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Dealing with Alcoholism: My Interview with an Anonymous Pastor and Recovering Alcoholic

A former teetotaler shares his experience as a recovering alcoholic.
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Dealing with Alcoholism: My Interview with an Anonymous Pastor and Recovering Alcoholic
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It's January 1 as I write this—the day after New Year's Eve.

The holiday brings to mind many things, but two things will stand out for this article. First, New Year's Eve is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. Second, ...

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Displaying 1–5 of 12 comments.

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Ronda Stewart-Wilcox

January 13, 2014  6:14am

Celebrate Recovery follows the 12 steps and names God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - the "higher power." Along with 12 steps call to and guidance through personal responsibility is the 12 steps invitation to opening one's self more and more to the work of the Holy Spirit for healing, deliverance, and sustaining life.

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Scott Holmberg

January 09, 2014  11:58pm

I strongly identify with the pastor and with the Longs above. Unlike the pastor I was a defiant, strong-willed 'problem child', raised in the evangelical church in a loving, abstaining home; in other words I was determined to drink to excess before I ever considered it. During my years of drinking, privately and publicly, what I did NOT lack was knowledge of guilt nor the Gospel. The way God led me to AA was profound and deeply personal (not a debatable matter). Reading these comments I reflect with gratitude on the "miracle" described in the Big Book -that I have been "placed in a position of neutrality" re: alcohol. Nothing surprises me more. Not tempted to judge, only to reflect on my own experience, and having that as the indescribable gift for myself and my fellow sufferers. Mind-boggling. BTW my understanding is that it is a disease CONCEPT, *similar* to cancer, etc. For every person who had it "faithed" away 10+ of us had a different experience. Or haven't.

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Chuck Long

January 09, 2014  10:26pm

My wife and I thank God for AA and thank AA for God! We had each soured on Christianity years prior to becoming hopelessly addicted. Through AA's grace, we were loved into sobriety (wife 32 yrs sober, me 29 yrs) and pointed to a path (the 12 Steps) that comes from Scripture. Because of unconditional love and fellowship, we became willing to search out God's truth from the source AA's founders used. Married 24 yrs, and members of a healthy Bible believing church, we still hear more honesty and grace, and experience more unconditional love in AA than in any church. If not for "God as you understand God", neither of us would have stayed longed enough to get sober. You who judge alcoholism and AA harshly do no service to Jesus who hung with sinners rather than the church folks who were so focused on legalities it made it hard to experience God's grace. Sadly many in recovery have tried churches and found them unwelcoming and judgmental rather than filled with grace and love.

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Steve Skeete

January 09, 2014  2:48pm

As someone who has worked in the field of drug addiction and rehabilitation I sympathize with the pastor recovering from addiction. The pastor was not sure if alcoholism is a sin, prefering to see it more as a 'disease'. He did say, rightly, that the key to change came from the inside. My feeling is wisdom should instruct a pastor not to drink since drinking is fraught with danger. Almost every place in the Bible where 'strong drink' and 'wine' are mentioned there is a warning as to their danger. The fact is no one has to drink alcohol. It is one of those practices that is hard to ''model'' because people differ greatly in chemical makeup and their ability to handle alcohol. The huge sums of money spent on hospitalization, rehabilitation, medication, the loss of revenue through absenteeism, loss of productivity, and the tragedy and sorrow that accompany drinking, should convince any pastor that not drinking is a small sacrifice to pay to be part of the solution and not the problem.

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Karen McGinnis

January 06, 2014  11:19pm

I am surprised and shocked by the words in this article regarding "alcoholism" and the reference made to it's "destructive power". As a bible believing evangelical myself I would have to strongly disagree with you on several points. My bible teaches me that NOTHING has any power over me except Christ whom I belong to. Anything that can destroy my life can only do so with my consent and by my choice. Alcohol is an inanimate object and cannot control me unless I voluntarily surrender to it, thus the powers of darkness. Then I would be a slave to the one I obey, the alcohol. Not so for the child of God! Any struggle with alcohol is simply a struggle simply and plainly with sin. Will you or wont' you? Romans 8 plainly spells all of these things out. All of this mumbo jumbo about a disease is a smoke screen for the real problem. Have you surrendered your agenda and your will to Christ? If so then he promises to empower us to resist sin and serve him. Call it what it is so he can fix it.

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