The following abomination comes courtesy of a local Methodist church in my area. It is the salient components of a brochure inviting those who struggle with psychological distress in the form of addiction to attend weekly sessions where they will, so it seems, be asked to engage in group-therapy centered upon the idea that, according to the Bible and to God, there is really no hope at all.
Which of course makes the entire thing somewhat superfluous I would think.
But apparently in the hurricane of cognitive dissonance and vexing logical dilemmas the idea that there is nothing practical anyone can do, because they are metaphysically inadequate to deal with the problems which plague them, gets lost in all the “grace” of God. That is, God will heal you instead of YOU actually having to do anything, is the message.
Except…no, that’s not really the message at all. The message is more like: God “is able” to heal you. But of course, since the root of what you struggle with is your inexorable and all-pervasive sin nature, there is really no good argument for WHY God would want to heal you. From what I gather, the gist is that you are expected to confess to your categorical assholery, realize that you cannot heal yourself, which is probably an okay thing because, being a total asshole you don’t deserve healing, and then you cross your fingers and hope manna falls from the sky. Hope against hope that some sign will be sent from God that he will “use” your torment for better things, or, preferably, you will be healed.
Of course, implicit in the entire doctrine is the fact that if you prefer to be healed instead of wanting God to “use” your pain for “good”–a good that still involves your pain, that is, so healing seems to be out of the question; for if God is “using” your pain for good then why on earth would He want to end the pain?–…
Where was I?
Oh yes. Implicit in the doctrine is the idea that if you prefer to be healed instead of being used then you are a selfish reprobate who desires to grant a sop to God instead of accepting His divine Will. Incidentally the doctrine of “existing to be categorically used by God who controls everything” is at the root of the fundamental theological contradiction: you exist, but don’t exist at the same time. You are you, but are not really you. You exist to be you, so that God can use you in such a way (absolutely determine you) that no actual or relevant definition of YOU, as far as “your” existence is concerned, can be applied.
So, you come away with this…this…well, it can only be describe as wholly destructive advice from these “compassionate” Christians:
(NOTE: This is my translation of the “steps to recovery”, which I will post following)
*Your problems are the rightful consequence of your utter wickedness.
*You are wicked because you cannot help it; and yet it is still defined as “wicked”, despite the obvious fact that if one does not and cannot CHOOSE to act a certain way then there can be no rational moral qualification applied. That is like saying you are “good” for growing hair or making body odor. (Or you are “bad”…no matter. But see how subjective Reformation theology is? It would be funny as hell if it…weren’t. These fuckers are serious.).
Which leads us into our next…
*Just because you cannot help it doesn’t mean it isn’t your fault. It damn sure is, and don’t you forget it. Asshole.
*God would be right to let you suffer these things and even more for the sin which you cannot help but which is still all your fault…somehow.
*If God heals you then He is a hypocrite because if He is just then He must punish sin; and your misery is obviously because of your sin, because that is the ONLY reason for suffering and pain. Ever. There are no accidents or mere unfortunate circumstances with a God who controls every molecule in the universe, including, by logical extension, those molecules which are responsible for sin. But shhhhhhhhhhh! we don’t talk about that because the very fact that you thought about this is evidence that you really understand fuck all about God’s great absolute sovereignty which is responsible for sin, but also isn’t.
*God hates you.
*You might get healed.
*But probably not.
Are you comforted yet by this? Well, for my part, I sleep well at night knowing that this kind of “compassion” is so ready and willing to give freely and sacrificially of itself in the interest of…uh…helping?
Now, before we begin our critique, here’s an obvious hint for all of you suffering from any kind of affliction, addiction, or whatnot: for healing, it is best not to appeal to organizations which hate people, and which have an entire systematized philosophy as to WHY people should be hated, which is rooted in the assumption that the answer to that question is a simple “because human beings blow as a matter of existential course”.
Here are the relevant ideas of this brochure, in two parts. In later posts I hope to examine briefly the stark fallacies and rational insanity of each point. In the meantime, please feel free to engage in savage criticism and raucous mockery of this evil excuse for “recovery”.
The fist section is called “The Road to Recovery: Eight Principles Based On the Beatitudes” by Pastor Rick Warren
(NOTE: With each numbered idea there is an irrelevant Bible verse attached. I say “irrelevant” because, as is the usual case with Reformed proof-texts, which are by definition taken out of context and bastardized to fit the subjective intention and interpretations of the person making the list, they have literally nothing to do with the point being made. This means that the inclusion of scripture within these lists is for the purpose of deception only. As such, I will not include them in this post. They are stupid.)
1. Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover.
3. Consciously choose to commit my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
4. Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, God and someone I trust.
5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
6. Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I have done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and gain the power to follow his will.
8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.
The second section is called “The 12 Steps to Recovery”, and I presume that this was developed by the Methodist church hosting the self-hatred navel gazing…er, I mean, counseling, sessions. They are basically an answer to Rick’s stupid list.
As with the above list, the totally irrelevant and completely unrelated Bible verses have been omitted.
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We decided to turn our life and will over to the care of God.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. We sought, through prayer and meditation, to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we pledged to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.