Monday, January 09, 2006

More on Identity

Continuing the discussion of identity, here is a quote from Ed Welch's book Addictions. This is part of the chapter called "Being Part of the Body," at the beginning of the section called "The Benefits of the Church."

Why make a big deal out of the primacy of the church? Why not go it alone or be helped by other addicts, whether they are believers or not? As is true with all theology, if we neglect what Scripture says about the church, there will eventually be bad fruit. Your chosen instrument of change, whether it is yourself, a Twelve Step program, or the church, will have a significant impact on how you see yourself and how you understand the process of change.

The church changes our identity. Notice the difference between "I'm Jim. I'm an
alcoholic' and 'I'm Jim. I am part of the body of Christ. I am part of 'a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God' (1 Peter 2:9)." For those who have put their faith in Christ, it is Christ himself who unites us and defines us -- not race, financial status, hobbies, interests, or particular problems. Our family -- those
closest to us -- are those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. When our core identity is "alcoholic," "drug addict," or "sex addict," we are saying that our problem defines us, and our church consists of the people who share that particular problem.

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