On the occasion of Chalcedon’s 50th anniversary, I thought it appropriate to review our ministry’s purpose and message. In preparing to do so, I collected some handwritten manuscripts my father wrote over the years, and soon realized his own words could best illustrate our mission because the vision of Chalcedon began as his conviction and burden long before it was joined by others.
This is the seventh in an ongoing series of articles about Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore, the Christian doctor who innovated the Massachusetts Model of addiction treatment.
Addiction is a beast. It is a complicated issue that involves a network of disharmonious breakage in both the spiritual and the physical aspects of our experience and existence. Addiction is at the very bottom and ultimately a spiritual problem that manifests itself in more obvious ways than a host of other sins. It corrupts every inch of our being, disrupts the farthest reaches of our purpose as God’s image, and destroys the very fabric of our physical makeup.
Distraction from the essential responsibilities of life and devotion to the advancement of the Kingdom has always been a problem, yet never so much as it is today. This is what the Apostle Paul was concerned about when he commanded the Ephesians and the Colossians to redeem the time that God had given them on the earth. He urged them to redeem the time from something so as to redeem it to something. Paul was urging them toward a proper stewardship of time, the most precious commodity on earth. Knowing that the days on earth are full of evil, and the people of God are prone to many distractions, his concern was that God’s people would lack the spiritual fortitude, concentration of mind, and discipline of body to be consistently productive in their calling, God-ward.
Mankind has always been faced with a choice: either accept God’s terms (and His definitions of terms), or construct independent and self-serving ones. When a culture constructs new ways of referring to Biblical concepts, it is evidence that it is in active rebellion against God and its laws and conduct will reflect such rebellion. When the people of God succumb to altered definitions and modern adjustments to God’s Word, the results are detrimental and decidedly wicked. What’s more, issues that are clear-cut in the Bible and clearly defined in Scripture become muddied and unnecessarily complex.