Posts Tagged ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’

IHOP-KC Promotes Sexaholics Anonymous, Contemplative Spirituality, Alcoholics Anonymous

Young Man Lost In Depression Sitting On Ground Street Concrete S

Photo used with permission from bigstockphoto.com

By John Lanagan

Despite proclamations about the love and power of Christ, when all is said and done, the International House of Prayer offers onsite Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and Codependents Anonymous meetings to those who are in bondage.[1]

All churches and organizations associated with the New Apostolic Reformation are in error–but some far more than others.

IHOP-KC has even had its own “Twelve Steps Program Leader.” [2]

The 12 Step religion is the broad way Christ warns about. According to the A.A. Big Book, which is essentially 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.” (pg.46-47) (bold and italics mine)

Christ declares the opposite:

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. (Matthew 7:13)

Equally disturbing, but less surprising, is the first thing offered to addicts on the IHOP-KC pastoral care Resource Page: Addiction & Grace, a book purporting to provide a “hopeful guide to freedom based on contemplative spirituality.”[3]

Contemplative spirituality?

According to gotquestions.org, “Contemplative spirituality is an extremely dangerous practice for any person who desires to live a biblical, God-centered life.”[4]

IHOP-KC’s pastoral support ministry, formerly called Foundations, is headed by Mike Bickle’s sister, Tracey Bickle.[5]

Pointing addicts toward contemplative spirituality is not surprising, as key  IHOP-KC leaders are deeply involved in these practices.[6] Contemplative prayer has even been listed as one of the “Core Values” of IHOP-KC, although this has since vanished from the internet.[7]

For those who do not know, contemplative prayer is not really prayer at all. It is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation disguised with Christianese terms and lingo. Eastern/New Age/contemplative teaches the person to empty the mind of thought and to enter what is known as the silence. It is here, in the silence, that spiritual deception occurs.

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Contemplative prayer can addle or alter theology. One need look no further than Bethel Redding or IHOP-KC to see the effect this can have.

While it is not surprising to see IHOP-KC promote dangerous contemplative practices (this is an old story), it is astounding to learn they are hosting 12 Step meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and many other “Anonymous” groups are part of the 12 Step belief system, a polytheistic religion where anything and everything can be defined as “god.”

A.A.’s history and theology make clear it is in opposition to the Bible.

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

That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other, (Isaiah 45:6)

In A.A. and other 12 Step groups, Christ is seen–at best–as but one “god” among many. Furthermore, with long term involvement in A.A., biblical understanding can become diluted, and Christians can subtly–and not so subtly–take  take on some of the trappings of this non-Christian belief system. Unfortunately, this has already happened to many, and is one of the  reasons why the Body of Christ is in so much trouble.

Solomon, the wisest man in the world, thought he was strong enough not to be spiritually weakened by associating with those who worshipped foreign gods. Solomon was wrong. (1 Kings 11:1-11)

The Lord warned Solomon. He also warns us–we are to come out and be separate. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

According to a long-term A.A. member in his speech to up and coming alcohol counselors, “While A.A. literature has used and continues to use the personal pronoun which describes the concept of a personal deity, a belief in this concept is by no means required. In fact, I am convinced that the greater a member’s years in A.A., the less important the nature of this Power becomes.” [8] (bold and italics mine)  This speech is now official A.A. literature and is distributed in pamphlet form.

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (Ephesians 5:11)

Please do not misunderstand: This is not about isolating from the world. We must reach out to all unsaved people, and this includes addicts. But we must not be unevenly yoked with a spirituality that declares anything at all can be worshipped as “god.”

Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

The 12 Steps were given to A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson by a familiar spirit. Wilson, portrayed as a Christian by some, was in reality given over to spiritualism for decades. (Read Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps)

Why would IHOP-KC  enter into spiritual alliance with Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step groups? Perhaps is easier to wax eloquent about fidelity to the Christ of the  Bible than it is to actually obey Him. How much of the decision making in IHOP-KC comes from time spent in contemplative prayer?

That being said, I do not question the sincerity or care and concern by IHOP-KC for Christians with sexual struggles, traumas, eating disorders, and much more.

People deserve to know that many of us are free from alcohol and other bondages because of Christ alone. We did not need an A.A. Big Book because we have the Bible, the love of our King, and the fellowship of the saints. There are biblical fellowship groups like The Most Excellent Way out there–there is no need to become involved in an anti-biblical group or spirituality.

Tracey Bickle likens all the IHOP-KC pastoral care options to a  “banqueting table.” Unfortunately, at least two of those banquet choices, contemplative and 12 step spirituality, can also be likened to poison.**

Click here to read a short online booklet about the unholy history and nature of A.A.

Source Notes:
1. http://www.ihopkc.org/foundations/12steps/

Restoration & Recovery

Twelve-Step Programs: All programs meet at IHOPKC Blue Ridge Annex Building, located at 12404 Blue Ridge Boulevard, Grandview, MO. 64030

2. http://www.ihopkc.org/foundations/about

3. http://www.ihopkc.org/foundations/resources/

Resources

4. What is contemplative spirituality? http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-spirituality.html

5. http://www.ihopkc.org/foundations/about/

Pastoral Support

6. http://mywordlikefire.com/2011/10/28/mike-bickle-of-ihop-kc-instructs-followers-on-contemplative-prayer/

7. http://mywordlikefire.com/2011/12/09/contemplative-prayer-listed-under-ihop-kc-core-values/

8. aa.org/pdf/products/p41  amemberseyeviewofaa.pdf

**There are more unhealthy approaches in the IHOP-KC pastoral support repertoire. This article does not deal with SOZO and Theophostic Prayer.

Related Information:

The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous—And Why Christians Should Think Twice About Joining A.A.

 

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree – “God Calling” Spiritually Influenced Alcoholics Anonymous

An ex-Oxford Group member named Richmond Walker, years later as an A.A. member, compiled prayers and meditations into one little book. Much of it was based on the demonic writings found in God Calling.—John Lanagan

By John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire

god-callingWarren B. Smith notes that God Calling is “the channeled book  that inspired Sarah Young to try and receive her own personal messages from Jesus.” [1] Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling is an immensely popular book, through which the contemplative “christ” continues to spread.

God Calling can be seen as the spiritual parent of Jesus Calling, but God Calling also greatly influenced Alcoholics Anonymous. This began with the Oxford Group, an ecumenical movement of the 1930s. Both A.A.’s co-founders, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, attended O.G. meetings, and Alcoholics Anonymous itself came out of the Oxford Group.

Editor’s Note: Be sure and read John Lanagan’s new Booklet Tract: The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous—And Why Christians Should Think Twice About Joining A.A.

Letter to the Editor: The Message at Celebrate Recovery Has Been Twisted – The False Teachings of 12 Steps

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

This subject has been written on my heart for several months now because I have been volunteering as a leader in [Rick Warren’s] Celebrate Recovery and involved in this program for almost three years. I have been waiting for God to lead me away from this group on His time, and this booklet track [The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous] has shed new light into this arena.  I believe God is telling me to separate and [is] trying to arm me with info to pass along to others. As a former Catholic and attender of AA and then experiencing many more years of addiction and abusive relationships with people, places, and things, I was broken. I thank God everyday for breaking me!

That brokeness led me to CR, but it didn’t take long for me to repent and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,  hallelujah! Over these past few years, my eyes of discernment have only been opened by Him. The false teachings of 12 steps mixed with God’s Truth has been the equivalent of a crystal clear glass of clean water touched with a few drops of poison; it leaventh the whole lump! While there are many godly and well-meaning people involved at the local Celebrate Recovery, the message has been twisted. They’ll say, “I don’t know anybody that doesn’t need recovery” where I often chimed in, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need Jesus.”

I am hoping you might expand the information given here to address the issues of “other 12 step programs” including the abomination of all time from the Purpose Driven movement spawn of Celebrate Recovery.

Thank you for being the light in the midst of the storm. I know spiritual deception separates families as my own aunt ________ , a nun for over 50 years, is teaching the occult and spreading the gospel of Satan through her church and artwork.  I pray the messages of Truth will continue to shine and speak even louder in this time of urgency.

 Sincerely,

Sandra (not real name)

 

 

Dr. Harry Ironside and The Berean Call ON Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous

The following is an excerpt from our latest Booklet Tract: The “Spiritual” Truth About Alcoholics Anonymous by John Lanagan. This will help to show how serious it is when Christians become involved with groups whose foundation is not Christ-centered or biblical but rather is rooted in eastern-style meditation or New Age beliefs.

WHAT DID DR. HARRY IRONSIDE and THE BEREAN CALL HAVE TO SAY?

According to the Alcoholics Anonymous website, “the origins of Alcoholics Anonymous can be traced to the Oxford Group,”1 an ecumenical movement of the 1930s. . . . Dr. H.A. Ironside warned that the Oxford Group:

. . . appeals to people who reject the inspiration of [the Bible] as well to those who profess to believe it; it appeals to people who deny the Deity of Christ as well as to those who acknowledge it; to those who deny the eternal punishment of sin as well as those who believe in it. Here in our city it is openly endorsed by the Swedenborgians and by leaders of the Unitarians, as well as by a number who belong to orthodox churches. But it is silent about the blood of Christ.2

Dr. Ironside also warned about the Oxford Group’s unholy meditation (emptying the mind) which often culminated in the practice of automatic writing:

Each one is urged in the morning to sit down quietly with the mind emptied of every thought, generally with a pencil in hand, waiting for God to say something to them. They wait and wait and wait. 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.3 (emphasis added)

This appears to have been the method A.A. co-founder (and former Oxford Group member) Bill Wilson used to receive the twelve steps. T.A. McMahon, chief editor at The Berean Call ministry, writes, “A.A.’s official biography indicates Bill Wilson received the details of the 12 Steps through spirit dictation.”4

Notes:

1. http://www.aa.org/aatimeline/timeline_h1.php?lang=_en.

2. H.A. Ironside, The Oxford Group: Is It Scriptural? (New York: Loizeauz Brothers, Publishers,1943), http://web.archive.org/web/20110424094418/http://aabibliography.com/oxford_group_is_it_scriptural_ha_ironside.html.

3. Ibid.

4. T.A. McMahon, “Where’s Your Head . . . and Your Heart?” (The Berean Call newsletter, March 1, 2002), http://www.thebereancall.org/content/wheres-your-headand-your-heart.

Click here to read this entire Booklet Tract.

 

 

NEW BOOKLET: The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous—And Why Christians Should Think Twice About Joining A.A.

The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous written by John Lanagan is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous, click here

Alcoholics-AnonymousBy John Lanagan

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. (Isaiah 42:8)

Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous may not see it this way, but in their participation of A.A., they are standing in agreement with a belief system that lifts up strange gods. In Alcoholics Anonymous, all gods are considered equal and are called “the higher power,” thus relegating Christ our King to commonality as if He were simply one nameless deity among many. Yet Scripture tells us:

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

In 1941, Jack Alexander of the Saturday Evening Post wrote the article that provided A.A. its first national publicity. Describing A.A.’s “higher power,” Alexander noted the following:

[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

Please note that Alexander’s article, with this A.A. definition of “god,” is distributed as official Alcoholics Anonymous literature.

“God” Without the Doctrine

Nearly eighty years later this salad-bar approach—design your own god—has seemingly become a cultural norm. “Spiritual” is in. “Religion” is out. Many Americans now refer to their god as a “higher power.” A.A.’s twelve-step program (along with cultural acceptance of anti-biblical meditative practices) has literally changed the spiritual direction of the country.

In The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, author Christine Wicker credits Alcoholics Anonymous with “hastening the fall of the evangelical church.”2 Wicker notes how A.A. “slowly exposed people to the notion they could get [a god] without the dogma, the doctrine, and the outdated rules. Without the church, in fact.”3

Since the twelve steps have nothing to do with Christ, neither sin nor biblical repentance is addressed. This, of course, is very appealing to the flesh. The Steps address “wrongs,” “making amends,” and “moral inventory,” but one inserts one’s own moral code within the context of these Steps. Because of these Steps, millions believe they are right with “god” and man.

Everything, it seems, has been turned upside down: Alcoholics Anonymous can supposedly help everyone, but experiencing Christ without the twelve steps can supposedly help no one. (Sobriety without A.A. will be addressed at the end of this booklet.)

When all is said and done, A.A. attendance serves to subtly condition Christians to worship with non-believers; perhaps this has been the point all along.

It is written:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-15, 17)

Obviously, we are not separating. Christians participate in A.A.’s Christ-less corporate prayers every day.

 A Spiritual Program

For decades, A.A. has been referred to as a “spiritual program,” a harmless adjunct to one’s own religious belief system. Because of this misrepresentation, most Christians are sincerely unaware that A.A. is a subtrend of the New Age.

Richard Rohr, a Catholic priest and renowned advocate for New Age type meditation practices says this of A.A.:

The spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous will go down in history as the significant and authentic contribution to the history of spirituality. It is genuinely a spirituality.4

In A.A.’s twelve step program, anything and everything—from spirits to inner divinity—can be worshiped as “god.” One of A.A.’s Big Book teachings is that God can only be found within ourselves.5 A.A.’s belief system by no means requires dealing with sin—or the Savior.

In order to comprehend the hold A.A. exerts upon people, it must be understood that two key passages in the A.A. Big Book (essentially the A.A. “bible”) are interpreted from a literal, fundamentalist perspective. Here 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.”6

The Big Book goes on to note, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”7

Despite the elasticity of the higher power, these two fundamentalist passages lock many 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.”

Irving Peter Gellman observes:

A member who suggests that A.A. is not as effective as maintained, and who implies that some improvement might be made, will be censured when broaching these ideas. The A.A. program is deemed infallible, whereas other methods are considered less than perfect.8

Christians in the program often adjust their theology. In a pastor’s office, an A.A. Christian told me straight faced that alcoholics were too angry and didn’t want to hear about Christ, so the “higher power” concept was necessary. This is simply one more repetition of what I have heard at many, many A.A. meetings.

A.A. has given us the confusion of recovery passing for sanctification, and twelve-step theology has some Christians in A.A. believing it is perfectly fine to encourage alcoholics to go ahead and make up a “god.” To help justify attendance in this non-biblical spirituality, the myth has been promulgated that most alcoholics with custom-designed higher powers will eventually come to Christ. This is simply not so. It is relatively rare but is presented as a common occurrence. This claim is one of the primary ways Christians justify A.A.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, most Christians experience a transference of faith. The twelve-step experience often becomes an idol. 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.

[A]nd them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham. (Zephaniah 1:5)

Over the past couple of decades there have been numerous U.S. lower and higher court cases where it was determined that A.A. is a religious organization.* An A.A. meeting is essentially a devotional service. The “higher power” receives praise and worship; confession is heard; testimony is given; the group invokes the Serenity Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The 12th Step instructs A.A. 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.

Lost in all this is the holiness of the God of the Bible—the God who absolutely does not want His people placing Him amongst false idols. Lost—ignored, really—is the Lord’s abhorrence of worship of false gods. Was Jeremiah mistaken? King Josiah? Do biblical passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 and Galatians 1:8-9 fail to address Alcoholics Anonymous?

 A.A.’s “All-Inclusive” God

Alcoholics Anonymous is spiritual in origin; it was created to point unbelievers away from Christ and to dilute the theology of the Christians who do attend the meetings.

A simple perusal of the A.A. Big Book demonstrates how A.A. teaching opposes Christ. The A.A. Big Book 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.”9 (emphasis added)

And yet, the Lord specifically warns against the broad way:

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. (Matthew 7:13)

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?

Hurting alcoholics who do not know the Lord also learn, through meetings and the A.A. Big Book, that they do not need Christ in order to have a relationship with God. According to the Big Book:

[A]ll of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.10

Speaking from personal experience, this is how it is presented to alcoholics in the meetings—that one can simply reach out to “god,” and there he/she/it will be. Thus have many been pointed away from the biblical God because of A.A. Without Christ, we can never have a relationship or spend eternity with God the Father.

Some Disturbing History of A.A.

How did this happen? How did Christians get so involved with Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs? Unfortunately, writers such as pro-A.A. author Dick B. have been churning out books and articles about the alleged Christian roots of A.A. and the twelve steps for years. This has influenced many.

According to the Alcoholics Anonymous website, “the origins of Alcoholics Anonymous can be traced to the Oxford Group,”11 an ecumenical movement of the 1930s. Oxford’s founder, Frank Buchman, said “he never touched any doctrine in any of his meetings, as he did not want to upset or offend anyone.”12

The great preacher Dr. H.A. Ironside warned that the Oxford Group:

. . . appeals to people who reject the inspiration of [the Bible] as well to those who profess to believe it; it appeals to people who deny the Deity of Christ as well as to those who acknowledge it; to those who deny the eternal punishment of sin as well as those who believe in it. Here in our city it is openly endorsed by the Swedenborgians and by leaders of the Unitarians, as well as by a number who belong to orthodox churches. But it is silent about the blood of Christ.13

Dr. Ironside also warned about the Oxford Group’s unholy meditation (emptying the mind) which often culminated in the practice of automatic writing:

Each one is urged in the morning to sit down quietly with the mind emptied of every thought, generally with a pencil in hand, waiting for God to say something to them. They wait and wait and wait. 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.14 (emphasis added)

This appears to have been the method A.A. co-founder (and former Oxford Group member) Bill Wilson used to receive the twelve steps. T.A. McMahon, chief editor at The Berean Call ministry, writes, “A.A.’s official biography indicates Bill Wilson received the details of the 12 Steps through spirit dictation.”15

While some insist A.A. has a Christian or biblical origin, Alcoholics Anonymous is like a pie. One can claim it is made with lemon meringue ingredients, but if tar, rat poison, and glass shards are also in the mix, is it ever really a lemon meringue pie? “[A] little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6).

The Spiritual Proclivities of A.A.’s Founders

Factors affecting A.A.’s formation must include: A.A. co-founders Bill Wilson’s and Dr. Bob Smith’s biblically forbidden spiritualism, Dr. Bob’s freemasonry, the meditative silence/spirit communication learned from the Oxford Group, and the anti-biblical teachings of William James and New Thought heretic Emmet Fox.

The A.A. co-founders attended the Oxford Group separately before they met and together during 1935, which is the official starting date of Alcoholics Anonymous. During this time, Smith and Wilson were delving deeply into biblically forbidden spiritualism, which Wilson continued to practice for decades.

Early A.A. member Tom Powers saw the A.A. co-founders firsthand as they engaged in spiritualistic practices the Lord detests. “Now, these people, Bill and Bob, believed vigorously and aggressively. They were working away at the spiritualism; it was not just a hobby.”16

There are a number of Bill Wilson’s spiritualistic experiences documented in his official A.A. biography. Wilson wrote:

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 mischievous 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.17

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

A.A. and New Thought Emmet Fox

The co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were also admirers of Emmet Fox and his heretical New Thought/New Age book, The Sermon on the Mount. This book was used in early A.A. before A.A.’s own Big Book was published. As pro-AA author Dick B. acknowledges, “[Fox’s] writings were favored by [A.A. co-founders] Bill W. and Dr. Bob.”18

Why is this significant that A.A. founders resonated with Emmet Fox? In The Sermon on the Mount, Fox teaches:

The “Plan of Salvation” which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as the Koran. There never was any such an arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all.19

Fox’s book bristles with teachings that sincere Christians would not be able to embrace at all.

According to Fox’s The Sermon on the Mount:

[In] the Bible the term “Christ” is not identical with Jesus, the individual. It is a technical term which may be briefly defined as the Absolute Spiritual Truth about anything.20

The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever.21

With regard to the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, Fox says it “was never intended by its author to be taken as history, but literal-minded people did so take it, with all sorts of absurd consequences.”22

Bob Smith has been portrayed for years as a biblical Christian. Yet, according to a woman quoted in A.A.’s official biography of Dr. Bob, “The first thing [Dr. Bob] did was get me Emmet Fox’s The Sermon on the Mount.”23 A Bible-believing Christian would never place such heresy in a hurting alcoholic’s hands.

Like the Gnostics, Emmet Fox was a purveyor of special secret knowledge. He writes:

Wonderful as the “outer” Bible is, it is far less than one percent of the “inner” Bible—the Bible that is hidden behind the symbols. If you have been reading the Bible without the spiritual interpretation, you have not found the real message of the Bible, for that lies below the surface.24

Fox’s influence should always be considered when one hears of references to the Bible in early AA. People assume, logically enough, that if the co-founders were mentioning the Word of God, this must mean they were Christians. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith probably viewed the Bible along the lines of Fox’s esoteric spiritual wisdom rather than believing it to be the literal Word of God. One cannot, after all, promote anti-biblical heresy and simultaneously believe and obey the Word of God.

As you can see, Alcoholics Anonymous has anything but a fundamental biblical or Christian origin. Spiritualism, New Thought, and contemplative prayer (meditation) are three factors that must be acknowledged.

Spiritually Deceptive Meditation Practices

As previously noted, A.A.’s twelve-step program (along with anti-biblical meditative practices) has literally changed the spiritual direction of the country.

What is meant by the term anti-biblical meditative practices? This refers to Eastern and New Age meditation but also to contemplative prayer, which is New Age meditation disguised with “Christianese” terminology.

In true biblical meditation, the mind remains active. We ponder, we consider, and think about the Scripture we have read. This can be a wonderful and profound time with the holy God.

This is not so with Eastern/New Age/contemplative. Here the object is to stop active thought, often by repeating a word or phrase over and over. When thought is stilled, the person enters what is known as the silence, and it is here that incredible spiritual deception can occur. This can affect and even determine one’s theology, a frightening thing considering all the “Christian contemplative” activity in churches these days.

These practices are rampant throughout our culture. The potential—and actuality—toward such spiritually deceptive meditation exists within A.A.’s Step 11:

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

“Meditation is something that can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height,” wrote A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson.25

Wilson believed:

The actual experience of meditation and prayer across the centuries is, of course, immense. The world’s libraries and places of worship are a treasure trove for all seekers.26

In other words, Wilson was open to meditative knowledge wherever it could be found—whether in Hinduism, Buddhism, distant libraries, the local Catholic church, or anywhere else.

This is an overall belief in twelve-step theology—there are absolutely no boundaries when it comes to defining the “higher power.”

This undefined “God” is meant, of course, to help. Tormented people, in the grasp of some overwhelming bondage, enter a twelve-step group and are told they must turn to a higher power. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, they are told, but it is crucial you believe in something.

So they do. They choose a spirit, perhaps, or a self-designed deity, or decide to worship the universe, or St. Jerome, or virtually anything else. But they surely reach out to something.

Then, when they reach Step 11, they seek through prayer and meditation even deeper communion with whatever idol–or entity–they have invited into their lives. As instructed, they ask for knowledge—what does the deity want them to do? They ask for power—and some enter the silence.

The revered Bill Wilson encouraged people to meditate. He stated, “Meditation is our step out into the sun.”27

Historically, around the world, much has been experienced in the meditative silence: bliss, spirit-guides, a higher self, oneness. And there have been false christs, wrapped in shining deception, communicating instructions and “wisdom” to some.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

One God Among Many “Higher Powers”?

When it comes to A.A.’s “Christian” roots, God’s people have been—to use a technical term—snookered.

Scripture is clear. We were never meant to be part of an all-gods religion. It is not “legalism” to point out that the Lord will absolutely not be seen as one higher power among many. It is not “legalistic” to state that His people are absolutely to remain separate from non-Christian spirituality. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Galatians 1:8-9, Isaiah 42:8, 1 John 4:1-3, 2 John 9-11, Matthew 10:32-36, 1 John 2:23, John 14:6)

We should no more participate in A.A. because of alcohol addiction than we should attend the Mormon church to get help with family issues.

Bluntly stated, many Christians have ended up with more faith in the power of the twelve-step program than in Jesus Christ. We have disobeyed the Scriptures, and we are bearing the consequences.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

What, then, is a Christian to do? Bondage to alcohol is no light thing. It is important to understand that drunkards were set free in the early days of the church (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11). The power of Christ is just as available to us today.

A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson came to understand that many alcoholics—those who truly wanted to quit drinking—could not be helped by Alcoholics Anonymous. Wilson spent many years looking for effective alternatives,28 but alcoholics in A.A. meetings are never informed about this.

An article in Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education notes the following:

Cochrane Database conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of AA and other Twelve-Step programs (labeled Twelve Step Facilitation or TSF). Eight studies were included in the review, and, of these, three evaluated AA programs. The conclusions of this review were that “no experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problem.” (Ferri, Amato, & Davoli, 2006)”29 (emphasis added)

People have the right to know A.A.’s success rate is limited. The body of Christ has the right to know that sending people into A.A. violates Scripture, points unbelievers away from Christ, and waters down essential theology of the Christian faith.

There are powerful Christian options such as Teen Challenge and the online ministry, Setting Captives Free. There is another totally biblical approach called The Most Excellent Way founded by a husband and wife who were alcoholics. They left A.A. and sought the Lord over how to help others.

Churches that allow the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives will see people freed from addiction (bondage to sin). My church has fellowship once a week for those who are struggling. We already have the weapons to fight: the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we are born again into Jesus Christ, prayer, and His Word. In fact, the Bible tells us we have armor that we can wear when battling against the flesh, sin, and the works of darkness.

Therefore . . . let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, emphasis added)

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil . . . Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:11, 16)

We look to the Bible to understand the sheer power of God: His holiness, His love, and His grace and mercy.

We do not downplay His hatred of sin. We rejoice in His faithfulness.
Nor do we overlook simple common sense—but we start first with His Word and go from there.

The Word of God will pierce even the hardest heart. It is time to stop relying on Alcoholics Anonymous and obscure “higher powers,” and on mystical meditative practices, and start depending—truly depending—on the supremacy of Jesus Christ.

. . . That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. (Ephesians 3:16-17)

To order copies of The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous, click here. 

Editor’s Note:

The editors of Lighthouse Trails and John Lanagan are in no way minimizing the importance of those with addictive behaviors in getting help. But what we advocate and encourage is Christ-centered help (based on the Word of God). Two places that offer this (and there are others) are:

The Most Excellent Way—http://www.tmewcf.org.

Teen Challenge—http://teenchallengeusa.com.

* I have documented several of these cases on my website at: http://mywordlikefire.com/2014/06/12/alcoholics-anonymous-narcotics-anonymous-established-as-religious-in-court-cases.

Endnotes:
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; http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=472.
2. Christine Wicker, The Fall of the Evangelical Nation (Harper-Collins Publishers, 2008) pp. 133-138.
3. Ibid.
4. http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/days/features.php?id=15677.
5. Alcoholics Anonymous (nicknamed the Big Book) published by A.A. World Services, Inc., 1939), p. 55.
6. Ibid., p. 58.
7. Ibid., p. 58.
8. Irving Peter Gellman, The Sober Alcoholic (College and University Press, 1964), p. 121.
9. Alcoholics Anonymous, op. cit., pp. 46-47.
10. Ibid., p. 28.
11. http://www.aa.org/aatimeline/timeline_h1.php?lang=_en.
12. William C. Irvine, Heresies Exposed (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., 1921), p. 54.
13. H.A. Ironside, The Oxford Group: Is It Scriptural? (New York: Loizeauz Brothers, Publishers,1943), http://web.archive.org/web/20110424094418/http://aabibliography.com/oxford_group_is_it_scriptural_ha_ironside.html.
14. Ibid.
15. T.A. McMahon, “Where’s Your Head . . . and Your Heart?” (The Berean Call newsletter, March 1, 2002), http://www.thebereancall.org/content/wheres-your-headand-your-heart.
16. Pass It On: The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984), p. 280.
17. Ibid., p. 278.
18. Alcoholics Anonymous History, Dick B.’s Early A.A. Resources, http://silkworth.net/dickb/earlyresources.html.
19. Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount (HarperCollins, 1934), pp. 4-5.
20. Ibid., p. 124.
21. Ibid., p. 3.
22. Ibid., p. 13.
23. Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.), p. 310.
24. Herman Wolhorn, Emmet Fox’s Golden Keys To Successful Living (Harper & Row, 1977), p. 59.
25. Bill Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1953), p. 101.
26. Ibid., p. 98.
27. Ibid.
28. Pass It On, op. cit., p. 370.
29. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, December 2010, http://www.questia.com/library/p572/journal-of-alcohol-drug-education.

John Lanagan is a researcher and writer whom the Lord has rescued from alcohol addiction. He resides with his wife in the Great Northwest and his primary subject is the anti-biblical origin and nature of Alcoholics Anonymous. You can visit him on the web at: http://mywordlikefire.com.

To order copies of The “Spiritual” Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous, click here. 

Why the bad attitude about Alcoholics Anonymous?

LTRP Note: John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire Ministries has been writing about his concerns with Alcoholics Anonymous for some time. The following post is his response to those who don’t understand why he focuses so much time on AA and its roots.

By John Langan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

Another reader is puzzled why all this is written about A.A.  We are also right on the verge of the No, really, A.A. really, really has Christian roots Conference (as I call it). Here is a response, which I gave to a reader who wondered why there is so much about A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson:

Hath a nation changed [their] gods, which [are] yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for [that which] doth not profit. (Jeremiah 2:11)

“You pay far more attention to Bill W. than all of AA put together. Do you think people worship him? Most know he had some issues, but also that he was only a co-founder, and since AA has no leadership structure, really he was just one individual member. So why do you think that so much of AA hinges on one man? I can understand your opposition to false religions, but since I have a religion (Christianity) and it is not AA (even though I am a member), I’m confused on several of your blogs, there is a lot of false teaching in what you are saying. Are you basing your opinion’s on some bad experiences? How many different groups have you been to and how many different states? You do realize that groups differ as much as different churches and denominations, that claim to be following the Bible?”

My Word Like Fire’s reply:

Thanks for the civility. I want to start with your statement, “there is a lot of false teaching in what you are saying.” Actually, with all the angry letters etc., no one has ever been able to show that any of my facts are in error. Thus the responses tend to be of a more personal nature, or lean towards accusations of legalism.

 

Brian McLaren:12 Step groups may help us escape Bible

by John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire

In his book, A New Kind of Christianity, Emergent leader Brian McLaren attacks Biblical understanding, and tries to revise both God and the Bible. In his chapter on reinterpreting God’s Word, he  notes, “Even for those of us on this quest, breaking out of centuries-old habits won’t be easy…”[1]

In the same paragraph, McLaren makes an interesting statement. “No wonder those of us who want and need to change our approach may need to form twelve-step groups to deprogram our thinking.”[2] (Bold Mine)

Wait a minute. 12 Steps groups to help people reject the Bible as the literal Word of God?

Is this shocking? Hardly. McLaren knows this has already happened–and is continuing to happen–through both Christian and cultural acceptance of 12 Step spirituality. Unlike numerous Bible-believing pastors who allow 12 Step groups to meet in their churches, the Emergent leaders are clearly aware of what AA and other 12 Step groups have brought about.

McLaren wrote the foreword to A Heretic’s Guide To Eternity. In this book, Emergent authors Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor write, “As Phyllis Tickle [another Emergent leader] has noted, the development of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) probably did as much as other, more celebrated events to undermine our concept of religion. Emerging in the late 1930s, AA made it acceptable to talk about a generic God–a ‘higher power.’”[3] (Bold mine)

Burke and Taylor further note what has resulted from this: “Consequently, a generation of people began speaking about God in new ways not previously sanctioned by the consensual illusion–and traditional religious perspectives began to change as a result.”[4] (Bold mine)

Due to acceptance of the chameleon nature of AA’s “higher power,” our culture has been put at ease with custom-made gods and even with blended belief systems. Undeniably, Biblical Christianity has been greatly weakened.

This has always been the objective of the spiritual forces that created AA.[5] (Ephesians 6:12)

Yes, but what about the people helped by Alcoholics Anonymous? We should be grateful for the estimated five percent of alcoholics who do gain sobriety through AA. Yet, in terms of alcoholism, this success is in public relations and publicity rather than treatment effectiveness. Herein lies a real tragedy, because most believe only AA can help. Many who have quit drinking in another manner have been called “dry drunks” (not really sober) by AA members. This can be extremely hurtful.

AA’s teachings can also be terrifying. There are Christians in AA who fear to leave because they believe they will relapse unless AA and the 12 Steps are involved. And so, out of fear, they disobey Scripture, or rationalize reasons for remaining. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Galatians 1: 6-9, Amos 3:3)  For others, AA has become an idol. For these people, it is more important to defend AA than to acknowledge what the Scriptures command.

In his book, The Sober Alcoholic, Irving Peter Gellman observes, “A member who suggests that AA is not as effective as maintained, and who implies that some improvement might be made, will be censured when broaching these ideas. The AA program is deemed infallible, whereas other methods are deemed less than perfect.”[6] (Bold mine.)

Like many in the Emergent and Contemplative movements, many–perhaps most– in AA who call Christ their “higher power” do not worship the Biblical Christ at all. This is not intended to offend those in 12 Step spirituality who do worship the God of the Bible, but true Christians desperately need to understand this. The 12 Steps are not our friend. Truly, Emergent, Contemplative and 12 Step spirituality are blending. Homospirituality grows daily as a religious force, and may ultimately merge with the other three systems.

As others have pointed out, wherever one finds the Emergent movement, there will also be found Contemplative Spirituality. Perhaps this will also be said of 12 Step spirituality in the near future. AA’s eleventh step states: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out.”

Considering that AA’s Step Three allows the addict to make up, customize, or borrow any “god” that holds appeal, the act of opening oneself further through Step Eleven meditation can have very real spiritual consequences.

The contemplative roots of AA can be traced back to Frank Buchman and the Oxford Group.[7] Today these roots are being watered by many meditative and contemplative advocates.[8]

Brian McLaren calls himself a “contemplative/reflexive.”[9] While we must continue to expose the apostasy of Emergents such as McLaren, Spencer Burke, and Phyllis Tickle, it is time we listen to their unintended warning about the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Endnotes:

1.  Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity, pg.85-86

2. Ibid., pg. 86

3. Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor, A Heretics Guide To Eternity, pg. 34-35, foreword by Brian McClaren.

4. Ibid.

5. Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps: http://mywordlikefire.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/seances-spirits-and-12-steps/

6. Irving Peter Gellman, The Sober Alcoholic

7. Alcoholics Anonymous and Contemplative Spirituality: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1196

8. 12 Step Outreach: http://cp12stepoutreach.org/ 11th Step Meditation Newsletter http://www.11thstepmeditation.org/11th_step_meetings/overview.htm

9. Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity, pg.226.

 

Related Articles:

Alcoholics Anonymous and Contemplative Spirituality


Lighthouse Trails RSS Feed
**SHOP FOR BOOKS/DVDS**

SEARCH ENTIRE SITE
Categories
Calendar
November 2017
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
Archives
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons