Christian Humor/Christianity and AA
QUESTION: I'm curious as to your thoughts on the "teachings" of Alcoholics Anonymous compared with Christianity. Clearly there are similarities in terms of the Big Book and the Bible and various rituals. Any insights?
ANSWER: I have never been to an AA meeting, so I am no qualified to say much about it. Christianity is a religion that apparently didn't arise until after 90 AD, when the authors of the Bible had passed on and, it should never be compared with Jesus.
The basic message of Jesus and the New Testament, as far as I understand, is that unlike religion, Jesus came to make us more free, not less free. Sin is what keeps literal slaves from being free and, both our own sins and the sins of other people keep every man, woman and child on earth from being as free as we would like to be.
Freedom is about being free both inside and outside and, from my own experience, we cannot make ourselves free, especially inside where it matters most. Unlike Christianity, religion, philosophies and self-help programs, which cannot help us, God can help us, which is what the "good news" message of Jesus is all about.
Thus, I recommend to anyone, whether they have an addiction problem or any other problems, that they ask Jesus to help them, rather than rely on what can't save us from our sins and make us free.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Richard, Thanks for your reply. You should at least read the 12-steps of the AA program as they address the concept of needing God to help us, and not relying on ourselves. You should also see the movie "Flight" to get a perspective on the meaning of freedom.
I wish you luck but am concerned that you can make blanket statements about self-help programs without knowing anything about them.
Religion makes life too hard and complicated and, so do self-help programs. I don't believe there are 12 steps to what can help us. It is helpful to be with people and discuss and share our problems, rather than trying to make it on our own, so there is probably some benefit gained by going to AA meetings, because there are other people there with similar problems and, support from a group of people can be helpful. I'm not being critical of people who want to be sober but rather, I don't believe we can save ourselves, nor do I believe there is a 12 step or any other self-help program that can help us. If you consider who God is, why would God need a religion or 12-step program?
And by the way, I did see the move "Flight". There is far more to freedom than meets the casual eye. Freedom is not just about what we can do, it is also about what we don't have to do, can freely pick and choose to do or not to do and, what we can put off for now until it is easier later on. One could write many pages about freedom and not come to the end and, freedom is something we learn about as we go, one day at a time; "for by grace we are saved".
The New Testament is about God's forgiveness and free salvation, which I think is far better and easier than any religion or self-help program. I don't understand everything about God's forgiveness, but I don't believe anybody else does either, which is why I think the term "grace" is splashed all over the New Testament, representing what is not fully understood; for now we see "in part". As far as I understand, forgiveness means everything and that is why Jesus died. There is forgiveness and power to be free in Jesus, there is no power to be free in religion or any 12-step or other program.