Holistic Christian Healing for Addicts Term Paper

Pages: 16 (4902 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Drugs / Alcohol  ·  Written: November 30, 2019

In this regard, Noble advises that according to Wesley, “Christians may be truly sanctified not only in outward consistency of conduct, but inwardly in such a way as to be truly among the ‘pure of heart’” (4). Although not directed specifically at Christians that are suffering from addictions, this type of outcome is precisely what is sought through holistically based interventions.

Moreover, Wesley maintained that the Almighty intended sanctification for all of humankind collectively as well as extending the redeeming grace of sanctification to each individual Christian. In this regard, Noble adds that, “Christian theology must include the concept of sanctification, an understanding of the way in which God ‘makes holy’ not only a people corporately, but each one individually” (2). When people succeed in becoming holy through the healing grace fully and freely offered by the Creator, the healing process has begun but holistic healing does not stop there.

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In this regard, an interesting analogy posited by Sheen is highly applicable to the predicament that many addicts find themselves in when faced with the enormously difficult decision as to whether to continue to abuse their drug of choice or make the first step towards recovery by reaching out to others for help. On the one hand, the former alternative will only perpetuate the suffering that addicts routinely experience from their drug abuse, but it does avoid the drug sickness that occurs when addicts are unable to secure their next “fix.” On the other hand, though, reaching out to others for help to recover from their addiction may be what is truly in their heart of hearts, but this alternative requires more than just becoming disgusted and tired, it demands a careful self-assessment and honest admission of helplessness to recover without assistance. For instance, Sheen analogizes as follows:

Term Paper on Holistic Christian Healing for Addicts Assignment

As the fall of man was a free act, so too the Redemption had to be free. Suppose a musician in an orchestra freely strikes a sour note. The conductor is competent, the music is correctly scored and easy to play, but the musician still exercises his freedom by introducing a discord which immediately passes out into space. The director can do one of two things: he can either order the selection to be replayed, or he can ignore the discord. Fundamentally, it makes no difference which he does, for that false note is traveling out into space at the rate of more than a thousand feet per second, and as long as time endures, there will be discord in the universe. Is there any way to restore harmony to the world? It can be done only by someone coming in from eternity and stopping the note in its wild flight. But will it still be a false note? The harmony can be destroyed on one condition only. If that note is made the first note in a new melody, then it will become harmonious. (Sheen 22-23)

Unfortunately, restoring even a semblance of harmony to addict’s lives is a tall order, of course, and the effort may require several attempts in order for any type of intervention to “stick” with long-term, sustained results to achieve true redemption from addiction. While redemption from sin is an eternal gift from the Creator and the source of everlasting joy for all Christians, it remains unclear whether addiction to something can be legitimately characterized as sinful in the 21st century. After all, many health care professionals and organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, define addiction as a disease. For example, according to the U.S. Center on Addiction, “Like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. Genetic risks factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction” (The disease model of addiction, 2019, para. 2).

Nature and nurture and therefore implicated in affecting individuals’ tendency to allow themselves to become fully involved in an addiction, but this combination of causative factors also makes addiction an especially complicated disorder for non-addicts to understand and appreciate. Notwithstanding these complications, most reasonable people would therefore be unwilling to characterize diabetes or cancer as a moral weakness or sin, so it is unreasonable to castigate addicts as sinful, unless other, far more subjective factors, such as regarding addicts as suffering from a moral deficiency or a weak will are taken into account in this analysis. For example, the U.S. Center of Addiction also notes that, “Addiction involves changes in the functioning of the brain and body. These changes may be brought on by risky substance use or may pre-exist” (The disease model of addiction, 2019, para. 5). Furthermore, the changes that take place in addicts’ brains due to their addiction are common to virtually all types of addictions including those that do not involve substantive abusing behaviors. For instance, according to Wilson and Johnson, studies have shown that, “The neurological changes in the brains of people who engage in gambling, binge eating, and compulsive sex were similar to those brains of persons who abused substances such as alcohol and marijuana” (17). In addition to these types of addictions, other common types in the United States at present that may not generally be regarded as disorders but which can have the same adverse effects on people (including neurological changes) include Internet addiction, shopping addiction, video game addiction, risky behavior addiction (i.e., skydiving and BASE jumping) and even plastic surgery addiction (Illades).g

While substance-abusing addictions such as alcohol and opioids tend to dominant the mainstream press and therefore receive most attention from Americans today, many otherwise-normal and even productive behaviors can turn into harmful addictions without people realizing it. For instance, even using mobile telephones to excess and/or in harmful ways can lead to addiction as shown… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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