Berean Believer (Bbe): DISCLAIMER: PLEASE keep in mind that many are reading these posts. Therefore, ALL of what I say here is NOT directed to YOU. It is for ALL who lay eyes upon it. This is to exhort, encourage, spur in genuine Christian love and Truth – So that, the Spirit of God may use it to illuminate Truth to the heart of the Believers here. (Please read with the gentle tone with which it was written).
-----As I read ALL your comments I realize it would take a novel to answer everything thoroughly. So, please understand that there are more elaborate answer in my book and on my website. (Also, ADDICTIONS-A Banquet in the Grave-Ed T. Welch) great resource, don’t write him off just yet!!
I encourage you to be the “Berean Believer” like in Acts 17:11 “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”
(Bbe):“If I had gone to the church and said I'm an alcoholic, and the response was. Well, repent of your idolatry then, I may not have ever got sober.” This assumption is impossible to prove and descriptive of an uncaring, ignorant, Christian who is not equipped to disciple another believer. (horrible example).
Do some churches get it wrong sometimes? Of course.
Are there Christians who give answers that have not equipped themselves to truly disciple another believer? Of course.
Do some churches seem unloving and make others feel not welcome? Of course.
Because these three questions are true, is it ok for a believer to forsake the assembly of the saints? No. do your homework and find a solid place of worship to attend regularly. (Heb. 10:25).
BereanB, you ask: “But is AA compatible with a somewhat more liberal Christianity? Or does it fail there too? No, not compatible. (Personally, I dislike the label “liberal Christian”). There is NO term to differentiate Christians when it comes to the essentials of orthodox Christianity. ALL Christians are absolutely dogmatic on the essentials of orthodox Christianity…anyone who is NOT dogmatic on the essentials, Could NOT be a Christian. Let’s prove it with a few essential questions:
BereanB: Is Jesus the only Way to salvation? Yes. (Acts 4:12, John 14:6)
Is Jesus God in the Flesh? Yes. (1Tim.1:1,Heb. 1, John1:1-3)
Can a person be saved by their “good Works’? Never. (Eph. 2:8,9).
I trust you answer these the same as I did. So, Are you sure about your answers? Are your answers dogmatic? Would you waver on any of them? No Christian would ever waver on these few essentials, whether they be liberal or Conservative. Therefore, this must move us to answer a few more questions.
So, is AA compatible with liberal Christianity? Well, let’s answer a few more questions, are these AA direct quotes (below) true or false? (false) Diametrically opposed to the Essential doctrines of the Christian faith or not? (opposed)Heretical or not?(heretical) “You can, if you wish, make AA itself your higher power.” A.A.12x12, page 27. “Choose your own conception of god.” A.A. Big-book, pages 12, 46, 47. “We really hadn’t cleaned house so that the grace of God could enter us.” 12x12, page 32. “He has made himself ready to receive it.” 12x12, page 107. “AA’s manner of making ready … lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.” 12x12, page 107. “God’s kingdom … we will be assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure.” 12x12, page 98 “All will be well with us, here, and hereafter.” 12x12, page 105. “We were reborn.” BB, page 63. These direct AA quotes promise eternal life/forgiveness, without Christ and through “works”. No Christian would ever say these are compatible with Christianity. To do so, would deny the God given, inspired, authoritative, inerrant, infallible, sufficient, Word of God.
Christians should conclude: being dogmatic on the essentials of the Christian faith is good, right, and necessary. (the 3 listed above and the : Virgin birth, the Trinity, God’s Word, Grace alone-faith alone-in Christ alone).
It’s easier to “Spot the heresy in AA”: As a Christian, we have a command from God to be discerning:
“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14)
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8)
“the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;” (Php 1:16)
“according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.” (1 Tim. 1:11)
You see, Satan is a liar. He is perfectly happy with 99% Truth, as long as the other 1% is heretical and damning souls to hell. Heresy must always be dealt with. And only 100% Truth will deal with it rightly. (God’s Word).
ADDICTIONS: Sin or Disease?! - Biblical Discipleship or 12 step Program?! - ADDICTIONS - Are primarily a WORSHIP problem. (Sin NOT Disease). Believers & non-believers are going to worship something!
ADDICTIONS - Are primarily a WORSHIP problem. (Sin NOT Disease). Believers and non-believers are going to worship something! We worship what we love, day after day. If I love cookies/talcum powder or cocaine, more than Christ - my devotion to these items will increase as my love for Christ will decrease. So, How do I begin to worship the best thing available? First and foremost - I must be: a true believer/converted/regenerated/a Christian/justified/born-again. This transformation takes place through the gospel of Christ. The gospel is the “…power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). By Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, IN Christ Alone. As a true believer: I must feed on the Word daily, fellowship with other believers, get fed on the Word through biblical preaching, prayer, humble obedience to the Word by the Spirit, following the Lord, being transformed by the renewing of my mind through the Word, preach the gospel of Christ to myself – daily. As a true believer, this will feed my love for Christ and by the Spirit of God I will grow in my progressive sanctification. Therefore, this will minimize my love for feeding the flesh/sin=cookies/ alcohol/ drugs/ lust...etc. A greater love for Christ will begin to PUSH OUT the lesser loves of my sinful flesh/spiritual heart! This is true for ANY Addictions! “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, DRUNKENNESS, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who PRACTICE such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 5:19-21, (Eph. 2:3-5, 1 Cor. 6:9,10, Mark 8:36, Ezekiel 36:26, 2 Cor. 5:17. )
There is NEVER “sin” in a disease. In Gal. 5 quoted earlier, it is clear that [drunkenness - over indulging - and the ongoing practice of it is “sin” as well as the rest of the LIST of sins quoted in the verse]. Therefore, it can NOT be a disease. Especially since it is included right in the middle of a LIST of sins. God calls us to repent of sin. [turn from it and put our faith in Christ] therefore, addictions can NEVER be a disease, because God calls us to turn from it. "Turning" from a disease is humanly impossible. In God’s Word, He never commands anyone to turn from a disease or commands someone to do something that is impossible for a human to do. It would be ridiculous to ask a person to “turn from” your cancer, aids, leprosy, diphtheria, Yellow fever, etc. Which is something God never commands. However, He does command people to “turn from ongoing/regularly practicing sin”, Gal. 5:19…
Did I experience the so-called “spiritual awakening” in AA. Yes, but more importantly, what was it?!
First, how I “came to Christ” had absolutely nothing to do with a treatment center or Alcoholics Anonymous. God sought after me in late 2003 through a series of events that had nothing to do with A.A. – these events were totally separate (set apart if you will) from A.A. So that I don’t have to rewrite my first chapter in my book, (About the Author), I would redirect you towards the book to exactly what God used to [bring me to salvation].
Here is what A.A. did for me…1. Allowed me to create/make my very own personal god. [idolatry] YES, A.A. allowed me to make up my own god that I was comfortable with in my sin. So, NO, the God of the Bible did NOT use any part of A.A. to bring me to Himself. [God intervened in spite of what I was doing/practicing in A.A.] 1 Jn. 4:10. 2. Helped keep me sober. 3. Fixed the fringe areas of my life; car, money, house, job, teeth, food, shelter. 4. gave me like minded friends. This is what A.A. did and it was huge!! However, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, [sobriety, car, money, job, etc.] and forfeit his soul?” Mk. 8:36.
The “Spiritual Awakening” – In AA was directly proportionate to the god I created early on. And, the moralism/legalism that followed. You see, there are common graces that a person can experience, when they make good/moral decision. Like, not cheating, not lying, not stealing, not raping women, not committing adultery, etc. etc. a person can follow the 10 commandments or the 12 steps and live a life that is pleasing/joyful for themselves. However, following these rules like a Pharisee is NOT pleasing or glorifying to the God of the Bible.(it’s simply moralism/legalism) it is void of a true heart of worship towards the One true God. So, even though a person can experience temporary relief and have much of the fringe areas of their life nicely tightened up, it is only temporary. All of this temporary relief came true for me while I spent a decade in AA, however, I still had an eternal situation with the God of the Bible that was never dealt with. (until 2004).
I apologize for grammar issues and punctuation…I had only a few brief moments to throw this together.