Reformer’s Unanimous is a faith-based addictions program. It does not focus on self-improvement, but on the vanquishing of self by yielding to the meekness of Christ. It does not focus on conformation to a behavior pattern, but on inner transformation into the image of Christ. It does not define addictions as an undesirable habit maintained by a disease, but as a bondage to sin. It is Christ-centered and Biblically-based. I have been going to their meetings for about a month now, and I have found it to be a source of renewed life into my spiritual walk with God. The accountability is good, and the challenges are well-designed. I am almost done with my second workbook, and eager to be on to the next.
Three of this workbook’s challenges were essay assignments. They were all 100 words or more, and they each had good subjects: my testimony, Romans 6, and Romans 8. I saw those and decided that they would make for a great blog post. But they ended up being longer than I expected (much longer than 100 words), and so they will come in three installments.
I thought for well over a decade that I got saved at age seven. But the honest truth of the matter is that I was very unsaved, just as unsaved as Gamaliel. A few months after my sixteenth birthday I made the biggest decision of my life up to that point: and it truly was very momentous. I decided that God might be right that seeking righteousness might actually be better in the long run than giving utterly over to sin. That was my biggest and most important decision of a spiritual nature that far in my life. It made this difference: I still struggled every once in a while against my sin, all the time by my own fleshly strength.
It is because of this episode that I am most thankful for my parents’ and my own belief in the Bible’s teachings on Creation. It was my intellectual belief in God’s miraculous creation that saved me from deciding to utterly destroy my life. Even though my heart was not right in God’s Way, my mind was filled with His Truth. My heart was rebellious, but it was my head knowledge that saved me in the end. That is one of the reasons that I get mad when evangelists bash intellectual teachings on Biblical science, creation apologetics, and intellectually discussing your faith with the lost. God uses many ways to reach the lost: each way acts differently, each way affects lives differently, and each way reaches different people at different places in their lives. Some need to focus on reaping those already prepared in their hearts (like Ray Comfort), others need to focus on being godly examples (even without giving a four-point gospel presentation at every turn), and still others need to debate their faith logically and scientifically, showing and proving the reliability and solidity of our faith (like Answers in Genesis).
It was about a year after that that my secret sin was disclosed, and my facade of respectability crashed down. All my close family and most of my friends found out that I was a pervert and living in sin. I was crushed, and my life seemed doomed. The threat of the law was over me, ready to destroy my life utterly beyond human recall. I was crushed by worldly sorrow, but God in His everlasting mercy taught me to have godly sorrow, which works repentance. That repentance was salvation, true, full, and sweet.
I had decided (from good counsel) to redo my whole mindset. I began to erase my presuppositions and preferences. I tried to base my thinking off of the Bible utterly. I began to remember and embrace my parents’ teachings. I went to a boys home for troubled teens in Tennessee. They did a good job, and they had a great heart. I did well, but that was utterly because I had begun to focus on trying to learn and be submissive, based on my parent’s prior teaching. I had rejected their teaching before, and now the Lord was mercifully giving me the grace to remember them. I was a good encouragement to them, but in my baby faith, and in my inexperience in walking with God, I soon fell into pride and failure. Thus was proved 1 Tim. 3:6 in my life: “…not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” I began to sin more and more, until I found myself, after I left the school, back in bondage, though not as bad as before I was saved.
I sought the Lord, and He provided the opportunity to learn from Pure Life Ministries. They led me to the victory that is in Jesus Christ. I am now seeking Him more and more, and although I have thrown many roadblocks in my own path, God has helped me all the way. I am ever more thankful to Him for His mercy and grace. He continually shows me exactly what I need to lead me on to the next step in my walk.
With joy and peace in Christ,