This is an issue that has been fought on both sides of the Aisle literally since the advent of A.A. (Alcoholic Anonymous).
[For those not familiar with the writing in the ” it may seem as heretical as the “Book of Mormon” the God-fearing Catholics and Protestants. The “Higher Power” not given a specific name could be considered blasphemy, and is thus not fit for God!
As with all good Bible Studies, one of the first rules is time and context of the scripture you are studying.
When the “Big Book” was first written by Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the few followers of this fledgling society of alcoholics anonymous were hope-to-die alcoholics, who seemingly had lost everything, were destined seemingly to a life of hopelessness, metaphorically leading them toward a very slow death sentence.
There was no hope. Most had not darkened the threshold of a church for fear of being ridiculed as weak-willed, degenerates,
This mindset still exists in some today.
The truth that a church is a hospital for sinners and not a sanctuary for saints still eludes a majority of church-goers to this day.
It is no wonder that the message Alcoholics received in 1935 seemed incomprehensible, but it did offer up the concept that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
As quoted in appendix 2 Alcoholics Anonymous, spiritual growth depends on humility, spiritual development requires faith, that springs forth spiritual guidance which leads to a spiritual life of freedom from the “bondage of self”.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information,which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation”
Bill very much supported putting a Christian bias to the “Big Book,” but during the process of deliberation of the wording of the fledgling manuscript, he was overruled by the committee, who envisioned a softer pill for the yet-to-be-sober sufferers out there to swallow.
Personally, I have witnessed not only through my own conversion, but also through many others who have come to Christ as a result of the 12 Steps, that this is a gradual surrender of self to God.
The idea of a spiritual transformation was introduced by none other than the psychologist Carl Jung. He gave this opinion during a seminar talk given on 5 April 1939 to the Guild of Pastoral Psychology, London:
“My attitude to these matters is that, as long as a patient is really a member of a church, heought to be serious. He ought to be really and sincerely a member of that church, and he should not go to a doctor to get his conflicts settled when he believes that he should do it with God.
For instance, when a member of the Oxford Group comes to me in order to get treatment, I say, “You are in the Oxford Group; so as long as you are there, you settle your affair with the Oxford Group. I can’t do it better than Jesus.”
The Oxford Group was the primary influence on Bill Wilson its emphasis on spiritual growth through the principal tenants.They were the first to address sin as a disease, hence a spiritual diagnosis was called for.
Confession of sin to another was a prerequisite for the spiritual conversion process to take place.
Edge God out (“Ego”)
The group viewed sin as anything that stood between the individual and God. Sin frustrated God’s plan for oneself, and selfishness and self-centeredness were considered the key problem.
Therefore if one could surrender the ego to God, sin would go with it.
The Oxford Group believed the conversion process came in stages.
Early AA gained the “disease” language and the concept of the need to surrender one’s will to a higher power from the Oxford Group.
However, AA expanded on alcoholism as a physical problem as well as a lack of spirituality. In early AA, Bill W. nevertheless addressed the issues of sin and conversion.
The AA concept of powerlessness is different from that of the Oxford Group. In AA, the bondage of an addictive disease cannot be cured. It can only controlled,It is a departure from the Oxford Group belief, which stressed that a spiritual conversion would bring complete victory over sins.
In my professional career as a Christian Life Coach and drug and alcohol counselor, I saw the need for a deeper understanding of who this Creator God was in the “Big Book.”
I took it upon myself to write a book concerning this spiritual transformation process called “The Road Home http://ow.ly/i4RJe,”
Also in my work as a christian life coach and drug and alcohol counselor I created a program called “The My Creator Workshop”. I use this since 2008 at a treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction. I keep collecting successful stories and grateful results.
The Creator loves his creation
I truly believe the Holy Spirit was working within those early A.A. guys. When they were writing the first 164 pages of the AA manuscript, they introduced the “Creator” as one of the main names for God.
When we talk about a Creator, it is singular. This does not deviate for the Christian theology of Monotheism (one God). It also implies a loving relationship between the creator and the created being.
You would never spend time creating something you despise. Next, it implies that if you were created, you were created for something. Scripture tells us
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Yes, the “Big Book”of alcoholics anonymous does not mention Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But the pages are littered with scriptural references and the pursuit of spiritual growth..The emphasis on spiritual development on the physical plain, spiritual confession, and restitution can only lead to one conclusion: A.A. bears many resemblances to the early church.
Yes. there are many hypocrites in A.A. And there are many in churches as well. This only shows the universality of the human spirit. This reveals the fact that we are sinners in need of God’s Grace.
Pride keeps us apart from a true relationship with God. It has become my mission as Christian Life Coach and Recovery Counselor to break down there barrier.
Our own arrogance against the church that ultimately cuts us off from the “sunlight of the Spirit”. The reference is from page 66 of Alcoholics Anonymous .
I believe the sunlight to be none other than Jesus.