Now, a post title like this deserves a long and fair answer. Lacking the time, I’m only going to address one issue–that of the healing process with addictions. If you ask a person in AA how they defeat addictions they will quickly point out the need for God (or higher power) and the need for community in changing their lifestyle. They need a sponsor, they need to feel they are fighting with others to maintain their sobriety. Will power will not be enough.
I suspect that most Christians would agree. But, here’s the problem. When we are asked about the healing agent for any sinful or repetitive problem, we point to Jesus. True, without God we do not have a shot of defeating our nemeses. When we talk like this it can sound like an isolationist, just me and God, healing process.
One of my students said it well. When he got saved out of his addictions he got new friends, new discipleship activities, and a new view of the reality of addictions (friends died). He had new activities to replace the old, new reinforcement patterns, etc. And, while he points to the saving grace of God, it wasn’t an isolating event.
That is our problem. We continue to think of our sanctification as a me and God experience. AA does a better job (often) than the church in reminding each other of the need for support without any condemnation for needing years and years later.