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Published by Southwest Radio Church Ministries


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.


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








Rejoice Now in The Netherlands:



By Barney Clynch:

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!



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:


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:


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”.


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.


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.


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.


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.


    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

    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. Samantha
    October 10th, 2012 at 08:36 | #1

    @Brian D. Kercheval

    Hi everyone. I started CR 7 weeks ago. The Lord healed me 20 years ago from molestation from my dad when I was a girl. I’m 43 now. I truly sought out the Lord in my early 20s and Jesus saved me, and I seek him out every day of my life. I am so thankful for the peace Jesus has given me.

    Over the years, I have discovered what a hold my mother has on me. I know from my relationship with the Lord that he is the one I go to. He is who I turn to with my sin, my pain, my trials, my struggles.

    The issue with my mother is very overwhelming, and yes Jesus is the one and only healer.

    I can honestly say that I have gained so much from being around the ladies in my CR group. The support has been tremendous. All of the women are strong Christians. I haven’t experienced anything but support. Nobody is there to fix another person. Just to listen.

    Anyway, I am thankful to the Lord for such a program. I just thought I’d share.
    Thank you.

  2. Bob Koles
    October 9th, 2012 at 23:25 | #2

    Let me begin by saying a truly appreciate your spiritual discernment and your critical review of Celebrate Recovery and other church “programs” I strongly believe in salvation and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus Christ. I also believe that we as a nation and the Body of Christ have lost sight of the true Gospel and have substituted man’s schemes, designs, and “programs” for the restorative healing power of Jesus Christ through the leadings and workings of the Holy Spirit.

    Now before I offer some of my own critical comment, let me introduce myself. I am Bob, a grateful believer and follower of Jesus Christ (that is my identity), who has victoriously overcome sexual addiction through the grace and mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ, and continues to struggle with the sins of anger and pride. If any of you have graced the rooms of Celebrate Recovery, you may recognize that greeting. Yes, I am actually a leader in a local Celebrate Recovery ministry. I don’t blindly endorse CR, though I do find it a useful forum for coming alongside believers who are struggling with a pattern of sin in their lives, confronting them and where led…to discipling them. It also provides an open door for inviting non-believers into a group where they can taste and see the glory of the Lord and hear the Gospel presented. That presentation of the Gospel is the responsibility of individual Christians (as always) and not the responsibility of a “Program.”

    Now for some thoughts for all to ponder and test. Many true believers, like the Apostle Paul (and I would argue most, if not all Christians this side of heaven) struggle with the battle between the spirit and the flesh (Romans 7:14-25)…in fact if it were not so, heaven would not be “gain” and we would have little need of the Holy Spirit or the Word. We must be careful not to judge too quickly who we should through out of fellowship of believers.

    Secondly, there is much discussion about “there is nothing to RECOVER to” I for one would gladly recover to “in the beginning”… to have my fellowship with the Almighty restored and rekindled to what it was before the fall in the garden of Eden. But I desire even more be renewed of mind and refreshed in spirit in my relationship with God my Father as I look forward to the new Heaven and the new Earth…and eternity with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Thirdly, if you have the humility to step into the halls of a “recovery” ministry and spend some time going through the eight principles and twelve steps (which I will admit selectively and in many ways unnaturally seem to attempt to apply God’s word (which by the way never returns void))…you might come across this guidance such as:
    “You began by Stepping Out of your Denial and into God’s Grace.” This is moving from “Realize I am not God. I admit that I {in my flesh} am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable”…through “Consciously choose to commit my life and will to Christ’s care and control.”
    “After you CONFESS our sins, you will receive God’s complete and perfect forgiveness {effected at the cross over 2000 years ago}. When you ADMIT your wrongs and share your inventory with another, you will experience further healing {James 5:16}. As you become READY to work through Principle 5 {“Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects”} you will experience God’s VICTORY in removing your defects of character that may have plagued you all your life.” {might that be a part of sanctification?}
    “Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination {much like the early church was called to do in 1 Cor 11:23-31}, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power {through the indwelling Holy Spirit} to follow His will.”

    I will end with this. There is much danger with mixing worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom, in fact we are called to distinguish between the two, but we can not strip out all things that appear to come from human sources, because God uses us humans to do acts of righteousness and to proclaim his God News, among other things. In fact, in some cases we must “become all things to all people so that some may be saved.” Remember, it’s not the pious and self-righteous (and I am not inferring that you are either) who Christ came to seek and save, but the lost and the hurting. Keep preaching the Good News and stay true to His Word.

  3. October 6th, 2012 at 12:48 | #3

    “Addiction” a Biblical overview:

    Addiction [is] a spiritual stronghold within which sin predominates. Two of the effects of sin are that it enslaves (John 8:34) and controls (Romans 6:12). Failure to recognize that all addictions are also sin is to fail to consider the enslaving and controlling effects of sin. To fail to consider the enslaving and controlling effects of sin is to attempt to accomplish redemption, conversion, and sanctification apart from Jesus Christ. Redemption in the sense of liberating someone from enslavement. Conversion in the sense of changing one’s direction and orientation in life. And sanctification in the sense of a progressive change in one’s behavior. Every approach to addiction attempts to get a person out of their addictive behavior (redemption), get them headed in a new direction (conversion), and engaged in a continual process of change and growth (sanctification). These are noble intentions to be sure, but extremely difficult to accomplish apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Above is an adaptation from: http://www.provisionhouse.org/philosophy.html

    With the love of The Lord!

  4. October 3rd, 2012 at 07:07 | #4

    This is FANTASTIC!!!

    All I would add is that there are two other verses from Romans and Colossian…which is as Christians, we are able and commanded to “mortify the deeds of the flesh”…AA says we are permanently powerless to do so! So much for “In Christ Jesus, you are a New Creation!”

  5. October 2nd, 2012 at 18:52 | #5

    Excerpts and a study links written by Paul R. Stark:

    No passage is more germane to understanding what is involved in the work of the Spirit [emphasis added] in bonding believers to Christ than Romans 6:1ff. Here, in complex detail, Paul describes the heart of sanctification as deliverance from sin and liberty to serve the Lord in righteousness. The former relationship with sin is brought to an end; the Christian is ‘freed from sin’(Rom. 6:7, 18).

    Ferguson then makes an interesting observation when he points out what happens to “the body of sin” in Romans 6:6 as a result of being crucified with Christ—it is “rendered powerless”. Contrast this with Step One of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that states,“We admitted we were powerless over….”In the case of AA’s Step One, the individual is powerless over the habitual sin. In the case of Romans 6:6, it is the sin that is made powerless in the life of the Christian. Why, therefore, should any believer say they are powerless when the Bible says that they have been given a spirit of power and that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them?

    …[I]f addiction is the result of the controlling and enslaving effects of habitual sin, then beliefs that one cannot stop addictive behavior is inconsistent with the teaching of Romans 6.

    Although a little on the academic side, if you’re interested in the causes and effects of addictions, I think you will find this article interesting.


    “What Drives Addiction?”

    Also, if you are a believer in Jesus, this one helps you know who you are in God as His child:
    “The Doctrine of Adoption”

  6. Starr
    September 21st, 2012 at 01:32 | #6

    I just came from my last CR meeting. The people there aren’t genuine. They believe that everybody needs the program. EVERYBODY! Then so many of them don’t seem to act like Christians. Each time i was there, someone overstepped their bounds with me. From someone taking my chair at the dinner, steping on my purse and then shewing me away like i was trash, to people trying to sell me something when i needed helpful information. This time i went to a “Boundries” meating. It was for people who couldn’t set boundries to protect themselves. I bought the book for 12$ and wound up walking out when the leader started diagnosing people and giving advise as if she had the training. They are only nice in a superficial way. In more than a year of trying to find a “small group” I realized that these people are the people who cause the heartache for people who go to places like Alanon and Naranon, and they have even taken over the groups that we would go to. I am even affraid to go to the dinner, or the big group to hear the music. It is that bad.

  7. September 9th, 2012 at 06:42 | #7

    “I suffer from_____” / “I struggle with_____”


    A public manifestation of self-abasement and a confession based upon false-humility that is entrenched in superciliousness and pride for the purpose of displaying adherence towards a “recovery” perspective of denial and to promote the teachings of the 12 steps.

    This stated “ public profession” is clearly the antitheses to one who is led by the Holy Spirit and belongs to Christ Jesus:

    Galatians 5:22-24 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.

    Phl 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

    2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

    Col 2:9-10 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority

    Personally, I suggest trusting Jesus with everything and go to Him directly, unencumbered by any man-made religious approaches: programs; steps; principles; guidelines; methods; techniques; factions; systems; philosophies; platforms; doctrines; psychologies; etc.

    Below is writing from Paul. He was given care and compassion, desperately wanting those who follow Jesus know Him better.
    Make no mistake, so do I:

    Eph 1:17-23 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…

    Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ with love and great respect!
    Brian D. Kercheval

  8. September 8th, 2012 at 15:49 | #8

    Below is an excerpt from a dear sister in The Lord. I highly suggest reviewing this writing in its entirety where there is more emphatically Biblical teaching:

    -Promoting More Sin-

    One of the worst doctrines in our society, one promoted by Calvinists, Celebrate Recovery propagators, and other OSAS adherents, is the doctrine that it is normal for a person “born from above” (John 3:3) “of… the Spirit” (v. 5) to continue to sin. And sadly, when we try to show them otherwise from numerous passages of Scripture, they often get angry and say it is wrong to quote God’s Word to make our point. I have heard this said time and again, as I did again yesterday through an email response to what I’d just posted concerning new creations in Christ.

    God’s Word is to be quoted. It is to be quoted to counteract the lies of Satan and the lies of worldly philosophies and false teachers. It is not only to be used to edify, but to rebuke and correct, and to teach and train ourselves and others in righteousness so that we might be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:6,17) We are charged to preach the Word and to be prepared to do so at all times. (4:2) For the Word of God is what makes us wise for salvation (3:15) as it penetrates and judges thoughts and attitudes. (Heb. 4:12) If people do not like this convicting, living Word, then this is because they love sin. And loving sin is what is the core problem with those who are headed for Hell, even those who claim to know and love Jesus…

  9. September 6th, 2012 at 22:36 | #9

    Good! Now show the world where I ever stated this anywhere:
    “No one can never sin ever again.”
    You must back up this slanderous false statement with facts.
    Also, I appreciate your revealing remarks at me personally:
    “You are ridiculous”
    I am ridiculous, even out of my mind:
    2Cr 5:13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God;

    2Cr 10:5-6 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

  10. September 4th, 2012 at 21:12 | #10

    -Twenty Dollar Bill-

    A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
    My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to God.

    Jesus says:
    Mat 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  11. August 30th, 2012 at 21:26 | #11

    Mat 7:15-16 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.
    A gift given only to those who rely follow Christ “you will recognize them”

    Some choose to boast about a man made programs, rely on them and defend them with all their might / I choose to point exclusively towards Jesus, boast about His Almighty power and promote His Word.
    Jesus alone has already given His true followers everything they need. God’s Word makes it clear regarding this:
    Col 2:9-10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

    Never forget, Jesus not only made the way to God, He already paid the price for our healing:
    Isa 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
    Jesus says:
    Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
    Mat 11:28

    Jesus also stated:
    “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
    Jhn 8:36

    Jesus makes clear:
    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
    I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
    Jhn 10:10

    ~ May your name be found in the Book of Life, ~
    ~ and may your path be guided by the love of Jesus ~

    Brian D. Kercheval

  12. craigersmith
    August 30th, 2012 at 16:51 | #12

    It’s wonderful to hear that there are so many people here that accepted Christ as their Savior and then never ever ever sinned again in their whole entire lives. With so many perfect Christians that got it right the first time, I beginning to see just how biased and idiotic some smart people can be.

    And talk about taking Bible verses out of context, WOW! I don’t think I saw one verse so far in the post or the lengthy comment section that WASN’T taken out of context, at least not from the CR-basing bunch.

    And then to ban a commenter because she is wearing you down and not buying any of the bullcrap you’re shoveling, that is high class, people.

    I don’t attend CR, but my mother did, and I went with her for a few years. She was saved there. She was shown a Biblical way of breaking free of her drug addiction there. She has been clean for over 12 years because of what kind, loving Christians did for her there.

    And she herself is now very active in her church, having lead several of her friends to Christ over the years.

    You can quote all the misinterpreted facts you want, you can make all the claims you want to try and prove that you folks are the final word when it comes to what the Bible says (because there is just no possible way that you are wrong in this, you are just way too smart), and ask all the leading, self-serving, bullcrap questions you want where any answer will make you sound like a genius…

    But you can’t change the fact that Jesus Christ found my mother, and thousands of others, at CR. Are you going to tell me those salvations are not valid? Are you going to say to me that you can’t accept Christ at a CR event? Are you going to assume the position of God and determine just who is saved and who isn’t? (Annoying, these self-serving questions, aren’t they?)

    No, you’re not. I can tell you what you are going to do. You are going to quote some out-of-context Bible verses yourself, interpret them to mean exactly what you want them to and try and tell me that I am all wrong and you are right, because, as we established earlier, you are oh so smart (and perfect Christians, after all).

    If any of you actually attended a CR meeting with an open mind, you would clearly see that the heart of the entire program is accepting Christ and learning to trust in him instead of our addictive habits. Some people just don’t know how to do that right off the bat and need to be taught. We are taught community, fellowship, encouragement, forgiveness, grace, and most of all, to trust in God always, but especially when we are weak, for he is our strength. We are taught how to listen to the Holy Spirit inside us.

    You might have a big beef with Warren, that’s fine. I’m not sure I agree with the guy all the time either. But CR has grown far beyond a simple Saddleback program. This program is used by all different kinds of Christian churches. Because it works.

    Now, no, it doesn’t work all the time. In fact, I doubt it even works for MOST people who walk in. But it is not a numbers game. If it was all about how many salvations we got per week, then I’d say every single church needs to close it’s doors. Everyone here should know that Christians aren’t supposed to beat people into submission, but plant seeds and let them grow.

    Addictive tendencies are so much more complex than you are allowing. They are deeply psychological and often require a lot of effort to let go of and trust God with. We are human, and thus, we are flawed. Even as Christians, we still do things we don’t want to do. CR helps us to recognize WHY we still do those things and take Biblical steps to stop that.

    You guys are of the lineage of serpents. You mask your seething hatred under the guise of well-thought-out arguments (that are so obviously, grossly misleading and biased).

    Boy, I’d sure love to exposed the skeletons in your closets, because it’s always the people who are pointing the finger at others with such enthusiasm that are hiding the most.

    Me, I’m proud to say that CR taught me to admit that I am a flawed human being, but that God’s grace is enough for me. And because I have His grace, I WANT to do better and show that grace to others. My mom has said the same.

    And Jesus wants to give you that grace too. But if I were a betting man, if Jesus were able to comment, I’m fairly certain he’d call you out just like he did the Pharisees.

    I might not be a doctor or have a bunch of fancy degrees on theology, but luckily, God doesn’t require those to get into Heaven. You folks got a lot of knowledge, but, judging by this post and thread of comments, not a lot of wisdom.

  13. August 24th, 2012 at 06:45 | #13

    Col 2:8 -() mine-
    See to it that no one takes you captive (teaches) through philosophy (programs) and empty deception (psychology), according to the tradition (principles) of men (steps), according to the elementary principles of the world (works), rather than according to Christ (faith).

    Trying to come to The Lord via any program, imposing methods or prossecces is simply pointless and always futile. We are told to only going to Jesus directly by faith.

    Mat 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
    “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

    Jesus simply did not write any steps…

  14. August 20th, 2012 at 10:01 | #14


    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

  15. August 19th, 2012 at 09:03 | #15

    Rom 5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by HIS BLOOD, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

    Hbr 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


    As I look at, and recall the CR teachings, I see a void regarding a most important doctrinal topic. The point in listing these scriptures is to encourage personal study, not be a study unto itself, simply to show this topic as being a doctrinal topic of critical importance.
    Please note: A true study is much, much deeper and broader than this short post, but, regarding “‘The Blood of the Lamb’/’Jesus’ sacrifice’/’New Covenant'” simply, Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Covenant by His Blood/sacrifice and established the New.
    Below is merely as salt hopefully to get one thirsty to study what Jesus did for us, what He fulfilled, what He is doing, the promises He supports regarding His Blood and how it relates to all, espescialy His Saints, “those who are called according to His purpose” Rom 8:28


    -Jesus paid the price for our sins in full by His blood, given us power over sin and made the only way to The Father-

    Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

    Hbr 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,

    Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    Hbr 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    Hbr 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

    1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

    Rev 1:5
    and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

    Hbr 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.

    1Pe 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

    Act 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

    -Jesus teaches about taking part in The New Covenant-

    Jhn 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

    Mar 14:24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

    Jhn 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
    Jhn 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
    Jhn 6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
    Jhn 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

    1Cr 11:25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
    1Cr 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
    1Cr 11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

    -Jesus gives us power and authority over evil by His blood-

    Rev 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

    -Jesus does warn those who choose to not rely on this New Covenant through His Blood-

    Hbr 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?


    -Above is a mere snippet, a non-inclusive and non-teaching view of the importance, an overview look at what The Blood of The Lamb, Jesus’ Blood is about. I highly suggest to go forward and ask The Lord to teach you more during your Bible studies on this most important topic.-

    -Let us always-
    “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” 2 Peter 3:18

    With the love of The Lord,
    Brian D. Kercheval

  16. August 17th, 2012 at 21:23 | #16

    JAN WARD :
    “your smorgasbord approach to the scriptures is exactly what has led you into legalism. you pick and choose scriptures that defend your platform and ignore those that speak of love and grace and mercy. do you remember what JESUS first called Judas? friend.”

    I must convey, it would behoove you to stop making thing up.

    Let’s look at the scriptures with truth and accuracy.
    After an exhaustive study regarding both words and topic, searching the original text and the interpretations found in the: NIV; KJV; NKJV; NLT; ESV; RVR; NASB; RSV; ASV; YLT; DBY; WEB; HVN and after much prayer:

    The Greek word for “Friend” is found a total of three times thought the New Testament. As used addressing Judas in Mat 26:50, in context:

    Friend ~ Greek
    Transliteration = hetairos
    Pronunciation = he-tī’-ros

    As in context:
    in kindly address
    friend, (my good friend)

    comrade, mate, partner

    – Mat 26:50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. –
    Mat 20:13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?
    Mat 22:12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

    NOTE: Therefore, everything that Ms. Ward teaches regarding this passage is a lie, twisting the true meaning of the scriptures to substantiate her own personal position and aggressively attack a servant of The Lord. Unfortunately, this undisputable heresy is true blasphemy and should never be tolerated.


    Let’s look at the scriptures again with truth and accuracy.
    I don’t know what “version” of The Bible anyone reads or better, studies and implements, but every version that I read says these same things:

    Jhn 2:15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;

    Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    Mar 11:15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.

    I am pretty sure what the Bible is conveying about Jesus here, so once more:
    This, a Biblical fact may only at first appear to be without grace, harsh, even non-loving; in fact, it is how The Lord deals with those claiming to know the truth but are full of lies.

    NOTE: Ms. Ward so very clearly exposes herself by flaunting a spirit of hatred and discontent, wrongfully implementing the scripture, side stepping Biblical truth and showing herself as a liar, a false witness, not knowing one single fact about my life. After sharing these lies, I received a few peculiar comments from those who know me personally:
    “What Brian is she talking about?”
    “You must be kidding!”
    “Does she even know anything about you?”
    “How could anyone possibly come up with that bunch…!”
    I wish you could have experienced the levity with their responses, it truly lighten my day.

    Ms. Ward, simply, if you really knew me, you would never, ever think the way you do.

  17. JAN WARD
    August 17th, 2012 at 15:07 | #17


    thank you for your letter. i appreciate your respect and your grace. i was, however, addressing brian. you may be able to convey grace, love, mercy and compassion in what you are doing and that is wonderful. but i urge you to consider those around you who are using this “stance of opposition” to convey nothing short of legalism. i have read it here on this site. when we lose our fruits of the spirit and toss them aside to grandstand our “knowledge” we become puffed up, arrogant, haughty and unteachable. i know this because i have been there and am GRATEFUL GOD delivered me from it. As far as the program goes Barney i think we need to be extremely careful not to drive people away with our words. After my initial posting on this site, brian (you are probably reading this which is fine), unfriended me on facebook. what i find odd about this is, a few months ago deral mcknight did the same thing to me. why? was it because i disagreed with you brian? you want people to listen to you but you turn them off as soon as they stand in opposition to what you say. legalism to the core. barney, i appreciate you responding and hold nothing against you or even brian for that matter. but you two are different people. maybe you should look closely barney at the hearts of those involved. they may “tell you” they feel the same way, that they have grace and mercy but they actually do not. look at their actions, their words, better yet, ask GOD to give you a discerning spirit. i have seen this mess dragged into the church and it caused discord. one of the 7 things GOD HATES. it had nothing to do with love or truth. it had satans handprints all over it. slandering others in the program, and there is nothing CHRISTLIKE about that. Slander is one of the enemys greatest weapons. I pray that hearts will be changed to reflect CHRISTLIKENESS toward others. i speak of my own sins regarding that to which i have confessed. Now i hope others can be set free from the bondage of legalism and be given the gift of grace and mercy.

    in CHRIST,

  18. barney clynch
    August 17th, 2012 at 13:20 | #18


    Dear Miss/Mrs. Ward,

    You have made a valid point. On my own personal 12 step website, http://www.12stepexposure.com, under the “Introduction” link, I lay out my motives as not to malign or speak evil of people in 12 step groups. Rather, my intention is simply to “speak the truth in love” as to point them ultimately to the cross.

    Miss/Mrs. Ward, on many occasions, I have earnestly prayed in respect for the souls of people in 12 step recovery groups. Just as you stated, just because I do not agree with their views does not imply I have a “license” to bash them over the head. Even some of the disagreements I have had with people from Celebrate Recovery, we have been able to end discussions with “can we politely agree to disagree?” I am not implying I condone their beliefs, but the Spirit leads me to state it in a way that respects them personally.

    You should understand though that I will still continue to stand for the truth and continue to warn the body of Christ of the leaven of CR. My point is that we can still be bold, assertive, and tactful, yet polite and respectful in a way to help them understand we respect the person but still can “speak the truth in love”.

    Additionally, I have spoken before with people affiliated in other occult systems, and even though they knew I did not agree with them, they also understood that my goal was to respect them as people and give them the “benefit of the doubt.”

    Miss/Mrs. Ward, it is my prayer that you will understand as Christians we are called to stand for truth and be bold, yet simulataneously, the Spirit can lead us to speak the truth in His love without slandering or disrespecting the other party. Thank you, ma’am, and God bless you!

  19. JAN WARD
    August 17th, 2012 at 07:42 | #19

    your smorgasbord approach to the scriptures is exactly what has led you into legalism. you pick and choose scriptures that defend your platform and ignore those that speak of love and grace and mercy. do you remember what JESUS first called Judas? friend. while JESUS knew that Judas would betray Him HE in HIS infinite mercy still showed grace by calling him friend. HE was giving Judas the opporunity. HE does that for all of us. of course HE said judas was a devil from the beginning but HIS grace was still extended. what about yours? and to explicitly talk about the examples of JESUS and how he stood firm against false teachings while excluding HIS grace and compassion, is nothing short of blasphemy. That is a total misrepresentation of who JESUS really is. Knowledge puffs up. The enemy uses it to destroy the gift of reconciliation GOD has given us. How were we drawn to CHRIST? by words? NO. we are saved by grace brian. all the knowledge in the world wont lead someone to CHRIST. but GRACE does. We are to stand against false teachers and doctrine but when our opposition turns to legalism, anger, and hard heartedness we have given over to the work of the enemy. Slander is the work of the devil. it is not CHRISTLIKE. i do not necessarily agree with Rick Warren. I also have questioned how Samson ended up in the Faith Hall of Fame but who am I to question those GOD raises up for HIS purposes. GOD is the ultimate judge, and HE is the standard, not me and not you. This kind of attitude brian is what has led many christians to promote more hatred toward those in need of JESUS, such as gays. We are so busy telling them all what we stand against, that we never tell them what we stand for. christians are to be set apart, not set against. i encourage you to search your heart as I pray that GOD will soften it and ease your spirit to have a genuine love for those in need instead of such a hard hearted approach to getting your point across. if preaching at people constantly worked, what was the purpose of the CROSS? It is grace that sets us free, not scriptures that are pulled sporatically to support your fight in the ring. you are preaching that is all about JESUS CHRIST but nothing in your words exhibits CHRISTLIKE love and compassion. HIS WORD says they will know us by our fruits, not our knowledge, our service or how much scripture we quote. Praying that GOD will do a deep healing work in your heart so that HE can use you to reach others with the compassion HE showed you.


    jan ward

  20. August 16th, 2012 at 02:57 | #20

    Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. Proverbs 10:17

    “God sets the standards for right and wrong, we don’t do that.”
    Quote: Pastor Chuck Smith

    -There is an unfortunate, spiritually eternal byproduct to anyone that attempts to come to The Lord via their own religious: methods; procedures; programs; steps; techniques; factions; systems; approaches; principles; guidelines; philosophies; platforms; doctrines; psychologies; etc.-

    The scriptures tell us about how Jesus dealt directly with those who generate their own methods to come to Him via works/steps/principles etc. (Pharisees – Sadducees). While Jesus was on earth in the flesh, He made whips, scattered and turned over their tables calling them some of the worst names of that day, yes labeling and judging them, publicly teaching and exposing how absolutely wrong they were, Jesus simply had a fit towards false teachers and their false doctrines including all that were following.
    NOTE: God has given us all fair and ample warning: It is written, the next time, when Jesus comes back, He will simply burn all false teachers and their followers.

    This, a Biblical fact may only at first appear to be without grace, harsh, even non-loving; in fact, it is how The Lord deals with those claiming to know the truth but are full of lies.

    All of those who follow Jesus as Lord and Master have a gift from God where they can discern the truth from error, right from wrong [1Jo 2:20] “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” and [1Cr 2:16] “for we have the mind of Christ” This is so only because of His calling and anointing, His purpose and grace lest any man should boast.

    One dear sister puts it very clearly with an accurate and in-depth scriptural perspective. I highly suggest reading this one in its entirety; there is much worth to this study but, one must study.

    – With permission – Only an excerpt by Rachel “Expel False Teachers”:

    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)

    “Jesus and His Apostles never tolerated false teachers, nor allowed any form of false teachings, nor stood indifferent towards those who followed such.”

  21. JAN WARD
    August 15th, 2012 at 08:03 | #21

    of course you would rather overlook my post. i encourage you to read below.
    This Blog

    This Blog

    Thursday, September 10, 2009The Sad Signs of Legalism

    Legalism masquerades as zeal for God. It substitutes the application of Biblical principle, as being righteousness itself. Every Christian is susceptible to the seductive sickness of self righteousness – since I have battled this sickness in my own life, and encountered it in the lives of others, I’ve learned to discern a few of its symptoms:

    Clever: a legalist is often quite bright. And she always, always sounds right, but there is always, always something wrong with her arguments – they lack depth and they lack a genuine care and concern for people as they are. A legalist loves people insofar as she thinks they “should be”. She loves her idea of Christian maturity, without loving her flawed brother, sister, friend, mother, or husband.

    Comparison – a legalist will compare herself to others, and compare people with people. She is habitually measuring herself and her spouse, and everyone else.

    Coldness – a legalist is incapable of sustained personal warmth in relationships. To be warm is to be pliable. To be cold is to be rigid. A legalist is rigid, and therefore ultimately an emotionally cold person. It may take six months, or it may take years and years, but if you “cross” a legalist in any significant way, you’ll discover that her warmth quickly fades, and a cool demeanor replaces it.

    Conversation – a legalist’s primary topic of conversation is herself (or himself…but since I myself was once a legalist, and still struggle with the tendency, I use the female pronoun). So long as you remain in her fan club, and make it “all about her”, you will have her as your friend. A legalist’s second favorite topic of conversation is “this person or that person”(see the first symptom of legalism: comparison). Remember – great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. Since the legalist is ego-centric, her world is a small one. She will primarily discuss herself, her problems, her life, her job or her children….and she will then discuss certain people. If you attempt to steer the relationship to a broader horizon, and engage her in an honest discussion of great ideas, she will withdraw (see the second symptom of legalism: coldness).

    Cutting Ties: a legalist will cut ties with you, eventually. Wherever legalism exists, you will find a string of broken relationships. You will encounter the slow, progressive separation from even a significant relationship, if she perceives that the relationship is not in her control….which brings me to the next symptom:

    Control: A legalist cannot help but manipulate. She doesn’t mean to, and may not even consciously try to. But she does it. She will attempt to control you by giving or withholding her approval. Giving or withholding her attention or affection. Giving or withholding gifts – because if you cut the “string attached” to the gift, the giving will cease. Giving or withholding love itself. A legalist will begin to act irrationally whenever someone close to her actually lives in a revelation of their gift of righteousness. Why? Because when you begin to believe the gospel, a legalist loses her leverage in the relationship.

    Cloying: a legalist is a cloying person. She’s happy only when she feels you are admiring her, or her possessions, her ability, or her status. She will assist you time and time again, she will help you more than you need to be helped, so long as you admire her for it. She will take what otherwise would be healthy and pleasant, and she will cling and cloy the joy right out of the experience or the relationship. Every relationship starts well, but almost none stay well. Since most legalists are insecure, they end up maxing everyone else out – no one can prop up their damaged ego consistently enough.

    Conditional Contentment: most legalists are ever-so-slightly depressed people. (Ask me how I know!) Their contentment depends on being better than most everyone else (“I thank thee Oh Lord, that I am not like this tax collector…”), and since there is always someone who has a better home life, or house, a better marriage, car, or has more talent than they do, a legalist consequently suffers from constant, low-level unhappiness. Her contentment is conditional, and relative to her ability to control circumstances, or to feel superior. Thus, you don’t find a legalistic woman laughing freely and often.
    Christian – most legalists are Christians. The very recipients of such amazing grace, often do not know just how amazing it really is. You have to know that you need grace, to understand grace. You run to a throne of grace in time of need. Most Christians are chronically un-needy. These un-needy believers are also unaware that they are miserable, poor, blind and naked, and ever in great need of great grace. Subconsciously, a legalist relegates grace to be the solution for non-Christians, the unfortunate, uneducated or immoral. Meanwhile, the proud need grace the most, and yet perceive their need the least.

    It all began with a relationship in the garden brian and relationships are just as important today. you say friendships are not important. what did CHRIST die for? to bring us into a relationship with HIM. you can be filled with knowledge and lack wisdom. i am praying that hearts will be softened to extend grace to those in need.

    in HIM
    jan ward

  22. Brian
    August 10th, 2012 at 22:47 | #22

    You may want to consider who you are telling how to act, what to say and how to say it. Personally, my choice is to overlook what you wrote.
    This blog and its host teachers from the very start made it plain that the intention was for giving accurate Biblical information and perspective, not to make friends. Very strange that anyone would miss that simple perspective and not have any understanding of the value.

  23. JAN WARD
    August 9th, 2012 at 09:00 | #23


  24. Brian
    July 31st, 2012 at 07:43 | #24

    Brian :
    “So it’s pretty obvious where a person’s loyalties lie by who they defend … the 12 step gospel or the gospel of Jesus …”

    1Cr 1:30-31 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

    2Cr 10:17-18 But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.

  25. Brian
    July 31st, 2012 at 07:36 | #25

    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.
    Galatians 5:22-24

    The list of the fruit of the Spirit describes an emotionally balanced, psychologically stable person. Because the Holy Spirit produces this naturally, why would anyone turn to CR, steps and worldly psychology?

    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

  26. Brian
    July 31st, 2012 at 03:36 | #26

    “So it’s pretty obvious where a person’s loyalties lie by who they defend … the 12 step gospel or the gospel of Jesus …”

  27. Aaq
    July 30th, 2012 at 23:45 | #27

    I am aware of a church that nearly 4 years ago instituted the CR program. I was suspicious as they also had a goal of wanting to double their attendance growth too at the same time. Signs plastered the community and hundreds became involved in the program. Through the years, I have asked the “core” leaders whom I know run it, “So, have you guys had a celebration party or anyone graduate from the program?” The answer was “no”. My question is, “WHY NOT?”. The problem with CR is that it is watered down from any real power of Christ to operate. People say, “Oh, I understand, it’s okay” “We are all struggling through this”. If you have any bit of knowledge of spiritual warfare and discernment of how & the type of principalities and demonic powers operate, you will quickly see that the “root” of what people are dealing with goes back to opened doors through sin or past generational curses to the 3rd & 4th generation that need to be broken. Those hang-ups that they like to say are nothing more than walking contrary to the Fruit of the Spirit. What I have seen is that like demonic spirits or familiar spirits attract one another. Instead of people being set free, the demonic is strengthening its numbers, creating a greater stronghold in a larger group or people or body within the church.

    If a 12 step program is so successful, then why are people returning back to it or never able to leave it? Why does a drug addict, return back to drugs afterwards. The issue is that any 12 Step program that is lacking the anointing and power of God leaves a void. They return back to whatever they were doing because “it feels good” – they could feel it. Does God not feel good? You won’t know until you experience Him in a real and powerful way. When you experience the power of God, it is like sticking your finger in a socket. You will feel that power and know that power, and know that healing and deliverance is taking place for you. When you feel that, you aren’t going back to what you were doing.

    Too often I have heard for example, “Hi my name is and I’m a recovering porn addict …”, or whatever it is. That is calling yourself where you are in your current circumstance or were. You don’t pray or speak the problem, you pray and speak the answer. Romans 4:17 says to “calleth those things which be not as though they were”. 2 Peter 2:24 “…by whose stripes ye were healed”. If you were healed, then you are healed, and IS healed now. “Hi my name is and I am healed and delivered from Porn Addiction through the stripes of Jesus Christ”. Start celebrating the recovery through Christ, instead of speaking the “old man” you once were. You have Victory through Jesus Christ now!

    Lastly, it doesn’t take a 12 step program to be set free. There is ONE STEP and His NAME is JESUS in which every knee shall bow. You want to clear out a CR gathering real quick, get a man/woman of God who is Anointed with the fire of the Holy Spirit to come in, lay hands, bind the principalities & powers, and cast them out. You don’t need to spend months or years in a program. Most churches have neglected their authority and the Power of Jesus Christ to be able to exercise in a manner as they should. How do I know? I skipped the steps and found a Pastor and two other men who knew how to bring healing & deliverance through the Anointing of God. Total time to have a demon cast off and be set free – 10 mins, not 10 months +. Celebrate your Victory now, what are you waiting for?

  28. michaelwriting
    July 30th, 2012 at 22:02 | #28


    So all these thousands of people who are healed, recovered, set free from bondage, and living new lives in Jesus through help of the CR program…is that all the work of Satan?

    Is Satan really setting people free from all kinds of sins and bondage? You guys need to open your eyes. Ask the Lord to reveal the truth, and he will. But be willing to receive it when it comes.

    I appreciate your concerns for protecting the sheep, but God is strong enough to do that without your feeble website. Perhaps you can go out and get some first hand experience dealing with crack addicts, broken homes, abused children, and people going through detox who are fighting for their lives. Minister to these people who have shattered and broken lives. Your answer is to throw them all out in the trash, those whom Christ has died for. I can quote scripture just fine, but maybe there comes a time where you have to live the scriptures through the enablement of the Holy Spirit.

  29. Brian
    July 26th, 2012 at 08:07 | #29

    This quote below is from a dear sister. It is simple and it says volumes.
    One important factor though is a true understanding; a full knowledge of what 12 steps teaches comparing that to a full knowledge with wisdom of what The Bible says. Without in-depth study of both, the equation of understanding will be skewed.

    “So it’s pretty obvious where a person’s loyalties lie by who they defend … the 12 step gospel or the gospel of Jesus …”

    This is where steppers fall short and will be easily misdirected and misguided by the teaching of recovery. This is so because, even with many years following the steps they will still have no knowledge of what Jesus actually did or who He is. Because of this blatant lack of study, their allegiance, loyalty and faith is steadfast in the man-made works of steps rather than solely on Jesus. In The Bible, that misplaced faith is called Idolatry and is never allowed by the Lord. The Bible also categorizes this as an Abomination.

    Quote from Pastor Chuck Smith:
    “God sets the standards for right and wrong, we don’t do that.”

  30. Brian
    July 25th, 2012 at 07:40 | #30

    michaelwriting :
    “As a Christian, I am called to peace.”

    As a genuine follower of Jesus we are “called” to do a whole lot more than this, including exposing the darkness, exposing false teachers and doctrines, kicking out immoral people out of His body etc. Mostly, Jesus made it very, very clear:

    Luk 12:51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three.

    In other words, anything that stands opposed to Jesus.

    And my favorite misquote for the day:
    Rom 12:18 “If” possible, so far as it “depends on you”, live peaceably with all.
    NOTE: Believers are empowered to make this judgement, no one else. Also “peaceably” does not say peace it is very different, that for a nother time…


  31. Brian
    July 25th, 2012 at 07:13 | #31

    michaelwriting :
    “They are coming to CR for ‘HELP’…the help that they cannot get from the rest of the church”

    And this is why they will always be false converts. People will try this or that, always searching to fulfill a desire they have made up. These people will always fall short because they never go directly to The Lord only, and when they do it is solely for the purpose of getting something.

    Jhn 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

    So this is the big lie from the enemy: When one thinks they need healing from someone (church people) or something (programs) other than Jesus directly, right then, the enemy has won.

    Listen, all of this man-made stuff will never accomplish what Jesus has already done:
    Steps, methods, procedures, programs, techniques, systems, approaches, principles, guidelines, philosophies, platforms, doctrines, psychologies, and everything that man can make up is of no value compared to the surpassing greatness and power of Jesus, and only Jesus in your life.

    Those who rely on steps are the antithesis to those who follow Jesus and have the Holy Spirit. When one has The Holy Sprirt, this free gift from God, there is absolutely no need whatsoever for any steps. The Bible tells us what to do with these who follow The Lord by their man-made creations of works and do not have His Spirit:

    2Ti 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

  32. Brian
    July 24th, 2012 at 21:07 | #32

    michaelwriting :
    “Hmm…what are those steps?”

    I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law (works/steps/principles), Christ died for nothing!”

    When one is genuinely Born Again, they are given The Holy Spirit solely by God’s grace. By default, every one of the promises that are written in the Bible regarding those who follow Jesus and are walking “in His Steps” are intact and immoveable.
    Jesus was led by The Spirit of God and now all true believers may be also. As a believer in Jesus, the only way to follow Jesus and walk “in His Steps” (not by some steps) is to be led by His Holy Spirit. Jesus was led by The Holy Spirit and every true believer now can also.
    This first must be addressed. “In his steps”
    The scripture: 1Pe 2:21 “leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

    The word (Steps) in the original Greek text =
    Transliteration = Ichnos
    Pronunciation = ē’kh-nos (Key)
    Outline of Biblical Usage
    1) A footprint, track, footstep
    2) In the NT, metaph. of imitating the example of any one
    NOTE: To force a recovery concept of the word “steps” as is used by michaelwriting onto this Bible verse proves:
    a) Anyone who believes this is absolutely Bible illiterate, clearly unstudied at best.
    b) They should be warned regarding their teaching, deception and lies.
    c) There is a need for true repentance, a complete turn towards The Lord Jesus and away from any form of the “recovery” misguiding lies.

    Satan tries to deceive with these so to speak cleaver devises and will always fail when one only holds up the light of God’s Word.
    – Jesus was led by The Spirit –
    Luk 4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.
    1Ti 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

    – Now all genuine believers in Jesus can walk (in) “His Step” because of the power of The Holy Spirit –
    Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (works/steps/principles)
    Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Power)
    Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Guiding)
    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Eternal inheritance)
    Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Free from sin)
    Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Free from bondage)
    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Justification)
    1Cr 2:13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. (True spiritual discernment)
    1Cr 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (Made whole and complete and perfect before God)
    Eph 2:22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (One body of true believers, no factions)
    Eph 3:5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. (Prophesy)
    Phl 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—(Made perfect without works/steps/principles)
    2Th 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (Made whole before God)


    Mr. Sundquist,
    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places!

    ?Why are some of the most Biblicaly unstudied people on the planet found being led by this lying spirit called recovery? How can people be so dull? -leave this in or not-

  33. michaelwriting
    July 24th, 2012 at 20:27 | #33

    I find it interesting. I just did a search on every conceivable Christian that I can think of, along with the word ‘false’. According to ‘people on the internet’, every single known Christian is a false teacher. Who knew? Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Elizabeth Elliot, James Dobson, Billy Graham, Kirk Cameron, JI Packer, John Wesley, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, CS Lewis, John Macarthur, Keith Green, Jack Hayford, on and on. And apparently all of their congregations or those who associated with them are all lost. Look up anyone. All kinds of accusations. Let me think…isn’t there something about a character in the bible who accuses Christians…? Paul says that we know the enemy’s devices, and accusation against the saints is one of them.

    I’m just thinking here. Apparently everyone is a false teacher…except of course those who are calling everyone else false teachers. (Think about it.) Who is scrutinizing the beliefs of these accusers?

    As a Christian, I am called to peace. God will judge those who are his and those who are not. To their God they will stand or fall. Consider Romans 14:4.

  34. michaelwriting
    July 24th, 2012 at 08:22 | #34

    Hmm…what are those steps? 1. Realizing I’m not God and admitting that I am a powerless sinner who has fallen short of his glory. 2. Believing that God can rescue me through his grace. 3. Turning my life over to the care of Christ. 4. Taking a moral inventory and confessing my sins to other believers. 5. Cooperating with God’s work of sanctification in me, as he removes and changes my sinful and broken behaviors. 6. Making amends and asking forgiveness from those I have harmed. Forgiving those who have hurt me. 7. Taking time for bible reading and prayer. 8. Taking the good news of Jesus’ healing love to others.

    Do you do any of these things? Doesn’t seem too satanic to me. Which of these principles do you reject?

    I imagine most churches give an outline during church services. Listen to David Jeremiah, Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley or others. They have bulletpoints which they follow for every service. If those steps are Godly principles which come inline with what is taught in scripture, I honestly don’t see how it can be condemned by anyone who is a lover of Christ.

  35. Brian
    July 24th, 2012 at 07:43 | #35

    michaelwriting :
    @James Sunduist
    “In my opinion, the main point is getting healed and delivered.”

    Great main point Michael!
    So why do you struggle with sin? How is it that you must rely on this man-made method and process? What possibly can works/steps/principles add to what Jesus has already done?
    These are clear question to anyone trying to achieve rather than receive God’s gift thru the real Jesus.
    A Biblical truth to always keep in mind when approaching The Lord for help:
    God’s gift, His true anointing (Holy Spirit) cannot be worked for nor achieved by any form of works, steps, principals nor any method or process, lest any man should boast.
    The Bible is clear on this matter and that is why Christian steppers cannot mature in The Lord.

    It’s time we set aside the (pseudo Christian) step toys down and grown up in the real Jesus.

  36. michaelwriting
    July 23rd, 2012 at 22:12 | #36

    @James Sunduist
    Seriously? Are you straining over the word ‘sin’ vs. compulsive behaviors and hangups? Sin means missing the mark. Do you know what a compulsion is? Do you know what obsession is? Or how about passive-aggressive? I suppose identifying behaviors is not christian enough. In my opinion, the main point is getting healed and delivered. I guess your main point is to make sure people are shamed enough, rather than actually living with freedom in Christ. What spirit are you of? Seriously?

  37. michaelwriting
    July 23rd, 2012 at 21:48 | #37

    CR has helped me to have a much closer walk with God. It is a safe place where we can truly be honest and share our deep personal struggles (try doing that Sunday morning or in a mens bible study). We learn how to surrender to Christ. We come to understand that we cannot overcome sin by our own might and strength, but that it is only through Christ and his power through us. We come to allow God to reveal and remove our sins and compulsive behaviors, and to heal our hurts and pains. This is called sanctification and conviction through the Holy Spirit. God has worked to restore many things in my life through the program.

    There seems to be a lot of pharisees on here who apparently have everything figured out and on all points are without sin. So they have a high ground from which to judge the rest of us. I came to CR to deal with years of domestic abuse, which I was unable to get proper support from the rest of the church over many years. In fact, most pastors and friends had no clue how to help me. We ultimately had the police at my home multiple times per week, and I had to throw my wife in jail twice. She was out of control and destroying my home, finances, and terrorizing our seven children. Social services ultimately couldn’t make it stop. Of course, as a ‘good Christian’, I am not allowed to divorce her unless she has sex with someone else, so I’m doomed to live with this until I die I guess. I could tell you all kinds of horrifying stories all night. But I guess I should just ‘get over’ all the wreckage and destruction of my family. So Christlike of you.

    If you have all the answers, then I ask you to go out and help all the people out there who are struggling with alcoholism, severe drug abuse, and other serious problems like mine. All of us have been told to just ‘read the bible and pray’. But apparently we needed something more than that. We have all tried to whiteknuckle it through our situations and we needed some additional support and more intense help from Christ. I guess none of us are ‘good enough’ for you. Does your faith tell you to turn up your nose and close the church doors to those who are not as ‘righteous’ as you are? This is the exact problem with the church at large. You are not ministering to anyone, and it surely doesn’t glorify God. If these people were enjoying their sin, then they wouldn’t be coming to CR. They are coming to CR for ‘HELP’…the help that they cannot get from the rest of the church…and you basically put your boot on our face and call us a bunch of sinful reprobates who are going to hell. Is that the compassion of Christ? Really? Until you have been there, you haven’t much clue in what you are talking about. If Christ is truly healing people from their broken lives through CR, we all may want to be careful in criticizing it. There were others who attributed the works of Christ to the devil in the gospels. Jesus didn’t have very pleasant words for them.

  38. Brian
    July 23rd, 2012 at 19:30 | #38

    @Julie Fidler
    Please read below your post, only a couple down this now relates to you too:

    Note: Perhaps even a comical perspective if you really knew me, you are commenting to one who was directly and extensively involved in CR, simply an error in judgment and very poor discernment regarding that blind guess.

    Try reading a few testimonial Blogs, perhaps you may recieve some understand from ex-“recovery” people that have matured in The Lord, see what they have to say:

    http://megas-houtos-agape.blogspot.com -Kercheval-
    http://www.12stepexposure.com -Clynch-
    http://errorsofaa.blogspot.com -Schaper-

    And to further help, this fact is simple: You don’t have to be involved with a cult to know it is a cult! Please…

  39. Julie Fidler
    July 23rd, 2012 at 18:22 | #39

    You all mean well, but you don’t understand Celebrate Recovery, clearly.

    What someone here ought to do is take apart the 12 steps and 8 principles of CR and look at them and how they apply to the Word.

    And if you’ve never even darkened the door of a CR meeting and are basing your views on what you’ve heard – shame on you.

  40. Brian
    July 22nd, 2012 at 16:36 | #40

    Brian :
    When one genuinely follows the real Jesus as their Lord, there is never a need or consideration for implementation of these 12 step heresies. This is stand-alone proof of God’s anointing and power in the true believers lives compared to those choosing works/steps/principles.
    Jesus “gives”: God’s Forgiveness, Grace and Power/Holy Spirit = Freedom
    Recovery “achieves”: Self-righteousness thru man-made steps/works = Bondage

  41. Brian
    July 22nd, 2012 at 11:05 | #41

    When genuinely follows the real Jesus as their Lord, there is never a need or consideration for implementation of these 12 step heresies. This is stand-alone proof of God’s anointing and power in the true believers lives compared to those choosing works/steps/principles.
    Jesus “gives”: God’s Forgiveness, Grace and Power/Holy Spirit = Freedom
    Recovery “achieves”: Self-righteousness thru man-made steps/works = Bondage

  42. Brian
    July 21st, 2012 at 21:49 | #42

    @annette herbert
    I see nothing but bondage and someone that is void of God’s anointing He gives to every genuine follower of Him. “Powerless” is the opposite of what every genuine follower of Jesus is.

    2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of “POWER” and love and discipline.

    Everything that all 12 steps try to achieve is rubbish compared to what God Almighty freely gives to His children. This is proof alone that the teaching from these programs are not of The Lord. Simply, nothing related to CR is doctrinally sound; CR is nothing but distortion of misapplied scripture taken out of context. There is no such thing as a program nor method or process to “overcoming our sin” Jesus already did all of this.

    Note: Perhaps even a comical perspective if you really knew me, you are commenting to one who was directly and extensively involved in CR, simply an error in judgment and very poor discernment regarding that blind guess.

  43. annette herbert
    July 21st, 2012 at 09:56 | #43

    you are
    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY OFF TRACK….. powerless….. we are powerless without the help of our savior Jesus Christ…. of overcoming our sin……. have you ever attended a celebrate recovery meeting? have you ever spoken to john baker? do some more homework.. In CR our identity unlike AA etc….. is that we are believers in Jesus Christ who struggle with some form of sin, hurt or faulty thinking….. we admit that we cannot do it without Jesus….. we surrender our life and will to him……. we take stock of our lives……. admitting our wrongs asking for forgiveness….. WE identify the patterns of sinful behavior or wrong thinking and ask God for his help in making changes. We seek forgiveness and make ammends to those whom we have harmed, and forgive those who have harmed us. We develop a habit of daily bible reading and keeping short accounts with God and others. We reach out and help others who are hurting or stuck in sin…… as for anonymous….. it makes it a safe place for us to be honest. Outside that place its no one’s business….. the place is full of accountability and leadership……. so i can’t think of a more biblical approach to life…… why dont you check out a meeting. Anyone who who needs to tear down another ministry publicly could maybe use Celebrate Recovery to evaluate their own attitudes……… come on by sometime…

  44. Brian
    July 20th, 2012 at 21:38 | #44

    Did Jesus write the 12 steps and say do these things? No
    Did Jesus specify eight principles and state this is the way? No
    Did Jesus set up a special sinners groups and factions and teach you to attend? No
    Did Jesus ever ask anyone to call Him a higher power? No
    Why/how then would anyone call this Celebrate Recovery or any 12 step “Christ Centered” or even “Bible Based”?
    Is everyone involved in this syncretism and Bible distortions that dull? YES!

    “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” John 12:40

    In John 12:40 shows us the unfortunate spiritual byproduct to anyone that attempts to come to The Lord via their own religious possesses and methods. Remember, the scripture tells us about how Jesus dealt directly with those who generate their own methods to come to Him via works/steps/principles/special teachings (Pharisees/Sadducees). The last time on earth He made whips and scattered their tables calling them some very harsh names, labeling and judging them, teaching about how wrong they are.
    Fair warning: The next time He comes, He will simply burn them.

    Note: There has never been a need for, or requirement nor an asking from The Lord for such steps and principle to govern, direct nor be implemented into one’s life, nor will there ever.

    Act 17:30
    In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

  45. Brian
    July 19th, 2012 at 19:53 | #45

    As viewed on “Expel False Teachers”

    Posted on “Recovery Awareness”

    -With written permission-


    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)

    with love,

  46. Brian
    July 19th, 2012 at 19:48 | #46

    Jesus did not write or teach anything like the religion of 12 steps nor ask anyone to govern their life with a hand full of scriptures taken out of context.

    Please read the Bible and go to Jesus without any burden of man-made methods or processes. God’s gift, His true anointing (Holy Spirit) cannot be worked for nor achieved by any form of works, steps, principals nor any method or process, lest any man should boast.

  47. Brian
    July 19th, 2012 at 19:35 | #47

    @Doug DePaul

    This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
    Galatians 3:2-5

    Celebrate recovery is a man-made burden of works/steps and is not of The Lord, nowhere in The Bible does Jesus teach such a thing. Their 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 displaying Gods “grace and power”.

    “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
    Deuteronomy 4:2

  48. July 17th, 2012 at 11:53 | #48


    Thanks for this great post!

    Please visit


    Errors of Alcoholics Anonymous

    I commented on your comments — Great!

  49. July 17th, 2012 at 11:52 | #49

    I am so glad for the comments that I have read on this website and post that followed.

    I am a former victim of the cult teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous, which created a great deal of bondage in my life and brought a loved one of mine to death.

    Please get the word out

    Errors of Alcoholics Anonyous


    Every believer in the Body of Christ deserves to know that they are already set free in Christ, that our minds and bodies will follow as we are renewed to the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus!


    Nt Bill W. — Not Dr. Bob, Not #3 — but the Blessed Trinity

    Jesus Christ — the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

  50. Grem
    July 16th, 2012 at 13:21 | #50

    @Brian The steps I choose are those of Christ. I learned them through His Word. Essentially, I am admitting that I am a sinner, than I cannot save myself, that I need Him to do that. I surrender to His authority and lordship because He has the power to save me through the blood of His Son. I confess all of my sins to Him, and I ask His forgiveness. I also ask forgiveness of those I have wronged, just as I forgive those who wrong me. I walk in repentance, away from my past sin, and towards a new life with Christ. I then move forward in my new life with Christ, sharing this with as many people as will hear it.

    These would be both choice 2 and choice 3 in your list, so I am not sure which one to pick.

    I am also having a hard time understanding why calling someone a sinner and attaching shame to them is part of God’s plan of salvation. Shortcomings, defects of character, habits, addictions, sins, etc are all semantics. They all describe the problem: allowing something to take the place God deserves in our lives. Whether it is alcohol, judgmental legalism, a lack of mercy and grace, or murder… they are all the same to God in that they all have the same end result, which is separation from Him.

    Finally, I have been reading responses that ask why someone would need “recovery” instead of salvation. I can’t think of a better recovery from sin than salvation, so much so that I would be willing to learn step-by-step how to do that in any way that God chose to use.

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