Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A.A. Anger and Strife: Some Thoughts from Proverbs

Apparently there is nothing new about attempts within the A.A. Fellowship and elsewhere to squelch the good that is done for the drunk who still suffers and finds himself in A.A.

The scraps have gone on since the mid-1930's. But, for a long time, the A.A. fellowship grew despite the angry outbursts. Perhaps because physicians, clergy, writers, and government officials were courted and won over--perhaps because of their own ineptness at solving what Dr. Silkworth called the "medically incurable" plight of the real alcoholic.

But A.A. seemed to avoid public controversy - perhaps by stressing anonymity.

No more. Not with the internet, the courts, the atheists, the clergy, the government agencies, and disgruntled AAs themselves picking up the axes and chopping away.

Thus, if you are a Christian in A.A. and mention Jesus Christ, some bozo may tell you that you can't do that. What's the problem? You? The bozo? Jesus Christ? A.A.?

Moreover, if you are a Christian in A.A. and read what a handful of Christian writers claim is an abomination, a threat to Christ, and contrary to the Bible, you may be greatly disturbed and shrink from mention of your Savior. What's the problem? You? The erring writer? Jesus Christ? A.A.?

Or, if you failed in A.A. for a variety of reasons, there is a new array of warriors who will tell you that Bill Wilson was crazy, was a spiritualist, was never a Christian, and violated his marriage vows and the limits of sanity with his LSD use. What's the problem? You? The psychoanalysts? Bill Wilson? A.A.?

There are more. And you probably stumble across these A.A. detractors at every turn today. Furthermore, the celebrities, the newspapers, the TV shows, and the "experts" are no longer quick to extoll the virtues of this fellowship which costs nothing, demands nothing serves the downtrodden and defeated, and has no binding restrictions on vulgarity, fornication, or strife. What's the problem? You? The detractors? The harm done? A.A.?

Anger. Anger. Anger. Anger in a fellowship which says "Love and tolerance is our code" and whose underlying philosophy was Jesus' Sermon on the Mount - according to its founders.

Perhaps the real problem is the angry ones. And here are some verses from Proverbs that may inspire those who wonder at the profit of being angry about A.A. and being outspoken in reproof of those who simply came to A.A. for help and to get well.

A few Bible verses from Proverbs for a former professor and website moderator who claims his
“students” would be furious if he posted certain historical materials and thereby allowed some light to shine.:

Proverbs 15:1-2 KJV

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up strife. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”

Proverbs 25:20-21 KJV

“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.”

Proverbs 28:1 KJV

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

Proverbs 29:22 KJV

“An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression”

I believe the Oxford professor can understand the King’s English, and I also understand why it was that Dr. Bob’s wife Anne strongly recommended the reading of Proverbs. In my youth, we just said, “The guy is scared of his shadow.” As for me, I’ve found nothing in the Big Book or our history to be afraid of. What we don’t like we can discard. What is wrong we can ignore. What is questionable, we can explore. What is right deserves report.

Anger is devilish and destructive. And it kindles resentment, revenge, and hurt. But Proverbs offers some suggestions to the unwary--those quick to spread rumors, to kindle opposition, and to promulgate rumor and doubt

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