Huff Post Live Program Today “AA and God”—The Dick B. Input
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Today, AA author and historian Dick B. was one of four guests on a very interesting program arranged by Huffington Post.
The guests were: (1) Dick B., Executive Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition. (2) Jim Christopher, Founder of Secular Organizations For Sobriety. (3) Becca Nichols, with her personal story of going from a secular belief to a “more religion based” healing/recovery. (4) Darren Littlejohn of the 12 Step Buddhist.
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You will hear three of the speakers objecting in one way or another to any A.A. focus on the Creator. Jim argued for belief in just about any organization one felt might be helpful. Becca was a newcomer, but very much taken with the “spiritual” and any “higher power” that was convenient. Darren, not surprisingly, argued for what he deemed the Buddhist approach – which was essentially self-empowerment.
Such discussions are very valuable in that they enable the public to learn the difference between “meetings” and a “program of recovery.” Most critics were and are inclined to base their viewpoints on what they have heard, what they think their organizations or desired “meetings” are about as gleaned from their meetings. They appeared to ignore the Bible, the A.A. basic test (the Big Book), and even the content of the Twelve Steps.
To keep this brief, Dick B. pointed out that the earliest A.A. had no Twelve Steps, no Twelve Traditions, no Big Books, no war stories, and no meetings as we know them today. According to cofounder Dr. Bob, the early pioneers believed the answer to their problems was in the Bible (which they often called the Good Book).
Dick pointed out that he did not come to A.A. to join a church, to espouse a religion, or to describe God. He came because he was a very sick man—beset with seizures, shaking, confusion. And trouble! – Unbelievable amounts of trouble. But he made clear that he came in as a Christian, dove into the program of A.A., sponsored more than 100 men in recovery, and has remained continuously sober for more than 27 years.
He pointed out that the early AAs sought a cure. They sought it by seeking God. As illustrations, he pointed to Dr. Bob’s statement, “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” Also to the abc’s of AA, concluding that God could and would if He were sought. He pointed to Bill W.’s statement: “The Lord has been so wonderful to me curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.
The net difference between Dick’s remarks and those of the other panelists was that the latter focused on “any god” higher powers, spirituality, diversity of viewpoints, and the need for having many organizations from which to choose.
Dick concluded by pointing out that early AAs sought God’s help because they could not help themselves, and that others had not succeeded in helping them. He pointed to the so-called “insanity” of alcoholism which seems to preclude an understanding that alcohol is the problem, that disaster is the usual consequence of drunkenness carried to the extreme, and place the alcoholic in the bizarre belief that one more won’t bite him. Even though it most assuredly will.