Filed under: faith, Reaction | Tags: A.A., addiction, Alchoholics Anonymous, worship style
My family and I have done some traveling through the Christian wilds of northeastern Pa. There was a span of time where we visited quite a few different churches bringing the gospel message and singing blue grass and Southern gospel music. The kids were never overly impressed with any of the church families . Now, I will grant you , my girls are a rough crowd. They are very critical of “Holier than thou” and have a built in hypocrisy meter that goes off with great sensitivity. [ I just can't imagine where they get it.]
Often times we would drive home with me being the apologist for the group we had just left. Usually the conversation revolved around one or two of the group who exhibited highly judgemental behavior, or in some other way played the ‘competitive Christianity’ game and managed to offend my young daughters in some fashion. In reality, it is not hard to offend young girls, they are sensitive to even implied abuse. I am not really sure the oldest girl ever healed from this duty fully, as she still thinks 99.9% of all the Christians she meets are worthy of her disdain. We are working on it.
When the youngest daughter came in last night and announced she had discovered a group filled with humble hearts, seeking God, changing lives, and showing the way to Christ I was honestly surprised! Far more common would be here coming home saying, “You will not believe what I just experienced, and they call it a church!” Last night she was energized in prayer, rejoicing over changed lives, humbled by broken spirits, and warmed by love of others in this group and their love of a living God who is active in their lives.
Last night my daughter attended on open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Filed under: Jesus, Uncategorized | Tags: addiction, Alcoholics Anonymos, church, Critical christians, love, pastor
There are times I would like to secede from the flock called Christian. Perhaps I could be known as a Jesusian, or a Yeshudist. It could be a genetic thing,
I do come from a long line of protestants, the people who have 1st Welsh Baptist, 2nd Welsh Baptist and Plain Old Baptist churches on corners of the same street, attended by relatives, some of whom still speak to each other. It could also be shame that motivates my desire for distance.
There is a segment of the church that shares all of my main theology. They and I could say the same creeds, read many of the same books, admire the same martyrs, sing the same hymns and serve the same Lord. You would think that these brothers and sisters and I would share the same ‘world view’ having very little variation in opinion or behavior. You would think. I do not mean the Phelps contingent, or snake dancers, or the Toronto blessing gang, they get written off as the crazy cousins with unfortunate tendencies that everybody hopes miss the reunion. I am talking about people who are just wrong, way wrong, and claim the rightness of God.
The spotlight falls today on that group of the righteous that hate Alcoholics Anonymous. They are not just critical, all groups and individuals could use some criticism, and AA is certainly not above criticism, these people are haters. I really never thought anyone could hate AA. Any group dedicated to getting people sober must have some redeeming qualities, but not to this group of Critictians, [my new word, they are a lot like Christians on the outside, but filled with a hollowness where the love is supposed to go] who go so far as to declare that a demon dictated the twelve steps.
There is a great way to reach out to a newly sober seeker! Tell her that the group that taught her a way to stay sober, and upon which she is leaning for support was started by the devil. I won’t put up a link to such nonsense, but a quick google will get you to all kind of sights like that. Do they have a picture, or a recording of said demon at work? No. They have inferred this because A A does not preach the Gospel in a way that they approve . It does not matter that A A does not preach the Gospel at all, the fact is that A A mentions God, and these people have the copy-write on all that is godly.
It would do my heart good to see these people apply the same standards in all of the different facets of their lives. If they were off the coast on a cruise in a storm, floundering, and the Coast Guard shows up to help they should say,”Away with you,you are not a Christian organization , God will save us!” It should not matter to them that the Coast Guard is not designed to preach the Gospel but to save lives, or even that some Coast Guard personnel are certainly good Christians, no, a blanket condemnation is in order.
If, God forbid, their home was to catch fire, do not send the fire department. Some of the firefighters are agnostic, [few], there may be an atheist with them, but almost certainly some will have a St. Florian medal, as they are good Catholics. “Away , go away let it burn, you pray to a saint, not to God through Jesus, leave you follower of the whore of Babylon!” It should not matter that the fire department exists to save lives and protect property, not spread the gospel, or that some of the members are fine Christians, they should be condemned!
Alcoholics Anonymous is not a Christian organization. It was not designed to spread the Gospel, it was designed to spread sobriety. It is in the same category as the Coast Guard or the Fire Department, a life saving service comprised of good, dedicated people of purpose. If I am in danger on the water or in a fire I will accept help from a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or Jane. I will them thank Jesus for their help and pray for their soul.
I wonder if the Critictians are willing to get up at 3 am. and go to a bar to get someone who has fallen, bring them home, watch them puke and love them the next day. It is easier to call the drunk a sinner and move away. It is no wonder why there are so few Baptists with overt drinking problems, we throw them out. A A provides a useful service, 24/7 world wide. Many in my church go to meetings. They know A A is not perfect, but then again neither is my church.
Thank God I am not an alcoholic! How horrible it must be to be compelled to drink, knowing full well the pain it will cause to self and loved ones! I am also not a T-totaler either, although I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a drink. I don’t drink because it just doesn’t fit into my life often, not because of moral conviction. I may have a beer this summer, but I thank God that many in my church will not, because one drink opens a floodgate for the alchoholic.
I am working on a guide to assist Pastors and Lay Leaders to work with people in recovery in AA. These people need a Savior! Telling them the life raft they cling to was made by Satan is not part of the program. Critictians make it impossible to bear witness to the Gospel of Christ by their very nature of condemnation. Please let me know your thoughts on AA, your concerns, your experiences.
John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Are we here to condemn? Or to spread the news of His Salvation!