Thursday, June 17, 2010

Christians Alcoholics Anonymous: Trick or Treat

This a second, but brief, commentary on the new "minority Christian" technique for bashing Christians in A.A. and, of course, A.A. itself. And this is not a pro-A.A. article. It is a caveat emptor signal to Christians in recovery, Christians in A.A., and AAs who may want to seek God and come to Him through Jesus Christ--just as the highly successful A.A. pioneers did between 1935 and 1938.

"Christians Alcoholics Anonymous" is neither gramatically correct; nor is it at all what it appears to be. It is simply a monniker used by highly inflammatory anti-A.A. writings that a very few minority Christians are currently employing to join together in attack, attract Christian attention, and then tell those tricked into listening that they will probably burn in hell if they are Christians and set foot in the doors of A.A. That's unadulterated nonsense and ignores the very roots of what Jesus Christ accomplished for sinners.

Just a couple of additional caveats:

An honest, truthful title would not be Christians Alcoholics Anonymous. It would be "We are Christians who don't like Alcoholics Anonymous and are using some irrelevant Bible verses to tackle A.A., blacken its founders, distort the Christian origins and original program of A.A., and do so in the name of piety and reproof."

Here are the facts:

1. A.A. today is no longer a Christian Fellowship. Nor does it claim to be. Nor want to be.
2. A.A. today has tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Christians who participate in its fellowship. They are in the present-day fellowship because they were helped, delivered, and challenged to do the same things for those who followed.
3. A.A. today also welcomes atheists, agnostics, buddhists, hindus, humanists, New Thought folks, New Age folks, and those who just don't believe in anything at all, nor want to.
4. The tension, if any, is resolved by the A.A. code of "love and tolerance." At least that is how I look at the situation. The small number of uninformed and vitriolic Christian writers who attack A.A. may well detract from Christianity in A.A., deflect Christians from going to A.A., and detour existing A.A.'s into some other arena--be it medical, psychological, religious, pharmaceutical, nutritional, behavioral, or religious worship outside of A.A. That's their purpose without any significant Christian alternative. Rebels without a cause, you might say.
5. Fortunately for our work, we can be and are tolerant of those in A.A. who are not Christians and don't want to be. They lost that opportunity in 1939 when Bill Wilson and three others opened the door to atheists and agnostics. But neither Wilson nor anyone else tried to exclude, nor did exclude, nor could have excluded co-founder Dr. Bob, A.A. Number Three Bill Dotson, the founder of Cleveland A.A. (Clarence Snyder), or the thousands and thousands of Christians who poured into A.A. beginning in 1940. And these later multitudes were focused on love and service and love and tolerance and said so. They pursued their particular Christian principles, practices, and creeds as well as their own modes of Christian worship. They were not hindered. They did not turn to the nonsense "higher powers" than began to abound. Nor to idolatry. Nor to pseudo "spirituality." They relied on God, retained their fidelity to Jesus as Lord, and read the Bible. And--in keeping with A.A.'s primary purpose--devoted themselves to helping the alcoholic who still suffered. They did not require a litmus test of the alcoholic's religious beliefs. They did not require a litmus test of the religious beliefs of other AAs. They worked together to help the still suffering alcoholic. Together, a number helped me. And they didn't move me one inch away from God, from Jesus Christ, from the Bible, from prayer, or from worship. In fact, their lack of information about their own Christian beginnings challenged and catalyzed me into the fruitful 20 year investigation that established to a large extent the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, Christian upbringing of the founders, founding, program, and successes of the original A.A. program.
6. The Christian minority writers have, with their seemingly well-funded barage of websites, helped to drive hundreds of inquirers TO my websites which report accurately the origin, development, and changes in A.A. See;;;;;; and many other sites that regularly publish my materials.
7. In conclusion, if you see on your search engine a reference to Christians Alcoholics Anonymous, remember that it is a meaningless trick or treat effort to engage Christians, bash A.A., and carry a message of erroneous bibliotatry and distorted facts about the real A.A. history. See When you see the faulty line, "Christians Alcoholics Anonymous," translate it to a site of your choice and search out Christian recovery, Christians in recovery, A.A.'s Christian origins, A.A.'s original Christian Fellowship, A.A.'s first three members--all Christians, History of A.A., A.A. History and Bible roots, and The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. And if you do, you'll have the opportunity to weigh all the evidence, not make a judgment based on someone's opinion, and come up with a choice to seek God's help with your alcoholism and addiction problems--whether it be in or out of A.A., N.A., Overcomers, Teen Challenge, Celebrate Recovery, or a Christian treatment or counseling program that also incorporates the truth about the early A.A. Christian fellowship, its origins, Christian founders, Christian recovery program of 1935, and astonishing successes coming from trusting God.

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