Question and Answer
Addictions: disease or sin?
Is it biblically correct to call addiction to alcoholic drinks a disease called "alcoholism"? Can we properly label any addiction a disease?
Your question is very relevant for our time. In our day we are used to viewing things that the Bible calls sin (e.g., drunkenness, and notice it has been changed to alcoholism by modern man) as addictions. Ephesians 5:18 specifically commands us not to get drunk.
It is okay to call it an addiction, because that is what is going on with a drunk, a drug addict or even someone who cannot stop looking at impure images. But you have to begin by calling it sin because only then will you deal with the real problem—a heart that is far from God, indeed that is worshiping an idol. For whatever owns your heart and mind is, functionally, your god. The cure, then, is to turn to Christ for deliverance. He may well use medical means as well as counseling (and it should be a Christian counselor) but ultimately to him belongs the power (and the glory) to save from the power of any addiction.
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