We have just published a more extensive article on this new approach. And we elaborated on the details in a subsequent posting of the material on a number
of sites, particularly including Goarticles.com
The point we make is very simple: Newcomers are often thrown to the lions from a variety of unhelpful spectator locations. See 1 Peter 5:6-9:"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Whom resist stedfast in the faith. . ."
Here's what we mean: A newcomer is persuaded to go to A.A. or a 12 Step program by a friend, family member, doctor, minister, or priest. But when he arrives, he is ill-prepared to face the confusing and garbled descriptions he hears about how to recover. If he is not prepared to stand his ground on seeking God's help, stand his ground on feeling free to mention Jesus Christ, and stand his ground on mentioning his religion, his church, and his study of the Bible, he may immediately succumb to the nonsense statements that he can't talk about God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible; that he can't read the Bible; that he must only look at "Conference-approved" literature; and that any other stance violates A.A. Traditions. Nonsense! But if he is not prepared with the truth, the facts about A.A., and his own freedom of expression, he may fail to seek the one help the program really suggests: God!
Let's say the newcomer is persuaded to go to A.A. by an intervention, by a treatment program, by a rehab, by a court, by a probation officer, by a parole officer, or by a counselor. If that newcomer is not informed in advance that the origins of A.A. were Christian, that the original program embraced a Christian Fellowship, that the recovery ideas came from the Bible, and that early AAs were required to believe in God, accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and study the Bible daily, he may never overcome the wave of anti-religious, anti-Christian, anti-Bible chatter that is pumped at him by a sponsor, a speaker, or an oldtimer. He may never feel free to rely on God as the Big Book actually suggests he do.
There is lots more, and we will be talking about the importance of orienting, preparing, and informing the newcomer that his own religious convictions are a primary factor in his recovery effort, and that he has a perfect right to hold to them, rely on them, and reject criticisms of them.
Our article on Stick with the Winners gives many details about the things a newcomer should learn before he is ever thrust to the roaring lions who will devour him if he lets out a peep about God, his Savior, and his religious beliefs. See GoArticles.com
Dick B. www.dickb.com