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What Are We Hiding? Addiction

September 30, 2013

“I’m convinced addiction is the hidden secret in the church today. It’s everywhere, but we hide it well.”[1]

How can this be? After all, church people are saved and sanctified, right? This quote screams the reality of it – the church is filled with the same problems the world outside the church deals with. Yet for some reason we hide it. What a shame. If the world at large understood the church is full of people who struggle with alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography, eating disorders, and gambling they just might be willing to come to church.

Why is this honesty important? First, because it speaks the truth because those who do not come to church already know the issues being hidden in the churches – after all, they work with church people every day of the week. To hide these issues either speaks to our ignorance of what is really going on, or is a bold-faced lie to those outside the church.

Second, to start working on the issue, one must admit they have an issue. Admitting the problem does not mean you are any less of a Christian or a bad church it just admits you are not perfect and still have some things to work out and you would like help doing so.

If the church is going to be real, it must be honest about its struggles and problems. Once it is open and honest, then it can start a recovery program or partner with a like-minded church to create one and start working on the problem. As the church takes these steps, it allows people to feel free to come to church just as they are, without fixing their problems first. Let’s get honest, let’s get to work, and let’s welcome our new visitors just as they are.

[1] John Burke. No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come As You Are Culture in the Church. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005). 243

  1. Yes! Definitely an important issue. How can we tell the world they’re healed if we don’t believe ourselves to be healed? Church should be the primary place we’re reminded that we ARE free, not that we’re getting free, not that we will be free, but that we ARE free. Because of Jesus. But… for some reason, we’re the very best at resurrecting our old selves, the ones Jesus already took care of. I just have to laugh (or I’ll cry) at how backwards we are sometimes. We literally have so many things completely opposite in whatever we’re calling “Christianity”. God is good, people. All Of The Good Things…love, healing, peace, kindness, joy, freedom…that is God. Thankful for this Truth!

    • Thank you Carlee for responding. We are quite backwards sometimes. One of my jobs is in a Christian bookstore so I can say this backwardness is an infection of the church. The irony is our hardheadedness just shows how broken we are! All the more reason to throw the doors open and say “all welcome here!”

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