Tuesday, April 12, 2011
A.A. - Response to a "denial to save face" article
Does this article about denial to save face apply to present-day denial techniques in 12 Step Fellowships today? Here are some facts that can't be denied (but often are): Early A.A. took its basic ideas from the Bible. The ideas were honed and applied by five successful Christian organizations that preceded A.A. by many years and helped thousands of drunks. They were: Evangelists, Gospel and Rescue Missions, YMCA lay workers, the Salvation Army, and the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor. Early A.A. required a belief in God; a decision to make Jesus Christ one's Lord and Savior; daily Bible study; daily Quiet Time; and frequent old fashioned prayer meetings. Early A.A. had a docuented success rate of 75% in Akron, Ohio, and soon a 93% success rate in Cleveland. The numbers were small, but the success rates were astonishing. But, in 1939, a great face-saving effort took place. "God" was removed from the Second, Third, and Eleventh Step. Strange New Thought and other "gods" were inserted in A.A.'s text - Czar of the Universe, Spirit of the Universe, and others. Soon AAs themselves were inventing their own conception of "a" god. At first they called "it" a "higher power." Soon the "higher power" was often called a tree, a rock, Something, Somebody, Ralph, a light bulb, and a host of other ridiculous monikers. Why? To sell books, that's for sure. To increase membership, that's for sure. To make the door so wide and the road so broad that anyone, anyone at all, could join as long as they said they had a problem with alcohol. Treatment centers followed suit. Scholars, writers, and publishers followed suit. The face-saving? Make up a "god" that anyone will accept. The denial? Deny reverence of and the necessity fo Almighty God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible - the sources of the very power that had made early A.A. so successful. Will this change? Not as far as the Fellowships are concerned. But it can change and is changing as far as members and non-members are concerned. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of Christians in 12 Step Fellowships today. They are learning about early A.A. They are learning about the role that was played and can still be played in recovery by the Creator, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible. They are learning that the nonsense "higher power" is just that -- nonsense -- a devilish thought planted in minds that are vulnerable to some "easy way out." What is changing? There is a huge and growing Christian recovery movment that is not hostile to A.A., nor to God, nor to the Bible, nor to unbeliever members in recovery. The movement simply seeks to assure Christians that they can belong; they can believe what they like; and they needn't surrender to save face. Dick B.