Part Eight: The Option We Strongly Suggest for Those Who are Christians or Who Believe They Need God’s help for healing and salvation and A.A.’s Support for Sobriety.
The Mix in the Recovery Scene Today:
(1) Alcoholism, addiction, and the harm to society therefrom are increasing in cost, destruction, numbers, and recidivism.
(2) Criminals, patients, mentally ill, the afflicted, and the affected are frequently dumped on 12 Step programs by compulsion – neither by attraction nor promotion.
(3) Money fuels the growth of grants, “research,” publications, and government agencies for health; of new treatment “models,” of government-controlled certification qualifications, of secular-oriented professionals, of varied religious and humanist approaches, and of “poly addiction” facilities that receive insurance and public money for their programs.
(4) The very shift away from Christianity, the Bible, and God today by government; by religious organizations; by atheists and agnostics; by former 12-Step failures; and by AAs themselves bodes ill for reliance on God as a remedy even though the early experiences with “medical incurability,” the inadequacy of personal efforts, and the ineffectiveness of human institutions birthed the self-help ideas that themselves sprang from reliance on God and the Christian helpers of the 1800’s.
(5) The continued mis-labeling, misquoting of Scripture, and anti-A.A. bias of some Christians looms larger and larger in the efforts to paint A.A. as a threat to Christians, as heretical, and as being “not of the Lord.” This by writers who themselves give little more than a nod to the destructiveness of addiction, to the dearth of compassionate and understanding human help, to the Christian ideals and ideas from which A.A. sprang, and to the opportunities for born again Christians to go to A.A., N.A., and other anonymous fellowships for sobriety and becoming drug-free; receiving free and altruistic help from others who have recovered; and doing so without the stigma that often permeates church views, society’s ideas of alcoholism and addiction, and the destruction and condemnation that the afflictions cause families, society, and the economy.
(6) The self-righteous souls who somehow think that there is no provision in the Bible for pardon and forgiveness of the born again repeater who falls, sins, and wants to attain righteousness again as provided in1 John 1.
The Need to see A.A.’s present-day diversity and composition of believers, non-believers, and unbelievers as the very social challenge any and every Christian meets in the government, business, military, in the job scene, in educational institutions, in service groups, in sports, in youth groups, and on the streets.
(1) Compassionate comfort, assistance, and tolerance of the faults of others such as these does not constitute sin. It should not be prohibited, controlled, criticized, or condemned any more than walking down a crowded hall and bumping into others constitutes sin.
(2) Such conduct often fits the description of pure and undefiled religion found in the first chapter of the Book of James.
(3) The idea that an elderly crippled Christian who accepts help from a Jewish Boy Scout in crossing the street is sinning by association with a non-Christian is just as absurd as the castigation of a Christian who comes to A.A. to get sober and change but helps others along the way and yet is somehow a sinner. And quoting a Bible verse or two to condemn that Christian does not make the accuser right or holier than the Christian helper.
The recommended, appropriate application of old school A.A. principles and practices in today’s anonymous groups is just as much expected in Bill’s new version as it was in 1935.
i. Quit permanently;
ii. Turn to God;
iii. Obey His will;
iv. Grow in understanding of God and His word;
v. Serve God and others;
vi. Fellowship together;
vii. Choose to utilize or to ignore religious observances and associations;
1. The angel told Mary: “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37)
2. The LORD told Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the LORD” (Gen 18:14)
3. Jesus told his disciples: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26)
4. Jesus responded to the report that the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter was dead: “Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” (Luke 8:50)