Friday, March 29, 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous and Christianity

A.A. today is not Christian. In 1935, A.A. in Akron called itself a Christian Fellowship. In early A.A. days, there were frequent observations that the A.A. program was First Century Christianity in Action.
If ever there was a detour from helping the drunk who still suffers, it is the path that a handful of anti-AA Christian writers pursue in claiming that A.A. has no Christian roots, A.A.'s founders were not Christians, A.A. presents a path of destruction for Christians, that no Christian should ever enter the rooms of A.A.
The facts provide an entirely different picture.
Early A.A. developed from organizations and people in the 1850's and forward who wanted to help drunks, instead of condemning them or shunning them. These were the Young Men's Christian Association, the Salvation Army, Gospel Rescue Missions, the great evangelists like Dwight Moody and F.B. Meyer, Congregationalism, and  the Young  People's Society of Christian Endeavor. See
Early A.A.'s Cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob were born and raised in Christianity--by their parents, their grandparents, their respective Congregational Churches in St . Johnsbury and East Dorset Vermont, their respective Sunday school teachings, their extensive Bible study as  young people, the influences of the YMCA on both Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson, and the Christian regimen at St. Johnsbury Academy (for Dr. Bob) and  Burr and Burton Seminary (for Bill W.), and the Daily Chapel they attended (with sermons, reading of Scripture, prayers, and sermons). Perhaps the greatest  early Christian influence was The Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
Early AAs in Akron all believed in God and also came to Him through His son Jesus Christ. See;; and
The issue today is much like that which faced Jesus and the Apostles in First Century Christianity. They did not refuse to meet with, preach to, or heal people who were unbelievers. They said "Come and see." They  said that  faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. They witnessed--and to Jews and Gentiles alike. It was the opportunity to become a child of God that was presented by the early Christians. Today, there are tens of thousands of Christians in A.A. They are not refusing to meet with, talk to, witness about, and  heal people.
That is the A.A. of love and tolerance and love and service. All are admitted, and the primary purpose is to help the alcoholic who still suffers. Christians in A.A. play a large role in that today--as do God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible. See

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