Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Commenting on Unity Minister Booth's View of God and A.A.

Rev. Booth is a well known Unity Minister, talented, and amusing. I have heard him speak in connec tion with A.A. at least twice. But he has posted on his website an article about God and A.A. that goes far too far in treating A.A. as a single thread monolithic organization when it comes to God.

But the story of A.A. cannot be handled accurately in that manner.

The true A.A. story goes like this: (1) Christian organizations like the Young Men's Christian Association, the Rescue Missions, the Salvation Army, the Great Evangelists like Moody and Sankey, the Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor were all bringing about Christian recovery from alcoholism long before A.A. was founded (2) A.A. Co-founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob were both born and raised in Vermont, attended Christian Congregational Churches and Sunday schools, received parental schooling in salvation and the Word of God, attended Christian Congregatonal dominated academies, and were required to attend daily chapel with hymns, sermons, prayer, and reading of Scripture. (3) Bill Wilson's grandfather was cured of alcoholism by a conversion experience atop Mount Aeolus in East Dorset, Vermont and quickly rushed to the pulpit of the East Dorset Congregational Church of which he was a founder, officer, and supporter. He never again drank for the remaining 8 years of his life.

All these associations figure in the founding of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in June, 1935; with its first group (Akron Number One) founded on July 4, 193 5. More details can be found in Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. www.dickb.com/conversion.shtml; Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous www.dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml; and the newly released Stick with the Winners by Dick B. and Ken B.

In short, early A.A. was a Christian Fellowship. It called itself just that. Religious comradeship was recommended. Attendance at a religious service once a week was recommended. And Bible study, old fashioned prayer meetings, Quiet Time, belief in God, coming to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and helping others get well by the same means were MUSTS.

Beginning in 1939 with Bill's new program of Big Book and Steps, Roman Catholics, Jews, atheists, and agnostics as well as women began joining; and A.A. was no longer a Christian Fellowship. But the point Rev. Booth totally misses is that today there are tens of thousands of born again Christians organizing and attending Bible study groups, prayer groups, Christian treatment programs, and Christian outreach to alcoholics and addicts. They have formed many Christian Recovery Fellowships. See www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com.

And here is the comment I posted on Rev. Booth's site:

It is quite clear that Rev. Booth is not familiar with the Christian origins, history, founding, original Christian Fellowship program, and successes of early A.A. I would recommend your viewers obtain and ponder The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. Before that, read DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, pages 131 and 144 for the very clear earliest program and what it did with God and Jesus Christ and the Bible. Much material is now available on the website of International Christian Recovery Coalition of which I am Executive Director. See www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com God Bless, Richrd G. Burns, J.D., CDAAC. Author of 46 titles and 1250 articles on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movment www.dickb.com Executive Director.

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