Many of us celebrate milestones in our lives, birthdays, anniversaries, new careers, being in business, baptisms, and the list goes on.
Today is a milestone in my life that may be a little different than most.
I will be 10 years sober soon and wanted to share some of my experiences from the last 10 years to encourage others who may being going through similar situations and to exhort people to examine the means by which we can accomplish such milestones as sobriety from drugs and alcohol.
I have been thinking and praying about this for a while and as I was at work last week, I came across Apologia radio talking about Alcoholics Anonymous and how it has cult like characteristics. I am very intrigued by things that may seem controversial, so I listened, and they said a lot of things that I had thought when I looked at my experience with AA.
I know that this is going to ruffle some feathers and I also hope the reader can understand that I do not say these things for the sake of controversy, rather to warn and exhort my brothers and sisters in the Lord to stand firm in the faith and not to be lured into counterfeit Christianity no matter how good is looks.
I do believe that AA is a counterfeit. Many people in the program claim that it is based off Christian principles and therefore, it is a Christian program at heart.
This may be true in the fact that everything that has some truth in it is based on Godly principles because God is the founder of all truth, yet we see in the garden how Satan being more crafty than any other creature twisted the truth to deceive Eve.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:1-6
I am grateful to God that he was gracious enough to me to use a program like AA to get me to true repentant faith in Jesus Christ. When I walked into the doors of AA I was an angry young man at everyone and their mama. I didn’t know why I was the way I was, but those people seemed like they knew something. So, I listened and learned, and become a friend of Bill. I was in the program I read the books, did the steps, did service work, and the whole 9.
As someone who claimed to be Christian and being around other people that were Christian including my sponsor, there was no real emphasis on the real problem with Alcoholics or what the Bible says about drunkenness.
It was all about doing 90 meetings in 90 days, reading the first 164 pages in the big book, getting a sponsor, and working the steps.
There was no talk of drunkenness being a sin that needed to be repented of, truly believing in Christ and his victory over the power of sin and death. How when you are born again, you are a new creation in Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit you now have the power to overcome sin, including drunkenness.
Nope, you are genetically predisposed, and you come from a family of alcoholics, so you didn’t have a chance. But, now that you made it to these groups there is hope. And you don’t have to call God, God, you can call him a power greater than yourself. As a matter of fact, you can even create a God of your own understanding. If the God of the Bible doesn’t suite your fancy, look no further than the doorknob.
Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul,
“Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever Amen.” Romans 11:33-36
To make a God of our own understanding at least in the Christian worldview, is idolatry. I think most Christians and non-Christians would agree that The Creator of all that is seem and unseen is outside of our understanding. You don’t “understand” God. You obey, you worship and love God.
In my experience AA promotes a victim mentality. Your problem has more to do with traumas in your life that caused you to go down this path. It isn’t about your own moral failing as much as it is how you just got the drunk genetics and an alcoholic mind. You are just wired different. So now you have be a part of this program for the rest of your life, lest you go back to your old ways and die shortly after.
See the problem with this, is it also creates a dependency upon the group and the program. This isn’t setting you free you are just enslaved to a different master, because the real issue of drunkenness hasn’t been dealt with properly. When we deal with these issues biblically, it is a sin issue. Yes you may need to go to a facility to detox without dying, but after that if you claim to be a Christian a brother or sisters should be there to come beside you and walk you towards repentance so that you can be restored by Christ. Why? Because Christ is the only one who can set you free.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The salve does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34
So, what’s the solution to this problem?
Well, if you are not a follower of Christ, this isn’t a problem for you. If you are a follower of King Jesus, then I would challenge you to look at these things objectively from a Biblical worldview and see the danger in these types of programs. I would not say that people should not go to these programs rather when you go, stand firm in faith, proclaim Christ crucified. Be Godly troublemakers and use these places as an avenue to share the Gospel. I write this out of love. God bless.