In an iconic moment in 1991’s Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal Lector, the animal himself, is being analyzed and evaluated by Officer Starling who is trying to figure out, “What happened to this guy?”
Lector responds to Starling’s questions with these famous words:
“Nothing happened to me. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of ‘influences.’ You’ve given up good and evil for behaviorism, Officer Starling. Nothing is ever anyone else’s fault. Can you stand to say I’m evil?”
Do you see what Lector is saying? He’s saying evil is the cause of his behavior. He says it’s not a “dysfunction,” a “father wound” or a painful event. Instead, in a prophetic moment, Lector says that his evil is because of himself!
Addressing the Source of Addiction
A Christian track in addiction recovery is essential if you want to move from simple behavior modification, beyond strategies and tactics, to the deeper problems of “evil” and “spiritual warfare.”
A Christian track in recovery believes that if we’re to accurately prescribe the correct medication (of the addictive behavior) then we must first stop and have an accurate assessment of what is the central problem.
A Christian track of recovery is one that is rooted in the idea of the one true God coming toward broken humanity in a person named Jesus Christ. The story of your recovery (in Christian theology) won’t start with you and your life; rather, part of the grace of God is that He brings you out of your little story and into His big story.
A Christian track of recovery has a different assessment of the problem than maybe most versions. Christian theology says the problem is actually internal. What happened to you that you became an addict? Like Hannibal Lector stated, you happened to you.
In a sense, what Christian theology says, God saves us not just (primarily) from drugs, God saves us primarily from ourselves.
Is the Christian Track Right for You?
A Christian track of addiction recovery isn’t for the faint of heart but if you want more than “addicted free” life, to live a life of meaning, love, grace and purpose, then I urge you to move toward a Christian track in your recovery process.
God bless you all!
About the Author:
Ryan Moffat is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
: Demme, J. (1991). Silence of the Lambs [Motion Picture]. United States: Orion Pictures.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published on July 5, 2017.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 5, 2017
Published on AddictionHope.com