Alcohol

Blame or Stewardship?

"Blame holds us back. Responsibility moves us forward. Constant self-blame is just as irresponsible as insisting that others are always to blame." ~Thom Rutledge


For those of us struggling with addiction and disorder, it is not too long before we encounter blame. It is an insidious creature; it is virtually impossible to escape.

Since our addictive natures are usually heavily intertwined with other complicated life issues, like abuse and trauma, blame often surfaces as a coping device, used to enable us to simply function in our lives. Survival is as far as we can go; healthy flourishing appears to be an out of reach luxury.

12 Step A.A. History Review

Research in the last twenty years has made available lots of new information about where each of the Twelve Steps came from, so far as its language and ideas are concerned.

Therefore, if you put these and other thoughts together, you may find why the rapidly disappearing spiritual roots of A.A. are important. The reflections in this article, however, are just designed to remind us all of some principal historical roots of the 12 Steps. And to show how they can help you, as they did me, to see what the Twelve Steps are really about–or at least were, when Bill Wilson first penned them.

Where They Did Not Come From

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Alcoholics Anonymous History and Its Christian Roots

I am one of the tens of thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of Christians who deeply appreciate the recovery from alcoholism and addiction that Alcoholics Anonymous made possible in our lives. Many of us have been criticized for mentioning Jesus Christ and the Bible in our talks at meetings. But most of us know that God is our sufficiency. We pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. And we recover.

Alcoholics Anonymous and “A New Way Out”

"A New Way Out" is a concept I have been sharing with people lately which shows emphatically that the same power and love of God that enabled the recovery and cure of early A.A. members in Akron is available today to those who suffer.

Early A.A. first favored the name "The James Club." [See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers (New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1980), 71. 213.] The older members strongly believed that the Book of James, the Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 were the parts of the Bible that were absolutely essential to their program. [See DR. BOB, 96.] In fact, the Book of James was a favorite with early AAs. [See DR. BOB, 71.]

As the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (the A.A. "Big Book") was being readied for publication, the "James Club" title was discarded. [See DR. BOB, 213.] At first, the title "The Way Out" was favored by a considerable majority of the pioneers. [See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1957), 165.] Most were Akron AAs. [See "Pass It On" (New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.), 203.] Bill Wilson favored the name "Alcoholics Anonymous." [See "Pass It On," 203.] Bill W. asked John Henry Fitzhugh Mayo to research the popularity of the latter two titles—i.e., "The Way Out" and "Alcoholics Anonymous"--at the Library of Congress. "Fitz" found that there were already 25 books entitled "The Way Out" and another 12 entitled "The Way." [See "Pass It On," 203; and Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 166.] None was called "Alcoholics Anonymous." The name "Alcoholics Anonymous" was then adopted for the basic text. [See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 166.]

But the idea of a "way out" and of a "pathway to a cure" did not immediately die out—a fact underlined by the title and cover proposed in an early draft of the Big Book cover. That draft cover contained the name "Alcoholics Anonymous" and then added "Their Pathway to a Cure." See the excellent reproduction on the cover of Alcoholics Anonymous: Their Pathway to a Cure. A "First – First" Double Anniversary Limited Edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (Nashville, TN: Broad Highway Publishing Company, LLC, n.d.).

Ten Benefits of Christianity for the Dysfunctional Person

1. The alcoholic, addict and dysfunctional person is worth rescuing. They are a child of God; his/her confession is worth being heard.

Romans 8:14-19
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

2. Christianity is about forgiveness. (The same amount of blood was sacrificed for the minister as for the tramp.)

Jesus said in John 6:37
the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Testimonies About CIR

The following are unsolicited, direct quotes from real people who have been ministered to by CIR. Though Jesus Christ, CIR impacts lives, saves lives and changes lives.

~*~

Thank you for the many many resources that have helped to benefit me greatly during a long period of recurring losses and depression. I know without a doubt that God led me to the CIR website, and the benefits received during my long membership will continue to be an invaluable gift of healing for myself, and others with whom I can share my uncovered strength and wisdom. Thank you CIR! ~Dolores

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The Mentality of Addiction (Switching Addictions)

In a recent Time magazine essay, Lance Morrow writes that "the mentality of addiction, of alcoholism, prevails in zones of American life even when no drugs are involved." How true! This means, of course, that no "war on drugs," no "drug czar" will be able to solve our problems with addictions because drugs are not the problem. When one addictive substance or behavior is not available to us, we can surely choose another. A long list of socially acceptable addictive behaviors and processes (work, shopping, religion etc.) are available for those who are not attracted to chemicals. Anesthetics for the emotional pain of life are, and will always be, cheap and readily available.

Does Scripture Permit Us to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?

Few issues have generated more heated debate among Christians than that of the morality of alcohol consumption. The dispute has generated responses ranging from local educational temperance movements to federal amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Certainly there is evidence of widespread abuse of alcoholic beverages today; this few would deny. Furthermore, the Bible clearly condemns all forms of alcohol abuse, by binding precept and by notorious example. Yet the ethical issue before us is, Does the Bible allow for a righteous consumption of the beverage alcohol? The fundamental question is ethical, not cultural or demographical; it requires an answer from a Biblical, not an emotional, base.

Three Viewpoints
Among evangelicals, the fundamental approaches to alcohol use may be distilled (no pun intended) into three basic viewpoints.
(1) The prohibitionist viewpoint universally decries all consumption of the beverage alcohol. Adherents to this position do not find any Scriptural warrant for alcohol consumption, even in Biblical times.
(2) The abstentionist perspective discourages alcohol use in our modern context, though acknowledging its use in Biblical days. They point to modern cultural differences as justification for the distinction: widespread alcoholism (a contemporary social problem), higher potency distilled beverages (unknown in Biblical times), and intensified dangers in a technological society (e.g., speeding cars).
(3) The moderationist position allows for the righteous consumption of alcoholic beverages. This position, while acknowledging, deploring, and condemning all forms of alcohol abuse and dependency, argues that Scripture allows the partaking of alcoholic beverages in moderation and with circumspection.

The Addict's Need to Reconnect with Him or Her Self

We have discussed the addict's need to reconnect with God. Now, we turn to another important issue, the addict's need to reconnect with himself. By this I mean gaining a new level of self-awareness that leads to positive change. This means knowing how he feels and why. And, importantly, it means recognizing his own needs. There are four essential areas of self-awareness that all who wish to succeed in living sober and healthy lives must have:

1. I am powerless over alcohol and/or drugs

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