Christian Recovery — Introduction

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Christian Recovery can mean many things. The one basic theme in all Christian Recovery is that it is guided by, with success attributed to, God's intervention in the life of the recovering person.

For information regarding Christian Schools and Programs, and also support for Christian faith in secular programs, see also Religion, Family, and Spiritual Dimension of Healing

We want to avoid using this forum for taking sides in religious controversies. We at FamilyLight are people of Christian faith. We try to do what we do in a manner that is guided by our faith but not in a way that demeans or disrespects others. But one thing we will do is call out others who are hiding behind a Christian label in order to do something that we think gives all Christians a bad name, and we see much of that. 

For some, Christian Recovery is as simple as finding freedom from addiction by simply participating in the normal worship style and discipline of their own church.  We see this especially in Pentecostal Churches, and can attest to several specific cases of recovery in this context appearing to be quite genuine. For some, Christian Recovery involves participation in an organized group based upon Christian teachings. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in its earliest days was an example of Christian Recovery, beginning as it did as an offshoot of the Oxford Group. The move to separate from the Oxford Group was not for the purpose of rejecting Christianity but was for the purpose of inviting non-Christians into the fellowship (as well as Christians who were not in tune with the Oxford Group).

We offer three examples of organized support systems for Christian Recovery which we think illustrate both the strengths and the flaws of Christian programming. In order to keep this page from being too long, we put each of these into separate pages, linked below. Please note that the references to these resources  are here to serve as examples of what families need to watch for in Christian programming, and not intended to serve as a full analysis of those particular resources.

In general, we believe that when people are confronted with a grave illness, one of the most important things to do is also the most obvious: let qualified health care professionals help. If you have cancer and you are a person of faith, we suspect you would not just look for prayer to help out. Addiction is a grave illness. We can't say for sure that addiction is just as life threatening as cancer, but neither is to be trifled with.  We expect almost anyone would seek medical care in the case of cancer AND, if a person of faith, also seek out healing as might be supplied by that person's church or other faith based help.

Practical application in selecting a treatment venue:

Our full articles list simple bulleted practical items.  We share one of those here: Be alert to treatment programs that use a claim to be Christian programs to avoid licensing restrictions and do not involve include licensed clinicians. (Ministries that provide free care to those without ability to pay may be an exception here. We do not believe they will be as effective as those with a combination of clinical and faith based support, but they may well be much better than nothing.

Please read our full disclaimer. You are responsible for verifying our information before acting on it.
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Last Update March 14, 2018

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