In the truth a problem shared is not halved but gossiped.
In the WTS, that is so true, hamsterbait. I used to tell the elders that I would rather them announce it from the platform rather than have one elder tell his wife who them spreads it around the congregation. All it takes is one elder on the body who tells his wife everything. I knew one wife that eavesdropped on all her elder husband?s calls.
As to having your guard up when it comes to substance-abuse programs, I would agree, based on what I've read.
It is good to be careful but the hidden message that most JWs take away from the WTS cautionary statement is not to get involved in any treatment programs?that they are all bad?and that is the message the elders carry to the congregation in general. I know an elder that suggested to one struggling brother that he look into an appropriate rehab program and his fellow elders raked him over the coals saying that every program endangered a JW?s spirituality because of the association with worldly people. If that reasoning were applied to deciding to have an operation, what JW could have an operation?I don?t know of any hospitals staffed exclusively by JWs.
Just as it is prudent to evaluate hospitals and doctors for an operation, rehab programs should be evaluated too.
The AMA declared it a disease in 1956 and as far as I know the WTBTS has never acknowledged this.
I still think they see it as a character flaw.
As to allowing treatment, I think it falls into the same category as saying that JWs can vote, that it is a conscience matter. It is window dressing for non-JWs but behind the scenes, treatment is frowned upon by the majority of elders.
Here is the only comment on alcoholism as a disease. What do you think?
*** w84 10/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
· Do Jehovah?s Witnesses regard alcoholism as a disease?
Many people speak of addiction to alcohol as a disease, according to a broad definition of that word. Researchers, physicians and people assisting alcoholics are among these, for many of them use terms such as "disease," "sickness" or "illness" in describing or defining alcoholism. For instance, Science Digest of May 1984 states:
"Alcoholism is still a disease in search of an explanation. Once considered a disorder of the mind alone, it is now thought to have genetic and biochemical components as well . . . Recent findings support earlier evidence from Sweden that alcohol abuse often ?travels? within families.?"?Page 16.
There is, though, reason for caution about viewing alcoholism as a disease. Some alcoholics, and others, have been inclined to excuse their addiction to drinking or overdrinking, claiming that they really cannot help it, for it is a disease. Others seem to feel that if an alcoholic has a biological predisposition toward the problem, or his body has an impaired biochemical response to alcohol, then he cannot be viewed as morally reprehensible.
Christians, however, are concerned primarily with God?s view of matters. His view is righteous, balanced and permanent, in contrast to medical and psychological positions that may come into vogue for a time, only to be altered or abandoned later. Jehovah?s perfect Word forthrightly condemns drunkenness, listing it among the things that can keep someone out of God?s Kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21) Romans 13:12, 13 advises: "The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore put off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light. As in the daytime let us walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts, not in illicit intercourse and loose conduct, not in strife and jealousy." Even if there may be a biological predisposition in certain cases, leading some to view it as a medical problem or disease, Christians recognize the moral aspects of it.
The apostle Peter wrote to Christians: "For the time that has passed by is sufficient for you to have worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct, lusts, excesses with wine, revelries, drinking matches, and illegal idolatries. Because you do not continue running with them in this course to the same low sink of debauchery, they are puzzled and go on speaking abusively of you." (1 Peter 4:3, 4) Peter was imperfect himself and understood the human condition. Yet he did not say that all Christians had turned from excesses with wine except those who had some genetic or biological predisposition to problems with alcohol. In fact, the apostle Paul said that some Christians formerly had been fornicators, thieves, drunkards and extortioners. But no matter what had led them to such moral problems, they could and did change. Paul said: ?You have been washed clean, you have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.??1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
So whether alcoholism is spoken of as a disease or not, we must hold to the high and good standard set in God?s Word. Anyone who has developed an addiction to alcohol?whether through lack of self-control, ethnic or family influence, or even due to a biological quirk?should work to put it behind him, perhaps availing himself of sympathetic help. (See Awake! of July 8, 1982, pages 4-12.) Thus "he may live the remainder of his time in the flesh, no more for the desires of men, but for God?s will."?1 Peter 4:2.
I can say that my time with Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) provided me with the thinking and tools and support to leave the WTS. I still get out my ACOA books when my thinking needs readjustment.