To our friends: My son Ken just wrote a letter to two who inquired about our projects. Because his letter properly reflects what we hope to do with you and what we hope you will do, being thus informed, I have slightly edited it and am sending it along. God Bless, Dick B.
Aloha to you from Maui, Hawaii!
The International Christian Recovery Coalition Approach to
Christian Recovery Today
Addressing from the beginning the “whole picture” of Christian recovery today :Building on my dad's 20 years of research, writing, and speaking about the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A.'s astonishing successes, we have lately begun to focus on helping Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena better visualize and more effectively address the “whole picture” of Christian recovery. That is:
The “front end”
1. The “front end”—in which an alcoholic or addict, who has fully conceded his problem and declared his desire to quit permanently, is given the opportunity to learn about, and accept or reject, God's help in their need for recovery; this can include:
1a. Christian counseling—in which the individual is introduced or re-introduced to the idea that God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, has more than enough power and love to help that individual overcome his or her addiction(s); and/or1b. Intervention--in which the individual is confronted with his or her addiction problem(s) in a godly way and is given the option of pursuing God's help in overcoming the addiction(s); and/or1c. Detox (or other emergency help from a doctor) to prevent or lessen seizures, acute withdrawal, and other serious problems that may accompany getting off of drugs and alcohol.
The “early stages”
2. The “early stages”—in which the alcoholic or addict is given the opportunity to pursue intensive Christian treatment and/or other forms of help during the critical early days of the fight to overcome addiction:
2a. A Christian or Christian-track treatment program;2b. Active involvement in a Christian church that has gained an adequate understanding of the struggle of Christians in overcoming alcoholism and/or drug addiction;2c. Active involvement in Christian recovery groups—that may include participation in A.A. or N.A. (and their meetings, basic text study, and 12 Steps), but with the help of one or more Christian “mentors” who help them “survive” that “grief” they may experience when they share in meetings their personal stories of how they established their relationship with God (Big Book, p. 29), including having accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and having studied the Bible.
The “later stages”
3. The “later stages”—in which the alcoholic or addict is offered the opportunity to participate in Christian after-care and “sober living” facilities with Bible studies, prayer groups, Quiet Times.
Summary of the “whole” Christian recovery “picture”
The preceding are just a few of the aspects of the “whole” Christian recovery “picture” that my dad and I have been studying, developing, and presenting to the Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena throughout the world via the International Christian Recovery Coalition (http://ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com/) since its founding in July 2009.The vital importance of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., in reviewing the highly-successful techniques of early A.A. and their applicability today
At the same time that we launched the International Christian Recovery Coalition, we also published in July 2009 the first edition of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide by Dick B. and Ken B. (http://ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com/Christian-Recovery-Guide.shtml). The first 12 chapters (which include the “Introduction”) summarize and document the results of my dad's 19 years (to that point) of research, writing, and speaking on the 75% success rate early A.A. claimed for the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob over the summer of 1935; and on the documented 93% success rate of the early Cleveland program founded by Clarence S. in May 1939. The remaining seven chapters address the “So what?” question; i.e., how can the knowledge of the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A.'s astonishing successes improve the effectiveness of Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena in carrying an accurate message to those who still suffer?
The “Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery” class that unites A.A.'s Christian origins with A.A. in its early days and A.A. todayIn March 2010, we videotaped the “Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery” (“IFCR”) class by Dick B. and Ken B. on four DVDs (http://DickB.com/IFCR-Class.shtml). It presents on video the fruits of my dad's 20 years (to that point) of work on early A.A.'s success and the application of early A.A.'s principles to today's recovery scene. And, in conjunction with preparing the IFCR class, we did a major revision of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide—the 3rd edition (http://christianrecoverycoalition.com/christian-recovery-guide.shtml). (The Table of Contents of the 3rd edition is presented in the center column of the front page of the www.DickB.com Web site). The third edition provides considerable documentation and addition background information concerning the material we presented in the IFCR class.
The Christian Recovery Resource Centers Worldwide projectMost recently, about December 15, 2010, we launched the “Christian Recovery Resource Centers,” worldwide, as a project of the International Christian Recovery Coalition (http://ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com/Christian-Recovery-Resource-Centers.shtml), and more information about the Centers is presented on the front page of the Coalition's Web site.
The new Speakers Bureau of the International Christian Recovery Coalition
Through the years, my dad and I have met a number of very knowledgeable, experienced, and talented Christian recovery leaders in the United States and Canada—many with long-term sobriety and A.A. participation. As we are establishing new Christian Recovery Resource Centers, we are also enlisting an excellent group of speakers who can carry the message wherever and however it is needed—whether by speaking at groups, by recording and making available their talks, or by utilizing newew techniques such as DVD’s, Skype, YouTube, and Webinars.
The giving away* of entire cases of new Dick B.’s books during this first quarter of 2011And this month (February 2011), we launched our latest International Christian Recovery Coalition project involving helping Dick B. give away free* entire cases of new Dick B. books. (* A $30.00 donation is required to cover the cost of mailing each case of books via USPS Media Mail; and the cost of getting someone to carry the cases from storage to the Post Office, to label them, to affix postage, to re-tape the boxes, etc.) We have about 350 cases of new Dick B. books that we would like to put in people's hands by the end of the first quarter of 2011 (March 31, 2011).
The information gap in today’s recovery effortsOne of the reasons I wanted to present to you the information above is that, in our travels around the United States over the past 2 1/4 years—particularly in California and on Oahu—we have seen that there are many Christian individuals, groups, and organizations involved in “Christian recovery.” Yet none of them, at least among those of which we are aware, is currently addressing all aspects of the “whole picture” of Christian recovery.
The “whole picture” includes the Christian predecessors of early A.A., the early A.A. program, and the more modern Christian recovery efforts. The vast majority of Christian efforts today lack full and accurate information about A.A.'s Christian origins. This gap involving a lack of knowledge concerning A.A.'s Christian roots, A.A.'s Christian leaders, and the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program has meant, for example, that many churches are either hostile to today's A.A. and N.A. because they have focused on Bill W.'s personal life rather than on the message he carried (Big Book, page 191); and/or because they have focused on the “higher powers,” “foul language,” and other shortcomings that abound in much of today's A.A. and N.A. Many other churches have compromised Christian doctrine to accommodate A.A., and this “watering down” of the Christian message and need in A.A. carries its own set of consequences.
The heart and major value of what “Christian Recovery Resource Centers” doThe heart behind the “Christian Recovery Resource Centers” is to provide a means of addressing effectively several kinds of problems facing leaders and workers in the recovery arena. For example:
What to do with, and how to answer, urgent cries for God’s love and help; noting that the resources that are presently available are neither networked effectively nor even well-understood
1. What do you say to people who approach you for help in overcoming alcoholism and addiction in your area? How many of the various kinds of Christian and secular recovery resources are you aware of in your local community or area? For example, court and correctional resources, homeless resources, domestic violence/codependency resources, Christian counseling and intervention resources, detox and medical resources, Christian and Christian-track treatment programs, Christian “sober living” resources, Christian recovery/Good Book-Big Book study groups, James Clubs, Bibles studies, prayer groups, Quiet Time groups, and churches that are A.A.- and N.A.-friendly (without compromising Christian doctrine or trying to “Christianize” A.A. or N.A.), and so forth.2. What can you do for people outside your local community or area who want God's help in overcoming alcoholism and addiction? Do you know where to send them, whom they may call, and how they can get started?3. Do you have a full set of materials that address the work that God has already done through the years—beginning with records in the Bible; and including the Christian predecessors of A.A. (e.g., the Salvation Army, the Young Men's Christian Association, rescue missions, and the evangelists and revivalists of the Nineteenth Century); the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program of 1935-1939, and the early Cleveland program of 1939 and following; and modern Christian recovery efforts (such as those of the Rock Church in San Diego and of The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa).
Options available to you if you want to establish a Center and/or get underway right now
If becoming a “Christian Recovery Resource Center” immediately appears to be out of the question because the one-time required donation of $500.00 seems too much for your current budget, please consider:a. Acquiring one (or more!) cases of new Dick B. books ($30.00 per case); and/orb. Purchasing The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., by Dick B. and Ken B. ($30.00 + $5.50 for USPS Priority Mail shipping); and/or c. Acquiring a “site license” for the “Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery” class for Groups and Organizations by Dick B. and Ken B. on four DVD's ($199.95 + Shipping).These resources will give you a “running start.”In GOD's love,Ken B.