Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A.A. and First Century Christianity: Sources Documented

One person recently challenged our statements about early A.A. and First Century Christianity. His comment suggested we should "check our sources." And he cited some out of print book which, he said, proved that "First Century Christianity" did not begin until the first century was ended. But the one who needs to check the sources is the one who made the comment.

First, let's look again at the statements:

(1) The Book of Acts in the Bible, Chapters Two, Four, and Five make very clear the daily fellowship of the early Christians, what they did, what they accomplished, and how the church grew by the thousands. This began on the day of Pentecost when they were gathered in the temple and receivedf the gift of the Holy Spirit.

(a) These early Christians fellowshipped together daily with one accord in the temple (Acts
2:46). Daily in the temple and in every house they ceased not to teach Jesus Christ (Acts
(b) Peter and John healed the man lame from birth in the name of Jesus of Nazareth
(Acts 2:1-10)
(c) They studied the Word daily. They prayed together daily. They broke bread together daily.
They witnessed to others and led them to Jesus Christ daily. They shared things
in common. They healed others. And thousands were saved and added to the Church of God
(Acts 2 and 4).

(2) The entire details, dates, and facts of these activities during the First Century are laid out in
detail in History of the Christian Church, Volume I, "Apostolic Christianity A.A. 1-100,"
3rd rev ed., by Philip Schaaf (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
1910 and Adolf Harnack, The Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, Vol II
(Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998. I found an earlier version of Harnack among
the books in Dr. Bob's library.

(3) Five associates of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., examined the details of the early Akron A.A.
fellowship and concurred in the statement of Chairman Albert Scott: "Why this is First
Century Christianity. What can we do to help?"

(4) One of the prior associations of early A.A. was the Oxford Group founded by Dr. Frank Buchman
about 1919; and in those days the Group was called "A First Century Christian Fellowship."

(5) When asked about the Akron fellowship, Dr. Bob said it was a "Christian Fellowship."

(6) As we have pointed out in detail in The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. (Kihei, HI:
Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2010), the 7 point summary of the early program by
Frank Amos as well as the 16 practices of the early A.A. pioneers not only show the parallels
between early A.A. and First Century Christianity, but make clear that these early Christian
practices made up.

All these points, and many more including the reading of the Bible, old fashioned prayer meetings, seeking of God's guidance, Quiet Time, requirement of belief in God, requirement that early AAs accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, their meeting together daily, their visiting each other daily, their witnessing to others daily, and their motto of love and service show how and why those early pioneers achieved the healings that made early A.A. a national inspiration.
the heart of the highly successful original "old school' A.A. program founded in Akron in 1935.

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