Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Bible for the Half-dozen anti-AA Christian writers

Man alone is not going to stop devilish name-calling, mudslinging, false accusations, and straw man arguments condemning Christians who belong to A.A., N.A., and 12-Step organizations.

Even though A.A. sprang from Christian roots (the great evangelists like Moody, Sankey, and Meyer; Gospel Rescue Missions; Young Men's Christian Association; Salvation Army; Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor; and strong Vermont Congregationalist leaders and revivalists and churches).

Even though both of A.A.'s co-founders were raised Christians by their parents, Congregational churches, Sunday schools, Sermons, reading of Scripture, hymns, baptisms, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and frequent conversion revivals and meetings. Even though they also both attended strong Congregational academies (St. Johnsbury and Burr and Burton) with daily chapel, prayer meetings, Bible studies, church services, and YMCA activities.

For many years, these historical facts were ignored, laid to one side, or distorted. But the last 23 years of research have brought them to the fore. And the first three AAs were believers in God, Christians, and Bible students. They were healed by God before there were any A.A. groups, Twelve Steps, a Big Book, Twelve Traditions or drunkalogs.

Yet about a half dozen persistent anti-AA critics have been bending every effort to "prove" that a Christian cannot belong to A.A., associate with A.A. or AAs, or help alcoholics in A.A. These souls seem to have ignored the difference between Christians walking by the spirit and those walking after the flesh, and the ability of the latter to be delivered and forgiven.

The critic weapons have nothing to do with the love of God, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are simply hateful attempts to tie A.A. and its founders to Masonry, spiritualism, New Thought, LSD, the "sins" of the founders, and the belated "new" A.A. program of 12 Steps not even published until four years after A.A.'s Christian Fellowship was founded in Akron and achieving great success.

For good measure, these same anti-AA critics don't seem to miss a chance to condemn Rick Warren, Dick B., and assorted other Christians who seek to  help alcoholics and addicts believe in God, come to Him through Jesus Christ, and take the Bible as their authority and guide. They somehow regard "recovery" as some monolithic single-minded society of sinners instead of diverse members having a common problem or common problems and, in some cases today, turning to God for help.

To be sure, God has given Christians the tools to tackle the Adversary who fosters such accusations and falsehoods. See Ephesians chapter 6 and James  4:7, 10. But many a Christian and those of other persuasions shrink before guilt accusations, fear, intimidation, and pride. They don't consult and believe biblical truths. They rely on senses knowledge feelings and opinions of men.

Of late, it has seemed appropriate to offer these anti-AA Christian writers the following verses to ponder from Ephesians chapter 4:

[21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
[25] Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
[26] Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
[27] Neither give place to the devil.
[28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
[30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
[31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
[32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you

Christians, beginning with the times of Jesus and the Acts of the Apostles, have been helping, converting, healing, praying for, speaking the Word to, and witnessing to the sick, the poor, the sinner, and the alcoholic; and they do so because God has given them the power that comes with being a child of God and expressing the love of God in word and deed.

Senses knowledge condemnations of those Christians who help others in jails, hospitals, mental wards, rehabs, recovery facilities, 12 Step programs, A.A. meetings, and conferences defy the right and privilege of Christians to do those very things, help others come to God through Christ, and to be healed and become new men in Christ--just as has been the case when the mystery was revealed to the saints and to Paul centuries ago.

Jesus ministered to the Jews. Paul ministered to the Gentiles. And to those who believed, there was no difference. There was no difference because of the spirit of God in all the believers; and there was no bar on witnessing to and ministering to all those still suffering in sin, sickness, death, and disasters. And listening to the message of early Christians: "Come and see."

Gloria Deo

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