Mormons, no! Buddhists, no! Alcoholics Anonymous, come on in!

Mormons, no! Buddhists, no! Alcoholics Anonymous, come on in!
By John Lanagan
It is odd, isn't it? A Bible believing church would not allow Mormons, for instance, to hold worship meetings in the church, even if the Mormons have traditionally been strong in areas where we may need help, such as family, long term marriage, etc.
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Our pastors simply would not do such a thing, not even with our high divorce rate, broken families, and unmarried couples who live together. Why? Because, in spite of the fact that Mormons are traditionally strong in family matters, and are good neighbors, they reject the Christ of the Bible. Believing Christ and Satan are spirit-brothers, and that we can all become "gods," Mormons profess and spread an anti-biblical spiritual system.
 
Getting Mormon spiritual help for our problems is therefore out of the question. Right? This is obviously another "gospel," and the Apostle Paul warns against partaking in any such thing:
 
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 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: 6-9)
 
Just to emphasize the point, pastors don't allow Mormons, Christian Scientists, Buddhists, and other groups to use our churches. Makes sense, right? Nor is a Bible believing Christian ever told to go to one of these spiritualities to get help. Why, then, do we allow Alcoholics Anonymous to hold meetings in Christian churches?
 
Please bear with me in this. I believe this article will demonstrate that AA theology is just as anti-biblical as Mormonism. AA declares it does not matter at all what one worships as "god." This is "official" A.A. doctrine.
 
What do I mean? Let's take a look at some well-known, A.A. sanctioned literature. In fact, the cover of the AA pamphlet we will be quoting from, The Jack Alexander Article About Alcoholics Anonymous, informs us, "This is official A.A. General Service-conference approved literature." Originally printed in the Saturday Evening Post in 1941, Jack Alexander's article served in many ways to launch Alcoholics Anonymous toward its cultural and spiritual dominance.
 
Alcoholics Anonymous, although ruled as religious by the U.S. Supreme Court, and defined as such theologically, sociologically, and even by a dictionary definition, has always insisted it is a "spiritual program."
 
So, in this ground-breaking article by Alexander, this "A.A. General Conference-approved literature," how is the "god" of 12 Step spirituality defined?
 
According to the article, "Any concept of the Higher Power is acceptable. [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 he must rely on it and, in his own way, to pray to the power for strength." [1] (Bold mine)
 
The article notes that even a tree can be prayed to. Interestingly, the Bible refers to this:  Who say to a tree, "You are my Father," And to a stone, "You gave me birth." For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. (Jeremiah 2:27)
 
The Lord further expresses His displeasure through Jeremiah:  Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. (Jeremiah 3:9)
 
The Alexander article also refers to one's "Inner Self" as Higher Power. And we see this clearly taught in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (the AA "bible"), which states, "Sometimes we had to search fearlessly but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis, it is only there that He may be found." [2]
 
Yet God is not within all people. This belief has been spread through Alcoholics Anonymous and other New Age religions, but the Bible tells us we must be saved through Jesus Christ first. That is the only way one has the Spirit of God within.
 
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9)
 
Alcoholics Anonymous has spread the concept of a generic god, and convinced many there is no need for Christ--for the Higher Power is already within.
 
Why is any of this important? If you are a Christian, and believe the Bible is the Word of God, it is clear the Lord hates the worship of false gods. We are not to join such a thing. We are to be separate in our worship. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) If you are a Christian attending AA, and you say to yourself, "Well, I don't worship false gods," the Lord doesn't want you worshiping alongside those who bow to false idols.
 
Never in the Bible will you find an example where the Lord allows His people to worship Him in a religion where He is just one option of many. Josiah threw the false gods out of the temple; our wise (?) pastors of today bring them in by allowing AA in our churches.
 
The Lord warned Solomon that his foreign wives would entice him into worship of foreign gods--and that is what happened. The Lord knows better than you what is required. As Solomon's love for the Lord shifted, so is there a transference of faith in Alcoholics Anonymous. Many--okay, I'll just say it--almost all the Christians in AA also have AA as an idol. How could it be otherwise? Part of the AA theology is faith in AA itself, is it not?
 
The Lord was angered by those who bowed both to Him and the false god, Milcom:
 
And those who bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven, And those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by Milcom... (Zephaniah 1:5)
 
For Christians swimming in 12 Step spirituality, Alcoholics Anonymous functions as a modern Milcom. For all too many, the Lord  AND Alcoholics Anonymous are both worshiped.
 
There are also many in AA who identify Christ as their higher power, but whose god in reality is solely AA itself. This I say not from the height of some scholarly hill, but as one who has experienced the deceptions of AA first hand.
 
Alcoholics Anonymous in Bible believing churches? Milcom and Ashtoreth and Baal in the House...
 
Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word. (1 Kings 18: 21)
 
A.A. people are mostly unsaved, and in grave need of Christ. They are hurt, desperate, sinful people. In short, they are just as we were. Remember? As we wade through the swamp of this New Age religion, please remember this. Unsaved A.A. people are doing the best they can with what they have been taught-which is that anything and everything can be worshiped as a "higher power." Any concept of "god" is valid.
 
According to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (the A.A. "bible"), "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)
 
But the Lord specifically warns against the broad way. "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)
 
Why is this so difficult for us to comprehend? If the Lord warns against the broad way of spirituality, why do we think we know better? Why would we even want to participate in such a thing, or give it credibility by approving of it?
 
It is no coincidence that the A.A. Big Book again makes a direct reference to this spiritual Broad Highway: "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)
 
Yes, we are all used to AA. Yes, we hear the testimonies. But here is what we need to remember, and where we  need to start from: 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11.
 
Look it up. Read it. Christ has been delivering alcoholics, and homosexuals, and thieves, and liars, long before the 12 Steps existed. He is waiting, I believe, for Christians in Bible believing churches to really believe what the Bible says.
 
Endnotes:
 
1. http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-12_theJackAlexArticle.pdf
2. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (Big Book), pg. 55
3. Ibid., pg. 46-7
4. Ibid., pg. 55

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