Monday, February 07, 2011
Synonyms for God in the A.A. Big Book
Lots of misunderstanding about the words "higher power" could be cleared up for believers if they do a quick study on a good Concordance like the Poe Concordance and check out the following usages in the Big Book: "Creator," "Maker," "Father," "Spirit," "God" [over 400 times counting the capitalized pronouns and the foregoing descriptions taken from the Good Book], "Heavenly Father," and the statement that it means, of course, that we are going to talk about "God." Today, though the strange phrase "higher power" is used only twice in the basic text, unbelievers and others have converted it into "light bulb," "radiator," "something," "somebody," "it," "his," "her," "radiator," "Santa Claus," and on and on. Yet when Bill Wilson and Bill Dotson both said on page 191 that the "Lord" had cured them of their terrible disease, and when Dr. Bob said on page 181 that "Your Heavenly Father will never let you down," they were simply referring to Yahweh, the Creator, who was available to cure them. And when later, Bill wrote to Father John C. Ford, S.J., and said that he didn’t much care what the Buddhists did with the Twelve Steps, he was expressing in the 1950′s the openness which he had declared when he said that even the A.A. "group" could be your higher power. In the Big Book, both uses of the phrase "higher power" were in the context of "God" and no other. Stay tuned for "as you understand Him" which came from Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. For me, being "rocketed" requires the jet propulsion and power of Almighty God and not some idolatrous and lesser "god" which matter is discussed in Psalm 115. That doesn’t make A.A. "Christian." It simply covers what the founders meant when they were stating "Who" had cured them, and "Who" produced the documented 75% to 93% success rates in Akron and Cleveland among the seemingly hopeless "medically incurable" real alcoholics who numbered 40 and who had gone to any lengths to abstain and rely on the Creator for the power, guidance, and healing. May this help those who believe to understand exactly what our founders believed when they made their statements.