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Celebrate Recovery

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Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1991 by Pastor John Baker of Saddleback Church with the goal of overcoming habits like sex disorders and drug addictions with a twelve-step program based on Christian principles. Other churches and some prisons implemented the program, and as of March 2004 more than 150,000 people are said to have participated.[1] At the Faith-Based and Community Initiative Conference in 1994, President George W. Bush praised Celebrate Recovery as being able to "change hearts" where government cannot.[2]



Celebrate Recovery meetings are similar to those of other twelve-step programs, but differ in their focus on Christianity. The program stresses that there is no other Higher Power except for Jesus,[1] as opposed to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous which encourage members to choose their own concept of a Higher Power.[3]

The Twelve Steps and their Biblical comparisons

Celebrate Recovery teaches the Twelve Steps by relating them with Biblical verses.[4]

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors. That our lives had become unmanageable. (Romans 7:18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.)
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.)
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. (Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.)
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.)
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. (James 5:16a Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.)
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.)
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. (1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.)
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. (Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.)
  9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.)
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. (1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!)
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out. (Colossians 3:16a Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.)
  12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs. (Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.)

Eight Recovery Principles based on the Beatitudes

Saddleback Senior Pastor Rick Warren devised a set of Principles based on the Beatitudes.[5]

  1. Realize I'm not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable. "Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor"
  2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover. "Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted"
  3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ's care and control. "Happy are the meek"
  4. Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to someone I trust. "Happy are the pure in heart"
  5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. "Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires"
  6. Evaluate all my relationships; Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others except when to do so would harm them or others. "Happy are the merciful" "Happy are the peacemakers"
  7. Reserve a daily time with God for self examination, Bible readings and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.
  8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words. "Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires"


Other twelve-step programs teach that encouraging members to choose their own Higher Power is a more effective way to bring about recovery, rather than restrict them to any one religious idea of God.[3] Celebrate Recovery also receives many of the same criticisms of other twelve-step programs.

For more details on this topic, see the related sections in the following articles: Rick Warren: Criticism and Twelve-step programs: Criticism


  1. ^ a b Perry, Larry (2004-03-11). President lauds church program at White House-sponsored event. Baptist Press. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  2. ^ President's Remarks at Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference. Office of the White House Press Secretary (2004-03-3). Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  3. ^ a b Alcoholics Anonymous (June 2001). "Chapter 4: We Agnostics", Alcoholics Anonymous (PDF), 4th edition, New York, New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 46. ISBN 1893007162. OCLC 32014950. 
  4. ^ THE TWELVE STEPS AND THEIR BIBLICAL COMPARISONS. Celebrate Recovery, NIV. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  5. ^ Warren, Rick. Eight Recovery Principles based on the BEATITUDES. Celebrate Recovery. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.

External links



Source: Wikipedia

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