Shinobi

Drugs or Jesus?

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So, recently, I ran into a predicament that left me baffled and confused.  I have a new friend that I go to school with who put me into a really awkward situation...

 

One day while we were talking about the lecture we had just finished listening to in a class we were taking together,  she revealed to me that she used to be addicted to heroin.  She was really excited because on that particular day she had been clean for exactly one year.  I told her that I was proud of her and that she should be extremely proud of herself.  She then proceeded to tell me how she had done it. This is where the awkwardness starts...

 

She explained to me how she was introduced to Jesus while sitting in jail after getting caught driving while under the influence of heroin.  She then told me about all of the miracles that surrounded that particular event such as how the jailer was also a preacher and how members of the church she started attending also happened to be involved with the place.  Apparently, all of these "coincidences" worked together in her favor to keep her from getting a criminal record etc.

 

So, long story short, she ended up getting involved in a faith-based recovery program and life has been nothing but a bowl of sweet roses ever since.  She is now using her testimony to help other recovering addicts, and her entire life revolves around Jesus' love and his ability to break the chains of addiction.  I know this to all be true because her Facebook is nothing more than a non-stop barrage of Jesus saves, Jesus delivers, Jesus cares, and Jesus is my best friend posts.  She now also has hundreds of followers who either support what she is doing or are involved with what she is doing.

 

So, as you can see, this leaves me, the ex-Christian, in a very peculiar situation because, on the same day, she also told me that I was the only real friend she has on the college campus.  I haven't kept my non-belief a secret from her or my negative feelings towards organized religion, but on the same token, I also haven't blatantly tried to discourage her from pursuing her newfound love for Jesus.  Under normal circumstances, I would not be so tolerant of her zealotry, but I fear that if I push her too hard, she might fall apart and end up back on the drugs.

 

Now, my biggest concern for her revolves around this fact.  One day the church is going to let her down.  I've seen it happen more times than I can count.  The newfound spiritual high will wear off, and she will be left twice the confused mess that she was before she was introduced to religion.  I have no doubt about this.  In other words, I fear that she has traded in one unhealthy coping mechanism for another.  As badly as I would like to point her in a whole new direction, I think anything I say or do could shatter her already fragile state of mind which might be all it takes to send her spiraling back into the world of heroin abuse.  I don't think I could be at peace with myself with that on my conscience.

 

In summation, all I can say is that I actually care more for her state of overall well-being than the church does because I've actually taken the time to think about her long-term state of mental health and stability, whereas the church obviously has not.  And, yet, I'm the evil one in this situation...

 

If any of you have any good advice pertaining to how to handle this situation, please post it.

 

I'll leave you with a song from one of America's pop icons to demonstrate how popular Christianized culture only exacerbates the problems I am referring to.  The name of the song is, "Drugs or Jesus."  It's by the well known country singer, Tim McGraw.  (For the record, country music is my least favorite musical genre, and out of all of the country songs I've ever heard, I despise this one the most.)

 

 

 

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Hey shin obi,

 

I would just leave it alone for now. Right now she is on her spiritual high. She feels like she has seen miracles in her life. All these events have come together for her in such a way that even if you did say something it would only serve to hurt your friendship. She would take you pushing her the other way as an offense. In her mind Jesus is very real right now and has proven that he exists. For her Jesus is the only explanation for her triumph over her addiction. She can't see that it was her own will power and resolve that have brought her to this point. You can not tell someone on the roller coaster she is riding right now, that her buddy Jesus is bullshit and load her down with all the stuff we know here. It will either shatter her at this point or shatter your friendship and I don't think you want either.

 

My best advice right now is to just be her friend. She may be trying to prove her Jesus to you through her experiences, if she knows your Exchristian. She probably believes very strongly in the strength of her testimony to convert gods wayward children. If she gets to pushy just politely let her know your happy she is happy with faith but that it isn't for you.

 

Like you said eventually the church will let her down. But she may ride this spiritual high for a long time. Switch church a couple of times. Etc. But when the high starts to wear off you need to be there to point out how it wasn't just "jesus" that brought her out of drugs. You may can even suggest that now if she gets to pushy on religion. Tell her that your very proud of her for beating her addiction and that you give her all the credit. That she is a stronger woman than even she realizes to you because you don't believe in Jesus and that you feel she did this herself not through "God and Jebus" 

 

That way if your not around if she ever wakes up from this and realizes there is no Jesus that she can at least have faith in herself if she loses her faith in him. 

 

Your friend is one of the few that may make Christianity a better alternative. Some people are just so sick with addiction that they can't kick it if they don't feel like they always have someone watching them and monitoring their every move. Also she has her permanent sponsor Jesus watching her all the time to. She might need this right now. It's a very fragile situation and As I said before I wouldn't try dropping an Exchristian information bomb on her.

 

I wish you and your friend the best of luck with this one,

Dark Bishop 

 

PS. I know I'm from the south but country sucks ass! Lol. Never liked it. So I skipped the musical interlude you offered ?

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"Drugs or Jesus".....No difference.  One uses artificial or plant based chemicals that alter the wiring in your brain to do uninformed and sometimes dangerous things, the other uses mind control techniques to alter the wiring in your brain to do the same thing.  Your friend just replaced one with another.  No real change. 

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Hi Shinobi, I was getting ready to reply but then I saw DarkBishop's advice and he put it better than I would have, so I'm just going to agree with everything he said (well except the part about country music - I like a lot of it, especially the newer stuff). 

 

One thing I would add is to point out that for every person who credits Jesus/Yahweh for turning their life around, another will give the glory to Mohammed/Allah.  It's the belief, not the truth of it, that seems to help. 

 

So just be her friend, as DB said:  be there for her.  But do be true to yourself and your own lack of belief in her god.  If and when she ever notices the problems with Christianity, you'll be somebody she can confide in without fear of shocking you.  Your friendship, unlike others, is with her as a living breathing person, not as some kind of child of god.  

 

Good luck.  She's lucky to have you as a friend!

 

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Have you ever seen those "I Am Second" videos? They are pretty much a collection of stories like this. People who were addicted to sex/drugs/etc, and suddenly Jesus fixed all their problems. Even when I believed, I thought, "Yeah, but he only isn't going to solve the problem."

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It sounds like she was helped by being introduced to a support group and maybe gaining a sense of community. I think it's best to leave well enough alone. If something does happen between her and the church or if she starts to lose faith, then you could point out to her that she actually beat her addiction all on her own without Jesus's help. There are so many people around here on drugs. Most of them are Christian. I can't really tell believing in Jesus is doing much for them.

 

I listened to that song. Weirdly, I didn't interpret it as it was intended to be. When he says, "We're all looking for love and meaning in our lives. We follow the roads that lead us to drugs or Jesus," it sounded very pessimistic. Two bad options. Both negative. Life sucks so hard you'll either end up on drugs or in a cult. Great message!

 

I like some country music. I like a little bit of everything at random.

 

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Your friend is one of the few that may make Christianity a better alternative. Some people are just so sick with addiction that they can't kick it if they don't feel like they always have someone watching them and monitoring their every move. Also she has her permanent sponsor Jesus watching her all the time to. She might need this right now. It's a very fragile situation and As I said before I wouldn't try dropping an Exchristian information bomb on her.

 

I wish you and your friend the best of luck with this one,

Dark Bishop 

 

PS. I know I'm from the south but country sucks ass! Lol. Never liked it. So I skipped the musical interlude you offered ?

Thanks, DB! I really appreciate that you took the time to help me out.  I'm pretty much arriving at the same conclusion at this point.  The only thing that really sucks is that after she told me all about her past and her newfound love for Jesus, it seems like that is all she really wants to talk about...  It's kind of making it hard for me to be around her.  Before she dropped the Jesus bomb on me, we actually laughed and talked about all kinds of different things. Nonetheless, I'm going to take your advice and leave well enough alone.  If she decides that I'm not the kind of person that she needs to keep around because I'm a nonbeliever, then there's really not a whole lot I can do about it.

 

Like you said, it's better that she's off the drugs even if she has chosen to go overboard for Jesus.  It wouldn't be very moral of me to try to redirect her at this point in her life. 

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It sounds like she was helped by being introduced to a support group and maybe gaining a sense of community. I think it's best to leave well enough alone. If something does happen between her and the church or if she starts to lose faith, then you could point out to her that she actually beat her addiction all on her own without Jesus's help. There are so many people around here on drugs. Most of them are Christian. I can't really tell believing in Jesus is doing much for them.

 

I listened to that song. Weirdly, I didn't interpret it as it was intended to be. When he says, "We're all looking for love and meaning in our lives. We follow the roads that lead us to drugs or Jesus," it sounded very pessimistic. Two bad options. Both negative. Life sucks so hard you'll either end up on drugs or in a cult. Great message!

 

I like some country music. I like a little bit of everything at random.

 

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Lucy! :)  I just wanted to let you know that I'm totally in agreement with you about this song.  I realize that it's meant to give people hope (or something like that), but it doesn't come off that way to me at all. lol  I was also thinking that maybe Tim needs to right another song about the Christians who are still on drugs and call it "Drugs & Jesus." Ha ha ha!!! 

 

By the way, I also like all genres of music! Country just happens to be at the bottom of the list for me.  However, I do occasionally run into a country song or two that I like. Have a good night! 

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Thanks, DB! I really appreciate that you took the time to help me out.  I'm pretty much arriving at the same conclusion at this point.  The only thing that really sucks is that after she told me all about her past and her newfound love for Jesus, it seems like that is all she really wants to talk about...  It's kind of making it hard for me to be around her.  Before she dropped the Jesus bomb on me, we actually laughed and talked about all kinds of different things. Nonetheless, I'm going to take your advice and leave well enough alone.  If she decides that I'm not the kind of person that she needs to keep around because I'm a nonbeliever, then there's really not a whole lot I can do about it.

 

Like you said, it's better that she's off the drugs even if she has chosen to go overboard for Jesus.  It wouldn't be very moral of me to try to redirect her at this point in her life. 

Your welcome glad I could help.

 

Yeah sounds like she is proselytizing you. Trying to be that Shepard that left the 99 to save the one lol. You are probably gonna have to address that issue with her. Hopefully she will respect your beliefs and not keep pushing.  

 

DB 

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I've worked a lot with people who have addictions. The relapse rate for opiates is extremely high, so please don't blame yourself if that happens. I've seen a lot of revolving door Jesus-drugs-Jesus-drugs. I'd be very surprised if she didn't relapse when her honeymoon with Jesus is over. Sad. 

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The song is a false dichotomy of one or the other and no other options. I recall my brother saying after his son's fatal accident "I don't know how I would have made it through without the Lord". But he did make it through without the lord, as did your friend. Jesus is a distraction for the mind to follow, up to the point where one needs the great and precious promises to actually happen consistently. Then the excuses for god's failures start (devil, a test, not a cosmic vending machine, you have to do your part, just trust, has a better plan, your own weakness and sinfulness). Her choices are what changes her, but she's trusting in something imaginary to deliver her currently.

 

Be a friend, but know that she is on a very hard road. Genuine addiction is a ruinous path that claims many lives daily.

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