Moral Agency is Dependent on Spiritual Maturity

You can’t have one without the other!

Readership: All
Author’s Note: This essay was inspired by private communications with Red Pill Apostle and contains excerpts from readers’ comments.  Links to original comments are contained in the initial words.
Length: 3,100 words
Reading Time: 16 minutes

Moral Agency = Emotional, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Maturity

As readers have seen from the many reports of other authors on the topic of Women’s Agency and Women’s Moral Agency, many authors have tried to nail down the agency question.  All have offered an angle, an elaboration, a facet, a perspective of the topic, but all somewhat inconclusively, and when compared, very inconsistent.  This may explain why the question has appeared to be mysteriously enigmatic for so many years.

Maturity is a topic that I’ve covered in a few previous posts (a few are listed under Related below), but my theories on this as it pertains to agency have developed further and will be explained in this essay.

My conclusion is that agency and maturity are correlated.  I believe agency is dependent on maturity, and in practice, they are the same thing.  During all the writings and discussion over the past month, I’ve even come to the conclusion that Moral Agency is what the Bible refers to as Freedom in Christ.

This is a correlation that no other author (to my knowledge) has addressed.

It’s rather difficult to write a convincing essay (or series of essays) on this point, but after reading a score of essays and hundreds of comments about agency, readers might come to this same conclusion intuitively, as I have.

In this essay, I’ll attempt to convince our readers that this is true.

Route 66, U.S.A.

Moral Agency = The Active Improvisation of the Will

Teachings and discussions about Free Will are quite often mispresented as a separate topic from obedience and spiritual growth.  Thus, people often misinterpret Free Will as the freedom of choice, but these are not the same thing.  Freedom of choice is about which shirt to wear, which job to take, where to go on vacation, etc. etc.  Whereas, Free Will is about exercising moral agency to discern good and evil, to walk in obedience to God, and to embrace God’s purpose for one’s life, no matter what shirt, job, or vacation destination one chooses.

“He who loses his life will find it, and he who holds on to his life will lose it.”

This concept is repeated several times in scripture (Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35–37; Luke 9:24–25; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Revelation 2:10), and the fact that it is repeated so many times emphasizes it’s central importance in the Christian Life.

Traditional Protestantism interprets this verse to mean that God’s promises to replace the old, assuredly sinful life, with a new spiritual Life, and that to hold on to the old life is a rejection of the renewed Life.

While this may be true, pastors and teachers seldom if ever hit on how one is to take advantage of this new Life in one’s daily life.  Similarly, the Christian literary genre of “Christian Living” would appear to address this in explicit detail, but it doesn’t.

The important detail that is habitually and maleficently overlooked is that one must employ the active improvisation of the will to resist autopilot, doubt, and laziness, and at other times, a disengagement of the will in favor of trusting God moment by moment.  One must impulsively renege the comfort zone, forfeit self-serving conveniences, sacrifice the natural inclinations, and creature habits of the flesh, and extemporaneously subdue the ego to its proper status in order to exercise moral agency to choose the good and reject not only the bad, but also the not-as-good.

He who holds on to his life in the flesh is essentially a self-sufficient, all-surviving cockroach, who never extends love to others nor receives it in turn, and thus, never finds real meaning in living.

OTOH, he who willingly resists his inner carnal life in the flesh can only do so to embrace Life in the Spirit.  If done as a habit, it fosters humility and love such that his life shall be restored through God’s grace and the communion found in his relationships with others.

Free Will is impossible without Moral Agency.  Without it, all of life is reduced to the stark fatalism of Nature vs. Nurture.

Thus, these passages are not describing a replacement of one life for another, but a discovery, exploration, and redemption of The Life!

Case Study – “You Must Rise Immediately Upon Awakening!”

My father taught me this when I was an adolescent.

When you awaken in the morning, as soon as you achieve consciousness and before your mind becomes alert, you must throw back the sheets, jump to your feet, and busy yourself with a mundane task (e.g. brushing your teeth, cleaning the house, getting dressed, taking a shower, washing dishes, etc.) while your mind is waking up.

Whenever I’ve done this, I’ve had a grand productive day.  Whenever I haven’t, it feels as though a demon invades my psyche (anxiety, fears, guilt, pessimistic thoughts, etc.) as soon as I become alert.  Then the rest of the day is a struggle.

I’ve often thought about this phenomenon, and why it should make such a difference.  I believe it is because rising enthusiastically and taking action is an act of faith that God has good things in store for you this day.  Without this act of faith, you give yourself over to spiritual oppression.

That is Moral Agency!

Sidenote: Going to bed at a timely hour and getting a good night’s rest are a necessary precursor.

Moral Agency = A Will to Grow in Faith

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

In the typical Christian experience, the process of spiritual growth begins with recognizing the demands of one’s own conscience and how these demands interplay with a respect for God’s Laws and His natural order.  It is quite common for individuals to only discover this after reaching the limits of their human capacity, coming to the ends of their natural person.  Others discover this after violating God’s Laws either out of exasperation, stupidity, or temptation, and then having to face the consequences.  The former reveals to one’s awareness that humanity is incommensurate.  The latter reveals the sinful nature.  Both are shortcomings in the eyes of God, but God can and does use both to inspire one to embrace faith.

Then comes the challenge of embracing faith, a sublime consciousness of metaphysical truth which transcends the bounds of human nature, the worldly principles, paradigms, and powers, and all the sociopolitical-isms (e.g. Existentialism, Feminism, Gnosticism, Marxism, Nationalism, Nihilism, Progressivism, etc. etc.).  It is the confidence that what is believed, discerned, and hoped for is more true, more real, and more powerful than what is thought, felt, or observed.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

Next come the Trials of faith, of doing the hard work to cling to one’s faith in the face of all manner of argumentations, confusion, difficulties, persecutions, and temptations.  Because of the prior absence of the faith experience, one is prone to become confused and deceived by any number of spiritual assaults.  Thus, it is easy to lose faith and stumble during this phase.  But one must overcome all these challenges, until one can be sure-footed in one’s faith, and not easily unmoored by the winds of false doctrine and the waves of doubt (Ephesians 4:14James 1:6Jude 1:12-13).

A failure of faith (and Moral Agency) can be seen when people take any one of the following recourses.

  • When they believe that faith can be reliably improved or maintained through one’s habits, doings, and/or thinkings (AKA legalism or “works”).
  • When they believe nothing they do can have a negative effect on their life (AKA antinomianism).
  • When they attempt to assign blame to others or to circumstances.
  • When they succumb to self-pity (AKA “victimization”).
  • When they are overtaken by anger, bitterness, contempt, depression, despondency, distrust, fear, hate, self-rejection, etc. (AKA “the Abyss”).
  • When people anesthetize themselves with various distractions (alcohol, entertainment, idolatries, illicit sex, p0rn, various addictions, etc.).
  • When they turn to worldly constructs (e.g. Planned Parenthood, street gangs, welfare, etc.) to shore up their personal errors and insufficiencies and thereby become enslaved to the dark spiritual powers of those systems.

These may prove to be a greater sin than any particular manifestation of one’s inherent sinful nature (e.g. The 7 Deadly Sins), because it is a turning away from God.

It is only after we have overcome these trials do we begin to discover The Life as something fresh and new — as a fountain of clear Living Water flowing from within.  Although we may have had a fleeting taste of this in our immaturity, it is only when our faith becomes indomitably resilient and robust do we exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit with regularity and force (Galatians 5:22-23).

Moral Agency = Spiritual Identity

As long as our hearts lie dormant (AKA “spiritually dead”, we cannot give God anything to work with in our lives. As long as we are passively running on autopilot, we cannot lay claim to making any difference for Christ. Our Christian identity is not revealed until we begin to exercise Moral Agency.

Bruce Charlton describes agency in terms of creativity, and that as a form of true self-expression.

“…as Children of God with agency; we just-are creators – however partially and imperfectly: and this represents much (not all) of what is divine in us.

Furthermore, it is what God most wishes from us; as indicated in the Fourth Gospel when Jesus describes his disciples as Friends, and not as Servants. 

I understand this to show that Jesus wants to work-with Men who have taken-on the same kind of primary creative agency as he himself had; and as God has.

Therefore, we should not and cannot be contented with a life in which our own creation is annihilated – and this discontent will not be ignored nor suppressed.”

Bruce Charlton’s Notions: Why is it so difficult to find a creative path – day by day, year by year…? (2022/11/17)

It is through our creative doings that we discover our individual purposes in Christ. This is the “pressing onward” — the manifestation of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of us (Philippians 3:12).

Case Study — The Archetypical Bastard as a Form of Identity Crisis

In Bastards (2022/9/9), I described the sort of man who is deprived of identity through the absence of a father figure and therefore never experienced the presence and power of God in his formative years.  The effects of poor identity formation are shown in many negative traits, such as being awkward, boorish, hesitant, insecure, irresponsible, shifty, and untrustworthy.  He is one who is vainly willful, self-centered and unknowingly frustrating to interact with; one who does not share the privileges of God’s children; always busy with self-absorbed activities, never allowing nor even knowing how to let God act in his life, and never conscious of how he could be a part of anything larger than himself.  Thus, he never knows faith, and never finds rest.

If we consider this condition in light of agency, faith, and maturity, we find that such a person is swamped in the muck of spiritual immaturity.  They are unable to give or receive love in an appropriate and efficient manner.  They cannot adapt nor learn quickly, but instead must endure many false starts and stops along a meandering and tortuous path in life.  Their spiritual immaturity is a stronghold that perpetuates rejection and shame — being disrespected, unappreciated, and unloved, and never knowing why.  Meanwhile, others find constant and endless amusement in mocking and taunting him, which only contributes to his despondency and misery.

Moral Agency = Love

Life is fragile and love is brutal.  To not regard life as fragile relegates one to the status of a beast or a cockroach.  To not regard love as brutal indicates an ignorance of the irresistible overpowering domination of love. When Life and Love are juxtaposed, the irony is striking.  It is a battle between the desire of the will and the fleshly nature to resist domination.  To balance the two is not an easy task.

Bette Midler sang a song called The Rose. If we overlook the culturally assigned interpretations of romantic love, we find that Midler describes many true aspects of love and trust, not only between humans, but also in our relationship with God.

“(I feared that) Love is (only) for the lucky and the strong…”

As these lyrics intimate, one purpose of Love is to preserve Life.  This is often shown in supplying the basic needs of others to support their physical life, e.g. cash flow, clothing, food, physical affection, protection, shelter, etc. etc.  A more profound expression of Love works towards preserving Spiritual Life, such as acceptance, companionship, emotional support, sanctified sex, teaching, and of course, Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary.

Spiritual Maturity can be broadly described as having both the ability and the purpose to love others efficaciously, properly, and responsibly (not to be confused with the worldly interpretation of love).

Moral Agency is a vehicle for Love.  Thus, it is a synonym for Spiritual Maturity or even Freedom in Christ.

Moral Agency = Freedom in Christ

What is the purpose of Freedom that Jesus Christ gave us in the New Covenant?

It is in order to save us for Good Works.

Freedom in Christ is often insufficiently interpreted as freedom from sin.  This is true, but this description is often easily dismissed by those who are tenuous in their knowledge of God as something doctrinal, ethereal, and theoretical.  Thus, it fails to impart a complete understanding of redemption.

To expound further, it is freedom to exercise our volitional will, to defend our boundaries, to express our true selves as God created us to be.

It is freedom to work and create, to decide our course in life for good or ill, and to build His Kingdom on Earth.

It is Freedom to pursue the Virtues of Righteousness.  Not as a mere set of rules.  But the Organic Righteousness of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.

If the New Covenant writes the Laws in our Hearts, it is a restoration of what is meant to be instinctive and as routine as breathing.

Duties and Freedom belong together.  How then can we perform good works, faithfully, and with wisdom, unless we have attained spiritual maturity?

Maturity and agency tend to go together hand in hand, do they not?  One is considered to have agency based solely on the age of majority — even without maturity, but it would be more difficult to have what would properly be considered adult or Christian maturity without instantiating agency.

Does this not all hinge on developing and implementing moral agency within ourselves?


Now let’s put all this into context of Women’s Moral Agency. As discussed above, a woman’s level of Moral Agency determines all of the following capabilities.

  • Her personal self-discipline.
  • Her ability to love and be loved.
  • Her willingness to grow in faith.
  • Her willingness to submit and obey.
  • How much she can trust and be trusted.
  • Her tenacity to resist sin and temptation.
  • How much responsibility she can handle.
  • Her overall ability to be a suitable companion and helper.

All these things hinge on a woman’s level of Spiritual Maturity. Thus, a woman’s level of Moral Agency is largely dependent on her level of Spiritual Maturity, and in practice they are essentially the same thing.

These qualities also determine her overall value as a wife.

Deep Strength takes this even further in his most recent post, Husbands are to improve the moral agency of their wives through sanctification (2022/12/17). Here, he emphasizes that a woman’s spiritual maturity largely determines her ability to discern right from wrong and the quality of sanctification that she can bring to a marriage.

“Sanctification can only be had if someone is a moral agent and able to determine right and wrong. Only if they know what is right and wrong are they able to be convicted by their conscience and repent of their wrongdoing.”

“Regardless of the level of moral agency of a wife started at or has grown in the process, the goal should be to continually sanctify her to be more like Jesus. Thus, her moral capability to acknowledge any wrongdoing and repent should increase over time. As she becomes a stronger moral agent, she will become a more mature Christian who can resist temptation more effectively.”

So when we speak of a woman who possesses Moral Agency, we are unwittingly speaking of an emotionally mature and spiritually pure or regenerated woman.  Thus, a continual habit of instantiated Moral Agency should be a priority qualifier for single Christian men vetting a potential wife. For married men, developing Moral Agency / Spiritual Maturity in the wife should be the central focus of their interaction, as DS pointed out in this post.

One year ago, Deep Strength wrote about how Trust is earned and an expression of the character of godliness (2021/12/20). Here he proposed a 4 tier scale of a woman’s spiritual maturity which aligns well with Zippy’s concept of Agentic Moral Capacity.  This scale could be further developed into an “Agency Inventory” that men could use to vet women, grade women’s progress and development, and help keep them accountable.

Furthermore, the possession of Moral Agency more or less sums up the FAST heuristic that reddit/RPChristians uses.

  1. Faithful — Involved in growing in the faith with Church and also virtues. Shows commitment to what she says she will do.  No Bulverizing, solipsism, etc. etc.  Her yes is yes, and her no is no.
  2. Available — Single, ready, and willing to act as a companion and helper to you specifically.
  3. Saved — Professes Christ and lives it out. Not lukewarm.  Possesses at least some Fruits of the Spirit.
  4. Teachable — Being open to learning new things and changing her beliefs and behaviors.  Being teachable is the key for women responding to a man’s leading and loving her by respecting and following him.

At the risk of stating a redundancy, all of these require a healthy sense of Moral Agency in a Spiritually Mature woman.


About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Agency, Calculated Risk Taking, Conserving Power, Decision Making, Determination, Discernment, Wisdom, Discipline, Freedom, Personal Liberty, Fundamental Frame, Identity, Introspection, Love, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Models of Success, Moral Agency, Perseverance, Personal Domain, Power, Psychology, Purpose, Relationships, Self-Concept, Self-Control, Sphere of Influence, The Power of God, Trust. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Moral Agency is Dependent on Spiritual Maturity

  1. info says:

    All lizard brain urges was originally created by God to abide within natural good limits. It’s the corruption of sin that sets them haywire.

    Grace perfects nature but not destroys nature.


  2. feeriker says:

    “Moral Agency = Emotional, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Maturity”

    Small wonder then that almost no women and ever-dwindling numbers of men are capable of exercising it. In fact, let’s face it: Intelligence almost certainly plays a key role in this as well. Vox Day’s frequent claims that IQs have been dropping across the western world for the last couple of generations not only appears to be at least anecdotally supported, but also would appear to coincide with the inability / refusal of western society as a whole to exercise any moral agency.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Lastmod says:

    IOW, “Make sure you have in-depth discussions with your date or potential date about moral agency, and as a man, provide sh!t tests for her, and the paperwork and studies for her to complete before the third date. Also make sure she masters each of the four steps that DS outlined, and she must have this mastered before you even consider marrying her, and make sure she is hot because as man you need sex or you will die.”

    Then countered with, “Oh… I met my wife by watching her flirt / give tons of IOIs to me. I didn’t have to do any of the above.”

    As for your segment on “Bastards” I guess it’s predestination. The fatherless child is guilty for his father’s lack of actions in his or her life…. and God knew all of this from the start. Gee thanks! I had a dad in my life (a good one) and I still was a loser.

    This is why chuckistanity can’t work for well over 50% of the male population now. God knew it all, there is nothing you can do.

    Anyway….. telling young guys about moral agency in women and giving them another lead brick to navigate, study, apply, and implement — in addition to them needing to have a good career, work out, restore antique cars on the weekend (or some other masculine hobby), get degrees, study, work hard, join Toastmasters, grow some balls, go out frequently to places to meet women and practice (cough) with women….. read and study all Man-o-sphere writings, charts, graphs, deviations, read comments, be a (cough) leader in church and serve on committees……….. all before they are 30!

    Then…. when your wife divorces you: “You didn’t vet properly!” or “We told you that there were no good women left.”

    I expect your paperwork and answers and applications on this turned in by Monday morning….

    [Jack: Edited for spelling and clarity.]

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jack says:


      “Anyway….. telling young guys about moral agency in women and giving them another lead brick to navigate, study, apply, and implement — in addition to them needing to have a good career, work out, restore antique cars on the weekend (or some other masculine hobby), get degrees, study, work hard, join Toastmasters, grow some balls, go out frequently to places to meet women and practice (cough) with women….. read and study all Man-o-sphere writings, charts, graphs, deviations, read comments, be a (cough) leader in church and serve on committees……….. all before they are 30!”

      What you have written is actually good advice for men.

      “Then…. when your wife divorces you: “You didn’t vet properly!” or “We told you that there were no good women left.”

      The error in your line of reasoning is that you are attaching a promise to it that cannot be implied — that promise being that a man will have a unicorn wife and a perfect utopian marriage and family if he does all these things. It doesn’t work that way. A man does these things to have a better life for himself and to offer a more powerful testimony for God — not to match and latch a catch and snatch a patch of thatch. That is the Covert Contract of Glover lore.


  4. “I’ve even come to the conclusion that Moral Agency is what the Bible refers to as Freedom in Christ.”

    Interesting way to put it. I’ve said something similar, but not in those words.

    I’ve always thought about it being the flipside Paul’s assessment that we once were “slaves to sin” and by repenting and following Jesus we have “freedom in Christ.”

    Talked about this in Not Curses but Punishments (Genesis 3) Part 1 (2016/5/28). Not Curses but Punishments (Genesis 3) Part 2 (2016/5/28) alludes to the choice:

    “Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve lived in perfect headship-submission in harmony. However, after the fall, Eve gets her just desserts punishment from eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil — the choice to choose between good (submission) or evil (usurpation, rebellion, desire to be like man) in her relationship with her husband. Prior to the fall, her submission was present and easy; after the fall, her choice is more difficult, much like the other punishments.”

    Moral agency… the choice to choose between good and evil. Though as sinners without a Savior we were almost doomed to fall to temptation. But Christ brings freedom to go beyond our circumstances there.

    I’d also argue that moral agency is a process built up progressively as mentioned in 2 Peter:

    2 Peter 1:5
    For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

    Faith -> goodness/virtue -> knowledge (of right and wrong) -> self control -> perseverence -> godliness

    This is the path that a moral agent should take. The first 3 from faith, goodness / virtue, and knowledge help you to understand right from wrong, and then self control, perseverance, and godliness help you act on that. That culminates in ‘loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself’ with brotherly love / mutual affection and love.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oscar says:

    “During all the writings and discussion over the past month, I’ve even come to the conclusion that Moral Agency is what the Bible refers to as Freedom in Christ.

    This is a correlation that no other author (to my knowledge) has addressed.”

    Dude, I’ve been saying that for years in the comments of various blogs. I put it a little differently — liberty is the ability to govern oneself so others don’t have to — but we’re saying the same thing. After all, self control is a fruit of the Spirit, and when St. Paul said, “It’s for freedom that Christ set us free”, he obviously didn’t mean doing whatever we feel like.

    Ironically, I first learned that from Greek and Roman philosophy, which is another example of pagans not having the law, and yet obeying the law God wrote in their hearts.

    I’m not familiar with Eastern philosophy, but I believe Confucius said something similar. You’d know better than I would.

    “When they believe nothing they do can have a negative effect on their life (AKA antinomianism).”

    Equally destructive is the belief that nothing we do can have a positive effect on our lives. Countless people self-sabotage with a “can’t win, may as well not try” attitude. That attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy that results in chronic failure, anger, bitterness, and then blaming others / circumstances.

    Evil people love to infect others with a “can’t win, may as well not try” attitude, because they get off on watching others fail and suffer.


    • Lastmod says:

      No, you get off on lecturing people who fail and fail. “You just didn’t try hard enough” or “You didn’t want it badly enough”.”

      This is where the supposed “comfort” of Christ comes in, of “the next life will be better”, not just for those who fail, but for the winners too.

      Life indeed isn’t fair.


      • Oscar says:

        “No, you get off on lecturing people who fail and fail. “You just didn’t try hard enough” or “You didn’t want it badly enough”.”

        I’ve literally never said, “You just didn’t try hard enough” or “You didn’t want it badly enough”. Nor did I identify you as one of the evil people who love to infect others with a “can’t win, may as well not try” attitude, but that line seems to have struck a guilty nerve with you.


    • Bardelys the Magnificent says:

      “…when St. Paul said, “It’s for freedom that Christ set us free”, he obviously didn’t mean doing whatever we feel like.”

      People often confuse “freedom from” and “freedom to“.


      • Oscar says:


        Partly that’s because “freedom from” is “freedom to”. Freedom from sin is freedom to obey God. The problem is that people don’t want freedom from sin or freedom to obey God. We’re all born loving sin and in enmity with God. Only the Holy Spirit can change that.


      • Oscar says:

        Because of our sinful nature, what we all naturally want is freedom from God and freedom to sin. What our flesh doesn’t realize is that’s not freedom, it’s slavery.

        Only the Holy Spirit can change that.


      • Lastmod says:

        So we pray to the “Holy Spirit” now to free us from the bondage of sin? Never heard of that.

        When I was in NA, the notion of accepting a “higher power” to help the addict at least put into perspective something greater that we cannot comprehend is or was supposed to help. I suppose it can. I accepted this because the program did have concrete results. You actually met people like yourself, some who were clean for decades in some cases, to help uplift, listen, empathize, inspire, and cross-talk you. Men and women. Young and old. Rich and poor. All colors. Once I accepted and found a church, I realized very quickly they default to the program and attitude listed below:

        The modern Christian Recovery Program “Celebrate Recovery” demands that the addict can never get well. He must be co-dependent on Jesus to make every decision in your life. Big or small.

        Most of the meeting is “praise” led by a guy with a guitar singing contemporary Christian music, and/or a woman who sings like a performance…. i.e. you watch, don’t sing, and just put your hands up.

        You then go to your area where Jesus is going to help you. Separated by gender….. but women are allowed to lead men’s meetings, but men cannot lead women’s.

        Meetings are mostly a scripted card prayer, and then FINALLY you get to the tasks at hand.

        No cross talking. No smoking. No coffee or other drinks allowed. No self pity. (“You are not trusting Jesus enough!”) Each person is allowed two minutes to speak, and most meetings have a countdown clock in the respected meeting. Nothing gets solved, but the church sponsoring then gives you a list of what is coming up (activities) and of course, “We need volunteers to stand in the parking lot and direct traffic on Sunday. Come on down, waste three hours to stand in a parking lot while people who are better than you can hear the important message!”

        Then a collection plate. Meeting dismissed for a closing song that never seems to end…. “Come on everybody! Sing it one more time!”

        You go home feeling worse than before.

        I liked it better when I was new in NA. Once, I was at an NA meeting in a rough cinder-block room in a dumpy strip plaza downtown and there was a tattooed guy named Pedro who told me, “You need to cry, get it out, wail, and understand no one here is going to hate you for it because we were all there.”

        Addicts now just have to pray…. Doesn’t work? It’s because “They didn’t want it enough.” Only the Holy Ghost can change them.

        There’s your hope for better.

        I will be nineteen years clean and sober as of January 5th, 2023. NA works because people care. Celebrate fails because you wait on God.


      • Jack says:


        “So we pray to the “Holy Spirit” now to free us from the bondage of sin? Never heard of that.”

        Dude, that’s the gospel in a peanut shell.

        “[People] just have to pray…. Doesn’t work? It’s because “They didn’t want it enough.” Only the Holy Ghost can change them.”

        Desire figures large in the redemption process and sanctification. Most people do not come to grips with this.

        “NA works because people care.”

        The message of Christianity is spread through people by the power of the Holy Spirit, and it does not need to have the name of Jesus attached to it for it to work. (For you, it had the name “NA” attached to it, and the name of “Celebrate Recovery” was attached to some annoyingly fake rigamarole that came along with the name of Jesus, which is not a good nor accurate association / operant conditioning.) You experienced the people part, but you failed to recognize that it is the Holy Spirit working through them. People did not cause you to get clean. God did. Only God can do that. People were the tools God used to do that. You must learn to see things in this way and give all glory to God!

        If you can make this adjustment in your thinking, then whenever someone does you dirty, it is easily explained away as human nature and it is much easier to forgive them and not become trapped in bitterness. And when someone does you right, you can be thankful to God.

        “Celebrate fails because you wait on God.”

        “Waiting on God” does not mean what you think it means. Most of the time, God is waiting on us to get to the end of our self-sufficiency and learn to trust Him. The “waiting on God” you are referring to is about enduring the sufferings, temptations, and trials, and eventually finding the satisfaction of one’s desires. It’s not about coming to God in the first place, unless you are referring to the Calvinist position that only the Holy Ghost can draw people to God. But in that case, the person is not really “waiting on God”, but rather resisting Him.

        Your theology is very piecemeal. God is not in theology though. He is in your heart. Get out of your head and start experiencing God from the heart!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oscar says:

        “So we pray to the “Holy Spirit” now to free us from the bondage of sin? Never heard of that.”

        Right. Just like you “never heard” that looks matter to women, even though many of us have been saying so for ever.

        2 Corinthians 3:17
        Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

        John 8:36
        Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

        Romans 8:12
        Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

        “Addicts now just have to pray…”

        No one said that “addicts now just have to pray”, but as usual, you can’t resist lying about what others have said.


    • Jack says:


      Different words have different effects on different people.

      “…liberty is the ability to govern one’s self so others don’t have to…”

      To me, “Moral Agency” implies a commitment to do what’s right especially when it is difficult — something anyone could do if they thought about it and tried. I read your statement above as meaning patience and self-control as a fruit of the Spirit — something only Christians have. Small difference there.

      Before lately, I had the idea that Moral Agency is not necessarily limited to Christians only. But the more I’ve studied Moral Agency, the more I think that everyone has “agency” (even women!), but Moral Agency is closely related to Spiritual Maturity.

      “…but we’re saying the same thing.”

      Comprehensively, yes we are!

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. naturallyaspirated says:

    I always liked Lewis’ description of true freedom in Christ when we have achieved spiritual maturity either in this life or the next:

    “… though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond.

    One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes.”

    Liked by 1 person

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