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The Twelve Steps for Christians Paperback – 1994
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"Al‑Anon is not a religious program. Even when the meeting is held in a religious center, the local Al‑Anon group pays rent to that center and is not affiliated in any way with any religious group. Your religious beliefs—or lack of them—are not a subject for discussion at Al‑Anon meetings, which focus solely on coping with the effects of someone’s drinking. Here’s how one Al‑Anon member found the “Higher Power” of his own understanding.": - from their website
They say it is to be more inclusive and less offensive to those who aren't Christians. But to me it's presenting the 12 steps as a way out. Using God's ways but without God. If they aren't empowered by God, then it's just another set of steps that won't work. The Al Anon meetings were too much like a religious meeting but making God stand in a corner or even outside the door. They have their Big Book (and it's not the Bible), their creeds, their catechisms, their liturgy, their devotional books and pamphlets (called "conference approved literature"), their own buzz words (an alcoholic in your family was to be referred to as qualifier), their fellowship. God is often mentioned in the daily readings but I have to wonder for how much longer? And He's never referred to as the Judeo-Christian God as I know Him to be. It's as a shadowy, fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-idea God. Which, in essence, means you become your own god. If you have the power to pick and choose what or whom you worship, that puts you in the driver's seat, i.e. you are in control and therefore your own god. It's much like you are drawing what you want God to be, coloring in with whatever colors you like, and then holding it up and saying, "This is my god". You must realize that it's really you behind that silly drawing of God. And it's about as powerful as that piece of paper you drew on.
Feeling like I was somehow participating in denying Christ, I was uncomfortable with some of the stuff I was seeing. I continued through about 6 meetings. At least they said the Lord's Prayer at the end. But I was told more than once in those 6 meetings that saying the Lord's Prayer was no longer a requirement by AA or Al Anon. So even that tradition is going to come down soon. Finally, the last straw, was when I made the simple one sentence comment, "As a Christian, this step (Step 5) relates to what we call repentance." That was all it took before one of the members jumped in to say this wasn't a Christian program and we weren't going to discuss religion. After 10 mins of this wasted time we moved on. But I realized that I had been right, it was not for me. Trying not to be offensive, I had sat there for 10 mins, letting someone tell me that I had to leave my God, my faith, the only thing that has gotten me through, outside the door. I said nothing, I did nothing. When I left that meeting I got in my car and sobbed because I felt like I had denied Christ like Peter did. I had let God down.
You may or may not agree with me, but I felt that way. And I asked His forgiveness and He forgave me just like He did Peter. Thank You Jesus! But I still needed help and my sister-in-law gave me this book. What a relief to read about the Twelve Steps as they are meant to be. Not gutted of all power but filled with the power of God and bringing glory to Him and relief to me. I can also recommend Celebrate Recovery programs that are the same Twelve Steps but with God still front and center as He is meant to be. He is our only help, our only salvation. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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Bill W is sadly misquoted in this book.Read more