But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. Jude 20-21
What I am about to share reflects the struggle that I am facing increasingly as the President of America’s Keswick. What I am about to share my shock you and I trust that you will prayerfully hear my heart.
I really am at the point where I think our Board should call it quits and get out of the addiction recovery ministry. We are fighting a losing battle.
We have a record number of men who are graduating that are overdosing on heroin. Dying after one injection. Men who have graduated from the program who are relapsing in 48 hours and many of them are calling to come back to the program.
But there is an even greater concern. We have been encouraging our grads for years to connect with Bible believing churches so that they can grow in their walk with the Lord and continue to walk in victory.
Sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? But in many cases, I owe the men a huge apology for setting them up for failure.
I just heard a report of a Christian addiction recovery ministry that raised $100,000 to help men and women come out of addiction. The money was raised by selling alcohol which was sold by young female bartenders that were asked to volunteer their services. So apparently we need to encourage men who are alcoholics to get the victory, but apparently one of the best fundraising tactics is to get people to sell the addictive –home/life destroying product and find people who want to help see addicts free to “contribute” by buying the product.
Yesterday I read an article about a new group of churches being raised up that are setting up shop in bars. The new evangelism initiative is called “Jesus and Beer.” The plan is to invited seekers to attend a “service” in a bar, serve the best beer, and have dialog about Jesus.
So I guess if we are going to be able to most effectively serve our grads in transitioning back to the “real” world, we need to educate them that it still isn’t ok for them to go to a bar and drink on their own and with their old friends. It is ok to go to the bar and drink as long as you are joining other Christians who have learned to drink responsibly and at the same time are able committed to studying the Bible and sharing Christ.
I have yet to see a post of Facebook posted by my Christian friends that shows them in the bar gathering for church or a Bible study. I have rarely been in the company of “Christian” drinkers where someone hasn’t left the party inebriated and out of control.
But even more disturbing is that the with this new norm we’ve swung the pendulum the other way in that you can’t hold a different position. It doesn’t matter if you have a history of alcohol in your background, it doesn’t matter is you choose to not drink, it doesn’t matter if you are concerned about offending a weaker brother or sister, you either join on or you are ridiculed.
I have left several functions where people have been in my face because I wouldn’t drink a beer. After all, if I am not at America’s Keswick, who is going to know? Really? So what happened to the passages in the New Testament about the weaker brother/sister or not doing something because it might hinder ones testimony? Or suppose your insistence on someone drinking leads them on a downward spiral or even worse, they do leave the party under the influence and face getting a DUI all in the name of “I’m free in Christ to do this so you need to do it too?”
This is a hot button topic and I am sure that I am going to get some humdinger responses. I welcome your comments. But I believe that we have opened the door to some pretty serious issues that are already coming back to bite us.
The same Pastors that refuse to preach both sides of this issue because they can’t nail total abstinence from the Scriptures, and I agree, are the ones that are ticked off at us when a believer in their church has lost everything because of the effects of alcohol, and “What do you mean there is waiting list?” We have a problem, guys.
I will write more about this in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, the next time I am at Applebees, I plan to take a picture of me and the guys enjoying our unsweetened iced teas and diet sodas.
Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 129; Proverbs 10
Daily Quote: Liberty is turned to license by self. – Walter Chantry
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
7 thoughts on “I Think It’s Time to Call It Quits”
Bill, It is rare that I comment but I want you to know that we pray daily for you the staff and men and women in the programs. We know where your heart is. Hang in there as frustrating as it is.
I’m thankful for the colony and am glad it was there when I needed it. I’ve been helping those that struggle with porn to be able to experience success and I could share similar stories of those that keep returning to it, but I know that there are those that will work hard, fight the fight and gain ground daily in victory.
Dear Bill, I can’t stop crying after reading this article. Adam graduates this Sunday. He is in Gods hands. He is God’s chosen. He has bought Adam with the blood of Christ, and kept him. Whatever happens I know Jesus love for him is everlasting.
Bill I can’t thank you enogh for what you have done for my family. I shudder to think where we would be without you. You have made such an impact on us all.
Thankyou, a praying mom, Jaynee Metcalf.
As a former police officer, I applaud you for taking a much-needed public stand on this issue. The devastation caused in our society by beverage alcohol dwarfs all other vices. I recently heard a pastor ridicule those who don’t drink…and then later in the same message bemoan the fact that his own daughter had to be kicked out of their home because she kept coming home drunk. How ironic! Thanks for speaking the truth, no matter how unpopular it may be.
Your (our) only job is to remain faithful to your (our) calling. You are called to help set people free in Christ. Let the world and emergent church do its thing. You will not answer to any of us, or even yourself on That Day… but you will answer to Him. Stay the course buddy.
Dear Pastor Welte,
Do not give up! Stay the course. Addiction is very hard to overcome. Don’t give up! Do your best with God’s help; that is all you can do.
Mrs. Mary (Komarowski) Monahan
Brother Bill i will always pray for you and your staff
at keswick,i miss going to the marriage retreats as i am no longer married.I can imagine how frustrating it must be for you to feel like icarus flying to close to the sun.your job and mission is too show the men and women the truth and show them the light,if they choose to go down the dark path once again that is not on your hands,they are grown adults,remember brother not everyone will be saved but if even one gets totally sober then you are not doing this in vain.You have plenty of success stories.May the LORD continue to give you his strength in this battle against the enemy.GOD bless you.Erik argueta