A Call to Crossing Guys: Throw Off Your “Worship Disorder”

Look, I make no bones about it: Ed Welch is something of a hero to me. I’ve thought very highly of him for years.

As divine providence would have it, I had an opportunity to shake his hand and personally thank him for the impact his work has made in my life just about a year ago when I attended the CCEF conference in Virginia Beach. Yeah, sure, I suppose it might well have been slightly awkward for him. I mean, what is someone supposed to say when you flat-out tell him that his book helped save your life?

The book I am referring to is Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave. Honestly, it would be hard for me to overstate the significance that this work played in my own 14-years-plus recovery. If Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life helped me better understand who I am in relation to Who God is – and why I was on the planet in the first place – then Welch’s book helped me to finally construct “a biblical/clinical language of addiction” that gave me a solid understanding of the emotional, spiritual, physical, and relational triggers that separate the guy who is perfectly able to have a few beers at a ballgame from the enslaved individual who puts one swig of alcohol to his lips and just can’t help but go on a three-day bender (or worse).

Put simply, Welch’s emphasis on all addictions being primarily “worship disorders” is exactly what I needed to combat the loneliness, isolation, loss of longstanding (though unhealthy) friendships and those disorienting “OK, great, so what do I do now?” feelings that are all part and parcel of the newly-recovered addict’s inner thought life. It’s one thing to be sober, but it’s something else altogether to have both an ultimate reason for staying sober along with the insight and vocabulary to begin handing over the enslaving thoughts, emotions, drives and frustrations to the only One who can offer full and final healing, Jesus Christ.

Next month, The Crossing plans to begin its third consecutive session of “Crossroads,” an 11-week program that is based entirely on Welch’s book. This next session is open to men who (for whatever reason) find themselves enslaved to sinful behaviors of any kind. Unlike most other programs, “Crossroads” does not focus in on one particular manifestation of sin, necessarily, so men with compulsive, repetitive sin issues of any type are welcome to attend. Whether your besetting problem is alcohol, drugs, pornography or any other type of sexual brokenness, “Crossroads” can serve to put you into a healing community with other men who have struggled and ultimately achieved the victory that has set them free.

If you’re a guy and think you may finally be ready to set down the shot glass, put away the bong and/or delete all of the porn on your computer, and you would greatly appreciate the opportunity to do so in a caring, Christ-exalting, judgment-free environment, I’d like to ask you to consider signing up for our next session of “Crossroads.” You can reach me at [email protected] for more information; all inquiries are (of course) handled with the strictest of confidence.

Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D. Ed is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. He earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear and addictions. His books include: When People Are Big and God is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame it on the Brain; Depression-A Stubborn Darkness; Running Scared; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; and When I am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. (Source: CCEF.org. Accessed Nov. 6, 2011.)

Romans 7:14-25 (ESV, emphasis added)
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

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