I simply cannot believe that there are still stupid and ignorant people who associate Addiction with “Sin.” Addiction is a progressive and measurable disease that can, in fact, be treated. Sin, however, is not a behavior, but a spiritual state in which a person is separated from God. To make it simple: Addiction is a disease and Sin is a spiritual state.
Too often, behaviors are labeled as “sins” as though behaviors, in and of themselves, create spiritual states. Here’s the thing: Behaviors are SYMPTOMATIC of a person’s spiritual state; however it’s the WILL behind a behavior that determines if the behavior will result in separation from God. In other posts, I have discussed the power of the IMAGO DEI and how it’s the source of all that’s good and strong and beautiful in the world. Behaviors that are contrary to God’s Image (the IMAGO DEI translated) can be said to be sinful because it’s clear that they separate a person’s humanity from God. HOWEVER, Addiction IS NOT A BEHAVIOR.
There are clear biological and psychological processes at work behind an Addiction. Once those processes become ingrained, they require DAILY treatment in order for them to “normalize” away from a drug or process of abuse. The thing is, many people who become addicted didn’t even realize how far their addiction progressed. It’s almost as if they woke up one day as one person and then woke up the next day as a totally different person. This is due to the compulsive nature of Addiction and, because it’s compulsive, there is no personal will involved within the Addiction itself. As a matter of fact, the most deadly blockage to treatment (other than continued use) is the moralizing that surrounds Addiction. To be clear: A person is lost to an addiction and only when WILL is recovered does humanity return. Until it does, an addict is split against his own nature and needs to have the abyss shake him such that he finds value in his own humanity.
Can an addict be in a state of sin? Not sure, I’m not the sin police. I have no idea what anybody else state of grace is or isn’t. I know what sin is and I know how behaviors reflect a spiritual state, but I can only speak to my own soul. I CAN NEVER look at another person and say whether or not he or she is in a state of sin.
I can, however, help an addict find his or her own sense of humanity. I can also maintain my own recognition of the IMAGO DEI in my life. But, I can’t say that anyone else’s path is sinful. Perhaps a person NEEDS to heal from an addiction as part of his overall life’s path. Quite frankly, if I were to label a behavior, general moralizing stupidity is FAR more sinful than almost any other single behavior.