Part Eight: What old school AAs and present-day AAs alike can do in an anonymous fellowship based on Bill Wilson’s new version program ideas is appropriate, often recommended, frequently quoted, and much needed in a society drowning in “evidence-based” criteria, research statistics, government regulations and subsidies, licensing of healing methods, and piling dollar after dollar into recovery efforts that have done little to honor God, help the newcomer to permanent victory, or challenge the newcomer to change.
(a) There is a well-known saw in A.A. rooms: What do you have when a drunk horse thief gets sober? Answer: A sober horse thief.
(b)The idea that a Christian sins when he spots a horse thief, helps him get sober, offers him salvation and “sanctification” to boot is perfectly absurd. It is as fitting in today’s Twelve-Step fellowships as it was in the Akron Christian A.A. Fellowship.
(c) The theme that can be used today is being used in hundreds of Christian recovery programs, Christian recovery fellowships, Christian sober houses, Christian counseling, and Christian hospitals which are part of the Christian Recovery Movement and often a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition missions and projects.
(d)The theme is a poster-child example of what worked and produced born again Christians free from the clutches and bondage of drunkenness and sickness in the Apostolic period. And that worked with the Salvation Army and Rescue Missions in the 1850’s; that
in earliest A.A. days, and works today. It certainly includes: (1) Qualification of the newcomer. (2) Hospitalization to avoid seizures and DT’s. (3) Hearing the Word of God. (4) Meeting in homes and churches. (5) Breaking bread together. (6) Praying together. (7) Healing others. (8) Witnessing and converting. And add to these: (9) Going to A.A. and/or Celebrate Recovery and/or Teen Challenge and/or the Salvation Army and/or a Rescue Mission and/or a counselor for instruction and comfort does not a sinner make.
(10) Those who claim otherwise are simply ignoring the sickness, the loneliness, the terror, the bewilderment, the confusion, the temptations, the regrets, the guilt, and the shame faced by almost anyone who starts on the road to recovery today. The Bible has answers for all of these. And it can as effectively be taught by and heard from a recovered person as it could by the Gentiles of biblical days who were told the good news. Salvation, “sanctification,” healing, thankfulness, forgiveness, love, and well-doing are as Christian and necessary to a solid relationship with God as they always have been. And the promises of John 3:16 and 10:10 are the added anchors that go with all of these.