” are psychological terms used by psychologists and psychotherapists to counsel their clients. Again, Rick Warren has contradicted himself by using psychological terminology instead of addressing behaviors as “sin” according to God’s word, the Bible. Interestingly, addressing a person’s “hurts” focuses on a person’s past which plain and simple equalizes the correct definition of “recovery” when God’s word instructs us to press forward and not dwell upon our past (see note on #2 under “This recovery program is based on God’s word”).

Rick Warren also says, “This recovery program is based on God’s Word, the Bible. When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, he began by stating “Eight Ways to Be Happy.”  Today we call them the Beatitudes.   From a conventional viewpoint, most of these statements didn’t make sense.   They sounded like contradictions.  But when you fully understand what Jesus is saying, you’ll realize that these eight principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth, and spiritual maturity.”

The recovery program is based on God’s word, the Bible? I have a very difficult time accepting that statement considering the following:

1. Several days ago,  I sent an e-mail exposing the distortions of the 12 steps and Biblical comparisons. A “Biblically-based, Christ-centered” program does not distort Biblical scripture by incorrectly placing scriptures where they do not belong and entirely misintrepreting their meanings using the 12 steps.

2. Additionally, if it was truly based on God’s word, members would be encouraged to constantly move forward in their walk with Jesus Christ, not repeatedly focusing on the past. 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Philippians 3: 12-13 make it clear we should not dwell on the past in order to get to where we need to be in Jesus Christ.

3. A point which will be briefly discussed shortly is that this program has components of psychology and psychotherapy involved. A program cannot be based on God’s word that utilizes psychotherapy in small group settings, not to mention that the CR program itself has simply taken psychological concepts from Carl Jung and Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

CELEBRATE RECOVERY CONTRADICTION #5

Rick Warren also says, “This recovery program is forward-looking.   Rather than wallowing in the past, or dredging up and rehearsing painful memories over and over, Celebrate Recovery focuses on the future.  Regardless of what has already happened, the solution is to start making wise choices now and depend on Christ’s power to help me make those changes.

As mentioned at the start, the term “recovery” is meant to repeatedly focus on one’s past. An illustration – I recently saw a sign in my hometown in front of the parking lot to the electric department. It was a sign for “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” The idea is that America must “recover” from the financial mistakes of its past in order to reinvest and get back to where it needs to be financially. How can a program be “forward-looking” when it repeatedly holds members accountable for past sins and conduct?

Rick Warren claims, “This recovery program emphasized spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ.  The 3rd principle calls for people to make a total surrender of their lives to Christ.  Lasting recovery cannot happen without this step.  Everybody needs Jesus.  Celebrate Recovery is thoroughly evangelistic in nature.  In fact, the first time I took our entire church through this program over 500 people prayed to receiver Christ on a single weekend.  It was an amazing spiritual harvest.  And during the ten week series that I preached to kick-off this program, our attendance grew by over 1,500 people!  Don’t be surprised if this program becomes the most effective outreach ministry in your church.  Today, nearly 73% of the people who’ve been through Celebrate Recovery have come from outside our church.  Changed lives always attract others who want to be changed.”

“Lasting recovery” cannot occur without total “surrender”? How do you expect people to totally “surrender” their lives to Jesus Christ when they are told they will never, ever “recover” from their past? People who do totally surrender their lives to Jesus Christ once and for all are completely forgiven of their sins (read Hebrews 10:14) – they have recovered once and for all, and any attempts to constantly bring up their past is nothing more than a tactic of Satan to keep them in bondage to their sins.

Rick boasts how 500 people prayed to “receive Christ” as their personal Savior the first time he took the entire church through the program. He then claims how the attendance numbers skyrocketed to 1,500. Sadly, the truth is that this is just one example of the “fruit” of modern evangelistic techniques. It is safe to say the majority of those 500 people who “prayed to receive Christ” backslid and were nothing more than false converts. I am not saying that is true of every single one of the 500 people who prayed, but making a “quick-decision” for Jesus is not Biblical. The attendance growth was over 1,500? Rick, are you more interested in numbers or are you more interested in the number of people who are genuinely and soundly converted in Jesus Christ? From your claims, it seems you are more interested in the “numbers game”. Larger numbers have never proven to equalize the number of people who are faithfully serving the Lord. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite. Most people today who make “quick decisions” for Jesus Christ fall away entirely, and many churches cannot account for the many converts who left their churches due to a watered-down gospel message.

RW also says, “73% of the people who’ve been through Celebrate Recovery have come from outside the church.” Where did he obtain this statistic? Where and how was this data obtained? Furthermore, since he doesn’t state precisely how this statistic was obtained, is the percentage truly accurately representative of the more than 4,500 churches that host a CR ministry? Let us also look at the phrase “outside the church.” Does he mean “outside” the Christian church as a whole or simply outside the specific churches where individual CR ministries are operated? Sorry to say, but during my 2 1/2 years in Celebrate Recovery, no one in CR ever polled me to find out if I was from outside the specific church where the CR ministry was operated. Likewise, I never recall the leaders of the CR ministries where I attended ever taking a poll to discover and validate this statistical claim of Rick Warren.

Any ministry that is truly “Biblical” and “Christ-centered” will ONLY use the Bible as the final authority – not the 12 steps, not psychological professional authority, and certainly not psychotherapeutic techniques.

*****
JAN WARD IS NOW OFFICIALLY BANNED FROM POSTING ON THIS WEBSITE

    I am open to posting someone with an opposing view. But to ignite me to approve it, I have to see documented evidence any of us have born false witness or any Scripture to refute any points made. She has done neither, but simply goes on rant after rant with ad hominem attacks and insults, refuses correction, and refuses to repent. So unless and until she provides proof anyone on this blog has slandered and she supplies Scripture to refute any of the Scriptures or posts that Celebrate Recovery principality is not riddled with false teachings, and stumbling the least of these my children, or she capitulates with total repentance, she is officially banned from posting on this website. The attacks of Jan Ward without proof or evidence of charges is typical of all Purpose Driven Pastors and disciples of Rick Warren…not just with his Celebrate Recovery.

    Jan Ward has made serious charges against posters on this blog. She should not wonder why we might not post her attacks, since proof of her charges are without evidence. Slanderers will not enter the kingdom and bearing false witness against a brother is an abomination to the Lord:

    Pro 12:22 Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.

    1Cr 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    Sincerely in Christ,
    James Sundquist
    Director
    *****

    DISCLAIMER:  Rock Salt Publishing was founded by author James Sundquist as a volunteer discernment ministry to assist those who have been affected by the abuse of ecclesiastical power or false doctrine.  The contents of all of the emails, articles, blogs, books and broadcasts have been researched very thoroughly and carefully.  Where applicable, both documentation and supportive Scripture references are provided.  It is a very serious matter to bring charges against any organization or individual, and therefore if anyone reading these charges is able to substantiate that they are false, please bring this to our attention.

  1. Tleetech
    April 14th, 2014 at 13:46 | #1

    Why are you bashing something helpful? Why don’t you use your time and energy on something more productive? If you want to teach the gospel then teach as it is written, but leave your bashing at home.

    Who cares what you think? As long as there are men there will always be a difference of opinion and interpretation of the Bible.

    It appears to me you could benefit from CR and from the Bible. Instead of focusing on what others are doing. Why not emulate Christ.

  2. April 6th, 2014 at 06:27 | #2

    @Harry Ward

    Harry is spot on:

    2Pe 1:3
    seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

    Because of The Holy Spirit, there never has been a need nor will there be ever for a program to follow Jesus and walk in His power!

  3. April 6th, 2014 at 06:16 | #3

    To Tom:
    I will be direct…

    There is nothing more “legalistic” and “fact distorting” than telling someone to commit to man made steps and principles to follow Jesus.

    Remember,
    The CR teaching above all boasts about how it is “Bible based” and “Christ centered” When one studies what is actually taught direct from the CR text, (I did because after two years involvement I almost started my own meeting) the truth of these comments proves something quite different from their boasts.

    How is this Christ centered or Biblically based:
    CR 342 “The solution is to become your own loving parent….You will recover the child within you, learning to accept and love yourself.”

    And this is a humanistic and biblically false statement:
    CR 350 “Jesus taught….A love of self forms the basis for loving others.

    Look honestly/truthfully at what is taught. The actual teaching is heavily marbled with psychobabble non-sense and scripture distortions. How then anyone could possibly call this Bible based or Christ centered?
    • Jesus did not teach any of this!
    • Nor His disciples!

    We are warned, so clearly, never to run ahead of The Lord’s teachings, nor add to, nor subtract from Gods Words. I highly suggest to anyone involved with any form of syncretistic teaching and Bible distortions to stop, turn to Jesus and choose to truly follow in His steps only, never any man-made steps.

    “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”
    Act 3:19

    Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
    Matthew 14:31

    Only a servant, pointing towards Jesus only,
    Brian D. Kercheval

  4. Tom Keller
    April 5th, 2014 at 21:51 | #4

    @Harry Ward

    As I said, knowledge without understanding is a very dangerous thing, especially in the hands of those that believe they can judge the relationship someone else has with Christ. I don’t know which CR program you worked with, or in what church, or what that church believed. There are entire churches that teach reliance on works rather than the redeeming grace of Christ. The steps won’t save your soul either. I have never disputed that at all. However, as far as chemical dependency goes, those that are truly addicted need medical attention. Withdrawl is a very dangerous and life threatening ordeal. Seizures, hypertensive crisis with a high risk for stroke, cardiac arrest, hallucinations, etc., are all in play and happen. I am a firm believer that God uses men (saved or not), through modern medicine, to save lives regardless of the condition of the persons soul at the time. If you’re not alive, you can’t make any more choices, and in the throws of addiction it is very difficult to reason. What I do not see here is anyone, no not one, that is doing anything other than condemning something that is saving physical lives. No one is offering an alternative. I guarantee you more people are hearing about Jesus through Celebrate Recovery than they are here, and they are actually being confronted with the concept of God in AA halls regardless of someone being there to lead them to the truth. I go to AA just for that reason, because there are people there searching. I suggest you go and seek the lost right where you believe the wrong thing being done; but not with a haughty, I warned them heart, but with the love and compassion that we are to have for all people. But alas, that would be an endeavour that required perseverance, a humble spirit, and a decision not to try and prove that you are the only one in the room that holds the keys to the truth. I will continue to pray for you Harry. Saved by Grace and not of works, lest any man should boast. Tom

  5. April 4th, 2014 at 05:53 | #5

    @Tom Keller

    @Tom Keller
    Tom – you bring up an interesting point with your statement “if you are so sure what you have to offer is how to meet people where there are, then go and find them”

    I have JESUS and HE has commissioned all believers in CHRIST to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…Mark 16:15

    JESUS wants us to introduce people who dont yet know HIM to the love and grace of GOD available to them in CHRIST. The only way we can be effective witnesses is through the power of the HOLY SPIRIT and while I have not follow HIS comission as much as I know HE would want me to I have gone and shared the gospel and have given my testimony with readiness.

    My testimony of how JESUS delivered me from a 30 year life of the sins of drug and alcohol abuse is one of the most extraordinary events in my walk with the LORD and it is because of HIS deliverance that I now have the strenght, courage, peace and wisdom that goes beyond any human understanding. This is why I also have a heart for anyone who may be living this same life style today.

    As a small group leader of the celebrate recovery program at my church for almost 2 years JESUS showed me the need to reach out to those who were placing their trust in the 12 step programs like aa na and cr.

    As believers in CHRIST we have been comissioned to “go” and not to bring these type of programs into GOD`S house – which is exactly what john baker and rick warran have done with the 12 step program.

    JESUS does not program people nor does HE force anyone to accept HIM or HIS Ways, HE gives us free wills because HE knows this is the only way to a right relationship with HIM.

    I stepped down as a leader at cr because my testimony went against everything the 12 steps were programming their members to believe.

    As for your comments concerning grace – there is great danger of abusing grace as an excuse to do things your way…For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men who turn the grace of our GOD into lewdness, and deny the only LORD GOD and our LORD JESUS CHRIST…Jude 1:4

    By your own admission you have received knowledge of the truth yet you have denied CHRIST’S redemptive work at Calvary by pointing others to secular world programs.

    For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries…Hebrews 10:26,27

    This worldly modern secular knowledge and wisdom you speak is but foolishness to GOD.
    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with GOD.
    For it is written,
    “HE catches the wise in their own craftiness…1 Corinthians 3:19

    And no one is save through such foolishness

    For it is written:
    I will destroy the wisdom of the wise , and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent…1 Corinthians 1:19

    Your words and the direction you are pointing others goes beyond my responsibility as a believer in CHRIST to pray for you.

    There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that…1 John 5:16 B

    It is my prayer that no one would be drawn away from CHRIST and into your fold as a result of your perversed direction.

    For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you,
    not sparing the flock, also from among yourselves men will rise up,
    speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves…Acts 20:29,30

    Seeking counsel from the dead will only lead to destruction…1 Samuel 28.7

    As believers in CHRIST our testimonies should be an affirmation and declaration for CHRIST -
    not a program .

    I would encourage everyone to put their trust in CHRIST and CHRIST alone…then HE will comfort you by showing you that you dont have to do this thing called life on your own.

    Talk no more so very proudly:
    Let no arrogrance come from your mouth,
    For the LORD is the GOD of understanding :
    And by HIM actions are weighed…1 Samuel 2:3

    In CHRIST
    Harry

  6. Tom Keller
    March 30th, 2014 at 03:05 | #6

    A good bit of word smithing, fact distortion, legalism, and rampant anger are pretty apparent here. Not the righteous kind of anger but the prideful arrogant type. I think even secular recovery groups would be helpful for most of the folks here that really are unsure what the difference is between knowledge and wisdom. I’ll pray that what you are doing here does not interfere with someone finding a program that saves their physical life so that they can come to knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Trying to prove a point here is not getting one alcoholic, drug addict, or sinner of any other nature into or returned to the fold. If you are so sure that what you have to offer is how to meet people where they are and put them on the pathway to heaven and help them to a mature, steadfast walk with the Lord then go and find them. I really think this is one of the biggest problems there is with “religious” folks……..we forget that we are all in a constant state of recovery from the sin of the past and present, nor will we ever be free of sinning in the future simply because of grace. I don’t really see any real benefit to bashing Celebrate Recovery in a forum that will possibly prevent someone from seeking out help that is designed to point them in the right direction. Many people are dying in the grips of sin while Christians are here puffing out their chests in “righteous” indignation instead of putting their energy into seeking the lost. May we all live by the most important command of loving thy neighbor as thyself and get off of our legalistic high horse and go help others. I’m Tom, a sinner and child of God,who happens to have been released from the grips of acute alcoholism by a modern, secular, 12 step treatment facility, provided by the grace of God so that I could begin to reason in a sober way and crawl back to the cross.

  7. March 6th, 2014 at 10:44 | #7

    @Brian D Kercheval

    @Barbara
    Barbara – I was ensalved to the sins of drug and alcohol abuse for over 30 years. I have attended many aa and na 12 step meetings as well as being a speaker and group leader at these meetings.
    I have learned that we must make it clear from the beginning that recovery and the Gospel are not the same. As you should know the speakers and most of those attending these meetings become the main character of the meetings and tell their stories…as Christians we know that it is not our story that leads to salvation but GOD`S story which we get to be a part of as followers and worshipers of the great “I AM”…it is only through hearing HIS word that JESUS meets us where we are and then challenges us to follow HIM in obedience to HIS word, not a program. How we respond to GOD`S word reflects what type of heart we have. When we try and reach those with the Gospel or quote scripture to those who are already in a less than ideal circumstance one of the most common responces is that we are judging…as Christians we know that JESUS is the JUDGE and whether we like it or not GOD allows the righteous and the wicked to live along side one another in the world, the church is a different story, we know that not all have faith. This situation will change one day. When JESUS returns HE will be seperating 2 things. Those who believe and trusted in HIM and those who did not. At that time those who have accepted GOD`S plan for salvation will be in heaven for enternity —forever. Those whose chose to follow satan and have rejected GOD`S plan for salvation will be sent to hell for eternity —forever.
    There will not be 3 groups or 4 groups or 10, as many would like to believe ..there will only be 2 groups.
    Take CHRIST as your SAVIOUR , a perfect example and do not lose your soul through some program.

  8. March 1st, 2014 at 17:16 | #8

    “You can believe a whole lot of foolish things, but God doesn’t want you to do that. He wants your faith to rest upon the Word of God.” ~ J. Vernon McGee

  9. Barbara
    February 28th, 2014 at 16:15 | #9

    Hi y’all,
    Stumbled onto this website, and frankly everyones comments are disturbing and here is why. (I mean no offense in anyway)

    The big thing for me here is that us, as Christians forget that we weren’t always Christian. If I wasn’t for AA I would not be saved today.

    God…not man….led me to AA, and I was damaged goods from my childhood. (alcohol/drug addiction just a symptom of the problem) Damaged, in the way of “religion abuse”.

    I came to AA not being able to fathom the idea of a “higher power”. I was very resistant to it because god was always used by my father to punish me, and after being in recovery for 26 years (and getting saved when I had 10 years), I’ve spoken to many many (100′s) people who come in and have had the abusive experiences where god is concerned, and some of them are horribly unbelievable. (I do not capitalize the name god in that last sentence because that is not the ONE we know. Ours is loving, gracious and merciful.

    You guys no better than anyone, that shoving our beliefs down anyone’s throat is nothing but more damaging.

    Matthew 5:16
    In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

    Philippians 2:1-30
    So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus

    Let’s put it this way guys, please don’t put down something that is saving lives and eventually leading people to Christ. It took me 10 years to finally receive Christ. And trust me it was His timing. Not in mans. Please be patient and remember that we don’t know where people come from and the things that they have been living with their whole lives. Compassion, patience and love as Jesus would have it.

    Anyways…please stop judging. Be more like Jesus and accept people where they are at.
    God bless you.

  10. February 11th, 2014 at 11:56 | #10

    there so so many both unbelievers and believers bound with alchohol,sex,food,gambling,
    violence,proverty,spiritual abuse,drugs..etc.
    we need more ministries in the usa like mercy ministries,caring for the heart, don dickerman’s ministries, and ellel-scotland!!!!!!!!
    ministries that are not “programs” but get to the spiritual root problems then proceed to the practical life of the victim.
    We need more of them all over the usa.

  11. November 19th, 2013 at 08:28 | #11

    In all things, both for now and forever.
    Our answer is not syncretistic pseudo-biblical teachings of steps nor programs of eclecticism such as CR,

    Only Jesus Christ Himself!

  12. November 7th, 2013 at 20:05 | #12

    @Kinley
    Kinley

    You may want to consider what a true “Saint” does:
    • REPENT
    • Ask The Lord for forgiveness
    • If they sin against another person, ask for their forgiveness
    • Rely on The Holy Spirit for healing, transformation and guidance
    • Stay accountable solely to God alone

    In The Bible there are stated responsibilities but there is no such thing as being neither “accountable” towards anyone (sponsor) nor anything else (church/meetings). These are teachings that come from the religion of recovery, all made up by men for the purpose of self-justification.
    Biblical accountability is always to God, and God alone, anything other is adultery. “Admitting” ones sin may be admirable but without repentance all of the sin remains.
    You mention “love, grace, and mercy” but exactly as throughout all of the CR teachings, you have failed in addressing the truth found in the scriptures. Jesus never asked anyone to simply admit a sin, He demanded that you REPENT.

    Peter said:
    Act 2:38
    Peter said to them, “REPENT, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    John the Baptist said:
    Mat 3:2
    “REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    All of the Apostles said:
    Mar 6:12
    “They went out and preached that men should REPENT”

    The Prophets said:
    “REPENT”

    Paul said:
    Act 17:30
    “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should REPENT”

    John wrote:
    Rev 2:5
    “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and REPENT and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you REPENT.”

    Jesus said:
    Luk 13:3
    “I tell you, no, but unless you REPENT, you will all likewise perish.

    Mat 4:17
    From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    Mat 11:20
    Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not REPENT.

    One may choose to ignore or side step The Lord’s teaching on this, but I must remind you: “unless you REPENT, you will all likewise perish”

    Remember:
    Act 3:19
    “Therefore REPENT and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”

    With The Love of The Lord Jesus,
    Brian D. Kercheval

  13. October 2nd, 2013 at 06:38 | #13

    @Kinley
    Some may think:
    “this blog about recovery lacks the basic characteristics of Christ, which is love & grace”

    When one studies what is actually written in The Bible regarding false teachers, (all of it), and especially how Jesus himself confronted false teachers you will only then know how God deals with such. In Mat 23 Jesus publically conveys a blistering diatribe directly at false teachers. He says to them: “Woe to you…you hypocrites” “whitewashed tombs” “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers” “You serpents, you brood of vipers” and then pronounces judgment on them “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” “how will you escape the sentence of hell?”

    In the New Testament alone there is a very large amount of teachings regarding false teachers, how to discern them and what to do with them. I won’t spend time there but suggest listening to a very short presentation by John MacArthur regarding how Jesus addressed the false teachers of the day.

    In this very short video, regarding false teachers John MacArthur conveys an accurate Biblical perspective:
    “We cannot be polite when people’s eternal souls are at stake”…
    http://youtu.be/-d7DGvudvZU

  14. September 29th, 2013 at 07:07 | #14

    @Kinley

    If you think that this:
    “blog about Recovery lacks the basic characteristics of Christ, which is love & grace”

    -What is a “basic characteristics of Christ”-
    Study what is actually written in The Bible about false teachers [all of it] and especially how Jesus himself confronted false teachers. In Mat 23 Jesus publically conveys a blistering diatribe directly at false teachers “Woe to you…you hypocrites” “whitewashed tombs” “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers” “You serpents, you brood of vipers” and then pronounces judgment on them “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” “how will you escape the sentence of hell?”

    In the New Testament alone there is a very large amount of teachings regarding false teachers, how to discern them and what to do with them. I won’t spend time there but suggest listing to a very short presentation by John MacArthur regarding how Jesus addressed false teachers.

    Regarding false teachers, John MacArthur says:
    “We cannot be polite when people’s eternal souls are at stake”…
    http://youtu.be/-d7DGvudvZU

  15. Kinley
    September 26th, 2013 at 14:27 | #15

    I know you mean well, but you have taken everything totally out of context. Your blog about Recovery lacks the basic characteristics of Christ, which is love & grace. The bible does not require us to ex-communicate saints that have admitted their sin, asked for help, and are answering to accountability in the church. You are way off base here. I hope you never find yourself struggling with a particular sin or issue brother. May God open your eyes to authentic love, grace, and mercy that can only come from the Holy Spirit…

  16. September 13th, 2013 at 05:03 | #16

    Did the 12 steps originate from God?

    -There is no speculation here-
    Bill Wilson, co-founder of A.A, writer of the 12 steps and the AA 12×12 book was more than enamored with the occult; Wilson was entrenched in and motivated by it (Ouija boards / Séances / Channeling). Much worse than only taking part in these unholy activities, later in his life he could not stop the familiar spirits (yes, actual demonic spirits) from coming and going / entering and leaving him as they please.

    Now, how could anyone be so dull as to follow [any] of the teachings from such a person? Especially within the body of Christ!

    - A related short article-
    with reference has been written by an ex-drunkard / ex-homosexual. My dear brother John found The Lord, His presence in his life, and The Lords teaching through His Word. Like many of us, with great study, John looked into the truth and facts regarding the writer of and the origin of the 12 steps:
    http://mywordlikefire.com/2008/09/24/seances-spirits-and-12-steps

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