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Is Celebrate Recovery a biblical program?

So much in Christianity today is not based on Christ’s teachings as much as it’s based upon the ideas and theories of mankind. Colossians 2:8 states: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Read this article below and think about the comments that are being made. We need to consider this matter carefully if we are going to be distinct in the church and let truth lead us.


So what do we do about it? I say we stay true to biblical, discipleship methods to help those who struggle with life-dominating sin issues. We do not need the ideas of unregenerate men to help us speak the truth in love to others!

While CR programs are being used by God to help people, it is the PEOPLE of God through whom the Lord works, not a particular program. Let’s be sure, as the people of God, that we accurately tell others biblical truth and be cautious when utilizing programs that borrow from the fallible, flawed, and sometimes man-centered ideas of non-Christians! That’s my primary concern!

-Mark (I think you can see by this article that CR is based on a mixture of man’s ideas and the Word of God which is NOT a good thing…what’s wrong with just using the Word of God by itself?)

31 thoughts on “Is Celebrate Recovery a biblical program?”

  1. Here are all of the critisms I could find on the internet for Celebrate Recovery and what I think of each….

    – People can rely on the method than the message. CR is a method, people should go directly to God/the Bible if they want help.
    – The 12 steps are not directly taken out of the bible.
    – Jesus Christ alone should be sufficient to change people’s lives.

    There are many programs/methods/techniques that take their direction beginning from the bible and in turn relay it to people in a way they can understand and appreciate. If we took everything directly from the bible, there would be no worship songs, no room for preachers to say anything other than what comes from the bible, no room for Christian discipleship and interpretation. Saying the bible or nothing doesn’t represent a good understanding of how people address habitual sin. Go into any Christian book store and you will see alot of bibles, but there are shelves of other material that has it’s beginning in the bible. If we toss out CR because it’s not directly take from the bible, we should also toss anything else that isn’t as well.

    – Anonymity of the groups does not allow for church members to be confronted by other church members about their sin.

    Generally speaking, people who go to CR groups are there to confront their own sin in their lives. People are their to dispel the denial present in their lives and come to a better understanding of how their sin has changed their lives and the lives of those around them. For the majority of people, the rules that allow Christians to confront one another apply in CR groups in the form of making amends but are usually unnecessary as people themselves are the first to expose fault in their own lives.

    – I don’t need the 12 steps to better my life, why should anyone else?
    – The 12 steps didn’t help me and the CR I went to was awful.

    The road to addressing habitual sin can take many forms. Some people need secular recovery, bible based 12 step programs, pastoral counseling, lay counseling, community based groups (AA,NA,NAMI, etc.), or they can just lay it down at the foot of the cross. It should be up to the person to work their own program. CR is an option, it is one of many, any if people don’t find relief in the program they should continue their road with another form.

    – You shouldn’t mix a secular 12 step program with a Christian organization.

    The 12 steps if taken on their own don’t contradict anything in the bible. They are in a language that the recovery community accepts and can relate to. There are other examples, making a journal for example, that both the secular and Christian recovery programs endorse.

    – Celebrate Recovery is only a program to make money.

    While it is apart of the program to be ‘self-supporting,’ some programs/churches have abused the privilege. However, Churches, non-profits, etc. are prone to this because of greed. Celebrate Recovery of itself is not unique in this respect. It is the role of the individual group, Church, non-profit to root out greed and corruption.

    – Recovery means “a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.” and we as Christians are supposed to be re-born and not return to the people we used to be.

    Generally speaking the target audience is someone whether Christian or not who is dealing with a habitual sin, a major hurt or a unresolved habit. They are in a place of hurt and are looking for healing or to find a better way to live. This is more of an argument of words and not ideas. People are looking for help and to recover from what they are presently going through. The program may lead people to Jesus or to restore a relationship with Jesus that was once obtained.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. I spent a year and half at a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma that prides itself on being the first church in OK that introduced CR to the state and trained other churches to use the CR program. I was training to be a pastor at the time (even though I have learned recently that this is not the Lords calling in my life) and felt that Celebrate Recovery would be good ministry experience. I was so wrong. I can’t begin to tell you the things I witnessed that were not what the Bible considers to be the love of Jesus Christ. Power hungry leaders that try to hold down younger people that have potential to lead solely so the current leaders can hold their positions even if those leaders are lacking in biblical knowledge. Then you have the money issue. Jesus was angry when he discovered people selling goods in the temple, but yet at the end of each CR gathering you have CR leaders selling books, t-shirts, and other merchandise. I understand that a church and ministry needs funds in order to serve, but this always seemed excessive to me. I even saw a very successful husband and wife who were both psychiatrists come to speak to my CR group and they were going to do us such a favor by selling us their program on CD for the discounted price of 169.99. I was so offended by this. Whatever happened to doing something for the church out of the goodness of your hearts? The worst problem was the overall message. I often heard CR leaders say “You are NEVER done with recovery”. People were being fooled into thinking that completing the 12 step program one time was not enough. Oh no, you needed the 12 step program (which takes an average of 9-12 months to complete) numerous if not infinite times. If this program is so effective then why does it take so many times in order for it to work??? I’ll tell you why. Celebrate Recovery doesn’t care if its followers find recovery. Celebrate Recovery wants to make money. It’s all about money. I found this out to the hard way. I hope whoever is reading this doesn’t. Amen.

    1. Thanks for sharing your valid concerns and experience with CR. I love the churches that are offering CR but I have often said it’s the wrong message. Recovery is lifelong, but transformation is eternal. Our focus must be upon the Christ and the Word – not anything else. Thanks for being so bold to speak the truth in love.

  3. I struggled with addiction for many years. I attended many A.A and C.R meetings with no success. It wasn’t until I got away from 12 step ideology that I stayed sober. I truly believe that the biggest problem with any 12 step program (including C.R.) is that they teach people that they have a disease and that coping with the desire to use will be a life long struggle. I found that after about 1 year of being drug free and putting God #1 in my life, the desire to use was completely gone! The amount of time it will take for anyone to be set free of the cravings will vary, but believing you have a life long disease will make it extremely difficult to be victorious.

    1. Amen and praise the Lord, Jeff! Thanks for this God-glorifying testimony of His faithfulness!-Mark

  4. Thanks so much for this article. After attending CR I struggled alot with some of the concepts which you have picked up on. This article has been a big help. God bless you richly Mark.

  5. I was raised in church. My mom is one person in public and the opposite at home. She professes to be a Christian, a good loving forgiving Christian, yet told my 14 yr old daughter that she would sooner give her coat to a prostitute than to my daughter should both be in need of a coat. She raised me to believe that I had bad blood, was worthless, would abandon my children, lie, steal, worship satan and do drugs because my biological parents did not measure up in her eyes. My dad was a good christian man. It took me many years to realize the difference in them was that one truly had God and the other had man made religion. Both believe in God, read Bible, attend church, pray, etc. I gave my life to the Lord 5 years ago. My dad died 3 years ago. My life is unmanagable for I am still coping with things of my past, hurts, failures, denial, you name it. I recently read Lifes Healing Choices-Celebrate Recovery book. I have read my Bible completly through a couple times and I read His word daily, I also read other “christian” material. So many preachers out there like Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, Joel Olsteen, etc are picked apart by society. Does the Lord not say that we all have fallen short of the glory? That we all have a sinful nature? We all make mistakes? Yes our old self dies and we are made new….does that happen overnite? It didnt for me. I still struggle everyday with wrong doings, sayings and thoughts. I still screw up. I have allowed the world to come before God without realizing I was and when I read Lifes Healing Choices, I prayed the prayers in that book and I once again felt God’s presence…a feeling I had not felt in years, a feeling I had been longing for, begging God to allow me to feel Him again. I was beginning to believe that because I knew Him and still let myself slip away that I had really screwed up–ya know that verse that says it is better to have never known Him than to have known Him and continued to do wrong or however it goes. No I do not know my Bible to the point of quoting word for word or where it can be found however I am sure some of you know this verse. I was scared to death I had screwed up my salvation and would never be right with Him again! Celebrate Recovery may have its flaws after all it is ran by humans who all make mistakes even when their intentions are good and even when they are led by God–have you never misinterepted what God was saying? Or thought that it was God wanting you to do something when really it wasnt God? I have not been to a CR meeting they are not in my area but I would love to attend, I wish their website was more interactive. I am in a secular treatment center who mandates aa na meetings. I have a problem with “God as I understand God to be” and “higher powers”, God is God, and higher power is God, The Bible, Church not a counselor, a group, a peer, a sponsor or better yet trees, paper, a picture. I did not understand the things taught in treatment, I was always told or treated as though I was in denial or lying, being uncooperative even though I voluntarily came to treatment and truly wanted help. Drugs and Alcohol did not make my life unmanageable, I do not even understand how people could do what they do to get drugs or why they would spend all their time trying to get them. CR’s choice 1 is I admit that I cannot control my tendancy to do wrong and life became unmanagable. Those of us who are not true addicts or alcoholics or became such because of an already unmanagable life are able to relate to this choice better than to aa step 1. Simple re-wording? Made a huge difference for me though. As far as leading us to Satan? How do you come up with that, CR uses Bible verses, stories, prayers, etc and yes I have checked quite a few with my own Bibles, different versions different wording same meaning. Please tell me how CR changes what God wants from us, I do not want to fall away from God, I want to come close to Him and so far CR’s book is helping me to do just that, of course CR alone will not create the relationship desired however CR tells you that you need to find a church, read your Bible, devote time to spend with Him daily. The courts order anyone and everyone who gets any drug or alcohol charge and just about any other charges as well to go to treatment and aa meetings. I have been to both, I have also on my own decided to turn my life over to God and attend church and read Bible and I know that God alone can and will heal your addiction however sometimes life has a way of taking over and many of us stop working on our relationship with the Lord which brings trouble and your past may come back to you but if you continued your cr group or maybe stayed in contact with your sponsor or had made some good christian friends at those meetings you have a better chance than going it alone with your Bible because you have a support group to hold you accountable when you stop letting God and start thinking you got this. I do not like aa or na however Bill was human, whether spirtitual or demonic or christian you do have to give credit to the lives that were turned around because of his program. Some even came to God through AA/NA. The government needs to stop being so money hungry and haning out felonies to every person who does some stupid crime such as possession, stop court ordering treatment and meetings and if they are gonna order it they need to order Chrisian rehab not state rehab. But our govt wants to take God out of everything so that wont happen but that is the only way that anyone will get the help they need. What blows my mind is that the Christian rehabs are outrageous in cost and those of us who are poor cannot go. There are a few very few that I have found that are free and none in Ohio. Shouldnt a truly God ran God inspired rehab or even material be free to those who cannot afford it? Would Jesus be happy about charging those in need or turning them away because of their lack of money? Or seperating them from their children? I firmly believe that God has been taken out of most churches and that society and govt has instilled alot of new rules, guidelines and other crap that should not be. Most church is held on Sun yet we are ordered to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, is that not Sat? We want to sit here and ridicule CR and other christian programs yet how many of the biblical principels do we truly hold up? I was raised that women were not to speak in meetings yet their are hundreds of women evangilists that are basically worshipped and yet if you try to get anything from any popular evangilist, it costs you lots of money when it shouldnt. These evangilists are making money lots of money and I really wonder what Jesus thinks about their fancy homes and cars and bank accounts when there are hundreds of thousands of us that are homeless, carless, no bank account, no job, no food, making minute by minute. The Bible does say to test things to see if they are from Him but it also says to not judge, and to have faith. Do you not see the good that CR has done? Or even AA? Have you even spoke to Rick about your concerns or heard his side of things? Or do you just condemn and judge? I agree that the material should not be expensive and should be offered for free if inability to pay but I have not researched enough to know that it isnt at times given to those who cannot afford it and the meetings are free. I would rather attend a christian recovery meeting or self help meeting than any secular one and I for one am grateful that someone followed through with their dream or Godvision to create such meetings, books and materials.

    1. Hi, Vivian,

      Thank you for your comments! I do like how Rick Whitehead here in the Birmingham, AL, area is leading the CR program at Bethel and in Pell City because he is seeking to be biblical and to honor and exalt Christ above all. Rick Whitehead is not into the chip system or things like that which might detract someone away from Christ or living a sober life for reasons other than for Christ. Rick Whitehead wants people to know and see Christ and I appreciate his hard work in CR and to make it more Christ-glorifying.

      There are good things in CR. They are mixed in with the bad. That’s my concern. I think it is a simple program that really helps people in a practical way but I read a lot of stuff that is secular integrated into their approach.

      God has used CR just as He used imperfect people in the Bible (see Moses, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul, and others).

      God has used many things like CR and churches and people and even me which are imperfect to proclaim His truth and to proclaim Christ as sufficient. Christ is the answer not anyone or anything else (Col. 1:28). The people who proclaim the message must not be the focal point – only Christ and His message must be the focal point! Does that make sense? I think we look at the messenger too much and not listen to the MESSAGE of the Gospel.

      So the critical remarks of CR are not meant to be mean-spirited but to help people to be discerning about what they are reading and learning from so-called Christian programs. People must let the Bible speak FIRST and compare any of the ideas of mankind (Col. 2:8) with His Word of truth and grace. All of us who are in ministry are flawed, sinful, and in need of a Savior and His sanctification in our lives. I hope that makes sense.

      I’m with you on your point about all of the money to preachers. I see a whole lot of money going into the pockets of ministers and not much going to the poor and underserved in this nation and around the world. It breaks my heart to see someone’s salary be $5 million dollars – who needs that much money to live on? It’s just greed and they will have to answer to the Lord one day. I want us to be about giving to the poor and reaching those who do not have access to the Gospel!

      Thank you again and keep your eyes on Jesus,

      Eph. 4:15-16

      P.S. I have not had the privilege to meet Mr. Rick Warren and appreciate him as a brother in Christ.

  6. Never call CR a christian program its linked its roots are based soley on spiritualism. CR took demonic 12 steps and twisted scripture /it seems like it may be however that is deceiving part. Leading people away from Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible. To the ROOTS of AA/check it out for yourself have you asked yourself where do these 12 steps come from? Do your own investigation. Look up Bill Wilson and how he had senaces and spoke to the dead with autmatic writing and had afairs and he never claim to be a Christian. Rick took these steps (money and numbers) and he saw an opppotunity and knows what he is doing. People come on, Do not put your faith in a human words…Check EVERYTHING you hear or see or material you receive against scripture.

    1. Hi, Dana,

      I always just wonder, “what is wrong with the Bible and why can’t people start there instead of the 12 Steps?” The 12 Steps have infiltrated the church’s thinking and people no longer think Scripture is sufficient! This is a great tragedy.

      You are right about Bill Wilson and his demonic activity. Do we listen to him or the Apostle Paul who wrote the very Word of God?

      My concern about C.R. is the compromise of truth that will lead people astray. I don’t even think “recovery” is God’s best but He wants to see people transformed by His power and grace.

      God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are sufficient to transform the “addict” and that message needs to be proclaimed louder than those who would “defend” a program that is not purely biblical and simply labeled as “Christian” when it mixes self-help half-truths with biblical ideas bringing confusion. Let’s stand up and defend Christ alone – not man-made programs!

      Thanks for your boldness and zeal for the truth, Dana.

      -Mark (transforming by truth and grace)

  7. Read your bible and test what you hear aginst the scriptures in the holy bible. i have to assume these people in CR have not read there bibles. You cannot be blind to the truth and the scriptures is the final authority. Why would you not direct people to the bible? Rick Warren is deceived and he knows what he is doing. He is leading people away from the only source that can saved them and that source is our Father Jesus Christ. I pray for those blinded by man….


  9. I am currently the Trusted Christian Friend (TCF) for 5 ladies with whom I am facilitating individual study of Mark Shaws’ Heart of Addiction. I also transport some of these ladies and others to weekly CR meetings because they are ordered to a 12 step program by the courts. (I have personally completed a CR step study and have led CR for. A local homeless shelter). I am certified as a biblical counselor through AACC and Ic have ompleted the fundamentals of Counseling toward NANC. In my humble opinion, I see good in CR for exposing nonbelievers to Jesus as the true higher power, for legal purposes in lieu of secular programs and for developing a network of sober but recovering accountability partners who cast a vision of hope because of what Jesus has done in their lives. The Heart of Addiction, in my opinion far surpasses CR’s 12 step study for getting to the biblical heart of the matter (forgive the pun). My opinion is that CR has a place in Christian ministry and we should be careful mot to throw the baby outweigh the bath water. We are also obligated to confirm what we hear or read at CR or from any other source with Scripture. Thanks for allowing my viewpoint.

    1. Hi, Maggie,

      God is using C.R. just as He is using A.A. He is using and allowing it all for His greater purposes and doing much with very little.


  10. This to Andrea the ORGINAL 12 steps the roots are not from God do you understand this? Your are being deceived. Have you ever check the orginal steps where they came from? Even in Bill Wilsons webster dictionary. your being deceived and I know that you have choosen NOT to look and test where thes steps came from. Look they took you captive when you are vunerable that how they do it. But now its your responsbility to look at the true roots of this program that you have come to protect.
    Alternative cures and spiritualism/the 12 steps come from Spiritualism…..Rick warren knows this but he doesnt care because it bring large numbers of people into the church. Why would a supposely God direct pastor lead people away from the bible? Because he is more concern about how he looks holy. That is in scripture too. Just because someone say this is the way. doesnt make it so. I will pray for you to have a Holy intervention. How can you justify participation in 12 step anything that comes from LSD and seances and speaking to the dead? That is the orginality of those messages and steps that you think you have to perform to work.
    “The result of these steps is that I’ve changed mentally. I try this message to others and to carry out these principles in all my doings in practice” from CR / results of these steps REALLY? no doesnt work that way. So you believe more in the method than Christ in the holy bible? the bible is ” basics instructions before leaving Earth.
    You cannot denied the Bill wilson past that you are obeying. Bill wilson was into spiritualism /so yes i will go as far as saying in anyone who is practicing 12 steps anything is practicing the occult. 12 steps come from the enemy that is how he received them and no matter what anyone tell you it is satan influenced. That why RW is the ultimate deceiver because he knows what he is doing and he doesnt care. he cares about his image and the money and oh yes there is alot of money.

    I myself am a hardcore ex drunkard yea I said drunkard because I read my bible and that is what it is called. I went through 12 steps and that is how I have my experinces to speak on this very serious matter. We people from true Christian are defending Jesus Christ against people like RW and all the other jaded pastors trying to bring in people for all the wrong reasons. The healing comes through Jesus Christ in the bible no other way. That is why he left us with the Holy Spirit and the armor! I suggest studying in detail about the spirtiual armor. Anyone who leads people who are hurting away from the only thing that can save them are deceived. When you know the “truth” which will set you free by the way you will be healed. You must research the steps and research what your holy bible says against what your are allowing to be taught to you. .
    Alternative cures and spiritualism

    In the 1950s Wilson used LSD in medically supervised experiments with Betty Eisner, Gerald Heard, and Aldous Huxley. With Wilson’s invitation, his wife Lois, his spiritual adviser Father Ed Dowling, and Nell Wing also participated in experimentation of this drug. Later Wilson wrote to Carl Jung, praising the results and recommending it as validation of Jung’s spiritual experience. (The letter was not in fact sent as Jung had died.)[29] According to Wilson, the session allowed him to re-experience a spontaneous spiritual experience he had had years before, which had enabled him to overcome his own alcoholism. Bill was enthusiastic about his experience; he felt it helped him eliminate many barriers erected by the self, or ego, that stand in the way of one’s direct experience of the cosmos and of God. He thought he might have found something that could make a big difference to the lives of many who still suffered. Bill is quoted as saying: “It is a generally acknowledged fact in spiritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of God’s grace possible. If, therefore, under LSD we can have a temporary reduction, so that we can better see what we are and where we are going — well, that might be of some help. The goal might become clearer. So I consider LSD to be of some value to some people, and practically no damage to anyone. It will never take the place of any of the existing means by which we can reduce the ego, and keep it reduced.”[30]

    Wilson met Abram Hoffer and learned about the potential mood-stabilizing effects of niacin.[31] Wilson was impressed with experiments indicating that alcoholics who were given niacin had a better sobriety rate, and he began to see niacin “as completing the third leg in the stool, the physical to complement the spiritual and emotional.” Wilson also believed that niacin had given him relief from depression, and he promoted the vitamin within the AA community and with the National Institute of Mental Health as a treatment for schizophrenia. However, Wilson created a major furor in AA because he used the AA office and letterhead in his promotion.[32]

    For Wilson, spiritualism was a life-long interest. One of his letters to adviser Father Dowling suggests that while Wilson was working on his book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, he felt that spirits were helping him, in particular a 15th century monk named Boniface.[33] Despite his conviction that he had evidence for the reality of the spirit world, Wilson chose not to share this with AA. However his practices still created controversy within the AA membership. Wilson and his wife continued with their unusual practices in spite of the misgivings of many AA members. In their house they had a “spook room” where they would invite guests to participate in seances using a Ouija board.[34][35]

    1. Responding to Dana, it was actually John Baker who founded Celebrate Recovery. Baker just happened to be a person in Rick Warren’s church as a leader. I am just clarifying this information.

  11. I love Jesus and I love what CR is doing for people desperate to get free from hurts and hang-ups in their lives. I pray that the people on here that are against CR would get on their knees and ask Jesus to speak to their hearts about how He is using this ministry and why they feel the need to object to it. Jesus saves! He saves through all types of churches, ministries, people and His word. What is wrong with following 12 steps? What is wrong with reading scripture together? What is wrong with asking God to finally heal our deep hurts so the devil can no longer hold us in bondage? Shame on you who could possibly be responsible for turning somebody desperate for the Lord away from a local CR meeting where they may be exposed to Christ and the gospel for the first time? Romans 3:23 people. Get off your high horses and realize that you are only serving Satan when you take part in fighting with fellow believers over things like this. Why not spend your time on more holy pursuits? Like volunteering, praying, studying the scriptures you claim to be expert in? Get humble before it’s too late. I’m going to CR Friday night and I’m going to continue to pray with, cry with and rejoice with those who are serving and receiving the mercy of healing. What are you doing for the kingdom? I think you should really check your hearts!

    1. Hi, Andrea,

      Whoa, slow down! It is a critique of a “spiritual program” (12 Steps) that does not glorify Christ as the One and Only True God (they say in 12 Step meetings that any Higher Power will do but you and I know that is not true!). Now, on the other hand, C.R. is promoting Christ and I appreciate that but they are mixing truth with lies!

      But the 12 Steps do not have biblical roots like many say! Read The Useful Lie by William Playfair and look at Bill W.’s life – never professed Christ and ended his life taking LSD! I would say “one spiritual awakening” was not enough if he kept seeking more awakenings. I would add that Bill W. was not sober as a result of working the 12 Steps if he was on LSD at the end of his life! The “program” did not work because he did not know the right Person: Christ Jesus!

      12 Steps promote PERFORMANCE and God is not impressed by our good works and best efforts. God is only impressed with the sacrifice of Christ that we are trusting in!

      The only church I know that has a great C.R. program rejects the 12 Steps part of it because they see through the man-centered effort to take 12 easy steps to becoming spiritual which is not true.

      So we are not critiquing the people like you who are earnestly seeking to know the Lord but we are critiquing the “program” or “means” that well-intending people are using to “get to God.” God is not impressed with our working of the 12 Steps. He wants us to repent and believe in Christ alone by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).

      There is only one Person and it’s not a “program” to know God and He is the way, the truth and the life according to John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

      Let’s promote Him more than we defend programs that are full of half truths and distorted messages that MIGHT lead people away from the grace of God and into a performance state of mind. That is scary to me and what concerns me the most about C.R.!

      I appreciate that you view C.R. as helping people and it is helping some, but it is also leading others astray because of its lack of biblical truth which is the other side of the coin.

      Blessings in Christ alone,

      Colossians 2:8

      1. There are many that proclaim Christ in the church but do not live up to the scriptures whether they follow a 12 step program or not.

        1. No one lives up to the standards of Christ which is why we celebrate His forgiveness! Following Christ is what it is all about – not following a program. Salvation is found in a Person not a program! Praise His Name!

  12. Jesus said “Oh ye of little faith.” multiple times…even to his apostles. I ask a question to both sides of this argument…why do you tear at each other ?

    To the anti CR’s Jesus has a word for you: “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us. Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.” The foundation from which you are slandering those who seek to repent is not Christ’s righteousness therefore your attacks on CR are but filthy rags. Stop being so prideful…have faith in Jesus.

    TO those seeking freedom from bondage, Jesus has a word for you: ” As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
    When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”“Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. ” Stop being so afraid…have faith in Jesus…He supplies all our needs…it is according to our faith that we receive His supply…not by works, or programs, or steps.

    You see it’s ultimately and always about our faith in Jesus. Why do so many of us get so offended or feel the sting of pride when Jesus says “ye of little faith”. We should rejoice that our King is telling us very simply what the real issue is, yet we make it into a hundred other things and have even developed theologies about God’s ability to heal men in this day and age, rather than just looking unto Jesus and hearing His simple words. SO, having a mental understanding of faith is not enough…faith in Jesus is active and involves all of you…spirit and soul…believe in Him in your heart, your mind, your soul. Make Him your all in all…your everything, then you will receive whatever you ask, then you will not tear at others, but minister unto them the reality of the incomparable riches and glory of the risen, beautiful, perfect, loving, patient God. LOSE YOURSELF TO HIM! It is only by His Grace that we even receive our next breath.

    1. I agree with you, Eric, that we must simply keep our eyes to Jesus and look to Him in faith! Programs do not save…Jesus only saves!

  13. Let please remember the ORGINALITY of where these 12 steps came from: If people that teach such a deceived “program” to unsaved and vunerable people, that is why there are supetible to such deception with out studying scripture against what CR teaches. If you truly knew the bible (the Holy Bible) you would see error in such man made relgions. Lets recount here who Bill Wilson was who Rick warren took these demonic 12 steps and twisted scripture to support his claims. He was an adultereous when he died he left 10% of his royalites to his mistress. He took LSD frequently for his spiritual experinces! Bill quoted as saying “It is general ackknowledged fact in spritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of Gods grace possible, If therefore under LSD we can have a tempory reduction so that we can better see what we are and where we are going”Bill Wilson told his advisor Father Dowling he felt spirits were helping him in particular a 15th century monk named Boniface . In there house they had a “spook room” where they would have seances using a Ouija board. He would channel (automactic writing) the dead. That is what we call spirtualism.

    Rick Wrren took these steps and promted his followers of the enemy. Lets say you took steps from a satan bible but you put Jesus in those satan steps does that make it Christian?

    Celebrate recovery you are NEVER delivered. Christians are not about a method a formula or man made reglion. It is a deception. if any one would take the time as a real follower of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible would see deceoption a mile away. There is ONLY one way to Christ and it is not any 12 steps anything. The bible is the final authority and to take peopl away from the only thing that is going to saved them. Jesus return will look at these people and say “I never knew you” I pray for the lost souls and the corrupted false teachers and preachers and there follwers mercy for there souls. May the God in the Hol;y Bible bless you and show you the truth which can only be found in Jesus Christ.. There are no substitues…

  14. There are always people that come against every Christian program started, that pick it apart and search for any lead that they can use to twist into some farout reason to come against the program, as I see here and in the link. Self righteous. I’m a CR leader and have thoroughly read ALL the material, it’s a suberb study of man and Gods word and it all points to Jesus/God/Holy Spirit…..have you rea it all for yourself? Lime the guy in the link said, he didn’t attend because he needed it, just to visit, that makes me suspicious if his motives, regardless of how eloquently he twist his words. God works in peoples lives in different ways, some of us don’t receive a miraculous total deliverance, some of us need this program. I wonder if you will hel responsible for he poor desperate souls that read your thread and decide not to visit CR? yet have nowhere else to turn? Some people say you would be. Regardlss, you should read the entire program for yourself before saying ANYTHING about it.

    1. Hi, James,

      Sorry you perceive self-righteousness either in my post or in the man who wrote the article linked. That’s not the intent. Part of me is thankful for the CR program but there is a concern that CR is only adopting the world’s ideas and trying to “Christianize” them which doesn’t always work. Instead, we need to START from the Bible and anything that doesn’t line up with Scripture (like worldly ideas like man is inherently ‘good’) must be tossed out! There is no middle ground for those concepts that are unbiblical and that’s my concern with CR – unbiblical concepts mixed with Scripture and presented as “Christian.” I’ve got a real problem with that.

      Nevertheless, God does not NEED a program to work in the hearts of His people. God is doing just fine bringing transformation in the hearts of His people with His Word and the Holy Spirit! But the Lord spoke through a donkey so He can choose to speak through people like you and I to bring Himself glory and share the love of Christ with others. I would encourage you not to hold too tightly to the CR program and defend it, but to defend the Word of God moreso! All programs can be picked apart, especially mine, but the Word of God will stand at the end of the day! Criticism is good for us all because we all fall short and none of us have our understanding of God. I think the CR program can handle this criticism. I better like what Matt Chandler is doing with CR down in Texas!

      Blessings in Christ alone,

  15. Mark,
    I agree with most of the article. So many of the people who go to C.R. meetings, do not know what the Bible says, and do not often (if ever), read the Bible. Most believe the word to be the truth of who ever is speaking without checking out what the Bible says. In fact, most who fills the pews of today’s churches also take the word of who ever is speaking from the pulpit without checking the Bible to see if what they are hearing is the truth ( I used to be guilty of this). Acts 17:10,11 says the Bereans were more fairminded than the Thesalonicans, in that they recieved the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out if these things were so. Most who attend C.R. meetings think that what they are hearing is Chiristian teaching and don’t have any basis of these beliefs. Some of what is spoken is the truth, but not all of it.
    I have been to some C.R. meetings lately, not for the teaching, but for fellowship and to speak what I believe to be the truth about Christ. I give all credit to the Holy Spirit: many seem to have faith in what I say. C.R. is an opportunity to speak the truth when the truth is not lways spoken.

    1. I am currently working in the Juvenile court system. We are currently using a module called Motivational Interviewing. Its a non confrontational communication skill. My wife is involved with CR and find ourselves indifferent with each other. I find everyone has an ambivalent state where they want to do whats right but often do whats wrong, thank God for his grace. But if you could learn a new way to communicate without having the “righting the wrong reflex” and allowing people to explore their intrinsic ambivants. Which in turn allow them the freedom to work out their own problem nurtured by the Holy Spirit and pray, then its a win win for everyone. God Bless

      1. Hi, Jeff,

        You are right about God’s grace!! He uses all of us despite our inadequacies and errors. That’s truly amazing that His transforming truth works to set the captive free even though we goof it up from time to time. I will investigate this MI program more in days ahead.

        Thanks for your comment,

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