Sunday, July 5, 2009

Soapbox

**Look out - one of my various rants coming on...it's been building!

Let's start by getting it out of the way that NONE of us are perfect. None of us. We all have our individual issues and sins. Some of us struggle with addictions, some with gossiping, some with lying, some with adultery. A sin is a sin is a sin. None larger than the other in God's eyes. But I am going to focus on addictions today and how brave the men at John 3:16 are to openly share their struggles. Think about it - they walk around with T-shirts on saying "John 3:16 A Spirtual Bootcamp for Men with Addictions." How many of us would be willing to walk around in a T-shirt labeled "adulterer" or "liar"??? These men are to be commended in my opinion. I admire their strength and determination to get their lives back together and not have any shame about it. These men are able to leave the ministry and reach so many more people than those of us that haven't gone through what they have. The lost can relate to these men. I have so much I want to say and it is going to be so easy to get sidetracked.
I am really ticked off because someone, I don't know who, but someone wanted to see this ministry suffer. Apparently a law passed about two years that two felons cannot live under the same address in Arkansas. UNLESS, they are in a state run facility. John 3:16 is not a state run facility. Why? Because when you bring in the state, you cannot teach Jesus. It's like public school, you can't even say his name, much less TEACH about him. John 3:16 will never be state run. So, they might as well give up that battle!! Let's look at some facts...state run rehabs on average have a 15% success rate. That's NOT much especially when you consider how many people go to these rehabs. John 3:16 has an over 80% success rate. Why? Because they teach JESUS!!! These men are not in 12 step programs. They are in the Bible!! Fact - the state run rehabs have a majority of residents who have been sent there by the courts. The people are there to get out of trouble. Most (not all) are counting down their 49 days or so until they can leave. If all an addict wants is to get out of trouble with the court, then state run is the place to go because it is a short stay AND the court recognizes it. In comparison, John 3:16 is a minimum 6 month stay that can last up to a year. If you just wanna "get out of trouble", are you going to give up a minimum of 6 months of your life? Chances are no...these men are here trying to CHANGE their life. Fact: You cannot even serve community service hours for a church or public school. If you can't serve community service for a church, then do you think you can talk about Jesus in a state rehab? NO! Fact: In a state run rehab or AA meeting, the men have to stand up and say "My name is K. I am 35 years old. I am an alcoholic and a sorry s.o.b." At John 3:16, they say, "My name is K. I am 35 years old, and I've got a home in Gloryland that outshines the sun." See the difference??? Now, state run facilities, your percentages MIGHT go up if you would STOP beating these men down - making them feel like deadbeats and nobodies and start building them up. Give them something to live for...oh wait, you can't talk about Jesus, so what are you going to give them? Well, Praise God there is a place called John 3:16 Ministries in Charlotte, Arkansas. Shame on you state for taking men from that safe place that was NOT costing the taxpayers one red cent and putting them somewhere else where the taxpayers would have to pay for them instead. Shame on you state for being so caught up in money and trying to overtake something that WORKS for these men that you forgot about the humans involved. The lives that are affected. The families that are affected. Shame on you for being jealous of the success rate of John 3:16 ministries. Here is an idea...try taking something else from them...take some ideas from them....take a little Jesus from them. Because you NEED it! We all need Jesus - through Him anything is possible!

7 comments:

llcoolsmith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
llcoolsmith said...

Thanks so much for your blog posts! They are so comforting! I am sure that with the help of God and the support of friends and family that I can get back on track.

I totally understand where you are coming from. So many laws pass because of HATE instead of LOVE and they are not thought through. Case in point, the adoption law. However, I did want to take a minute to talk to you about AA because I think that there may be a misunderstanding.

AA is a program that is centered on spirituality. AA teaches that only God (our Higher Power) can restore our lives to sanity and free us from addiction. If you have a minute, please go to the following website, click on the pamphlet and go to page 20 to read over the steps:
http://www.aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?category=4&product=4

If you look over step 3, it reads "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him". The key to this program is turning everything over to God. However, one of the most important parts of this step is "as we understood Him". A lot of people that enter the program do not believe in God. However, they desperately want to change their lives. Instead of trying to force everything on them at once, the program allows you to understand God one step at a time and by watching the miracles that He grants to your life, you get to trust in Him a little more day after day, step after step.

AA does not teach the Bible or about Jesus. However, it does teach that God (Higher Power) is the answer. Most people in AA that have been through the steps and actively work the program are very spiritual and pray and meditate with God every day. Also, the beginning and ending of every AA meeting begins and ends with prayer. If you look at the steps, they are very similar to what most churches teach - turning your life over to God, admitting sins, asking forgiveness, praying, helping others.

Also, AA does want anyone to humuliate themselves or degrade themselves. In meetings you do say "Hello, my name is K. and I'm an alcoholic". However, you never degrade yourself or talk about how sorry you are. The point of meetings is to talk about alcohol so that you will never forget where you came from so that you can learn from your past while not forgetting it and so that others can be helped by what you say and learn from your experience.

AA is fully supported by the contributions of members. So, it is not a state run or funded agency.

Anyway, I'm not telling you all of this to promote AA. However, I just wanted to let you know so that you would have a little bit more understanding about the program.

Love ya!! Thanks so much for keeping me in your prayers!! It has really been helping!!!

Becca B. said...

Wow! You got me fired up with that post as well! Do you have the name of any politicians I can call and conmplain about this too. I would love to write a letter or make a call as a concerned citizen on behalf of John 3:16 for all the good they do. I hate that this is happening...but remember, God is bigger than all of this, than politics, and beauacrats, and He will continue to work in this place.

Lori said...

I really wasn't talking about AA but was talking about the state run rehabs. But Al-Anon never did anything for me except leave me feeling like the situation was hopeless. But that was my experience with Al-Anon...it might be different for someone else.

llcoolsmith said...

I wasn't the biggest fan of Al-Anon either...however, I was going there as a child for my father and I probably should have been at program for youth and children and not with a bunch of husbands and wives.

I knew you weren't focusing on AA, but you had mentioned it and I just wanted to make sure that you knew that God is a big part of it. It has saved many many lives...hard to estimate how many since it is an anonymous program.

Love you toots! Thanks for the comments on my blog!! Very encouraging!!

Lori said...

I know we have emailed and talked about this but I do want to go on record to say that I have been to some AA meetings and am familiar with the 12 steps. I do not have any issues with AA, but do have issues with the state run rehabs. AA is very politically correct with the Higher Power being 'as you understood Him'. AA has helped a tremendous amount of people. I admire anyone who can fight their addictions and anyone who tries to honestly help those battling addictions. My problem is with the state wanting to take over a successful program because they see $$ instead of the people behind it.

RoozGal said...

Well said Lori!! I agree with you, BTW!