AT THE UNDERGROUND OASIS, WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT WHERE YOU’VE BEEN; WE CARE ABOUT WHERE YOU’RE GOING.
By Dale Johnston Co-originator of Underground Oasis
Kirk, Leo, Dale | Mad Max
Figures 42, 43.
A BIBLE BASED GUIDE TO FREEDOM
The process of learning occurs by increments. Mathematics is learned by starting with the most basic rules and then adding to those with additional principles. We often use the term steps to refer to this process. Alcoholic Anonymous proceeded in its recovery program by a step by step program. In II Peter I:4-8 Peter takes us step by step through an ascending set of character-building characteristics known as Peter’s ladder, which bears fruit for Christ. A little book by E.G. White entitled Steps to Christ illuminates the way to be in Christ through a step by step spiritual growth process. So, too, has Underground Oasis formed a series of steps based solely on scripture and Biblical principles to bring recovery and freedom to the addict.
Underground Oasis program is very similar to the steps outlined in Steps to Christ; the steps may not be in the exact same sequence but overall cover the same principles. Both are designed to lead a person to the recognition of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and that by faith in the merits of His shed blood at the cross we may be transformed into His likeness and receive salvation. At the very first lesson in Underground Oasis program a bold proclamation is made that the Creator God of the Universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the Power by which lives are changed and it will be the only Power recognized in the program. And that the word God when used in the recovery sessions always refers to Jesus Christ the Divine Son of God, the only name under heaven whereby we may be saved. Prayer to this God is always made at the beginning of every meeting. If the phrase Higher Power is ever used, unless stated differently, it also only refers to Jesus Christ.
Each participant is considered to be a child of the King, and upon introduction is to be recognized as such and not as an alcoholic or an addict of some habit—a failure in humanity. Yes, there is the all true fact of the problem burdening the person seeking recovery; one must face up to it and be honest about it. However, rehearsing each time one is introduced or introduces one’s self, by stating that he or she is a failure only strengthens that conviction and interferes with accepting that a person is a loved and valued child of God. It keeps one in bondage where God promises that in Christ there is freedom from the sinful nature.
This course teaches that addictive problems are an identity prob-lem; who are we? It presents four basic truths as to who we are:
- I am accepted in Christ: I am bought with a price, I Corinth 6:20; Redeemed, Col. 1:14; Justified, Rom. 5:1; complete in Christ Col. 2:10
- I am secure in Christ: Free from condemnation Rom. 8:1; I cannot be separated from Christ.
- I am significant in Christ.
- I am free in Christ.
The introduction the first night is:
This is a Christ centered ministry. This program may not be for you, but then, again, it may be just the thing you need to help overcome your destructive dependencies and habits. If you have tried everything else and it has not worked, why not give God a chance.
It is made clear that the leader conducting the class is not attempting to bring a religion to those in attendance, or to suggest that religion can save them from their addictions, but that a friendship with God can. The leader, holding a Bible, shares that those who have been attending, love what is in that book as it has brought them freedom from their addictions. It is boldly proclaimed that the program is Bible based.
Does this boldness of a Bible based approach cause those seeking help to reject and flee from the meetings? That has not been the experience of Underground Oasis. They have programs in six states and have been operating for several years and I am told that people bolting from a meeting because it is Bible-based has been rare.
Underground Oasis takes the first step by helping the attendees understand that God loves us just as we are, Christ died for me even while I rejected Him. A person under addiction is brought to recognize and admit that he is powerless to pull him or herself up out of this human failure. There is no power within self that can do it. One is led to understand that my problem is the end result of sin and living apart from the Creator God of the Universe. It is a result of not knowing one’s true identity, that you are a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This King loves us ev even in our state of bondage and slavery and He is willing and anxious to break that bondage and give us freedom.
The Biblical book of Romans chapter 7 describes the condition of man, often though he is a proclaimed believer in God, he is also in the slavery and bondage of sin, addiction, dependency, frustration, failure, condemnation, etc., it is referred to as carnal, and being in the flesh. Man in his mind wants to do what is right but his self, carnal, being in the flesh keeps him from doing it and he does what he does not want to do. Then we have the story of victory over this condition through the Spirit, of being in Christ Jesus in Romans chapter 8. For a person to be in Christ Jesus means that he or she has accepted Christ as his or her Savior. The person trusts Him implicitly and has decided to make Christ’s way of life his or her own way. The result is a close personal union with Christ.
The name Underground Oasis was chosen for this recovery pro-gram because of its special meaning. The following definition is given by the Underground Oasis organization.
The Oxford Universal dictionary defines the word “oasis” as a
“fertile spot in the desert.”
Throughout history, weary travelers would find refuge at an oasis; a refuge from the extreme heat as their caravans crossed the vast wasteland. There they could regain their strength and rest their animals before continuing on through lonely seas of sand. …The Underground Oasis is a safe refuge for today’s weary travelers, who are struggling through our own wasteland of addiction. A place where we can find rest, a rest that can only be found through Jesus Christ. He is our fertile spot in the desert of this world. From His Word we can drink freely giving us the strength and regeneration that is needed to break the chains that bind us; a place where we can again become clean, productive members of society. Fertile ground for the fruits of the Lord and sharing with others what Jesus Christ can do for us.
Here at the Underground Oasis, we don’t care about where you’ve been. We care about where you’re going. OASIS by Kirk Shea.
Anonymity in Underground Oasis is maintained just as it is in Al-coholics Anonymous, however, when being introduced or introducing oneself it is counterproductive to refer to being a failure, an alcoholic, a doper, a rage-aholic etc., as repeating such creates a deeper impression on the mind that one is what one calls himself. The introduction to be used is I am a child of the King, struggling with the uncontrollable use of alcohol” or whatever the addiction is. Behavior is consistent with belief. Truth as it is in Christ is the key to receiving power that breaks from slavery and bondage.
The following quotation is the nightly welcome presented to the attendees of a meeting of Underground Oasis.
Hello, my name is ———————- . I’d like to welcome everyone
to the Underground Oasis. We dedicate this time and program to God and our loving savior Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that everyone here will receive a blessing as well as the hope and tools needed to overcome any and all destructive habits and dependencies. Thank you for coming.
Belief in and accepting a power above self is mandatory to over-coming. The apostle Paul shares with us the way out of being in the flesh.
Therefore, there is no condemnation to those who are hid in Christ by faith. For the Holy Spirit has given me a new life in Christ and has freed me from the controlling power of my sinful nature which always stands ready to put me back on the road to death. No matter how holy and good the law of God is, it is powerless to save me from my sinful self. But what God’s law could not do, His Son did. God sent Him to earth to take on human nature, to condemn sin and to overthrow its power. He did this so that by His obedience the righteous requirements of the law could be transferred to us who no longer follow our sinful human natures, but shape our lives according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 (Clear Word)
As a result of accepting the power of Jesus Christ to bring us from death to life we then undergo a transformation. We still have those sinful impulses but we now have a Power from above that is able to give us a new heart so as to overcome the sinful drives and replace them with healthful patterns in life. This is a process for most people and involves a daily walk in Christ, a daily surrender of self, as we meet again and again our impulses. As we resist through the power of God we replace the old impulses and drives with new ones that are in harmony with the righteousness of God. By regular attendance to the meetings that continue to present Bible truths, support is gained by allowing the Holy Spirit to bring about a transformation of our hearts and life.
There are only two powers in the Universe, the Power of God, and that power which God has allowed Satan to possess and manipulate. When we give our will, volition, or power to choose to a power, it is either to Jesus Christ the Divine Son of God or to Satan; there are no other powers. If we have chosen some power outside of Jesus Christ as our Higher Power, or God of my understanding, we have chosen by default Satan.
Through a process of repentance and confession a person brings to light his hidden faults. These faults that have involved others are made right; there are other wrongs that only God is to receive confession about. It is offensive to God to have man divulge every aspect of his life to another human. We are to be our own conscience, not to allow others to decide for us what is right or wrong. Wrong use of confession has given Satan great influence over mankind for millennia.
To summarize the experience of participating in the program con-ducted by Underground Oasis I will place below, words presented to the participants concerning prayer as a part of delivery and overcom-ing.
The commitment has been made. The line has been crossed. We have chosen to get right and not be left behind. We’ve realized through our past that we are unable to care for our self with the knowledge and will power we have, let alone be guided by it. We’ve decided to turn our will and life over to the care of God as He reveals Himself to us.
Now our daily task is to ask God for guidance and power to achieve the peace, serenity and love we have always searched for but were never able to attain. We receive this through personally inviting our Lord and Savior to take control of our life. We ask to be molded, forgiven and accepted, by studying God’s Word. Believing it, achieving to it and relying on it, reveals God’s will for our new life with Christ. We start to realize we are special and have a purpose. We can be sure that God desires a blessing for us. We start to act on this knowledge and pray for the power to carry it out. As our new life with Christ begins, we realize that many of our old thoughts and habits, including our compulsions and addictive behaviors, do not automatically vanish all at once. What has happened is that from God’s viewpoint, we have been forgiven and now have a right to enter into His presence. We now have the right to ask Him for the power needed to begin the complete regeneration and transformation of every part of our lives… The power needed to change every area of life that falls short of Christ’s glorious idea of how we can live for Him.
If the God we serve was capable of Creating the universe, earth, and man, if he is capable of re-creating man and raising him from the dead and giving him eternal life, is He not also able to give us deliver-ance—freedom from sin and bondage? We trust Him to redeem us, to translate us to heaven, but when it comes to seeking deliverance from the results of a sinful nature with its bondage and slavery we tend to look to man’s programs, and not to the power of the Creator of the Universe.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, (then) are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8: 31, 32)
From: Exposing Spiritualistic Practices in Healing by Edwin A. Noyes M.D., MPH