Articles and News
Shame is common among those that suffer from substance addiction. A common response to a substance abuser from those with a Christian background is, “You should be ashamed.” While disappointment in the one struggling is natural, just how effective is the shaming response?
As people of faith, we are called to mobilize our forces to be agents of God’s redemption and deliverance in our communities. Jesus commissions the church to be on a mission of deliverance and redemption. This is a picture of a church on the offensive against the powers of darkness and addiction, not one waiting inside behind a closed door for someone in need to perhaps find their way in.
Why did Naaman the Syrian carry dirt from Israel back home to Syria with him? Did his wife say to him when he got back, “You went to Israel and all you got me was a pile of dirt?” What did the dirt symbolize? Read to learn how a willingness to listen humbly, to be obedient, and a commitment to walk daily with the Lord can bring healing to our lives.
“Here’s mud in your eye!” is a toast sometimes heard in old movies that was meant to convey good luck. The origin of the phrase is the Biblical story of Jesus healing the man born blind by putting mud in his eyes. This healing story involves discomfort and stepping out in faith, reminding us that difficult and trying circumstances can be used by God for His purposes.
This healing story is often described by biblical scholars as the seventh sign of the Gospel of John, a place in the text where heaven and earth intersect in the actions of Jesus. The power of Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead, but Jesus calls the disciples to loosen or take off the rags of death that have been binding Lazarus. This article challenges readers to loosen the bonds on those around us who are constrained by burdens that restrict them from the life God intends for them.
Johnny Cash shared the stage and a friendship with Billy Graham, Presidents, and other leaders in the political and Christian world. Yet, throughout most of his life he struggled with drugs because of deep and enduring emotional pain. In Cash’s struggle we see that even after conversion, the Christian suffers from wounds and emotional pain. Have we abdicated our role as a hospital for the hurting, to become a place of “performing artists” working to hide our defects? Read how the church can recover its role as an agent of redemption to help battle addiction.