Rule by Committee

Anecdotal: Back in 2002 I was in a sober living home for 7 months after my 3rd DUI. There were 5 or so other guys in the house. We had to go to a meeting everyday, the directors of the program that rented the houses would take us in vans. The program was called "Recovery Concepts" and the meetings were part of the requirement to live there.  We would alternate between AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous). I noticed that the mostly younger folks who dominated NA (like late teens and early 20's) would routinely refer to a committee in their head that would tell them things or give them thoughts. They would comment how their committee was telling them this or that. I had never heard this term before but I realized I had a committee too! When I was stoned it was more vocal or present - perhaps even different. When I was stoned I "heard" voices or had thoughts - sometimes even opposing each other. They would become conversations in my head with multiple participants - hence the reference to a committee. Often they would be ideas and many times the idea would get tossed around in my mind and I would (with the help of this committee) end up coming up with a completely different idea or coming to the conclusion the idea was bad  or would never work, even to the point of entertaining a completely different or opposing thought. The thoughts and ideas were many and I think mostly were "pipe dreams."   This "committee" is a problem for all  humans without Christ because by default we are all fallen and susceptible to Satan and his demonic influences which include these "committees"  in our heads.  I think even more so when we are under the influence of a narcotic. Part of the effect of narcotics is a greater influence of the committee and I believe that perhaps even a different "committee" altogether can be allowed to access our thought life and minds.  

I know those who still smoke pot and do narcotics and they have clear indications of a committee influencing their thoughts, minds and ultimately their lives. They talk in circles, go from being grandiose to melancholy like a roller coaster, and generally sound like broken records for years. They make strange plans and do not seek wise council for decisions, they have little to no human accountability and many times think God himself is telling them this or that when it may very well be one of their "committee" speaking to them and giving them bizarre ideas or plans. Conversations with these people often never seem to change are centered on general complaining.  Spiritual growth and maturing faith in god - and allowing Jesus to take the wheel  is nonresistant or is slow if at all in these folks.  --Matt Podoll.</font>

I immediately identified with Matt based on my own experience.
But AA and NA are small, specialized groups compared to the total population.
Could we generalize and show if the culture as a whole has changed in a similar manner since the Great Depression?

A Top Down Style

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Founded; 1935

What Happens at Meetings

The chair usually opens the meeting with the A.A. Preamble and a few remarks. Some call for a moment of silence and/or recite the Serenity Prayer. The chair will often ask if there are any people new to A.A. attending the meeting who would like to introduce themselves. It isn’t mandatory to identify yourself but it might be helpful if you are attending your first meeting. Many meetings begin with a reading from the Big Book — frequently a portion of Chapter 5 (“How It Works”) or Chapter 3 (“More About Alcoholism”). A statement about anonymity in A.A. as a valuable privacy principle for new and longtime members might be read. Many meetings close with members joining in a moment of silence followed by a prayer, or perhaps by reciting the Responsibility Statement or other A.A. text.

Committee Leadership Style

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Founded: 1953

Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization with a multilingual and multicultural membership. NA was founded in 1953, and members hold more than 72,000 meetings weekly in 143 countries today.


Marijuana: How Can It Affect Your Health?

Marijuana—which can also be called cannabis, weed, pot, or dope—refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains more than 100 compounds (or cannabinoids). These compounds include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is impairing or mind-altering, as well as other active compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is not impairing, meaning it does not cause a “high”.Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, with an estimated 48.2 million people using it in 2019. Marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the body and brain...

Marijuana use, especially frequently (daily or nearly daily) and in high doses, can cause disorientation and sometimes unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia. People who use marijuana are more likely to develop temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations, and paranoia) and long-lasting mental disorders, including schizophrenia (a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that are not really there).The association between marijuana and schizophrenia is stronger in people who start using marijuana at an earlier age and use marijuana more frequently. Marijuana use has also been linked to depression; social anxiety; and thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and suicide. (CDC)

“Burnout” is a term first used by marijuana smokers themselves to describe the effect of prolonged use. Young people who smoke marijuana heavily over long periods of time can become dull, slow-moving, and inattentive. (Narcon.org)

Sexual addiction

According to proponents of the concept, sexual addiction, also known as sex addiction, is a state characterized by compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity, particularly sexual intercourse, despite negative consequences. The concept is contentious; neither of the two major mainstream medical categorization systems recognize sex addiction as a real medical condition, instead categorizing such behavior under labels such as compulsive sexual behavior.

There is considerable debate among psychiatristspsychologistssexologists, and other specialists whether compulsive sexual behavior constitutes an addiction, and therefore its classification and possible diagnosis. Animal research has established that compulsive sexual behavior arises from the same transcription and epigenetic mechanisms that mediate drug addiction in laboratory animals; however, as of 2023, sexual addiction is not a clinical diagnosis in either the DSM or ICD medical classifications of diseases and medical disorders. Some argue that applying such concepts to normal behaviors such as sex can be problematic, and suggest that applying medical models such as addiction to human sexuality can serve to pathologies normal behavior and cause harm.

Work Alcoholics

workaholic is a person who works compulsively. A workaholic experiences an inability to limit the amount of time they spend on work despite negative consequences such as damage to their relationships or health.

There is no generally accepted medical definition of this condition, although some forms of stressimpulse control disorderobsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be work-related; ergo-mania is defined as "excessive devotion to work especially as a symptom of mental illness".

Apostasy in the Church

Stressed Out

The True or the False

Luke 11

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 15 But some of them said,  “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” 16 Others, testing Him,  sought from Him a sign from heaven. 17 But  He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.  20 But if I cast out demons  with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.  22 But  when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.  23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

An Unclean Spirit Returns

24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.  26 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and  the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Keeping the Word

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him,  “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” 28 But He said,  “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Seeking a Sign

29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a  sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.  30 For as  Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a  greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for  they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

The Lamp of the Body

33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a  basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.  34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

Greatness Is Serving

20 Then the mother of  Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with  the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 So He said to them,  “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 

25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet  it shall not be so among you; but  whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—  28 just as the  Son of Man did not come to be served,  but to serve, and  to give His life a ransom  for many.” (Matthew 20)

Servant Authority

Leadership for Church Elders

The Under Rowers

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Body Life

God in Government

How God Manages Everything

The Left Hand of God

Notes by Lambert Dolphin and Matt Podoll

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