Better if God gave Ten Commandments in manner of Twelve Steps?

The following is excerpted from A Member’s Eye View of Alcoholics Anonymous., which is official “A.A. General Conference-approved literature”:

Once again, we are confronted with an aspect of A.A.’s therapy which has had a totally new impact without, apparently, any accompanying newness of substance. Where, then, could the difference be?

I believe it lies in the way the Steps are presented, rather than what they contain: They are reports of action taken, rather than rules not to be broken under pain of drunkenness.

I have often wondered what the course of mankind might have been if the Ten Commandments had been presented in this same manner, rather than as blunt commandments negatively expressed: ‘We honored our father and our mother.’ ‘We remembered to keep holy the Sabbath.’ ‘We honored the name of the Lord our God and took it not in vain.’ ‘We bore no false witness against our neighbor.’ (pg.16) (emphasis mine)

The presentation of the Twelve Steps as reports of action taken, rather than as commandments to be followed, also forms the basis of A.A.’s conspicuous absence of any formalized body of dogma or doctrine. (pg.17) (emphasis mine)

Source: aaorg/…amemberseyeviewofaa.pdf

Published in: on October 13, 2014 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More on A.A.’s spiritual roots: William James

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, had a profound effect on the development and formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. According to A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s official A.A. biography, “[Wilson] would later say that James, though long in his grave, had been a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.” [1]

Just like other key players in A.A.’s spiritual history such Emmet Fox, Carl Jung, the Oxford Group, Norman Vincent Peale, and Harry Emerson Fosdick, the influential William James was not a Christian.

Pulitzer Prize winner Nan Robertson, an A.A. member, writes, “A favorite of Bill and Dr. Bob was The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, by William James, the great American psychologist and philosopher.” [2]

Reading James’ book reinforced Wilson’s occultic white light experience in the hospital, which he tragically believed was God. He never drank after the experience.

What was so appealing about The Varieties of Religious Experience?

James writes, “A form of regeneration by relaxing, by letting go, psychologically indistinguishable from the Lutheran justification by faith and the Wesleyan acceptance of free grace is within the reach of persons who have no conviction of sin and care nothing for Lutheran theology. It is but giving your private convulsive self a rest, and finding that a greater Self is there.” [3]

Related: More on William James and A.A.

Let’s face it. If A.A. had started out as a truly Christian movement, it would have remained so. It was never meant to be Christian, only to give the illusion of once having been so. (Ephesians 6:12) This has lured many into its sphere of influence.

Source Notes:
1. PASS IT ON, pg.124
2. Nan Robertson, Getting Better, pg. 47
3. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, from the chapter The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness

Another discrepancy in the “A.A.’s Christian roots” mythology

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

PASS IT ON, the official A.A. biography of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson, describes William James as “a founding father of American psychology,” [1] and notes that James “had made a detailed analysis of a wide number of religion or conversion experiences.” [2]

William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, had a profound effect on the development and formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. According to Bill Wilson’s official A.A. biography, “[Wilson] would later say that James, though long in his grave, had been a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.” [3]

James was also a great influence on other purported Christian influences such as Anne Smith and Sam Shoemaker.

So, was James a Christian? Consider this following exchange betweenTom McMahon and Deidre Bobgan that took place during The Berean Call radio program:

Tom:

But once [Bill Wilson] finds somebody who has the spiritual experience, then he goes through a spiritual experience, but then he has to try and figure out what’s the basis for this and really where I am going here is, his leaning upon a man who is probably known as the father of modern psychology and that’s William James, the Harvard psychologist and philosopher.

Deidre:

Yes, instead of going to the Bible, he went to William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience . Now, William James was 1842 to 1910, and is considered the father of American psychology and he was intrigued with mystical and existential experiences. People would report these to him and he was very fascinated about it. Now, he didn’t care about the religious persuasion of mystics as long as they achieved a personal experience. He was fascinated by people who experienced these kinds of things and so [James] wrote this: “In mystic states we both become one with the absolute and we become aware of our oneness. This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition hardly offered by differences of clime or creed, in Hinduism, in Neo-Platonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism and Whitmanism we find the same recurring notes so there is about mystical utterances and eternal unanimity.” So, Wilson went to William James for the explanation rather than to the Bible. And so here what we see is, you see, Bill Wilson’s experience fit William James’ description than anything in scripture. So he grabbed hold of that and what he continued to look for his entire life and work with AA was anything that would bring a person into the spiritual realm. That’s why he went into the idea of spiritism, séances, necromancy, speaking with the dead and he had various experiences of meeting with various spirit guides. [4] (emphasis mine)

According to author Dick B. “Both Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob studied William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience, from which Bill had concluded there was a validation of his own ‘hot flash’ conversion experience. Little recognized too were the New Thought language and ideas that filtered into A.A. language via Rev. Sam Shoemaker’s writings and those of others, including Anne Smith. Shoemaker particularly relied upon James’ writings on self-surrender and conversion.” [5]

James didn’t care what one believed in. All spiritual experience was valid in his eyes. And so, once again, a key factor in A.A.’s spiritual foundation has nothing to do with Christianity.

Source Notes:
1. PASS IT ON, pg.124
2. Ibid.
3.Ibid.
4. Why Does The Church Support Alcoholics Anonymous?, The Berean Call radio program http://www.thebereancall.org/content/why-does-church-support-12-step-programs
5. http://silkworth.net/dickb/a_way_out. html

Published in: on October 10, 2014 at 9:56 pm  Comments (2)  
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Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Paul Robeson in 1933)

We have forgotten, or have never learned, about the depth of suffering black people endured in this country.

Through slavery, and in the decades after the Civil War, faith in Christ kept many black Americans from utter despair. They weren’t getting many breaks down here, so their eyes were on Him.

Some years ago I attended a black church. We were not allowed to call it a black church because our pastor said, “Ain’t no black church. Ain’t no white church. There is only the Christian church.”

Truer words were never spoken.

Paul Robeson sang Swing Low, Sweet Chariot in 1933.

Published in: on October 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The A.A. experience? “…rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence…”

A return to one of the most popular MWLF articles…

According to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (the AA “bible”), “…there was nothing left but for us to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.” (pg. 25)

What is this “simple kit of spiritual tools” the Big Book refers to? In AA, the member gets to be the potter, and work the wheel, and the clay of the higher power is shaped into whatever form the person desires.

One’s “god” (or “goddess”) could be a spirit, a doorknob, the “christ” of The Shack or the New Age, Uncle Ernie, or Mohammed, or anything else.

In AA, there is seemingly no need for Christ. The AA Big Book teaches, “The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered our hearts and our lives in a way that is miraculous.” (pg.25)

But the thing that directs these lost people is not the Creator (which the Big Book also claims is already in people), because the Lord does not dwell in those who do not know Christ.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Christ dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9)

Should we be worried for the AA people? Yes, we should. While millions have been pointed away from the Savior, the AA theology has also watered down the Body of Christ.

The AA Big Book teaches, “Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps.” (pg. 46)

Let us end with Truth from Jesus Christ and one final anti-bibical passage from the AA Big Book.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6)

In direct conflict with Christ’s own Word, the Big Book tells alcoholics, “We found God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men. When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.” (pg. 46-47)

Why does this not matter? Why are so many Christians serving two masters? Is it not you who have been evangelized–into the AA theology. You are silent about Christ, calling Him “higher power” as if He were simply another tin god in the meeting room.

We have all heard the AA insults about “religion,” meaning only Christianity, of course, and we all know the claim that churches can’t help alcoholics. Well, try being a member of the Body of Christ…serve in your church…and see what the Lord will do.

But please, quit defending this thing that Christ Himself warns against, all right?

Related article: Unholy origin of the 12 Steps

Your words were found and I ate them (Jeremiah 15:16)

Your words were found and I ate them,
And your words became for me
a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O LORD GOD of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

Jeremiah. The weeping prophet. No wife for him, no children, just the hard road of obedience. Jeremiah agonized over the unfaithful people, and he warned again and again, as he was instructed to do.

For decades the Lord gave the people opportunity to repent and return to Him.

Thus says the LORD,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask
for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

And I set watchmen over you,
saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet.’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ (Jeremiah 6:16-17)

And it did indeed come to pass, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the enslavement of the Hebrew people. Torn from Jerusalem and banished to Babylon, where men of God such as Ezekiel and Daniel served as faithfully as had Jeremiah in Jerusalem.

The cruel Old Testament God? I do not know Him. He does not exist. Let not the holiness and righteousness of a sovereign God be perceived as capriciousness. The Old Testament God is kind and merciful, for He is the God of the New Testament.

He is still giving opportunity to repent and come to Him.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Published in: on October 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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When you really need to know

A site where much research has been done–help for those who need answers:

Deception In The Church

Published in: on October 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poll: 51% of Democrats support criminalizing hate speech

Hate speech? As in what we say?

You might want to read this article…

HT: Apostasy Watch

Published in: on October 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Did A.A. co-founder claim to be reincarnation of Christ?

You make the call:

“[A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson] imagines himself all kinds of things. His hand ‘writes’ dictation from a Catholic priest, whose name I forget, from the 1600 period who was in Barcelona, Spain—again, he told Horace Crystal he was completing the works that Christ didn’t finish, and according to Horace he said he was a reincarnation of Christ. Perhaps he got mixed in whose reincarnation he was. It looks more like the works of the devil but I could be wrong. I don’t know what is going on in that poor deluded fellow’s mind.” [1]

“[He] knew little of psychics and had heard nothing before this of my adventures.”–A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson [2]

“Do not seek out mediums and spiritists; do not seek out and be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)

Endnotes:

1. Letter from Henrietta Seiberling, who introduced Bill Wilson to Dr. Bob Smith: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-Henrietta_Seiberling.html
2. From Bill wilson’s official A.A. biography, Pass It On, pg.277

An open letter to pro-A.A. author Dick B.

Dick B.,
Nearly five years ago I asked how you could justify Christian participation in Alcoholics Anonymous in light of 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 and Galatians 1:8-9.

During these years you have threatened to take legal action against me, and you have mocked my testimony (pretty viciously in fact), but you have never addressed these Scriptures.

Indeed, you cannot address them, because they are very clear about a non-Christian “gospel” such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Galatians 1:8-9: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8-9)

2 Corinthians 6:14-17: Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.

This is a straight forward question: Would you please address these Scriptures in light of Christian participation in Alcoholics Anonymous? I patiently await your response.

Respectfully,

John Lanagan

Published in: on October 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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