After I tried committing suicide, after I went to the psychiatric hospital … someone suggested that I attend a twelve-step group that was geared toward men with sexual addictions. I went a few times, but then I stopped, and here is why I stopped.
My best analogy for being in a twelve-step group … and this was only my experience … was that it was like being in a cess pool, a sanitary waste dump.
If you’re in a 12-step group, please don’t take offense … this was my own personal experience and I will go on to explain what I mean in a kind way.
- Issue one: twelve-step groups are not a safe place. There was no one who was mature enough to take leadership and set boundaries and make sure that it was safe for everyone. The men in the group were all struggling with sexual addictions, and some of them were predators, and I even had one fellow who approached me and wanted to get my contact info so that he could get more information from me about being a transgender.
- Issue two: the men in this group had little or no discernment about what they shared. They divulged details of evil things that they did … things that should never have been discussed in a group setting … maybe with a counselor or a close friend … but not in a group setting, not with people who are struggling themselves and who are very vulnerable. Here is a biblical reason why to not share such things: “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:12 King David, in Psalm 101, says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”
- Issue three: Twelve-step groups are a method devised by men, and the basic premise of it is not true confession of sin, but using shame as a motivator to control one’s own behavior. Shame is not a good motivator … it drags one down … it does not edify or build up in the faith.
- Issue four: Twelve-step groups speak of a “higher power” … they do not profess knowledge of the true and living God, nor of Jesus Christ, who is the only One who can save and deliver one from sin.