Pro-AA author attempts connecting AA Big Book with Christianity

But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the heads of fathers’ households of Israel said to them, “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God;” (Ezra 4:3)

Despite continued claims by pro-AA author Dick B., the Word of God and the Christian faith have nothing in common with the Big Book, a.k.a., the AA “bible.”

For those who do not know, the Big Book contains testimonies, advice, and assorted twelve step wisdom. It is recommended to every new AA member, often spoken of with reverence, and many treasure and treat it as if it were a holy book.

An AA member recently commented that “the whole AA book is written from the Bible…” The person who said this undoubtedly believes this is true.

Pro-AA author Dick B. writes about a “Christian AA leader and speaker who is preparing a Big Book sponsor’s guide covering the Big Book in detail and showing  its relationship to Christianity.” [1]

It’s relationship to Christianity?

Dick B. modestly notes that the above mentioned “Christian AA leader” wants “to append a ‘Where Dick B. Found It’ segment that would use bite-by-bite, footnoted references to actual facts embodied in the AA, 12 Step, and Big Book story.” [2]

The Big Book denies the gospel and supremacy of Jesus Christ. Therefore, there is no Big Book relationship to Christianity.

The Big Book unapologetically promotes a broad spirituality. For instance, it states, “We found that 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.” [3] (bold mine)

Can we find this anywhere else in AA’s Big Book? Yes. According to the Big Book, “If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.” [4] (bold mine)

Yet, Jesus Christ warns against the broad way. The Lord tells us, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is BROAD that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13) (bold mine) “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) There is no gray area here.

So, again, how is the Big Book based on or influenced by the Bible or  Christianity since it rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ?

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)

Any Big Book use of Scripture [5], generic or otherwise, doesn’t mean much. After all, followers of the Swedenborgian,  New Thought, and Mormon religions use the Bible even though they reject Jesus Christ as biblical Savior.

Insisting that Christianity has a relationship to the Big Book is about as silly as claiming that Christianity has a relationship to the Book of Mormon. But pro-AA author Dick B. has an agenda. With numerous books and articles about the alleged Christian or biblical roots of AA and the 12 Steps, the aged author is once again not letting facts–or the very Word of God–get in his way.



2. Ibid.

3. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (Big Book) pg.46-47

4. Ibid., pg.55

5. 3rd Edition Big Book: Thy will be done; Faith without works is dead; Love thy neighbor as thyself; Father of Light (KJV)

[ Reader, want to learn more? Here is the link to No Jesus in AA’s teachings by Brian D. Kercheval: ]

Published in: on August 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm  Comments (18)  
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18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Rather than debate you I’ll pose a question. If AA is a place full of evil then it obviously needs people to preach the Gospel. Not just anyone. Someone who has suffered with the exact same problems they have and has come through it with Christ.

    Christians can spend their days debating groups & judging their co-founders or helping others to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

    As for Bible believing Church. If you’re referring to a room full of people that already believe, listening to one man’s interpretation of the bible, then an interruption and plea for money by check for tracking purposes within those same walls the answer is no. Now if you mean people gathered in Jesus’ name sharing their experience in Christ free of charge, not selling books or tapes, inside & outside buildings (I’m not referring to AA meetings) then the answer is yes.

    Hope that covers it:)

  2. And how did he understand Him?

  3. Hi Brock,
    The thing is, our God is Holy. We are to remain separate in our worship, lest we take on aspects of a strange spirituality.

    This is why He commands us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17. AA is a different gospel where Christ is reduced at best to one “god” among many.

    Christians who participate do so on their own understanding rather than obedience to His Word.

    Are you in a Bible believing church?

  4. As for mywordlikefire’s comments on Bill Wilson below is an excerpt from Bill’s Story page 13. I see nothing emotionally and spiritually harmful about this. To me this is a statement of what he did. I did the same and have had similar results.

    “There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since.”

  5. So we can denounce AA, the book, it’s members or we can ask ourselves “is it possible people are lead to Jesus via AA?”. Can individuals, groups, churches lead people away from Christ? Is our Father happy when we admit to God, ourselves & another human being the exact nature of our wrongs, take a personal inventory and then make direct amends to those we had harmed except when to do so would injure them or others? How many churches encourage their parishioners to do this? How many of you have done this? Surely none of you are sinless. Father I’m doing this not to achieve anything but to worship You and please You. When that person strikes your right cheek & you turn to let them strike the other. How much happiness does it bring to our Father when that person realizes their mistake, humbles them self, asks for forgiveness & truly repents? You may not forgive them but I’d bet our Father does. I’ll close with an excerpt from Chapter 5 “there is One who has all power-That One is God. May you find Him now!”
    Brock H. sober since 12/11/1989

  6. Thank you for your…thoughts. A.A. is not biblical, however, and leads most to hell. Alcoholics are pointed away from the church where they would hear about the salvation of Jesus Christ.

  7. All I see posted is by those who Lack Understanding and falsely think they have found the truth
    !. Testifying of Jesus Christ and quoting self proclaimed Apostle Paul ??? I will not explain, do your research and open your mind, get rid of the old thinking that didn’t work.
    2. Rarely have we seen a person fail who thoroughly followed our path (straight and narrow as Jesus spoke of).

    Matthew 7:13-14
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    The straight and narrow path of AA leads to the Arch, we walk to freedom once we have set the Key Stone.
    We find the Ultimate Reality in the 11 step. We walk to freedom in the Kingdom of God (the broad highway) Only a lost soul walks the Straight and Narrow path. Were you ever a Boy Scout, did you learn what to do if lost in the woods?
    Go back to the 2nd step and start over, you missed it !! OPEN THE MIND, but the hard part is like opening an alligators mouth, not that easy but even harder to keep it open,
    Start over with a GOOD sponsor and a group with the right message.

    If followed, AA leads us back to Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of heaven, Few there be that find it !!
    WELL AT LEAST YOU DIDN”T HAVE TO DRINK TODAY, Growl !! Growl !! I GOT 40 YEARS of SOBRIETY !! HA ! HA !, and nobody want what you have.

  8. Hey Rick,
    Christ does not create or accept a “spiritual program” where people are pointed away from Him. Your whole “medical” example really doesn’t stand up since Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion–a non-Christian religion where Christ is at best just another higher power.

    A.A. continues to harm people emotionally and spiritually–and continues to trap desperate people in a system which is portrayed as powerfully effective, yet in reality is limited in its ability to help.

    This is why AA co-founder Bill Wilson himself began to search for more effective alternatives.

  9. You guys are so full of it that you stink. Got one question for you. Do you ever go to the doctor for anything including life saving emergencies? If you do, then by your reckoning you are denying God and the power of God. Otherwise, you would just except whatever injury or illness you have as the “just” result of living in a sinful body and sinful world and depend upon God to either heal you or kill you. God gives many avenues to heal, that are beyond the understanding of our finite minds. Praise God he also gave people the ability to think and speak with clarity and intelligence less they appear to make God himself to be stupid and ignorant. You propose to believe that God was able to send Jesus Christ to be born of a virgin, bring truth to the world, die for the world thus providing salvation for our sin but he doesn’t have the power to send a simple 12 step program to heal an illness in today’s world, when the very scriptures you purport to believe in talks about him healing leprosy, blindness, casting out of demons ect, yet you don’t believe he has the power to do those things today??? You go ask any medical professional if he has the power to cure an alcoholic or addict. The answer will be a resounding “NO”. Alcoholics and Addicts only have four choices, jails, institutions death or recovery. The real crux of most problems today is that the religious people act exactly the same as the Sadducees and pharisees. Instead of taking the message of a loving Christ out into the highways and byways, they want everyone to heal themselves, become perfect in every aspect of their life and then maybe…just maybe…they will be acceptable to churches and the “good” people. You hypocrites and vipers (Mathew 23) Woe unto you.

  10. Pro-AA author Dick B., that doesn’t mean we can disobey Him. We cannot mix Christ in a strange religion, for we are the ones who become tainted. We are warned about this all through the Bible. Galatians 1:8-9, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, 1 kings 11:1-13.

    You wrote a bunch of books back when you really believed AA has Christian/biblical roots, and then finally the evidence became overwhelming (it was always there, you just didn’t want to see it). But instead of repenting you are dragging others into this any-and-all-gods religion. And you keep writing the books and articles, which keeps your cottage industry going.

    The Lord warned Solomon if he associated with the foreign women, he would take on their gods. They were his wives, and he sure enough took on their gods. The Bible says “his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” (1 Kings 11:4)

    Sharing a spirituality with the heathen, being exposed to their ways, has its effects. AA has become a god to so many Christians in AA. It reminds me of Zephaniah 1:5: And those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom,

    I am not your problem, Dick. Your problem is with a holy God who has been warning you for some time now.

  11. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.

  12. Dick B.

    Isn’t it rather childish and immature to continually throw the ‘queer’ accusation at John? Is that necessary? This is an insult to God, whose Son bore God’s wrath for all John’s sins. If God has forgiven John and remembers his sins no more, who are you to make such accusations?Perhaps you should remove the log from your own eye.
    As for your accusations, can you back what you state with some facts, some statistics, and the word of God?

    It seems John has done his homework and doesn’t just put up posts based on opinions, which is what your comments consist of; it is sort of a rant that doesn’t really make a great deal of sense.

    The terms ‘alcoholism’ and ‘addiction’ are not found in the Bible, you should know that if you have read it. What you will find is ‘drunkenness’, or ‘drunkard’. Addiction is not found, however, you will find this in 2 Peter 2:19, ‘ For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.’ Drunkenness is a bondage that no man can fix or free himself or others from. That is why AA is NOT a solution, for there is only One who can free sinners from their sins, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
    ” For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
    What does the drunkard need? The Gospel of Jesus Christ and nothing else.

  13. The syncretism continues, the unholy continues to be promoted. Shame on you Dick B.

  14. While John Lanagan has a queer passion for attacking individuals, he never fails to demonstrate by his erroneous characterization of facts, that he hasn’t the slightest idea what early AAs did, how many Christians likened it to First Century Christianity, how often sin, prayer, the Bible, the Book of Acts, quotes from the Bible, mention of God, the Creator, Maker, Father of Lights, God of our fathers, Heavenly Father are discussed, and what the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron did in insisting on belief in God, acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Bible study, prayer meetings, fellowship, breaking bread together, healing, witnessing, and converting. One would hope that some day this purveyor of queer wisdom would start quoting documented facts instead of distorting irrelevant ones. Sort of reminds me of what a distinguished criminal defense attorney once told me: If the prosecution puts many policemen on the witness stand, resist the temptation to attack them all. Instead, pick just one and aim your fire at him, and attack him. But beware that you choose the weak one to attack. The nationwide and now worldwide ranks of today’s International Christian Recovery Coalition leaders are not composed of wimps, but rather those who see the importance of showing the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in overcoming alcoholism and addiction. And urging the suffering to turn to God for help

  15. Thank you sister.

  16. Reblogged this on DiscernIt and commented:
    The excerpts from the Big Book are very revealing…Great Article. Thanks John.

  17. Thank you Lyn. I really appreciate Mike Ratliffe’s comments, which I had not read.

  18. John,

    I was reading Mike Ratliff’s latest post –

    in it he states ‘ What do we find in the Bible? Is there one mention in Sacred Scripture of support groups such as AA? No, the Bible does not mess around with calling sins addictions. No, sin is sin and victory is found in repentance.’ I concur the redefining of sin is done for multiple reasons: for the sake of money, i.e. ‘rehabs’, and to deny the true condition of man as well as accountability for our actions. If we call sin anything other than what it is, we deny a God who is righteous and holy; a God who will judge all sin. Man made programs like AA do NOT have a ‘cure’ for sin, they only keep those who attend their gatherings in bondage to their sins.

    Keep fighting the good fight brother

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