The ninth in a series of 12 blogs answering anticipated objections to material set forth in A Way of Escape, i.e., the ninth in a series of 12 blogs answering anticipated FAQs.
OBJECTION #9 (of 12)
Two are better than one ... For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up ... Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).
How much more clearly can it be stated? God has provided a way of escape alright. And the train to Freedom City passes through Accountability Station. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is the proof text for accountability-based escape.
Another two-part response. The first consisting of a review of New Testament teaching on Spirit-powered escape. And the second to address the inappropriateness of applying the words “one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) and “alone” (Ecclesiastes 4:10) to New Testament believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
1) NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING ON SPIRIT-POWERED ESCAPE
LOL! I could, of course, counter with the New Testament teaching found in Galatians 5:16-25 (and verse 16 in particular). The counter argument might go something like this:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
How much more clearly can it be stated? God has provided a way of escape alright. And the train to Freedom City passes through Holy Spirit Station. Galatians 5:16 is the proof text for New Testament, Spirit-powered escape.
Every individual is different. An accountability-based purity program might be best for some. While a wholly Spirit-powered option might be best for others.
ACCOUNTABILITY-BASED APPROACHES (Starving the Flesh)
Some may prefer the support and camaraderie that groups provide (Galatians 6:1-2, James 5:16). Or they may wish to be part of an accountability group for the extra layer of protection it provides against relapsing. For these individuals, an accountability-based approach might be the best approach.
A WHOLLY SPIRIT-POWERED OPTION (Feeding the Spirit)
For a variety of reasons, some may not be comfortable with taking part in an accountability group. For many, the Shame Factor is simply too high. Others may fear that information about participants might be leaked. Then there is the time commitment for that Wednesday night drive across town for the weekly group meeting. And finally, advocates of accountability openly acknowledge that this may be the hardest thing that an addict will ever do in his life (see www.wileygrafbooks.com/news/the-hardest-thing-v3).
In a survey of persons wanting to quit porn, participants were asked whether they had anyone in their life helping them to quit. For reasons stated in the preceding paragraph, is it any wonder that a whopping 83% of respondents confessed to having no one ? For these individuals, a wholly Spirit-powered option might be a better choice (Galatians 5:16).
Dual approaches are also a possibility. The Way of Escape Spirit-anointed apps can be seamlessly incorporated into any accountability-based purity program. Apps that issue in a filling of the Spirit only improve the odds of victory over the flesh, and should be a welcome addition to every believer’s arsenal of weapons.
An accountability partner/group. A wholly Spirit-powered Battle Plan. Or some combination of the two. So long as the limbic system is accessed, and the brain is reprogrammed, healing will occur.
2) INAPPROPRIATENESS OF APPLYING THE WORDS “ONE” AND “ALONE” TO NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS INDWELT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
The common mistake of failing to recognize the Holy Spirit as a Person. When Ecclesiastes speaks of the “one” (Eccl 4:9), it is referring to an Old Testament person standing alone (Eccl 4:10) against an adversary. But a New Testament believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit does not stand “alone.” He is not a “one.” He is a “Spirit-Powered Group of Two.” And this “Spirit-Powered Group of Two” is actually much stronger—and much better positioned to withstand the attacks of the enemy and not be broken—than the “two” of Ecclesiastes 4:12.
A GAME-CHANGING BOOK HAS ARRIVED
In A Way of Escape, readers are reminded that born-of-the-Spirit believers are never “alone” in their battle with the flesh. Readers learn how to war as a “Spirit-Powered Group of Two” by stepping up the degree to which they “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). They learn how to build a library of Spirit-anointed, flesh-diffusing apps. Apps that are uniquely fitted to them, and their unique Spirit-filling triggers (Ephesians 5:18b-19).
The still-struggling 83% now have another option. The still-struggling 83% now have fresh hope for discovering that long-sought-after way of escape from sin and temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). A way that—because it is wholly Spirit-powered—does not require enlisting the aid of an accountability partner or group. Truly, a game-changer!
1. The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age, Barna Group, Ventura, CA, page 112, 2016 (83% determined as the average of 79% for Teens and Young Adults and 87% for Adults Age 25 and Older)