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The guilt can become an essential ingredient to the addiction.

There came a time in my life when feeling guilty was the only way I could feel normal.

I am not aware of any studies or surveys that suggest this, but there are at least two “theological” factors at work in Christian communities that might serve to escalate addiction: Being raised in Christian community, I know that teaching a high moral standard didn’t make me want to sin less: rather, I wanted to sin more.

The apostle Paul wrote, “[I]f it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.

Pornography, especially Internet pornography, keeps us coming back for more because it promises a veritably endless source of sexual novelty. Because it’s not about the climax; it’s about the search, the options, and each one is a novel sexual escapade.

So if a Christian’s value system leads him or her to believe that any sexual gratification outside of marital intimacy is wrong, then doesn’t use the word “addiction” for anything—not drugs, alcohol, nor any behavior.On top of these cultural ambiguities, addiction language in Christian community is also shaped by sin language.A year ago I heard Ed Welch give a talk at a conference in Philadelphia entitled, “Addiction, Temptation, & Voluntary Slavery.” He spoke about how so often the “Big Book” used by AA members seems so much more alive to them than the words of the Bible. One reason is the Big Book uses “addiction” language. The recovering alcoholic needs to understand the language of the Bible.The Bible doesn’t talk of “addiction,” but rather “slavery to sin.” The Bible doesn’t speak of the root of habitual sin as merely a “disease,” but as “idolatry.” Once these categories are understood, many portions of Scripture can and do come to life for the struggling addict.Biblical language levels the playing field between the so-called addict and the non-addict.

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