SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS often present too negative a picture to the public on alcohol-related subjects. We have the "don't do this," and "don't do that" approach often with very limited or short-term effect, without having a definite, positive, counter proposal.
Some eight years ago, in making a detailed study of the book Temperance, by Ellen G. White, my concepts were entirely changed as I noted the emphasis Mrs. White made not only against intemperance, but for the positive message we must present of temperance, actually the spiritual answer of self-control through Christ that brings restoration to man's life physical, mental, social, and spiritual.
As this positive concept has been developed into a new approach to our temperance message, we have seen some remarkable results. Souls have been won, attitudes changed, civic leaders influenced, and doors have opened wide with opportunity for this truth.
Aware of the viewpoint of moderationists who have genuinely ignored alcohol's role in alcoholism, and with their spotlight mainly on man, about three years ago this four-dimensional key picture to the cause of alcoholism began to take shape. The whole presentation of the 4DK has grown out of the Spirit of Prophecy principles of man and alcohol and the way toward better living.
These principles in relationship to alcoholism and its cause have been discussed with many alcoholism rehabilitationists, psychiatrists, social workers, educationalists, medical men, and moderationists around the world. None have voiced opposition. Rather, all believe them to be scientifically sound.
Dr. L. A. Senseman, a noted Adventist and physician, who has worked with alcoholics for more than thirty years, and working in close cooperation with our General Conference Temperance Department, agreed to back up this presentation in a public approach consisting of four evening pro grams of lectures and films.
Ultimately, after close liaison on lecture material, we presented our pilot plan in Miami, Florida.
It was better than we had ever hoped. Revealing the cause of alcoholism created a good interest, even breaking down prejudice of moderationists who were in attendance. They now are recommending the 4DK as the plan for their community efforts.
On this subject Ellen G. White says in the book Temperance, page 103, "Why do not those who have excellent reasoning powers reason from cause to effect?"
In doing this 4DK reveals the cause of alcoholism as not only the neglect or impairment of the physical, mental, and social life, but also the spiritual.
The 4DK is a balanced approach to the problem, and recognizes the spiritual as a key factor, for "men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart" (ibid., p. 102).
To reach social or problem drinkers with this message would be difficult if approached on the same style as the Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking. It is no stigma for smokers to come and seek help on how to quit.
So to influence drinkers toward this 4DK program, it has been prepared as an educational presentation for all the family without any isolation of the drinking audience until the last night.
Then a 4DK Plan for Better Living, consisting of eight group-counseling sessions, is offered to those who desire such help in shaping their life according to these ideals.
The 4DK plan offers a positive approach to alcoholism that can be used by pastors, doctors, and temperance leaders.
Four films entitled Alcoholism in a New Dimension and four Disney films featuring three of these life dimensions are available as a part of the plan.
Kits consisting of the 4DK manual on how-to-do-it, copyrighted lecture copy, daily guidebook, advertising folders, posters, sample follow-up material, and other aids can be purchased from the General Conference Temperance Department, 6840 Eastern Ave. NW., Washington, B.C. 20012.