So Help Me God

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Information about So Help Me God

Published on March 18, 2014

Author: DrGlendaClareLION



There is a relationship between the use of mood altering substances and the belief in a higher power. This presentation was made at conference at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I used information from a white paper prepared at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (my former employer).

So Help Me God Glenda Clare, Ph.D. G. Portlynn Clare & Associates

Training Objectives:  The role of the faith based community in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders  Understand the basic beliefs of Judiasm, Christianity and Islam  Discuss core competencies for religious leaders providing services to prevent and treat substance use disorders

Training Objectives:  Discuss strategies to work more effectively with faith based organizations  Need for established GROUND RULES

Why this is important?  God, religion and spirituality are key factors for many  Individuals frequently make a connection to God and religion as a part of the recovery process  Prayer by others has been shown to have a positive impact on treatment outcomes

In comparison to those who attend religious services weekly, teens who never attended a religious service are…  Twice as likely to drink  More than twice as likely to smoke  More than three times likelier to smoke marijuana or binge drink  Almost four times more likely to use illegal drugs other than marijuana

In comparison to those who attend religious services weekly, adults who never attended a religious service are…  Almost twice as likely to drink  Three times more likely to smoke  Five times more likely to use illegal drugs other than marijuana  Seven times more likely to binge drink  Eight times more likely to use marijuana

So Help Me God!

What is the largest religion in the world?

Three Religions Serving the Same God  Judaism  Christianity  Islam

Judaism  Name for God  Place of Worship  Basic Tenets of the Religion

Jewish Texts  The Tanakh corresponds to the Jewish Scriptures, (Christian Old Testament) - It is composed of three groups of books:  the Torah (aka Pentateuch)  the Nevi'im  the Ketuvim  The Talmud contains stories, laws, medical knowledge, debates about moral choices, etc

Jewish Beliefs  G-d exists.  G-d is one and unique.  G-d is incorporeal.  G-d is eternal.  Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other.  The words of the prophets are true.  Moses was the greatest of the prophets, and his prophecies are true.

Jewish Beliefs  The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses.  There will be no other Torah.  G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men.  G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked.  The Messiah will come.  The dead will be resurrected.

Additional Jewish Beliefs  Some Jews view Jesus as a great moral teacher. Others see him as a false prophet or as an idol of Christianity.  The Jews are often referred to as G-d's chosen people.  The 613 commandments found in Leviticus and other books regulate all aspects of Jewish life  The Ten commandments, as delineated in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, form a brief synopsis of the Law

Additional Jewish Beliefs  The Messiah (the anointed one of G-d) will arrive in the future and gather Jews once more into the land of Israel.  A fetus gains full personhood when it is half- emerged from its mother's body.  Boys reach the status of Bar Mitzvah on their 13th birthday; girls reach Bat Mitzvah on their 12th birthday.  The more liberal movements within Judaism differ from some of the above beliefs concerning the source of the Torah, the concept of direct reward and punishment according to one's behavior, etc.

 Jews are strict monotheists: they view G-d as a single, indivisible entity.  Jews generally consider actions and behavior to be of primary importance; beliefs come out of actions.  Jewish belief does not accept the Christian concept of original sin (the belief that all people have inherited Adam and Eve's sin when they disobeyed G-d's instructions in the Garden of Eden).

 Judaism affirms the inherent goodness of the world and its people as creations of G-d.  Jewish believers are able to sanctify their lives and draw closer to G-d by performing fulfilling mitzvot (divine commandments).  Jews do not recognize the need for a savior as an intermediary with G-d.

 Observation of the weekly Sabbath as a day of rest, starting at sundown on Friday evening.  Strict discipline, according to the Law, which governs all areas of life  Regular attendance by Jewish males at Synagogue  Celebration of the annual festivals Rules for calculating Rosh Hashanah and Passover are available online at:  The local synagogue is governed by the congregation and is normally .  Any adult male with sufficient knowledge can lead religious services.

Five Current Forms of Judaism:  Conservative* Judaism  Humanistic Judaism  Orthodox* Judaism  Reconstructionist Judaism  Reform * Judaism

Christianity  Name for God  Place of Worship  Basic Tenets of the Religion  75% of all American adults identify themselves as Christians

Classifications of Christians  History  Theological and social views  Past schisms  Denominations  Specific belief  A group of beliefs

Name that Denomination How many Christian denominations can you name? The person with the longest list wins

Who Is Christian?  Heard the Gospel in a certain way, and accepted its message  Become "saved" -- i.e. they have trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior)  Been baptized as an infant  Gone to church regularly

Who Is Christian?  Recited and agreed with a specific church creed or creeds  Simply tried to understand and follow Jesus' teachings  Led a decent life

Beliefs Many Christian Denominations Have in Common  The Trinity  The deity of Jesus  Jesus' bodily resurrection  Jesus' atonement

Beliefs Many Denominations Have in Common  Personal salvation by grace  The inspiration of God on the Bible's authors  The virgin birth  The anticipated second coming of Jesus

Common Christian Practices

Islam  Name for God  Place of Worship  Basic Tenets of the Religion

 The second largest religion in the world and growing

Islamic Beliefs  A single, indivisible God.  The angels.  The divine scriptures,  The Messengers of God  The Day of Judgment  The supremacy of God's will.

Beliefs about Jesus (pbuh), within Islam Muslims believe: His birth was miraculous. He was the Messiah. He cured people of illness & restored dead people to life. Muslims do not believe: In original sin (that everyone inherits a sinful nature because of Adam and Eve's transgression) That Jesus (pbuh) was killed during a crucifixion. Muslims believe that he escaped being executed, and later reappeared to his disciples without having first died. That Jesus (pbuh) was resurrected (or resurrected himself) circa 30 CE. Salvation is dependent either upon belief in the resurrection of Jesus (pbuh) (as in Paul's writings) or belief that Jesus (pbuh) is the Son of God (as in the Gospel of John).

Other Beliefs  God did not have a son.  Jesus (pbuh) is a prophet, born of the Virgin Mary.  Jesus (pbuh) was not executed on the cross.  The existence of Satan drives people to sin.  Muslims who sincerely repent and submit to God return to a state of sinlessness.

Other Beliefs (continued)  All people are considered children of Adam. Islam officially rejects racism.  When a child reaches puberty an account of their deeds is opened in Paradise.  When the person dies, their eventual destination (Paradise or Hell) depends on the balance of their good deeds  Alcohol, illegal drugs, eating of pork, etc. are to be avoided.  Gambling is to be avoided.

Five Pillars of Faith 1. To recite at least once during their lifetime the shahadah (the creed: "There is no God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet"). Most Muslims repeat it at least daily. 2. To perform the salat (prayer) 5 times a day, if possible. 3. To donate regularly to charity through zakat. 4. To fast during the lunar month of Ramadan 5. If economically and physically able, to make at least one hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.

Jihad (struggle) is probably the most misunderstood religious word in existence

Calendar: Muslims follow a lunar calendar Separation of church and state: originally there was no separation between religious and civil law, between Islam and the state Proselytizing: Muslims are not required to actively recruit others to Islam "You certainly cannot guide whomever you please; It is Allah who guides whom He will. He best knows those who accept guidance." (28:56). Suicide: This is forbidden. The Qur'an clearly states: "Do not kill yourselves as God has been to you very merciful" (4:29)

Schools within Islam:  There are different schools of jurisprudence within Islam. The main divisions are:  Sunni Muslims: These are followers of the Hanifa, Shafi, Hanibal and Malik schools. They constitute a 90% majority of the believers, and are considered to be main stream traditionalists  Shi'ite Muslims: These are followers of the Jafri school who constitute a small minority of Islam.  Sufism: This is a mystic tradition in which followers seek inner knowledge directly from God through meditation and ritual and dancing.  Islam does not have denominational mosques. Members are welcome to attend any mosque in any land.

So Help Me God!

The Addiction Envoy Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1 Faith-Based Initiatives The Addiction Envoy is organized into five sections: 1) Integrating the Sacred and Secular Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders; 2) Funding Resources Available for Faith-Based Organizations; 3) Grant-writing 101; 4) Resource of the Month and 5) What’s Happening Now.

Substance Abuse, Religion and Sp This monograph provides a background paper entitled "Substance Abuse, Religion and Spirituality: Policy Issues for Prevention and Treatment" by James A. Neal, M.C.J., CSPP and Kay Gresham, LCSW, ACSW, prepared for the Leadership Institute of the SES and includes the consensus report of the participants for this event.

What people say they believe and want? What health and human services believe and what they do? What faith leaders believe and what they do?

The Disconnect  Incomplete knowledge of resources in the community and in the faith based organization  Discomfort about discussing substance use disorders and related issues  Discomfort about discussing religion

The Disconnect  Lack of knowledge or interest in medical aspects of substance use disorders  Lack of knowledge or interest in spiritual aspects of recovery  Judging & shaming behaviors

Incomplete knowledge of resources in the community and in the faith based organization What do you know? What do the faith based communities you want to interact with know?

Discomfort about discussing substance use disorders and related issues Whose discomfort is it? What are the views of the faith based entities you want to work with on this matter? Has any work been done on this issue anywhere? Who are your gate keepers? And who is the best person to approach the gate?

Discomfort about discussing religion What do you know about the religion? Are you willing to learn more about the religion or are you trying to change people to your religion? What is the religious perspective on this issue? Are you willing to accept the religious perspective on this issue?

Lack of knowledge or interest in medical aspects of substance use disorders Is there a lack of knowledge or interest? Why might that be? How might this topic be bridged and who would be the appropriate person to bridge the topic?

Lack of knowledge or interest in spiritual aspects of recovery Is there a lack of knowledge or interest? Why might that be? How might this topic be bridged and who would be the appropriate person to bridge the topic

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