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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. Matt Nolan
    October 18th, 2014 at 10:13 | #1

    @Ron
    Simply put, C.R. is on a nightly basis led by people that lead a shame based life that have not understood the meaning of repentance and healing. A.A. is also led by people who regularly use God and profanity in the same sentence. And for the record, Psychology and Psychiatry are not a secular creation designed at confusing a person and taking all of their money. They do not prohibit a Christ-led life. Rather, they are a way to understand the imbalances of human nature, as well as our physical nature. There are many that love God with all of their heart that because of depression, etc., need assistance from trained professionals. It’s called healthcare. The study and diagnoses of the human mind is not an exact science. Far from it, but finding the truth in human behavior is critically important for everyone of us. God did not put us on this planet to live in a religious box, no, he asks us to use our minds and talents to glorify Him and lift each other up. We live in this world, and like it or not we are a part of it. Religious extremism leads to isolation and ignorance. God knows our hearts, and we don’t have to constantly try to show others how strong our faith is. God knows!

  2. September 14th, 2014 at 07:46 | #2

    @David
    Excerpt: John MacArthur
    From: “The Truth War”

    “Others would formally affirm Christ’s sovereignty and spiritual headship over the church, but they resist His rule in practice. To cite just one instance of how this is done, many churches have set various forms of human psychology, self-help therapy, and the idea of ‘recovery’ in place of the Bible’s teaching about sin and sanctification.” …”So wherever the work of God’s Word is being replaced with twelve-step programs and other substitutes, Christ’s headship over the church is being denied in practice.”
    ———————————————
    David,
    Well before I made the decision to comment on CR, my primary / only study target was Matthew 5, this because of the heavy reliance regarding the doctrine of Celebrate Recovery. I found all of the implementation of Mat 5 as used by CR is incorrect, a distortion of the original intent of Jesus. It would be good for those with doubt of this to research.
    Below is only a start (some) of the references that I have studied regarding Mat 5 and I would be glad to send anyone the direct links. Because many of these articles / audio / video teachings are well over an hour in length, my personal study notes as well.

    You may understand that some of us take this “sound doctrine” matter very seriously…
    Solely using the platform of God’s Word is final authority, I suggest those interested to study.

    Tit 2:1
    “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for SOUND DOCTRINE”

    1Ti 4:6
    “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the SOUND DOCTRINE which you have been following”

    2Ti 4:3
    “For the time will come when they will not endure SOUND DOCTRINE; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”…

    Tit 1:9
    holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in SOUND DOCTRINE and to refute those who contradict.

    Henry Alford -Greg Allen – William Barclay – Albert Barnes – Brian Bell – Chip Bell – Johann Bengel – Joseph Benson – Biblical Illustrator – Brian Bill – Brian Bill – John Broadus – William Burkitt – John Calvin – Cambridge Greek – Arthur Carr – Rich Cathers – Oswald Chambers – Knox Chamblin – Adam Clarke – Thomas Constable – W A Criswell – David Crump – Ron Daniel – Bob Deffinbaugh – John Dummelow – J Ligon Duncan – Early Church Fathers – Explore the Bible – Expositor’s Bible – Expositor’s Greek – Don Fortner – A C Gaebelein – Gene Getz – John Gibson – John Gill – Gospel Coalition – L C Grant – Greek Testament – Joe Guglielmo – David Guzik – Danny Hall – James Hastings – Robert Hawker – Doug Heck – Matthew Henry – Greg Herrick – David Hocking – F B Hole – Holman Study – David Holwick – Robert Horton – H A Ironside – IVP Commentary – Jamieson, F, B – S Lewis Johnson – William Kelly – Steve Kreloff – Keith Krell – Paul Kretzmann – Lange Commentary – David Legge – John Lightfoot – John MacArthur – Alexander Maclaren – Bryn MacPhail – J Vernon McGee – Gary Meadors – F B Meyer – H A W Meyer – J R Miller – G Campbell Morgan – Henry Morris – Robert Neighbour – Phil Newton – Net Bible Notes – James Nisbet – James Orr – Joseph Parker – Peter Pett – A W Pink – John Piper – Matthew Poole – Preacher’s Homiletical – Ray Pritchard – Pulpit Commentary – Robert Rayburn – Arend Remmers – Grant Richison – A T Robertson – Allen Ross – J C Ryle – Johnny Sanders – Rob Salvato – David P Scaer – Phillip Schaff – Sermon Bible – Charles Simeon – Chuck Smith – Speakers Commentary – C H Spurgeon – John Stevenson – Harry Sturz – Joseph Sutcliffe – John Trapp – Treasury of Scripture – David Turner – Bob Utley – Marvin Vincent – John Walvoord – Thomas Watson – Daniel Whedon – Steve Zeisler – Precept Ministries – Chuck Swindoll – Warren Wiersbe – Precept Austin – A.W. Tozer – Martin Luther – Encyclopedia of Christianity

    Always,
    With the love from The Lord Jesus, our Christ,
    Brian D. Kercheval

  3. David
    September 2nd, 2014 at 15:20 | #3

    @Brian D. Kercheval
    for Biblical support read the Beatitudes Matthew 5

  4. Tony Whitehead
    August 20th, 2014 at 14:22 | #4

    Greetings all! I would just like to make a simple point (or two). If we approach any organization, or group, with the intent of disproving them, we can. It simply does not matter who, or what, it is. There will always be people who “it didn’t work for.” Whatever the addiction, recovery is possible, it begins with a recognition of the issue (confession), continues with a true effort and decision to change and grow (repentance), and ends with an embracing of God’s grace (rejuvenation). All three of the steps are Biblical. When we come to Christ, we acknowledge and confess our sins, repent of them, and are rejuvenated into a life with Him through His gift of grace.

    The truth is, unless we are serious about overcoming our addictions, and have made the decision to do so, no program, no amount of counseling, nothing will help us do so. I have seen this time and again, both in my own struggles with addictions, and in the lives of friends.

    Simply put, the programs of man are fallible, but God’s plan of redemption is not. With that said, even those “fallible” programs can be used by God to reach deep into the lives of those who truly seek His help. God is faithful and just.

    As for costs, I am hard pressed to offer the name of a single writer, doctor, lawyer, etc…that offers their services completely free of charge. Even “pro bono” lawyers receive pay from the government subsidies. The truth is, it costs money to put programs together, to print books and css, etc… Where should those costs be covered from? If it is the church budgets that should finance it, are you willing to give extra to help cover it? Because the truth is, everything a church does is paid for by those within the congregation who give their money to support the ministry of the church, and often that is just enough to pay the basics, and not extras. What few people realize is that with the exception of a few large churches and the mega churches (which only account for about 5% of the churches in America), the average church is about 50 people, and can barely afford to pay a part-time, bi-vocational pastor, who often works two or three jobs to support his family and takes care of the church (I speak from personal experience here, so please do not insult me by attempting to correct me here). My point is this, often these small churches can only attempt to help through these ministries by asking for the participants to pay a fee to cover the costs.

    I ask you this, if the event was not sponsored by a church, would the argument about fees still be made?

    I think way to often we fail to consider why things are done a certain way, and too quickly jump to simply “prove our point.” We need to take a step back and consider the entire picture before making decisions.

    Blessings to you all,
    Tony

  5. August 12th, 2014 at 12:43 | #5

    @John P.
    John – Instead of taking the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST out to the 12 step cult Warran and Baker have brought this cult into the church – It is that simple –

    They have also turned many churches / assemblies into an enterprise with their purpose driven materail.

    If you want to know the truth about the 12 steps then I would encourage you to go to some of their meetings – they meet almost hourly in almost every city accross the U.S. under the names AA or NA – try and share what Warren and Baker have done to their founding father bill wilson’s 12 steps/vision that he claims to have gotten from a god while in a straight jacket in a mental ward while at a phychiatric hospital …

    while many churches today may believe that there is something CHRIST centered or biblically based about wilson`s vision or warran and bakers version of it I can asure you that the churches are much more acceptable to wison`s steps than the AA and NA groups will be to warran and bakers version of it.

  6. John P.
    August 8th, 2014 at 20:51 | #6

    I completed the Celebrate Recovery 12 step program at the church that was proud to be the first church in Oklahoma to bring CR into the state on October 4, 2013. I can honestly tell you that completing the 12 step program did absolutely NOTHING to better my life. The funny thing is that I stumbled upon this church in Tulsa, OK by accident. I had just moved to Tulsa from Oklahoma City after living in OKC for 33 years. I started attending the first Baptist church that was close to my apartment and it turns out that this just happens to be the church that introduced CR to the state of Oklahoma, and their leaders trained other churches in Oklahoma to hosts CRs of their own. I wasted a year and a half of my life in this silly money making program. In my earlier life I had struggled with drugs and alcohol, but had been 3 years clean when I started CR at this church. It must be noted that at this time in my life, I really didn’t need the program, I was looking for a way to get some good ministry experience. However, in the process I embarked upon many things that I don’t feel the Lord Jesus Christ would have considered love. I not only experienced very power hungry leaders, but also leaders that were EXTREMELY eager to get money into the CR ministry. Is it just me or was Jesus angry when he discovered people selling goods in the temple??? At the end of each CR meeting you always had leaders selling books, t-shirts, and other merchandise. I saw guest speakers such as local psychologists and psychiatrists coming to give special guest appearances and talk about such issues as relationships and divorce but they always tried to sell their programs at a discounted price!!! I will never forget the time that one of these “speakers” came to talk about the effects of divorce and I was so intrigued by what he was saying that I just had to go up to the podium and talk to him when he was done. The first thing out of his mouth was “You should buy our program on CD, its only 169.99″. I was shocked. You have this successful husband and wife psychologists couple who are very well off, have lots of money, but that’s not enough??? They have to come into my church, the church that I pay tithes and offerings, and you have the never to ask these Celebrate Recovery members for money??? You have to be kidding me!!! What ever happened to doing something for the church out of the goodness of your hearts??? This is what Celebrate Recovery, Rick Warren, and John Baker are all about…Money!!! Do you know how many people I met in CR that have going through the CR 12 step program 6,7,8, sometimes 10 times??? They try to convince you that you are “NEVER DONE WITH RECOVERY”. This is such a lie. People that are struggling with addiction should be able to get their rehab and recovery, then get on with their lives. When people are trying to say that you will “NEVER” be done, and you find yourself continually investing money into this crap, than it’s time to ask yourself, why is this happening. People, I was a leader of this bullcrap ministry called CR, I did the 12 step, and I can’t wait to throw my 12 step coin into a river. I want to throw my 12 step coin to a body of water before a large group of people that have also been lied to and deceived by this corrupt ministry. People, get your rehab, get your recovery, and then get on with your lives! You owe to yourselves. Amen.

  7. Ron
    August 8th, 2014 at 17:51 | #7

    CR. Great program for me. If you actually work all the steps, have a sponsor and accountability partners you will grow in Christ. If your just kicking the tires by just stepping in and out of the meetings, come back when your serious about helping others with your 12th step. Not a program for the ” Ill give a shot and see if I like it people”. This is serious stuff with great spiritual payback, if you let it.

  8. August 6th, 2014 at 13:13 | #8

    Harry,

    I am not sure what happened. For some reason I did not get any emails regarding these. Thanks for letting me know and I will check into it. God bless.

    Aaron

  9. August 6th, 2014 at 12:53 | #9

    I had some comments awaiting moderation for over 2 weeks and now they are gone . What hapened to these comments ?

  10. Alanna T
    July 29th, 2014 at 15:06 | #10

    @Brent

    Brent I strongly encourage you to go to a meeting which is FREE. If money is an issue for you let them know at the resource table and someone should be able to cover you. Many CR’s have copies of everything set aside to give to those in need who cannot afford.

  11. July 24th, 2014 at 11:38 | #11

    @Brent
    Brent – i have seen the confusion these programs cause in the churches so i must ask are you seeking a relationship with JESUS CHRIST or simply help from an addiction ? It would be a great sin for anyone especially someone involved with a church to use an occasion such as yours to imply that GOD`S free gift of grace was not free at all. Brent we must have a relationship with GOD if we are to claim HIS promises. A relationship comes before any request.

    In CHRIST
    Harry

  12. Brent
    June 30th, 2014 at 06:46 | #12

    I am searching for help for my addictions. Several CR programs are operating in my area. I like that they claim their higher power as Jesus. I paid for a very short 177 page introductory book on Amazon, it is ok. But what I’m noticing is they have NO free resources on their home page. Why so much emphasis on money? I’m just trying to find help.

  13. June 24th, 2014 at 10:51 | #13

    @james
    Freddie – what characteristics would you use to describe a goodie-two-shoes ?

  14. Glenn W.
    June 22nd, 2014 at 01:50 | #15

    First, It’s late. I’ve been reading about this subject for 5 hours, and my Vyvanse (ADHD medicine) is wearing off. If my grammar isn’t the best, just go with it. It will be worth the 2 minuets of your life.

    I’ve never been one for blogging, because honestly I really don’t think much of people’s opinions unless you are a very funny comic, can present a theory, concept or different view of the world that makes me question what I believe. For example: reading everyone else’s opinion that kept on repeating and repeating what they already posted. You know who you are!!! You peeps who stand on different sides of the volleyball court definitely all have one thing in common besides Jesus. All of you believe Repetition is the key to learning, and all of you use it well!

    Now to the fun stuff! I could of started off by posting my religious pedagogy, mission field work in numerous countries, give some silly generic greeting like, “Said in the Love of Christ,” or dump my baggage about how I’ve been abused in all aspects of my life, but really… How cares? You have to get over it, and move on. No matter how you choose to build that bridge and walk over it, it’s a personal choice. We all have problems. We all have been deeply hurt. We all have hurt someone deeply in this life time. It’s part of living in a fallen world. Sin is complicated. Eve ate the “apple.” Can’t take it back… No matter how much you chase down the questions you want answers too, you will never fulling get the answer you are truly seeking. “Why me God? This isn’t fair!” I was once told by a wise man the reason being is you don’t serve a fair God you serve a Just God.” Heavy, I know. Please take a second to think about it.

    With that said, and I hope I didn’t loose you already. It gets better. Promise. I’ve learned a few things in this life time that may apply to everyone reading this. First, you can never teach anyone who thinks they know it all. Next, the moment you think you are ABSOLUTELY right you just became wrong. Pride likes to trip you up and place a boo boo on your knees, elbows, and chin. It’s happened to me plenty of times. Call me the sinner that is just a saint that fell down, but got back up. (Mr. Fred Hammond, that song never get’s old.)

    Maybe it’s just me, but debates like this are what an unbelieving world find so unbelievable. (Yes, sweet DC Talk sound byte through back!) Why would we spend so much time debating over “programs” when people need food, clean water, clothes, medical care, and holes in souls that need to be filled by the Agape love we ALL believe in?

    My Bible tells me, and I paraphrase, ” I only know in part…” It tells me, (paraphrase) One day I will instantly gain all knowledge…” Also, (that’s right! paraphrase) The kingdom of Heaven is inside me…”

    If you feel what I am about to put together is out of context thank you for proving my point made earlier. If the Kingdom of Heaven is inside of me then so is a part of God that I can only know, and understand. IT MAKES IT MY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP! One day when I move on from this beautiful, mortal, washable, body, I’m going to look up at Papa and say, “I gave it my all. When you put that person in front of me that needed to hear your words, needed money, or just a hug I might of missed some, but I hope I still passed. I got the basics of believing in You correct… So how did I do?” But, most importantly the words/melody of a prophet, singer, song writer will be echoing through my soul while standing in all of the All Mighty. I don’t know what the rules are about posting videos from YouTube, but it’s a Christian artist named eLi. I hope you can click on the link and listen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npcJPd_4Dc8

    If you can’t open the link here are the words and cords:

    Title: Hypocrite Song
    Artist: Eli
    Album: Second Hand Clothing
    Copyright 1999 Songs On the ForeFront (SESAC)
    This rhythm guitar part

    Lyrics posted with express permission from Eli (This was from the website http://www.higherpraise.com/lyrics/so-beautiful/beautiful10954.htm )

    Intro: G C Em C

    G
    I’ve been quick to point a finger
    C
    At things I find outrageous
    Em
    Well, I wonder who I’ll point at
    C
    When I read my life on pages
    Em
    When I’ve played my final number
    C
    It really won’t take long
    D C G
    To realize I sang a hypocrite song

    Chorus:
    C G
    Oh ly-dee-dye, oh ly-dee-dee
    Em
    I thank the Lord that there’s a Heaven
    C D
    Full of hypocrites like me
    G
    So tell the angels to get ready
    C
    Cuz it may not be too long
    D C G
    Until I come and sing my hypocrite song

    I preach about redemption
    As I look you in the face
    Then I’m convinced I must be dyin’
    But it’s just somethin’ that I ate
    But it’s Jesus who gives mercy
    To make a weak man strong
    So he can stand and sing
    His hypocrite song

    Repeat Chorus

    Solo over:
    G C (2x)
    Em C
    D C G

    I can’t wait to see my Savior
    And look Him in the face
    Shake His hand and plainly thank Him
    For forgiving my mistakes
    And for helping me remember
    That even when I’m right I’m wrong
    Then we’ll rejoice and sing this hypocrite song

    Repeat Chorus 2x

    Powerful when you think about it!

    I don’t know about you, but I would much rather shovel number 2’s in heaven then have a front row seat in hell looking at the gates with pearls on them. I don’t care if I’m first or last in heaven. I want to be there. (Just another thought to chew on while arguing over how God can change a heart.)

    Almost done. Promise.

    After reading the facts about church ran support groups like CR and others they are not for me. Reason being, I’ve never met a winner take advice from people that constantly loose in order to become better at life. If you want to sore with eagles grow really large wings, or you have to learn to hang glide. I can go into stats about repeat convicts, and why people repeat negative patterns because of the environment they are placed in, but I’ll leave that lecture for another day.

    However, on the flip side to limit a God that created something as vast as the universe made of tiny dark matter particles, and atoms that have their own universes in them (thank you Neal Degrasse Tyson for teaching me that) is the most ignorant/arrogant thing a self proclaiming Christian can do or say. Hate to break it to you, but you either believe in an God that lives in infinity of possibility or you are serving a different God them I am. I can’t lean on my own understanding, I would suggest you don’t either. Your choice (-=

    Big shout out to Pastor Mark Sparks ( number 1) who I met at The Mission DC years ago. He told me, “A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.” He also said, “Preach it like you stole it” right after! (-= Point being no matter how much scripture either side tosses at this debate, a change of heart happens because GOD MAKES IT HAPPEN! Free will becomes complete! For me it was like finally feeling clean on the inside for the first time. The Word of the Lord doesn’t return void. No matter what words are used to express God’s love for you even if paraphrased lives change! When God’s words are spoken people will be saved! I know because I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. Both sides of the coin. The word of God is not limited to scripture reference and a few sentences after. It’s the Spirit Himself that softens the heart of man so they can have ears to hear. Agree….?

    The feeling becomes real, because God in all three forms is real. I think we all can agree on that point? Right…? Maybe and a body of believers we should worry more about how to transition new believers from the “feeling” to sharing the power of their testimony. I know a lot of churches run from the word, but it’s called discipleship. I’m sure CR has there way of doing it. I think Rick Warren called it in one of his books “The Soft Landing,” or something like that. Whatev.

    In the end God only Cares about 3 things, relationships, relationships, and relationships. The one between you and God, the one between you and others, and the one between you and yourself. How cares how God finds you. Want to know why? BECAUSE HE FINDS YOU! Don’t believe me? “The Spirit of the Lord is roaming to a fro across the Earth, seeking a heart that is completely his…” ( I love Jason Upton’s music too. Call me old school.) I could keep going with witty scripture sayings, and lyrics of songs that are scripture, but I’m thinking everyone that doesn’t think they know it all feels me. But, I could be wrong.

    Okay, one last one!!! IT’s on the house.

    If Jehovah used an as*, or donkey to make a evil sorcerer speak blessings over the Hebrews when he was being paid to curse them. Just imagine what else He could do? Maybe, just maybe He can open your mind up a little bit to agreed to disagree agreeably. I now it’s Steven Covey, but it’s still a good point. Or maybe take off your rose colored glasses to see light in a different way for the first time. No one is saying you have to like it, or change your mind. Just look. I’m talking about both sides! Remember, I may be able to understand group therapy, but I don’t agree with it. Namely I want to be around people who are ahead of me in life, and I want to learn their habits. Misery loves company. I’m tired of feeling negative, and I choose not to surround myself with the “It’s the world’s fault” kind of personality. This is my personal choice. Not saying I’m better then anyone, it’s just my way of thinking.

    Wow, I feel better. This hypocrite who knows enough to know he doesn’t know much is stepping off the soap box.

    And please don’t post this because I didn’t add scripture references with my scripture paraphrases. If you count “The Message” as a bible, (love the book!) I’m spot on with my opinion of the topic. “I’ve hidden His Word in my heart, so I might not sin against him, but not the exact reference in the Good Book. To tired to Google them all. It’s past 3 am. Thank you for my first opportunity to blog. It was fun! Love, Peace, and hair grease to all!!!

  15. June 20th, 2014 at 05:51 | #16

    @Freddie
    “what program do you have that is changing lives for Christ”

    Jesus never made a program nor any form of such.
    Instead He promised The Holy Spirit!
    This is how He works through His follower / True believers, and as a direct example:

    “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” 2Pe 1:3

    This is a simple study yet those who become enamored with their works of programs and such miss the blessings that flows from The Lord. Let me restate this:

    Celebrate recovery is a man-made burden of works/steps and is not of The Lord, nowhere in The Bible does Jesus nor The Apostles or His disciples teach anything similar. The 12 step foundation supersedes Gods anointing Holy Spirit power and the teaching of the Bible with psychology and works. The CR faction, via their works, will always fail to accomplish what The Holy Spirit alone achieves. Everything that CR tries to accomplish is found wanting compared to the natural byproduct of The Holy Spirit alone. “The fruit of the Spirit” is caused exclusively from His anointing, a gift from God and seen only in true believers in Jesus. This true anointing cannot be worked for nor achieved by any form of works, steps, principals or anything else. Therefore, true spiritual growth happens because of Gods will and power, according to His grace and purpose, not the CR works/steps, lest any man should boast. This is the difference between those pretending to be a Christian and trying to act spiritual via “works and steps” or actually being a Christian and having His anointing and supernaturally displaying God’s “love, grace and power”.

    Try as you may, one cannot get from here to there via the works of any program.
    Only by going to Jesus exclusively and directly by faith one can be forgiven, born again, healed and freed from the [bondage of] and [penalty of] sin!

    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Rev 3:20

    On these matters, I suggest:
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    And do not lean on your own understanding. Pro 3:5

    This is the start, the difference between a true faith, trust and reliance upon God compared to a self-righteousness founded on the works of steps and programs.

    “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Rom 8:14

    Always, with The Love of The Lord,
    Brian Kercheval

  16. Freddie
    June 9th, 2014 at 06:57 | #17

    Celebrate Recovery is Great! Sir, it appears to me you have the perfect church, so what program do you have that is changing lives for Christ? “O” how we like to beat-up our brothers and sisters in Christ for doing a good work. Lives are being changed, and people are growing in Christ through this program. My past life is my testimony to give people hope, and showing them what Christ has done for me, and can do the same for you. One more thing Sir, did Paul ever talk about his past, does the Holy Scriptures talk about the past? My past is my testimony on what Christ can do in ones life. You may have always been a goodie-two-shoes Sir, but that is not my story. Thank God for Celebrate Recovery.

    From a former alcoholic and drug addict.
    Celebrate Recovery I am not mad with you.

  17. June 3rd, 2014 at 19:06 | #18

    @Andrea
    – The No Self-Love Commandment –

    If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
    For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

    Jesus does not command self-love, but rather first and foremost our love for God and then the natural byproduct of that love is a genuine love for one another.
    The Bible presents an entirely different basis for love than humanistic psychology preaches. Rather than promoting self-love as the basis for loving others, the Bible says that God’s love is the true and only source. Human love is always contaminated with self-love and may be ultimately self-serving. But God’s love is self-giving. Therefore, when Jesus calls His disciples to deny self and to take up His yoke and His cross, He is calling them to a self-giving love; A love that is solely empowered and led by the Holy Spirit, not a self-awareness love.
    Until the advent of humanistic psychology and its heavy influence in the church, Christians generally thought of self-esteem as a sinful attitude.

    (Jhn 7:38)
    Jesus says:
    “He who [believes] in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

    These “rivers” that flow from ones “innermost being” can have nothing to do with your love for yourself. The Holy Spirit that is poured out and flows through His believers is a gift that cannot be achieved nor attained by any human effort; it is a gift that is given to those who “believe” in Jesus.

    [Believe(s)]
    Koiné Greek = πιστεύω
    Etymology = πίστις
    “to believe,” also “to be persuaded of,” and hence, “to place confidence in, to trust,” signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence. This type of believing has to do with total immersion and commitment.
    This is why following a program of steps, not matter how one works them cannot achieve the gift that is given to those who truly and solely “abide in Christ and are called according to His Purpose”.

    Keep in mind:
    Jesus never wrote any steps to follow, quite the opposite is true.
    Jesus did say:

    “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
    Mat 11:28

    Q: Notice anything missing?
    A: The need, or requirement for anything instilled by man!

    Jesus says “Come to me” Here and throughout the scriptures it is clear that we must go to Him direct, never influenced by anything instilled by mans corrupt makings.
    I say go to Him and, “taste and see that The Lord is good!”

    (Psa 34:8)
    O taste and see that the LORD is good;
    How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

  18. May 29th, 2014 at 13:23 | #19

    @Andrea
    Andrea – The source of Christian love is GOD, and the believers responce of faith makes love a human possibility. It takes work, energy focus and purpose to genuinely love others, all of which doesnt come naturally to many of us.

    Therefore it requires a supernatural empowering, a flowing of power in us to do what we are just unable to do in our flesh or trying to have programmed into our lives.

    All of this is only realized as we choose to submit to the authority of the HOLY SPIRIT within all believers in CHRIST. Faith believes according to that which has been spoken by GOD…Romans 4;18 …not a program

    It`s our staying the course of what we know GOD has called us to that the SPIRIT`S power will move and transform deceived , hard hearts and will work in unexplainable circumstances that will ultimately demolish the devils plans.

    You may be fighting the enemy from sun up to sun down and stomping on territory that has been in his possession for quite some time – my message to you is to stay the course you know GOD has called you to and to be quick to respond when it comes to absolte and aggressive obedience to the WORD and the SPIRIT`S voice.

    For GOD has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind…2 Timothy 1:7

    In CHRIST
    Harry

  19. Tom Keller
    May 28th, 2014 at 22:05 | #20

    @Andrea
    You’re stealing my thunder. :) I thought the exact same thing the first time I read it. I was just waiting to see it in the entire context it was written. Excellent insight!

  20. Andrea
    May 28th, 2014 at 12:32 | #21

    @Brian D. Kercheval

    Would not Jesus’ teaching to “Love your neighbor as yourself” be a standing truth to support, CR 350 “Jesus taught….A love of self forms the basis for loving others.”

    I’m no bible scholar here, and I don’t endorse Rick Warren’s teachings or models in any way. I do however know for a fact that if a person lacks in self-love, they can not love those around them the way that Christ has instructed them to.

    As a person who comes from a long history of child abuse, then alcohol and drug abuse, I find that it is truly a process of continued healing through various experiences that Christ walks me through. As the process continues, the understanding of what it means to love myself deepens. This love, or even lack thereof, directly affects my personal relationships in many ways.
    So I suppose my questions would be, how does one learn how to function healthily in relationships without being taught how to do so first? How does, for example, a man love his wife if he does not love himself?

    I whole-heartedly love the Lord with everything inside of me and continue to seek truth daily.

    Be blessed.

  21. Michael
    May 10th, 2014 at 23:25 | #22

    @Ashley Nevins
    “I hope you have an issue in your life one day that you just can’t seem to come to the end of yourself with and if you do I hope you need a recovery group to process your healing in.”…Ashley, that is a DISGUSTING thing to say to another Christian, Please ditch the “recovery” attitude of AA and read scripture regarding how we should treat other believers.

  22. May 1st, 2014 at 15:03 | #23

    @Tom Keller
    Tom
    These teachings are found in the CR leadership manual.

  23. Tom Keller
    April 29th, 2014 at 13:47 | #24

    @Brian D. Kercheval

    Where can more than a snippet of what is written here be found. I’d like to see it in the full context it was written.

    “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.”

  24. April 28th, 2014 at 21:02 | #25

    Rely on Jesus
    Never anything instilled by man!

    2Jo 1:9
    Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

    So 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 throughout this CR!
    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 is it found anywhere in the Bible in any form!…

    I could go on with a huge list pointing out this garbage but frankly it makes me sick to think anyone could possibly buy into any of this nonsense.
    Why would someone make this up and call it Bible based?
    Who would distort the very words of God and paraphase while ignoring context?
    Who would?:
    Ignoring the original text?
    Distorting the original intent?
    Force non-Biblical concepts?
    Leave out critical content?
    Who would do this?

    The Bible gives a direct answer with a deadly promise:
    2Pe 3:16
    …”which the UNTAUGHT and UNSTABLE distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction”

  25. Tom Keller
    April 27th, 2014 at 23:16 | #26

    @Brian D. Kercheval
    The contention is then, that immediately upon belief all of the fruit is readily visible, that all believers are immediately fully enlightened and mature, and there is no process? Process is very clearly taught in the Bible. Recovery has a clear thread. The Jews recovered over and over again from sin and there was a process involved. For the believer, there is a place to recover to. For the unbeliever as well, although they would remain lost.

    What I sense here is a militant and combative spirit. As I read the original post, quite a bit of effort seems to be placed on inflaming the emotions so that a particular point of view can be presented against something while the reader has the vision of people actively engaged in the sexual abuse of children. Then there is a lot of emphasis placed on how others take or use scripture out of context. That certainly seems to be a problem here also. I’m not going to go back through and list every one, but when a scripture is quoted and is then immediately followed by and “interpretation” to make it fit what the writer wants to convey there is often a problem. This is also a problem: “God never instructed us to ever focus on our “hurts, habits and hang-ups” quite the opposite; God says we must be led by His Spirit; set our mind on things above not on earthly things; not focus on nor be attempting to better our flesh.” What is happening here? There is no actual scriptural quote followed by an interpretation but it is obviously a reach. This deals with the actual improvement of the flesh. In other words, focusing on our outward appearance rather than our spiritual condition. This deals more with a problem of vanity. It is either an oversight, or a clear distortion to make a Biblical precept fit an argument. Either way, there are some very fundamentally wrong things going on here and it’s certainly time for me to get back to making a difference where I am led to do it. If you don’t like process ministries, don’t be involved in them, focus on building your church in the way that you feel God is leading. It seems that many here want to be right unconditionally, insult people, judge them, and then act like they are correct by using a victim mentality. Finally, that there is no salvation to be found in steps, works, knowledge, or even “perfect” doctrine, is what really needs to be made clear here. May the lost find Jesus!

  26. April 27th, 2014 at 17:27 | #27

    Mat 16:6
    Jesus said:
    “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

    Study, research the doctrine of recovery, you will find the only way to walk like Jesus is not taught! He is utterly void throughout absolutely all of their teachings! There is exactly one Biblical modus operandi to achieve what these programs are attempting to accomplish…

    The Holy Spirit!

    Slow down and look very closely at every aspect of this natural byproduct of being filled and led by The Holy Spirit:

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
    Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Gal 5:22

    -Only- because of the power and anointing of The Holy Spirit, one may display this supernatural fruit. This is a free gift direct from The Father that is promised by Jesus towards those who abide in Christ, love God and are called according to His purpose. This fruit of the Holy Spirit is impossible to achieve through any form of steps, principles or anything man may attempt, He is a free “gift” that one cannot “achieve”
    Without the Holy Spirit, one can only self-generate a fake, pretend version of this “fruit of the Spirit” God’s Holy Spirit.

    Hence:
    All you need is Jesus, then all the steps in the world amount to nothing…
    Try God’s way, His promise is intact for He will never change His mind:

    …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.
    2Pe 1:2-3

    Remember, nowhere in The Bible is recovery taught because there is nothing to recover. Instead, Jesus promises an absolute new life where you may be born again… This new life filled and led by the very power of God directly, not steps nor any form of man-made rules.

    Mat 15:16
    Jesus said:
    “Are you still lacking in understanding also”?

  27. Tom Keller
    April 23rd, 2014 at 16:17 | #28

    @Ashley Nevins

    Spot on Ashley. :). I am very interested in the process of “recovery” and moving from milk to solid food in a fashion that everyone does………..in steps. Unfortunately, I was not enlightened all at once and still have a long way to go in many areas of my life. I would certainly like to get a little more information from you about the recovery ministries that you have experience with. I can be found on FB under the name that is posted here. I would appreciate an add. Thanks.

  28. April 20th, 2014 at 20:23 | #29

    [None] of this Warren / Baker “recovery” teaching is from The Lord!
    None of it!
    Nowhere in The Bible does Jesus nor His Disciples teaching anything even similar!
    This religion of recovery is simply forcing scriptures out of context overlaying them on the un-holy teachings of Bill Wilson. [Nothing] about this is from The Lord!

    God never instructed us to ever focus on our “hurts, habits and hang-ups” quite the opposite; God says we must be led by His Spirit; set our mind on things above not on earthly things; not focus on nor be attempting to better our flesh. These teachings all rely on self-perceived feelings and emotions and all of this “recovery” teaching is based on humanistic psychology, void of all sound doctrine regarding work of The Holy Spirit. Simply: What they have done is taken the 12 steps of AA that was written by Bill Wilson and recklessly thrown Bible verses over the top.

    For a better understanding of Warrens Celebrate Recovery, another post I was asked to research for:
    http://mywordlikefire.com/2011/01/26/religious-syncretism-celebrate-recovery

    This one is very well written regarding CR:
    http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2568

    How about the roots of the 12 steps:
    http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/aaroots.html

    I have been looking directly into these matters for years now studying with all my might. I did this only after being directly involved with Celebrate Recovery for a couple of years (I almost started my own group). I thought that because the name Jesus was slapped all over it that it had to be from The Lord. Only after digging deep into all of the CR / Purpose Driven teachings, I then found out one fact,

    I was absolutely wrong…

  29. Ashley Nevins
    April 19th, 2014 at 21:07 | #30

    A lot of Christians have their favorite Bible commentator. They agree with how they interpret scripture, draw things out of it and make it practical to them. Christian recovery ministry in the church does the same thing.

    Wilson is not the first step of Christ centered recovery: We have admitted our powerlessness over our sin without Christ – that our lives had become unmanageable.

    Truth is truth where ever it is found. What is meant for evil can be turned to God for Gods good. Obviously, you believe Bill was involved in evil. I know he had unresolved issues too. You and I both have unresolved issues with God. They are not the issues you bring up about Bill but we still have them all of the same.

    Have you read that book Pagan Christianity? I am sure there are no pagan practices taking place in your church, correct? I am not saying I agree with all in that book, but I did find it interesting what it pointed out. If you have not read it I would encourage you to do so. It correlates to this conversation in many ways.

    Bill was also a sex addict. It is my understanding that he never recovered from that. 80% of male alcoholic’s are sex addicts. That tells me that any church that has Holy Spirit centered drug/alcohol recovery ministry should consider developing a God the Father centered sexual addiction recovery ministry along side of it. Since alcohol and/or drugs and sexual addiction can be factors that cause the sexual abuse of others then such a church with these ministries in it should consider developing a Christ centered sexual abuse recovery ministry along side of these ministries.

    If Bill and the 12 steps are such a problem for you let me say this…I developed both 12 -Step and non 12-Step models of Christian recovery ministry for the ministry that I led. We usually would have folks go through the steps process first and then go through the other process after that. Both processes worked equally well. Therefore, any argument against those what you believe are the evil 12 steps is easily made moot when a non 12 step process that works can be implemented.

    I am not in the 12 Step box. I can Biblically think outside of that box. Therefore, I can develop methodology in recovery process that is not 12 Step based. There is a lot more to Christian recovery than you realize. It is not in a closed box. I paradigm shifted the methodology. I am not of a single dimension mindset. You accuse those of the 12 Steps of being of a single dimension not of your Biblical single dimension. That is simply not true. We are not like you.

    I have had a lot of men who came into recovery ministry with your same critical skepticism and attitude. They were concerned if it was Biblical. Yet, their Biblical did not solve their problem, but the Biblical of the Christian recovery process did bring healing to those who stayed and GOT IT. Those who did not ‘get it’ did not recover. They left with their Bibles. One of them went to jail for child porn, but he loved reading his Bible and being so right about himself in it.

    I hope you have an issue in your life one day that you just can’t seem to come to the end of yourself with and if you do I hope you need a recovery group to process your healing in. Recovery ministry is designed to walk people through that process of coming to end of themselves and no matter what they struggle with. When you come to the end of yourself the only thing left is God. Recovery ministry leads people to God. It meets them at the point they need Him most. They learn how to become dependent upon God in their powerlessness.

    The central issue they deal with is shame. The shame based church cannot have a freedom in Christ shame bondage breaking ministry in it like Christian recovery ministry. Most the people involved in such ministry come from places where they were terribly shamed, abandoned and abused. They experience forgiveness, grace, mercy and healing in Christian recovery ministry and most of them for the first time in their lives learn how to allow God to heal them. God replaces their dysfunctionality with His functionality. They learn to walk and not fall.

    You may never need that kind of mercy or healing process, but they did. What you needed is not what they needed. It is obvious what you got. You don’t have what the Christ recovered person has. I hear it in your rhetoric. You believe you have something superior to what they have. They are the ones who do not ‘get it’ in your mind. They are lost compared to how found you are.

    I have met you before is what I am saying. You are not saying anything new and that I have not heard before and for 30 years.

    I don’t really believe any process of recovery is acceptable to you unless it is how you define how Christ heals. It would not pass your rigid litmus test that you are convinced comes to you from God.

    Well, it now time to go. I want to read my Bible. I will be reading John 8:31-59. It reminds me of this conversation. I want the Biblical perspective on a conversation Jesus had that is not unlike this one here. It exposes the system of Christ and His system of thinking compared to the system and thinking of those who DID NOT GET IT. They did not want to get it. Get it?

    Jesus told them, in affect, to go be right. They then picked up stones to stone Him. A lot of stone throwing is taking place in this debate. Those in need and already wounded are now being stoned. The healers are being stoned and just like Jesus. However, Christian recovery ministry escapes like Christ escaped His critics stones. He lived to minister another day. Recovery ministry like Jesus is here to stay. Neither are going away no matter what you say.

  30. Ashley Nevins
    April 19th, 2014 at 19:00 | #31

    A lot of people call recovery ministry a program. I call recovery a process. The recovery process ministry is what I call it and not a recovery program ministry. Christian spiritual growth is a process and not a program.

    I wonder how many critics of recovery ministry have Sunday school programs and other programs that are operating in their churches.

    In many churches the terms ministry and ministry program are synonymous terms. I have heard Sunday school called a ministry and a program by the same people and to each other and no one blinks.

    However, if you call recovery ministry a program that is a problem to critic’s who do not want this ministry in the church. Yet, they have programs that are ministry in their churches and no one blinks when a ministry is called a program.

    Fact is, Christian recovery ministry is now mainstreamed in the church. Those of us who pioneered it way back in its early days faced this same criticism then that I am reading here now. In fact, it was much worse. I know many that either had to leave their church or got thrown out over this issue in their church.

    Secular humanistic psychology and the spirit of the world in the church! Lions, tigers and bears, oh, my! Nothing could be further from the truth. I never used CR. I appreciated its systematized, duplicatable and downloadable approach, but I developed my own material taking it from all the best sources and combining it to develop a process based ministry PROGRAM for healing. The process is the program and the program is not the process. If you have ever been through the process you know the difference between them.

    Recovery ministry does not program you. You process recovery. The process is the process of transformation. The cookie cut are programed. The transformed are processed. I’m hearing a lot of cookie cutter arguments here that understand nothing about processed based healing In Christ. The arguments sound program based and not process based. The critic’s have a programed way of seeing the issues and addressing them. By being programed they do not see how the programing programs them not to see how they are operating programed in their arguments. Those of us who are process based understand where they are coming from. Some of us were just like them at one time.

    There may be an exception to this, but every church I have seen this ministry developed in it became a more outreaching church. Those who are healed help others get healed. They bring people to the Jesus in recovery ministry healing. You know, like those Jesus healed brought others to be healed by Jesus. People healed by Jesus bring people to Jesus to be healed. That point is completely missed by the critic’s here who are Bible thumping their closed, rigid and exclusively right fundamentalist argument.

    I have just as many verses as they do to support my position. If necessary, I can do that very well. However, I would rather see that scripture used in a Christ centered and Biblically based recovery ministry that brings healing and not argument to people.

    I really have only one scripture I can give to those who are critic’s of Christ centered Biblical repentance, recovery and healing ministry in the church: Mark 2: 16-17

    Instead of arguing with you I tell you what Jesus, in affect, told them, GO BE WELL.

    They did not agree with the way Jesus was bringing healing to them. It was not of their program. It was not how they had been programed to think about ministry or meeting people where they are. It was out of their closed box. Jesus never got with their program. Those who understand what real Holy Spirit centered process based Christian recovery is about just don’t get with the program of the programed. Spirituality is their process and religion is not their program. They sometimes get in trouble for that. Jesus was in trouble for it all of the time.

    Go be well critic’s of Christian recovery ministry in the church. I am sure you believe your argument is WELL and not SICK.

  31. Ashley Nevins
    April 19th, 2014 at 17:29 | #32

    The 12 Steps are the steps to repentance. Every step can be Biblically supported with Scripture not taken out of context to make it fit.

    Christ is the center of Christian recovery ministry. Christ came to recover us. He came to bring us to repentance that leads to our healing.

    I find it amusing that those who are opposed to this kind of ministry in the church believe they know how to define and design what repentance that leads to restoration is. God is not in their box and can bring repentance to people that is Christ centered in ways rigid legalism that believes it is the Biblically correct standard of repentance to restoration cannot.

    For years I led recovery ministry and saw hundreds of people find restoration in its healing process that is Christ centered. It was not a pretty ministry, but it was real world dirty and messy and effective. Many of those who came had tried to get help from those in their churches and were told to have more faith, read their Bibles more and pray more as the solution. Christ centered recovery showed them how to make those important spiritual disciplines work for them without all of the simplistic religiosity and superficial spiritualizing of them as the solution.

    Christian recovery ministry is about becoming a spiritual being and a lot of churches and church people are about being a religious doing. The doings don’t much like the beings and that what I sense in a lot of this debate.

    I am sure that Saddleback, Warren and CR have issues. Of course, John Mac Arthur has no issues, right? If you ever find the perfect church please don’t join it. Your sin will only ruin it. I am sure those opposed to recovery ministry in the church all belong to perfect churches and serve in perfect ministries. They have found their way of dealing with their sin and/or issues and so they know that will work for everyone else like it did for them. They are the model of how to do it Biblically right.

    The transparent and accountable church has a safe and healthy ministry mentality that designs ministry in the church to make it safe to come forward to deal with personal issues in a spiritually healthy transparent and accountable manner. That kind of a church exposes itself to itself and grows. It is relevant. It is a far more transparent and accountable church than churches that do not have this ministry in it.

    The in the closed box Sanhedrin also thought the out of the closed box Christ had God, healing, scripture, prayer and faith wrong. He was paradigm shift change and that paradigm shift is still taking place today in the paradigm shift of Christ centered recovery ministry in the church. The Pharisee like do not understand this paradigm shift of God in the western rational modern church. In their minds the way we did it yesterday is the way we do it today and will forever do it in the future.

    Those who do not paradigm shift with Christ are left behind in their dead paradigm of irrelevancy. Recovery ministry is relevant ministry that is not only a paradigm shift of ministry in the church it is paradigm shifting the lives of people in the church. God is not stationary static inside of a closed box of we have always done it this way. He is not pond water stagnant. He came to us out of the closed box and He never went into a closed box when He left us. He confronted a closed box that believed it understood healing and was the healing of God. What He really confronted was religious works in religious legalism that was spiritual abuse that cause spiritual trauma.

    I know many who came to recovery ministry spiritually abused and spiritually traumatized by how their church treated them in the issues they faced. Recovery ministry in the church stands against spiritual abuse of power like no other ministry does. In many making comment here I see that same mentality towards those who came to us spiritually abused in their need. I see spiritual abuse directed at those who would dare to find Christ’s healing in a Christian recovery ministry.

    Those who are opposed to this ministry in the church need to avoid a church that has it in it or they may become involved with something demonic or at the very least Biblically and spiritually off base. They need to stay in their church that does not have this type of ministry in it and that does ministry Biblically right. All those who disagree all have the same right way of doing ministry Gods only right way. Anyway of doing church and/or ministry not like they do is heresy practicing apostasy.

    They need to stand against this heresy that practices apostasy and make sure it never enters into their churches. Then when people in their churches struggle with issues they can leave their church and go to a church that meets them where they are with ministry that meets them where they are in their issues. Only a heretic practicing apostasy would leave them to go to a recovery ministry to find healing and so good riddance to them. The wheat must be separated from the chaff to keep their churches pure and pretty. They are Gods last stand against such sin entering the church as a false form of Biblical repentance and healing. They are the canary in Gods mine.

    The testimony hundreds of thousands recovered to serve God as God intended them to serve stands as the truth against the lie that recovery ministry in not Biblical, Christ centered or of Christ’s healing seen in the Gospels.

  32. April 19th, 2014 at 06:52 | #33

    @Tleetech
    “Why are you bashing something helpful?”

    The fact is this CR is not helpful, it is deceiving many.
    Do you even know where these 12 steps came from?

    -There is no speculation here / these are historic facts-
    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?
    And who would be this naive as to recklessly associate any Bible verses with this?
    Especially within the body of Christ!

    ————————————————

    Below was written by a dear sister in The Lord.
    A preacher full of the Holy Spirit and truth…

    From Rachel
    originating post:
    http://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/expel-false-teachers

    READ!!! / STUDY!!!
    Grow in The Lord – Not Steps

    Friends,
    Not for a moment are we to tolerate false teachers in our midst. The fact that they are so often tolerated in the name of “love” is why so many false gospels have “spread like gangrene.” (2 Tim. 2:17) God’s Word calls for us to come out and be separate from all who are not of the Truth (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1), to expose their darkness (Eph. 5:8-11), to warn such men twice (Titus 3:9-11), and then to expel them (1 Cor. 5:11-13) or shun their presence. (2 John 1:9-11 // Eph. 5:6,7) For such people, either by their sinful conduct or wicked teachings, or both, “worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed [minds and hearts]” (2 Tim. 3:6), crippling the Body of Christ with confusion, “false knowledge and godless chatter” (see 1 Tim. 6:20), and diversion from the Truth. (v. 21)

    As bad as is the perverse man’s influence in society and the church, the false teacher –especially the one who says his doctrine comes from God’s Word– is the man who is most dangerous to Christ’s Body. For such men come to us “in sheep’s clothing” (Matt. 7:15), looking gentle and kind, “but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (same verse) who will bare their teeth as soon as they realize their falsehoods are not welcomed. But we are not to welcome him who runs ahead of the Truth, for anyone who tolerates his influence or presence “shares in his wicked work.” (2 John 1:11 with v. 9,10)

    False teachers, when we rebuke them, will often call us evil. That’s their prerogative, but they are the ones of whom the Word of God calls evil (2 Tim. 3:13), blemishes amongst us (Jude 1:12), arrogant, flattering, faultfinders (v. 16), and “the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” (v. 19) Blackest darkness forever has been reserved for them (v. 13), and by having led others into paths of error, the condemnation of these men is deserved. (Matt. 18:6,7 // 2 Cor. 11:3,4,13-15 // Gal. 1:6-9)

    In light of Scripture’s warnings do we have any room to be apathetic toward such deceivers? No, for how evil it is to lead people down a false road to Hell! These smooth talkers (2 Peter 2:14) “want to be teachers of the law [and God's Word], but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” (1 Tim. 1:7) They do not “correctly handle the word of truth” (see 2 Tim. 2:15), but misapply it as Satan did (Matt. 4:6) –and does (2 Cor. 4:4 & 11:4,14)– misleading others and becoming more deceived themselves. (2 Tim. 3:13 // 2 Thes. 2:10-12) Jesus calls these hypocritical teachers (Matt. 15:6-9) “blind guides” (v. 14) whose false doctrines reveal that their hearts are full of uncleanness. (v. 18)

    Such men teach from “the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:6) as they “abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Tim. 4:1) They are “warped, sinful, and self-condemned.” (See Titus 3:11) Those of us who have and listen to “the Spirit of truth” (1 John 4:6) are not fooled by them, but the unstable are seduced (2 Peter 2:14), are deceived (Matt. 24:4,10,11), and fall from their otherwise secure position in Christ. (2 Peter 3:17 &; 2:20-22 // John 15:6)

    “Bold and arrogant, these men… have left the straight way and wandered off…” (2 Peter 2:10,15) They “mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature [including the desire for knowledge in order to gain power and recognition], they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.” (v. 18) Indeed, these men go from one false doctrine to another, pulling others into the pit with them. Promising others freedom, they themselves are slaves of depravity. (v. 19)

    “If anyone teaches false doctrines… he is conceited and understands nothing.” (1 Tim. 6:3,4) The true Gospel is veiled to him (2 Cor. 4:3) because of the sin of his heart. (Matt. 12:30,33-37) Therefore, we are definitely to make correct judgements (John 7:24) concerning deceivers, so that we “may command… [them] not to teach false doctrines any longer.” (1 Tim. 1:3) If they refuse, we are to separate ourselves from them (Titus 3:10) with the hope that they will “come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Tim. 2:26)

    Unfortunately, it is because of these types of men, that true teachers of Christ continually have to have their efforts rerouted into preaching against “false brothers” (Gal. 2:4) and must say along with Jude, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3) This is because many false teachers “have secretly slipped in among us” (see v. 4) “secretly introducing destructive heresies.” (See 2 Peter 2:1) “So be on your guard!” (Acts 20:31) –Concerning these distorters of the Truth who teach among us. (v. 30) –These “savage wolves” (v. 29) who come into our midst, and by serving Satan, desire to kill the flock. (same verse // 2 Cor. 11:15 // John 8:44)

    Sincerely,
    with love,
    Rachel

  33. Tleetech
    April 14th, 2014 at 13:46 | #34

    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.

  34. April 6th, 2014 at 06:27 | #35

    @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!

  35. April 6th, 2014 at 06:16 | #36

    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

  36. Tom Keller
    April 5th, 2014 at 21:51 | #37

    @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

  37. April 4th, 2014 at 05:53 | #38

    @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

  38. Tom Keller
    March 30th, 2014 at 03:05 | #39

    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.

  39. March 6th, 2014 at 10:44 | #40

    @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.

  40. March 1st, 2014 at 17:16 | #41

    “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

  41. Barbara
    February 28th, 2014 at 16:15 | #42

    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.

  42. February 11th, 2014 at 11:56 | #43

    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.

  43. November 19th, 2013 at 08:28 | #44

    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!

  44. November 7th, 2013 at 20:05 | #45

    @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

  45. October 2nd, 2013 at 06:38 | #46

    @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

  46. September 29th, 2013 at 07:07 | #47

    @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

  47. Kinley
    September 26th, 2013 at 14:27 | #48

    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…

  48. September 13th, 2013 at 05:03 | #49

    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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