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Addiction in the Pulpit: It Can Happen


I was reading “The Christian Post” today and they reported that on December 15, 2017  Rev. Darick Favors of Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Dallas, Texas was found dead of an apparent “Overdose” (I use the word apparent overdose, because the actual cause of death has not been announced).  Pastor Favor was only 42 years of age.
I am not going to assume to know anything about Pastor Favors life, his experiences as a youth, his history of surgeries, if he was addicted to Opiates, Cocaine, or liked to drink in excess, or what would lead him to check into a hotel and use drugs, that resulted in his death.  However, I do have a fair understanding of addiction after nearly 25 years in the field as an alcohol and drug counselor, having worked in both the Christian Based recovery community, and secular agencies.  
Over the years I have learned a couple of things that I believe Pastors need to learn, whether we are talking about Life-controlling substances such as Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, marijuana, meth, gambling, or porn!

Here’s my list of four revelations I’ve learned as a Pastor!

  1. I cannot believe all the press releases I’ve read or have heard about myself!
  2. I am human and the devil will use that against me every chance he gets!
    •  I have a physical body that suffers from cravings, unhealthy thinking, greed, and desire for pleasure.
  3. I need to surround myself with Godly people that are not caught up in the hype of me being pastor and preacher!
  4. I need to avoid the temptation of believing that I am in control of my thinking and that I am above sinning because I am the preacher!

I do not claim to understand or know what Pastor Favor was thinking when he walked into that hotel room.  However, I do know what we personally believe to be our best thinking can sometimes create the recipe for disaster.  Honestly, I do not have the answers to the question: Why this happened?  However, I do know with the recent deaths of pastors and church leaders because of drugs, it is time for Pastors to start re-thinking their choices and lifestyles and begin making better choices, maybe it is time we learn from Alcoholics Anonymous and the other 12 step groups. 

Here is my summary of what I need daily!

  1. IF I USE drugs, alcohol, gamble or watch porn my life will get out of control very quickly!
  2. I need to GET HONEST with God, myself, family, and church leadership and ask for and accept help to overcome any life controlling problems in my life “Right NOW”
  3. I need to pray and seek wise (counsel) men/women that can call me out on my bad (or some call it the stinking) thinking, and support me when I am doing good to stay focused on God, and not end up as part of the statistics.

 

For more information of this topic, check out my book “The Drug Epidemic and the Impact on our Families and Churches! There is a Roaring Lion in the House!” @ www.revdonallenjr.com

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