A reply to a dedicated A.A. Christian frustrated by a common accusation.
Dear Karl: I think or hope you know the response. The view is opinionated. It is historically incorrect. And it is a classic example of contempt prior to investigation. It is also all too common, primarily because of two major factors: (1) Most AAs do not know their own history; nor the Akron beginnings; nor Doctor Bob’s activities; nor how far they have strayed from the Big Book’s “Creator,” ‘”Maker,” “Heavenly Father,” “Father of Lights,” and “Spirit.” In fact, as you probably know, many AAs have never studied, and perhaps not even read, the Big Book. They stick to the “wisdom of the rooms.” And he who thinks he can or will change this widespread misinformation and stubborn attacks is whistling in the dark. (2) If you don’t believe in the Devil, you will never understand how deeply he has sunk his teeth into the entire fellowship (John 10:10). These folks—not necessarily in the majority—are being misled, deceived, and propelled by “the father of lies.” And they don’t even know it.
Now it is precisely because there are so many Christians in A.A. and in recovery who encounter what you encounter, that we had the huge conference in Irvine two years ago to assess the immensity of the problem. And it is precisely because 21 years of intense research have made it clear that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played a major role in the origins, history, founding, original Christian Fellowship, its great successes, and the detour that Bill implanted in the Big Book when he changed Steps 2, 3, and 11. A.A. is no longer a Christian fellowship. But there are thousands upon thousands of Christians in A.A. and others who can be brought to a relationship with God (Big Book page 29) if they are snagged early enough and given the truth by a knowledgeable teacher.
To facilitate and catalyze the presentation of truth, we formed the International Christian Recovery Coalition. It has participants in almost every state and in a number of countries elsewhere. We mailed out 14,000 free books (compared to the 40 million A.A.. has “sold”). We have 17 Christian Recovery Resource Centers. And we have a wonderful track record of going where we are invited and funded and addressing large audiences who are “A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly, Newcomer Friendly, and Friendly friendly.” Your lady writer is none of these, not even A.A. friendly, or she wouldn’t be trying to exclude information, distort the A.A. facts, and disrupt whatever it is that you proposed to her.
Dr. Bob had a very simple approach, summarized in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers on page 131. He started, as did Bill, by finding out from the newcomer if he understood the deep hole he had dug for himself, how hopeless it was, and his need to give up booze permanently. You know the rest: Surrender to God. Eliminate Sin. Grow in fellowship with God and His Son and other believers through Bible knowledge, prayer efforts, Quiet Time seeking God’s will and guidance, and reading solid Christian literature. Then passing that on. Not what this lady – as so many others – promulgate. Then urging fellowship with like-minded believers and recommending a religious service weekly. And this lady hasn’t a clue about that. And probably would start arguing before she was invited to listen.
Do we support the A.A. we know and love? Do we try only to provide accurate history? Do we really have our course set to serve and glorify God? Do we recognize that Christians in the recovery arena are not alone? Do we keep our eyes on the newcomer and not on the A.A. police? Do we recognize that “unity” means – in present day A.A. – living along side folks who sometimes make us want to vomit? That’s what soldiers do. That’s what Boy Scouts do. That’s what labor unions do. That’s what Congressmen do. That’s what business people and professionals do. Do we fight or serve? And do we serve the truth? And do we recognize that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. It’s not about human versus human. It’s about recognizing the actual enemy and putting on the whole armor of
I have no answer for this uniformed and highly motivated woman. I would say: Let her “bow out.” Decide, as I think you have, to keeping tooting the horn of truth; kick the devil in his behind (James 4:7), and recognizing that we have the weapons to win a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6).
I would be glad to discuss any of this with you by phone. And I adjure you to keep paddling. The ship is afloat. The course is clear. And God can provide the wisdom if we ask for it (James 1).
Author, 42 titles & over 500 articles on A.A. History
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
Christian Recovery Resource Centers - Worldwide
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837
Ps 118:17 (NJB):
I shall not die, I shall live to recount the great deeds of Yahweh.
This is an example of the responses that I have experienced when I bring up your work. I have sent out feelers for a meeting with you within the AA community, many who are not Christians and rebellious to any reference of such.
I'm asking you for help responding to this.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Lynda or Jeff >
Sent: Sat, June 25, 2011 12:06:06 AM
If you're referring to the early Christian connections with the Oxford Group, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to bow out of this one. We all know that the early 'would be' AA's associated early on with the Oxford Group looking for anything that would help themselves and other alcoholics to stop drinking, but realized this was not the answer. They turned away from the emphasis on Christianity and instead concentrated on spirituality through a Higher Power and the absence of organized religion. To practicing Christians, I imagine this history may be interesting, but it's not AA. AA started by borrowing a handful of Bible quotes and some teachings from the Oxford Group, but became its own organization devoid of any religious affiliation.