Prayer of Forgiveness for Following the 12 Steps

[This prayer and much, much more can be found at Pastor Chad’s Recovery Reformation. The prayer is written by Doug Hardy. I am posting just a portion of it and you can link to the rest.]

Dear Lord,

I am so sorry for the way I’m wasting the precious life you gave me.
Forgive me for living like a selfish three year old.
Forgive me for any pride I take in my “wild times” war stories.
Forgive me for believing in worldly labels like addict, alcoholic, and many others.
Forgive me for portraying myself as sick and diseased.
Let me see the reality of my state.
I am not a victim.
I am a sinner, and a law breaker.
I am guilty for my crimes.
Forgive me Lord for making a program my Messiah and savior instead of you.

Forgive me Lord for putting The Big Book in front of or even alongside your awesome word.
Forgive me for every recovery meeting I ever attended because a recovery meeting is all about ME!
Forgive me for sitting in a room where you are horrifically referred to as a higher power. My heart aches that I described you in that way.
Have mercy on me for holding hands and reciting the way you taught us to pray as a cheap means to a better life. Show me what that prayer really means!
Forgive me for every sponsor I ever had and I pray that you would reveal truth in their hearts that they might also be saved.
Lord, from this day forward I put my faith and trust in you.
I repent, I am turning from my sin and wicked way of life and I desire to live a life that is pleasing to you.
I believe Lord that you went to the cross and took my sins, my lawlessness with you and you suffered and drank down the cup of wrath that was mine.
I believe I am saved through grace alone, in Christ alone.
It is this grace that keeps me sober and changes my desires
. click here for rest of prayer

The idols of Alcoholics Anonymous

Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? (Isaiah 44:10)

The people in A.A. are doing the best they can with what they have been taught.

This is what they are NOT taught:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

This is what they are NOT taught:

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)

This is what A.A. people ARE taught about “god”:

[The alcoholic] “may choose to think of his Inner Self, the miracle of growth, a tree, man’s wonderment at the physical universe, the structure of the atom, or mere mathematical infinity. Whatever form is visualized, the neophyte is taught that he must rely on it and, in his own way, to pray to the Power for strength.” [1]

The above definition of “god” comes from official A.A. literature.

In A.A. one often hears about alcoholism being a “spiritual disease.” It is more accurate to see Alcoholics Anonymous as the spiritual disease, because it has pointed millions away from the Christ of the Bible, and watered down the beliefs of the Christians who have become members.

A.A. is powerful in terms of public relations, weak in terms of treatment effectiveness, and unholy in its understanding of “god.” But the A.A. people don’t know this. They are working to gain or maintain sobriety, and they are doing what they have learned to do.

Many of us are sober because of Christ. We go to church. Some of us attend Bible based fellowship groups like The Most Excellent Way. This claim that A.A. is the most effective way/only way to get sober is a lie. The sad truth is, most do not get sober through A.A. Far worse, every person who designs an A.A. higher power of their own understanding will end up in hell.

So, what can we do? Well, when we speak with out A.A. friends, we can share the gospel message. They may have never heard it before. We can do this in many ways, but let’s directly proclaim the Good News:

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)

One last thought. In A.A. there are people who call “Christ” their higher power, and with some it is the biblical Christ. But Christians in A.A. rationalize that it is okay for someone to worship a higher power for a time because that person will supposedly come to Christ sooner or later. This rationalization allows the Christian to stay in A.A., for A.A. itself has become an idol.

Very few find the biblical Christ in the A.A. religion.

The Bible is clear that the times of ignorance have passed. Paul, speaking to men in a city full of idols:

“Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,

because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.”

So Paul went out of their midst.

But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. (Acts 17:28-34)

Some sneered; some wanted to hear more; and some were saved.

But all heard. Can we do any less for our friends in Alcoholics Anonymous?

[Bonus: This small booklet about A.A.’s unholy foundations can be read online HERE… ]

Source Notes:
1. Jack Alexander, “Alcoholics Anonymous: Freed Slaves of Drink, Now They Free Others” (Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941). According to the A.A. website, A.A. World Services publishes the article in pamphlet format and sells about 22,000 of them each year;

A Study Of The Profane

According to author Susan Cheever,  [A.A. co-founder] Dr. Bob “began every morning with meditation and prayer and twenty minutes of Bible study. Like [A.A. co-founder] Bill, Bob believed in paranormal possibility, and the two men spent time ‘spooking,’ invoking spirits of the dead.”[1]

Click here for the A.A. co-founders…


1. Susan Cheever, My Name Is Bill, pg. 197

More “queer” slurs from Dick B., author of ‘The Good Book and the Big Book’

Dick B. is the author of numerous books on the alleged Christian roots of Alcoholics Anonymous. He is also the author of many comments mocking my testimony. And here is my testimony: Happy hell-bound homosexuals

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)

So, here’s another batch of “queer” insults aimed at me by Dick B., which I generally receive after posting articles refuting A.A.’s alleged Christian roots. There are many more of these “queer” slurs that Dick B. has sent to My Word Like Fire. ***

According to Dick B:

1. The thousands of Christians and other believers who help alcoholics and addicts do swallow a bit of the queer gospel from time to time. (1/23/13) (bold mine)

2. We’ve yet to see the queer seer relate the facts about what early AAs in Akron’s Christian Fellowship really did. (1/22/14) (bold mine)

3. Take the queer reasoning of just one “reformed” writer who talks about his word like fire. (1/23/13) (bold mine)

4. Some of these days, this queer writing will be replaced when people look at and understand Romans 8. It is not what Christians do. (7/26/12) (bold mine)

5. More queer comments from John L. (6/11/12) (bold mine)

6.  But not for this queer continued search for all faults in all people in all parts of the spectrum–never pausing once to look in the mirror and shudder. Queer indeed. (6/11/2012) (bold mine)

Obviously, Dick B. is very angry. His years of scholarship have been called into question, and people no longer automatically receive his claims as valid. So he does what many of us do when we cannot answer with truth or facts–we go back to name calling.

For me, this has been Romans 8:28 in action. For a long time Dick B.’s taunts would evoke shame and fear. Now, at last, I just don’t care. It is back to warning Christians about A.A.

For more background: Related article ***

Why Bill Wilson picked a pagan symbol for A.A.

The cross, of course, was never an option. Read

A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson “felt it would be unwise to have an allegiance to any one religious sect. He felt A.A.’s usefulness was worldwide, and contained spiritual principles that members of any and every religion could accept, including the Eastern religions.”(PASS IT ON, pg. 283)**

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? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15) 

Where did the A.A. symbol come from? Why did A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson choose the triangle within the circle?

In Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, he writes, “That we have chosen this symbol is perhaps no mere accident. The priests and seers of antiquity regarded the circle enclosing the triangle as a means of warding off spirits of evil, and AA’s circle of Recovery, Unity, and Service has certainly meant all that to us and much more.” (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, pg.139, Bold mine)

Francis Hartigan was the secretary for Lois Wilson, Bill’s wife, for thirteen years. He had many conversations with Lois about Bill. He writes, “[A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s] belief in God might have become unshakeable, but he could never embrace any theology or even the divinity of Jesus, and he went to his grave unable to give his own personal idea of God much definition. In this sense, he was never very far removed from the unbelievers.” (Bill W. by Francis Hartigan, pg. 123, Bold mine)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

** PASS IT ON is the official A.A. biography of co-founder Bill Wilson

The A.A. history articles:

Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps: READ

Alcoholics Anonymous Co-Founders Were Not Christians: READ

Early A.A. Heresy: READ

A.A. Co-founder’s Meditation, Visualization: READ

Published in: on February 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Great, very short, H.A. Ironside biography

[The following biography of H.A. Ironside can be found on . The author is Ed Reese. This can be read in one sitting, and it is great.]

The biography begins:

“Ironside was one of the greatest Bible teachers the world has ever known. For some 50 years he went up and down America teaching and preaching the Word of God. He was the ultimate in his field. Coupled with this was his successful ministry as pastor of Moody Church from 1930 to 1948 which made him the most known Christian leader of his era, outside of Billy Sunday whose funeral he preached. He was affectionately known as ‘the archbishop of Fundamentalism.’

“John and Sophia (Stafford) Ironside were a godly couple with his occupation being that of a bank teller. They were both tremendous soul-winners. The father spent evenings at street meetings, in halls and in theaters, and on Sundays held services in the park. His mother likewise testified everywhere. They were identified with the Plymouth Brethren. The father was known as “The Eternity Man,” because every time he met someone he asked them, “Where will you spend eternity?” In the providence of God this amazing soul-winner died at age 27 from typhoid when Henry was two years old.

“Henry’s birth was almost a casualty. The child was thought to be dead, so attention was given to the dangerously ill mother.” Click here for rest of biography:

Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Correcting those “A.A.’s Christian roots” claims

Okay, you make the call: Read article

A.A.’s co-founder and the ouija board

Describing it as “the fairly usual experience,” A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson states:

“The ouija board got moving in earnest. What followed was the fairly usual experience—it was a strange mélange of Aristotle, St. Francis, diverse archangels with odd names, deceased friends—some in purgatory and others doing nicely, thank you! There were malign and mischievious ones of all descriptions, telling of vices quite beyond my ken, even as former alcoholics. Then, the seemingly virtuous entities would elbow them out with messages of comfort, information, advice—and sometimes just sheer nonsense.” (Pass It On, pg. 278) (bold mine)

Related: Seances, spirits, and 12 steps

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A.A.’s real spiritual roots

A little leaven… (1 Corinthians 5:6)

It is well known that Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith reached out to the spirit world through seances and the like. But there was also a contemplative (meditative) factor.

Contemplative practices, in fact, have been inherent in Alcoholics Anonymous from its inception. A.A. co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith attended, together and separately, Frank Buchman’s neo-evangelical Oxford Group in the 1930s. Pastor H.A. Ironside, who preached during the 1930s and 1940s, was familiar with the Oxford Group in his own city. He had grave concerns about its meditative practices:

“Each member is urged … to sit quietly with the mind emptied of every thought … waiting for God to say something to them…. Sometimes they tell me nothing happens, at other times the most amazing things come. Tested by the Word of God, many of these things are unscriptural. They lay themselves open for demons to communicate their blasphemous thoughts to them.” [1] (Bold and italics mine)

According to A.A. historian Glenn C., “In A.A. circles however, ‘meditation’ also took on some of the characteristics of what the Oxford Group called ‘having a morning quiet time.’ So A.A. members might in fact, not only read and think about what the reading for the day said in their meditational book, but also spend a short time blanking out all their conscious thoughts and just remaining still and quiet in God’s presence, while waiting for God’s guidance to give them instructions for the day. [2] (Bold mine) continue reading article

Published in: on January 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Age fundamentalist passages in A.A.’s “Big Book”

In Alcoholics Anonymous theology, anything and everything can be “god.” Yet, paradoxically, A.A. takes key passages of How It Works from the A.A. Big Book (the A.A. “bible”) literally. These passages may as well have been chiseled in stone. Because of this, Alcoholics Anonymous can be strangely–but accurately–described as a fundamentalist New Age religion.

This is what is read to alcoholics at the beginning of every single meeting:

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.” (bold mine)

How It Works goes on to note, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”

These two fundamentalist passages thus serve to lock alcoholics into the A.A. system, while also teaching contempt or distrust for alternative ways of gaining sobriety. Particularly opposed is the idea of getting help in “church.”

Researcher Rober Tournier observes that A.A.’s “continued domination of the field and its members’ claims to be spokesman for the victim have fettered innovation … and tied us to a treatment strategy which … is limited in its applicability to the universe of alcoholics.” [1]

In Alcoholics Anonymous, most Christians experience a transference of faith. The twelve step experience often becomes an idol. Thus it is not uncommon to speak with Christians who are more concerned with “recovery” than sanctification; and who demonstrate a preference for A.A. rather than the fellowship with the saints.

And those who bow down and swear to the Lord, and yet swear by Milcom, (Zephaniah 1:5b)

Court cases ruling A.A., N.A. as religious
The “higher power” receives worship; confession is heard; testimony is given; the group invokes the Serenity Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The 12th Step instructs AA members to go forth and Spread the Word.

Whether one calls it religious, or spiritual, the bottom line is that millions have been taught to reach outside (or inside) of themselves, and draw on a higher power to give them strength.


1. Robert Tournier, quoted in Journal of Drug Issues, Volume 10, pg.150

Published in: on January 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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