Sunday, March 09, 2014
by Dick B., Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism - A Substitute for the power of God upon which drunks and addicts are now to rely?
The woods are full today of academics, historians, movie producers, on stage performers, doctors, and disgruntled alcoholics and addicts who choose to lambaste A.A., denigrate the power of God, and mischaracterize "religion," "spirituality," and "higher powers."
The new theme in general is that A.A. has outlived its days. Replacing it, they say, will involve dumping God, eliminating Twelve Steps, and looking for a treatment program that's paid for by government or mandated by a court or funded by insurance.
This is just a brief reminder that those of you like myself who went to the bottom of the well with their alcohol and drugs needed something more than a professor to tell us that there was a better way.
Alcoholics Anonymous began as a Christian Fellowship in Akron in 1935. It had no Twelve Steps, no Twelve Traditions, no Big Books, no war stories, and no meetings like those we see today.
Early AAs believed the answers to the problem were in the Bible. They called it the "Good Book." And they believed what it told them about the power and love of the Creator.
The early thesis was that drunks understand drunks. They've been there, done that, failed in the extreme, and been victorious by turning first to God for help, and then turning to other drunks to help.
Those who get excited over "any god," "not-god," "no god," "spirituality," and light bulbs that are "higher powers" will march along their path. But they may find themselves in the same fix as those Israelites who wandered in the wilderness making mute statues, golden calves, and phony deities.
Join the group which believes that "With God, nothing is impossible." That statement comes from the Bible. It has nothing to do with 12 Steps, A.A., pharmaceuticals, methadone, treatment programs, or counseling. It has to do with believing. Perhaps the simplest explanation of the solution is found in Hebrews 11:6.
Give God a try. He helped me. And I believe He can help you.
Dick B., Author, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student. www.dickb.com
Copyright 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Friday, March 07, 2014
Dick B. has been traveling throughout the United States for about 25 years in his quest to unearth and report accurately the details of how A.A. began, where it came from, the people and organizations that influenced its development, how the first three AAs got sober, why A.A. was so often likened to First Century Christianity, A.A.'s links to the Bible and to A First Century Christian Fellowship (later known as the Oxford Group) as well as to Reverend Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Professor William James, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, and William D. Silkworth, M.D.
The more Dick researched, the more he discovered had been omitted, ignored, distorted, and mistakenly reported, primarily because the "wisdom of the rooms" has taken precedence over the concrete evidence of the facts. The importance of the full story, or what Dick B. calls "the rest of the story" is that its absence has encouraged the drift of many in the fellowship from those who relied on Almighty God, came to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and learned about them in the Bible. This, despite the fact that early A.A. had no basic text, no Twelve Steps, no Twelve Traditions, no war stories, and no meetings as we know them today.
A.A. Cofounder Dr. Bob made three vitally important historical statements in his last major address to AAs in 1948. The first is that the early AAs believed the answers to their problems were in the Bible (which he often called "The Good Book'). The second is that the well-known Twelve Steps were not published until 1939--four years after A.A. was founded and were a new version of the original program. He said he did not write the steps or have anything to do with the writing of them, but that the basic ideas had come from the teachings, study, and effort in the Bible. The third is that Dr. Bob's personal story--the first of the personal stories in A.A.'s basic text--has always concluded with the statement, "Your Heavenly Father will never let you down."
In the absence of such material from the chapters of A.A.'s basic text which were written by the other cofounder Bill W., various recovery elements began minimizing or actually eliminating many of the principles and practices that had put A.A. on the map and cured its early members. Thus reliance on God began to be replaced by "higher powers" that could be a rock or a light bulb, replaced by an attitude that A.A. was "spiritual but not religious," replaced by comments that "spirituality" somehow trumped the truth in the Bible, and replaced by rigidity and restrictions claiming that it was forbidden for a member to bring into the rooms the Bible or to discuss his belief in Jesus Christ or to give his group a name that even suggested that AAs could believe or not believe what they wished, read or not read what they wished, discuss or not discuss what they wished, and share their beliefs with others in the fellowship as a matter of their own experience, strength, and hope.
In 2014, after having published 46 titles and over 1600 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the blooming Christian Recovery Movement, Dick B. decided to consolidate the many venues of expression he has used for 27 years (meetings, groups, conferences, talks, radio and TV shows, YouTube and Blog presentations, newsletters and more). A major reason is that the volume of virtually unknown A.A. facts, origins, and history is so great that it needs to be presented today in bites. This can be accomplished largely through computers, the web, radio, TV, printed matter, phone conversations, and emails without the necessity for the highly expensive travel that Dick has engaged in as he carried his message all over the USA and researched and interviewed just as widely.
These new approaches, in the form of short bites, will begin appearing almost immediately and provide greater assurance that they will bless more alcoholics, addicts, codependents, and 'significant others" who still suffer.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Many a miserable newcomer shies away from the Big Book, the Steps, God, the Bible, and Working with others. Why?
Perhaps fear. Perhaps poor examples. Perhaps lack of good instruction. Perhaps pride. Perhaps old resentments. Perhaps lack of knowledge of simple messages like the one from Ebby to Bill:
God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
The abc's provide a basic guide: (a) I couldn't. (b) They couldn't. (c) I shall let God and seek Him now! He can and will if our relationship with Him is right.
When you are given the opportunity to speak at a meeting, a group, or a conference, why not make certain you are talking about the Big Book, the Steps, how you established your relationship with God, what God has done for you, and how you learned to pass this message along successfully.
War stories are entertaining. However, alcoholics may be sick, but they are not stupid. They can understand very quickly a message that says you were down and out; you turned to God for help, you decided to learn more, and then to help others.
Thursday, February 20, 2014