Baptist Beliefs On Alcohol And Drug Addiction And Rehab
With over 400 million adherents worldwide, the Baptist tradition is one of the largest Christian denominations. In the US, there are about 50 million Christians who identify as Baptists, and about 35% of American Evangelicals attend Baptist churches. As can happen with members of any faith, sometimes Baptists can fall victim to addiction. However, there are many options available to Baptists for drug and alcohol rehab.
The Baptists originated in England during the 17th century and distinguished themselves from other Christians by embracing baptism by full immersion in water and only for adult believers. Adult baptism is based on the belief that faith cannot exist prior to the age of accountability. Like their forefathers, Baptists today believe in salvation and personal renewal through faith in Jesus Christ. According to Baptist doctrine, a person can build a new life on the foundation of a relationship with God after being “born again” in the Holy Spirit.
Many Baptists practice total abstinence from alcohol and drugs and view using these substances as sinful. Consequently, addiction to them represents a moral failing. However, other Baptists believe that addiction is a disease. Although Baptists sometimes understand addiction differently, most Baptists agree that achieving freedom from substance abuse requires God’s help. In the words of Pastor John Piper, a world-famous Baptist minister, “the more we return to Him, the more we fully become whole and rational and free and joyful. But the more we return to substances, the more we become broken, irrational, enslaved, and miserable.”
Baptist Churches Take A Stand Against Addiction
In response to the Opioid epidemic, a major addiction crisis, the Southern Baptist Convention declared in a resolution that “all people, including those battling addiction, are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and maintain an ongoing dignity,” and that “Christians are commanded to love their neighbors (Matthew 22:39), which includes those in our communities suffering from the harmful effects of Opioid addiction.” For this reason, the Convention “encourage[s] churches to provide gospel ministry to those in their communities affected by [Opioid] abuse.”
As a result, Baptist churches around the world host faith-based support groups for people in recovery. These support groups involve prayer, Bible study, and Christian discipleship. For example, Steve Curington founded Reformers Unanimous at his Baptist church in 1996. Steve himself almost lost his life to alcoholism and Cocaine addiction. Today, there are over 2,000 Reformers Unanimous chapters in Baptist churches in dozens of countries. The program also has its own residential treatment center in Rockford, Illinois.
Common Questions About Rehab
How Faith-Based Drug Rehab Helps Baptists
The best way to overcome a substance use disorder (SUD) is to receive treatment at a rehab center. In fact, people who undergo rehab are significantly more likely to achieve sobriety and stay sober long-term than people who attempt recovery without professional help. Fortunately, Baptists have many options for rehab programs that draw inspiration from Christian doctrine and practice. Throughout the US and in other countries, many rehab centers offers Christian recovery programs. These programs involve prayer, Bible-focused relapse prevention training, church services, and fellowship with other Christians in recovery. Some rehab centers also follow Christian 12-step programs.
Faith-based rehab will involve supervised detox, inpatient and outpatient therapy, and medication. While these features of rehab are not specifically Christian, a faith-based rehab program will undertake them with a Christian approach. For Baptists in rehab, modern recovery methods with a Christ-centered philosophy can make a tremendous difference. Many Baptists who have undergone faith-based rehab say the experience reaffirmed their convictions and helped them form a stronger bond with Jesus. Rehab can be a challenging experience, but Christian rehab can help Baptists stay grounded in their faith and connected to the church as they set aside drugs and alcohol once and for all.
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What Kinds Of Addiction Can A Baptist Rehab Program Treat?
A recovery program with a Christian perspective can offer effective treatment for many types of addiction disorders. Some examples of substance and behavioral addictions that Baptist Christians can overcome through faith-based rehab include:
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If you are a Baptist and you’re struggling with any form of addiction, today is the day to get help. Contact a treatment provider today to learn more about available treatment options. It is possible for you to recover from addiction, especially with treatment that shares your religious values.
Jena Hilliard earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida in English Literature. She has always had a passion for literature and the written word. Upon graduation, Jena found her purpose in educating the public on addiction and helping those that struggle with substance dependency find the best treatment options available.
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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:
Deborah Montross Nagel
Deborah has a Master’s Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor – CAADC. She is nationally certified as a MAC – Master Addictions Counselor – by NAADAC (The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors). Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no "bad guy" in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!
- More from Deborah Montross Nagel
- A Forever Recovery. (2015). National Baptist Convention Discusses Faith-Based Treatment for Addiction. Retrieved on October 9, 2019, from https://aforeverrecovery.com/blog/events/national-baptist-convention/
- Barkley, S. (2017). No more waiting: Baptist association moves forward with addiction recovery ministry. Christian Index. Retrieved on October 9, 2019, from https://christianindex.org/no-more-waiting-baptist-association-moves-forward-with-addiction-recovery-ministry/
- Casanova, A. (n.d.). The Most Well-known Protestant Denomination: 10 Things Everyone Should Know about Baptists. Christianity Today. Retrieved on October 9, 2019, from https://www.christianity.com/church/denominations/the-most-well-known-protestant-denomination-10-things-everyone-should-know-about-baptists.html
- Howell, T. (2019). Suffering in silence — addicts and their families. Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Retrieved on October 10, 2019, from https://ncbaptist.org/suffering-in-silence-addicts-and-their-families/
- Ocean Breeze Recovery Center. (n.d.). Christian Rehab. Retrieved on October 9, 2019, from https://oceanbreezerecovery.org/christian-rehab-guide/
- Piper, J. (2018). Drug Users and Christian Hedonists — Aren’t Both Just Chasing the Next High? DesiringGod. Retrieved On October 9, 2019, from https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/drug-users-and-christian-hedonists-arent-both-just-chasing-the-next-high
- Roach, D. (2018). Baptists & alcohol: Is the consensus shifting? Baptist Press. Retrieved on October 9, 2019, from http://www.bpnews.net/51897/baptists-and-alcohol-is-the-consensus-shifting
- RU Recovery Program. (n.d.). The Steve Curington Story. Retrieved on October 10, 2019, from http://rockfordru.org/steve-curington-story/