Friday, June 24, 2011

A.A. Christian Roots

It drives psychoheresy and a few A.A. naysayers nuts when history reveals the extensive Christian roots of A.A. These anti-A.A. attack hounds just don't want to hear about the tremendous role that the Great Awakening of 1875, the YMCA lay brethren, the Christian rescue missions, the Salvation Army, the great Evangelists like Moody, Sankey, and Sunday, and the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor played. Nor will they open their eyes to the Christian upbringing of both A.A. co-founders as youngsters in Vermont. They'd rather speculate about "automatic writing," masonry, non-Christians in A.A. today, and A.A.'s current drift away from God. They'd rather not look into the thousands and thousands of Christians in A.A. and in related Christian recovery fellowships in the great Christian Recovery Movement developing and growing each day.
And in the great stroke of "straw man" argument, they turn their thoughts to blaming it all on "Dick B." And they often claim he couldn't possibly be a Christian, though the evidence is to the contrary. And God, rather than psychoheresy, is the One who knows the heart of man.
Now for a few suggestions about the Christian Roots of A.A.

The Christian Roots of A.A.: A.A.'s heritage is not spirituality. It's certainly not a door knob or a light bulb "god." And "not-god-ness" is in no way representative of what the Big Book is about. The best starting place for info is Bill's Story and the A.A. First Edition Big Book. Then DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. And then a thorough look at the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13. These were the heart of early A.A.'s Christian Fellowship in Akron. See
If you compare the early program with the A.A. Big Book ideas, you'll see the biblical roots at every turn. But the next stop is the Oxford Group. This is because Bill codified the Oxford Group principles and practices into his "practical program of action" in the Big Book.
Shoemaker and William James played a part in introducing the idea of "finding God" but Dr. Bob stuck with just plain God.

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