I have just written the following congratulatory message to Alcoholics Victorious on its website:
Every now and then my tracker shows that someone has been to your excellent site, seen your recommendation that they may go to www.dickb.com for additional information, and done just that.
As I have noticed and noted before, I don't agree with every word in your lengthy article. I do wish that those few Christians who consistently attack AAs, A.A., and Christians in A.A. were as sagacious as Michael is in his understanding of "walking after the flesh" and walking by the Spirit of God.
A.A. has much to offer in the way of day in day out love and support from recovered alcoholics. There is no homogenous A.A. It was formerly a Christian Fellowship applying First Century Christianity and using the techniques of its predecessors such as the evangelists, rescue missions, YMCA, Salvation Army, and Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor. Then, in 1939, Bill Wilson still took the "practical program of action" of the Oxford Group, worked with Oxford Group leader Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, and developed his 12 Steps. In no substantial way were these a replication of old school Akron A.A. Furthermore, as your article notes, they were modified by four people to appease and attract atheists and agnostics.
A complete history of the Christian origins, history, founding, original program, and successes of the early A.A. program plus an objective study of the changes made by Wilson's Steps has yet to be written. This is largely because every aspect of the real history has been intentionally distorted, misrepresented, omitted, or ignored in one way or another by writers, "scholars," professionals, AAs themselves. And the hand of the Adversary is everywhere apparent in the destructive process.
For 22 years, my son and I have been writing, publishing, and disseminating books, articles, newsletters, and blogs--taking each of the many roots--chunk by chunk and reporting them. Furthermore, the more we search the more we find. And the upshot is growing understanding and growing appreciation for the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played and can play in the recovery movement. We have now published 44 titles and over 1100 articles with many more to come. We have also established the informal, no cost, fellowship of Christian recovery leaders, workers, newcomers, and concerned public to enable others to join the mission and witness and use Christian recovery history and First Century Christianity today--the way the early AAs did--and enable those who want God's help to have better and better access to the truth of God's Word and of what He choses to reveal to individuals and groups.
By the way, Bill Wilson was a Christian. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Calvary Mission. And there are many witnesses to that very fact. And, of course, he twice wrote: "For sure I'd been born again." He also wrote in the Big Book itself that the Lord had cured him. And these facts need to be learned, emphasized, and passed along to those who still suffer.
Congratulations on the great work of Alcoholics Victorious through the years and also to Christians in Recovery who have now taken up the laboring oar. Dick B., Executive Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition. www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com