12 Step Programs - What is the Reformed View?

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The Author of my Faith

Puritan Board Freshman
What is the Reformed view of the 12 Step Program Models that are used by Churches to help Christians overcome compulsive sinful behaviors such as Sexual Sin, Getting Drunk, Drugs, Overeating etc.. Is there a place for such programs in the Church if the 12 Step Program is truly Biblically Based? I understand that the scripture teaches that these are not sicknesses but sin and I know all the verses that say those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. My question is "are these programs wrong?"

I am thinking about the verse "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness, keeping watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" Galatians 6:1-2

Which seems to say that a TRUE CHRISTIAN can be CAUGHT in a habitual sin (correct me if I am wrong). And that one is is MORE SPIRITUAL should "restore" that person.

What does "RESTORATION" look like on a practical basis? Can a 12 Step Program be one of the means of "restoration"?

Thanks.
 

The Mexican Puritan

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally it was a Six Step program handed down to Bill W. by someone from the Oxford Group, a Christian organization in the UK. People in those programs create a higher power of their own choosing. Of course that is wrong. However, if one has Christ as their Higher Power, I see no problem with going to AA, NA, etc. at all, anything as long as the addictive behavior is arrested.
 

The Author of my Faith

Puritan Board Freshman
I actually already read this article on a Reformed Critique. He deals with the AA Model but does not address those "Christian 12 Step Programs" that deal with addiction as SIN and the problem as SIN" though it was helpful and I agree I still would like to know if a church has a so called 12-Step program that is BIBLICALLY based and deals with the thought patterns that lead to sinful habitual sin is that something that would be considered ok in the Reformed Circles?
 

Rangerus

Puritan Board Junior
I would agree that 12 step Christian programs are up to par with the Reformed View. Since we are to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."(Philippians 2:12c KJV) then one must agree with what "work out your own salvation" really means. As long as this is the idea of getting rid of sin and increasing your holiness and righteousness through Christ Jesus.

Barkers NT Commentary has this to say:

The Incentive for heeding it

Encouragingly Paul says, as it were, You, Philippians, must continue to work out your own salvation, and you can do it, for it is God who is working in you. Were it not for the fact that God is working in you, you Philippians would not be able to work out your own salvation.

Illustrations:
The toaster cannot produce toast unless it is “connected,” so that its nichrome wire is heated by the electricity from the electric power house. The electric iron is useless unless the plug of the iron has been pushed into the wall outlet. There will be no light in the room at night unless electricity flows through the tungsten wire within the light-bulb, each end of this wire being in contact with wires coming from the source of electric energy. The garden-rose cannot gladden human hearts with its beauty and fragrance unless it derives its strength from the sun. Best of all, “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me” (Joh_15:4).

So here also. Only then can and do the Philippians work out their own salvation when they remain in living contact with their God. It is exactly because God began a good work in them — are they not the “beloved” ones? — and because he who began that good work will also carry it toward completion (Php_1:6), that the Philippians, as “co-workers with God” (cf. 1Co_3:9), can carry this salvation to its conclusion.
 
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