Thursday, September 6, 2012

When is an addiction ok and when is it a 'sin'?

I remember shortly after my mother passed sitting in my pastor’s office discussing funeral plans.  I’d used the word “disease” in relation to my mom’s nearly life-long heroin addiction.  The preacher-man promptly corrected me and declared that drug addiction is simply “sin”, not a disease.
Not too long ago, we were discussing health issues.  He mentioned how if he doesn’t take a caffeine pill every morning, he ends up with a headache.  This seemed to me as a symptom of addiction to caffeine.
It made me think about how life was for my mother.  If she wasn’t able to “get well”, life for her was absolutely miserable.  Because of this she needed to obtain her drug by whatever means necessary.
Both her and my preacher demonstrated signs of substance addiction.  One of these started by getting a kick start in the morning, and the other started by self medicating to deal with pain and anxiety from sexual abuse as a child.  Because one is a legal substance and one is an illicit substance, one is accepted and one is sin?
If it is based on man’s prohibition, since when does man become the authority in relation to what is sin and what is not?  I think too many churches take man’s opinions into consideration when determining what they choose to consider sinful and acceptable among their congregation, rather than sticking to what God has covered rather well in his Word.