AA & Big Book Related

Can God Help Me? I’m an Alcoholic!

Let's Keep it Simple, and see what God has to say—Looking in the King James Version of the Bible where early AAs looked for answers.

Believe that God is and rewards those who seek Him:

But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.Hebrews 11:6

He will heal all that obey His commandments:

[the LORD]... said, "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee." Exodus 15:26

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases". Psalm 103:2-3

God's commandments and love summarized:

(1) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4

(2) "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:16-17

(3)"Master, which is the great commandment in the law." Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:36-40

(4) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3

Is it OK to Make Up a God of Your Own in Recovery?Premium Content

Earliest A.A. Leaders Specifically Described Their Trust in God

Making Up Some "god of your own?"

Some today have made up their own gods and not-gods. They've called them chairs, somethings, somebodies, door knobs, light bulbs, the Great Pumpkin, the Big Dipper, and whatever they are told they can do praying to a tree or a table. In later A.A., treatment people, therapists, some AAs, and even clergy began thinking they were some new self-made, extra-terrestrial "higher power."

Not so with four important Early AAs.

A.A. Pioneers Heard: "God either is, or He isn't;" and they chose God!

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Twelve Steps to FreedomPremium Content

The Twelve Steps originated with Alcoholics Anonymous in the mid 1930's. Besides being used to help alcoholics and drug addicts, the Twelve Steps have been used in support groups for family members, over-eaters, compulsive gamblers, and even for those desiring to escape from sexual addiction. These Steps formed the basis of treatment and counseling activities at New Creation Center where I served as Executive Director for ten years in the 1980's.

In the past few years, a movement recognizing the power of the Twelve Steps has sprung up among evangelical Christians concerned with those struggling with various addictions. Some believers worry that they bring secular concepts to the Christian counseling field.

From where do these Twelve Steps derive their power? The answer is very simple; from the Bible! Although following the Steps does not always bring an alcoholic (or other sufferer) into a saving relationship with Christ, they do work in overcoming addictions. This is shown by the millions of people who have found sobriety since AA's beginning. In some ways, it is very much like the businessman who succeeds financially when he makes spiritual principles the basis of his business practices.

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Re-wrting AA History and Proven Recovery PrinciplesPremium Content

Circling the Wagons to Drive Off Documented History, Unwanted Divine Aid, And Proven Recovery Ideas

The longer dissertations, government grants, academic gatherings, and religious writings attempt to describe Alcoholics Anonymous History the more they seem to swerve away from God’s power and love and from real recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous.

To be sure, candidates, government agencies, academia, and religious commentators have their place in examining the overwhelming problem of drug addiction and alcoholism. But, when they try to exclude Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible from their writings, they do little to advance the rewarding and effective grunt work involved in working with the despairing drunk and addict who still suffers.

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Biblical References for the 12 Steps (Short Version)Premium Content

Note: all quotes are from the King James Version (KJV). If you have difficulty understanding the KJV we strongly recommend that you get a copy of a more modern language Bible such as The New Life Version Bible, New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, etc.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctions and that our lives had become unmanageable.

--For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is
good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. --Romans 7:18-20

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Why Do I Have to Be Ready Again? Taking Step 6Premium Content

Many people (myself included) spend very little time, if any, on Step 6: "We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." We think, "Hey! I was over ready when I first got into recovery!" or "I have been ready and eager at Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Why do I have to be ready again?"

Why does Step 6 ask us to be entirely ready?

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The Last Perfect Man and the Carnal ChristianPremium Content

One of the most helpful comments I heard when I was new in Alcoholics Anonymous and began to hear all the condemning remarks made about ministers, politicians, doctors, AAs, and other 12-Step people who-though Christians-had missed the mark was this:

The last perfect man left us some 2000 years ago. But He is seated at the right hand of God. And He is coming back to gather together the children of God.

Over the years, a number of folks have criticized Christians in A.A. because of the foibles and shortcomings of A.A.'s founders and 12-Step groups themselves. These folk argue that nobody should associate with an organization founded by such "sinners."

I can truthfully affirm that, when I sat down in A.A., I had some sinning problems to deal with. Also that God had provided the Way and the power to deal with them.

I can truthfully affirm that some of the drunks and addicts who were sitting next to or near me seemed also to be in need of some instruction and some cleansing. And that the Word of God contained instructions for doing the job for them if they wanted to believe in God and diligently seek Him.

The Bible has some important comments about such sinners-whether they have yet to be redeemed, or are already saints. It says:

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I Saw Religion Remake a Drunkard

The following article is from "Your Faith" magazine September 1939 and was provided by DickB who wrote: "It is an article which A.A. literature had said was lost. AAs speculated that Dr. Bob wrote the article. He didn't. He was interviewed by D. J. Defoe in September 1939 for "Your Faith" Magazine. And the interview disappeared from view for years and years as far as AAs were concerned. Yet in the interview, Dr. Bob told how he read the Bible with patients. He told how they came to trust God. He told how he had been cured by prayer. He spoke about the healings of Jesus Christ. And he was talking about the many drunkards whom he had been able to help once he himself prayed, turned to God for help, and was cured--a priceless article free of the editing and revision of others who might have doubted!"

D. J. Defoe, "C," in Your Faith magazine, September 1939, 84-88
http://silkworth.net/aahistory/drbob/drbob_interview_fm_0939.html


Through Liquor, this physician had lost his practice, his reputation and his self-respect. Then one night in a gathering in a private home, he found the way of escape.

WHEN a doctor starts drinking, he's usually on the skids for keeps. His profession gives him so much privacy, so great exposure to temptation both from liquor and from drugs, and his need of a stimulant to lift him from depression becomes so extreme, that many a good doctor has dropped into oblivion for no cause other than his own thirst for drink.

Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who Wants to Help the Alcoholic or AddictPremium Content

Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who...

Has experience with alcoholics and addicts in his church and elsewhere; wants to be of help; has heard strange things about or has concerns about A.A.; and doesn't want expensive or expansive alternative programs? In fact, that servant wants his church active in a knowledgeable, effective, Christian recovery effort. And, here's what he or she can do.

Start with the Facts
Here is the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program - as briefly summarized in A.A.'s own literature - which repeatedly evoked the comment, "Why this is First Century Christianity! What can we do to help?"

Actual Seven-Point Original Program

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Taking, Believing, and Understanding the Twelve StepsPremium Content

Why Take Them Before You Know What the A.A. Cofounders Said about Them?

Both Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the cofounders of A.A., spoke explicitly on where the 12 Steps came from. In sum, they stated that the basic ideas came from: (1) the Bible; (2) Dr. William D. Silkworth; (3) Professor William James; and (4) Reverend Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.

As we will see in this article, that is not the whole story. But here's what A.A.'s cofounders said:

In his last major address to AAs, delivered in Detroit in 1948, A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob stated:

When we started in on Bill D., we had no Twelve Steps . . . we had no Traditions. But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts that we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James. [The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1972, 1975), 13.]

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