My name is Kevin I am in the Charlotte NC area recently left AA after the Matt Slick talk show was speaking of how its a cult and directed me to your website. How I didn't see this before is amazing. I am looking for other people maybe in my area....lost my support group one thing about AA that is...well convenient...first I sold my soul to drink and drug then I sold it for sobriety. Everything you have said makes perfect sense...I have abused alcohol...drugs mostly cocaine...gambling porn and food...5 habitual sins that kept me in bondage...after I stopped drinking could not get away from porn and gained weight thanks to the sugar feast available at my home group. I Just left a relationship that I started in the program...Got saved through Faith in Jesus Christ April thanks to my roommate. I started praying to Jesus but had this feeling that something was not right...looking around at the hate of that "higher power" in the groups. My Sponsor must have been sent by God..an unsaved angry man who died 5 months ago literally due to anger...was very argumentative when he saw what he considered not AA behavior...had a blowout...got kicked out of his home group...the last meeting I saw him at he called the group a bunch of hypocrites because we were supposed to be non religious but recite the Our Father prayer...then stormed out of the room started arguing in the parking lot the next day he died...the reason I say he was sent by God was because he told me this was not a Christian program...told me I was in a cult....we would make jokes...and really did not like Bill Wilson at all as he called him an egomaniac....a womanizing hypocrite...and "The most famous anonymous person of all time". Also told me to research the history of it...that is where it really gets scary...also the similarity with Aleister Crowley and the AA coin and his group named AA also...powerlessness and all that nonsense. Then the fact that the Oxford Group and Frank Buchman and that cult being the basis for the cult of AA. Occult, masonic like practices of seances, conjuring the dead and Ouija boards and his "burning bush" moment in the hospital 1934 where he "saw god" who appears on command for old Bill while going through DTs under the Belladonna treatment full of a cocktail of various drugs and barbiturates...and high levels of mercury. Also love how people who suffer from "terminal uniqueness' have to get with the program, we are all garden variety drunks....that statement REEKS of hypocrisy in that we all all sinners...and need Jesus...but don't think you are Unique in AA newcomer...hello you are in a satanic cult that has a whole program for one sin...so you can separate yourself because other people don't understand...and a 12 step program for every sin known to man...so if I get a coin for time abstaining from alcohol....then shouldn't I get coins for lengths of time I didn't commit other sins...please give my lifetime coin for not murdering please...I need my 3 month coin for not fornicating...and on and on. To say it is a disease is a complete insult to someone who has a real disease like cancer. If God sets you free you are free indeed, He does not wish that you identify yourself by or obsess over past behaviors you may have long since changed, those sins were paid for a long time ago. Well looking forward to hearing from you soon...thanks and my God continue to bless your ministry...the real GOD that is...not a doorknob
It was for freedom that Christ set us free – Galatians 5:1
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. - John 8:36
By John Andrew Kiser,
I am a sinner of sinners, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and born again - a former addict and alcoholic, and all things heathen. Guilty as charged according to the scriptures - "but God"! Now Being born anew, freed by faith , I no longer have need, nor do I have a desire to hold on to the old ways, and vain attempts of saving or preserving my self in the midst of trouble, by keeping track of and holding dear to me things like fruitless resolutions and Sobriety dates. I no longer go to meetings that I would formally go to, gathering tokens or key chains,or vain bravos of hand claps, and not so reassuring slaps on the back commending me for lengths of time of relative good behavior that is otherwise expected from man in this world without reward or trophy.
These insignificant milestones that were once attainable by short bursts of grit and will, and a little half measure of accountability to others, running the same treadmill of hopeless un-recovery and of a hell damming vain self will! For I was blind and now I see, and all of those things are at best, idolatry for me or any other blood bought son of God. I don't have to stand now and declare defeat in this life with no hope of victory over my besetting sins and iniquities. I am free - completely and totally. In fact, it is quite to the contrary, because I'm now commanded to go and sin no more. Likewise, as redeemed and reconciled by God, to God, and for God I know now the truth - that I am never required to identify myself as anything other than who my father in heaven says that I am. Certainly not as my old self or an addict or alcoholic, for it would be sinful for me to do so after being freed from the pit of destruction by my savior Jesus Christ for his good purpose.
Four years ago God broke me. Tearing me down, causing me to be born again according to his purpose, building me back up anew from nothing and continues to do so to this day. He brought me to a place in my life, a place finally void and without pride, strength, or confidence in my natural self, so that he could be about the business of laying a new firmer foundation. A foundation to be built upon the rock - his son Jesus Christ. A foundation withstanding for me to be the man he created me to be - a servant of his, a herald of good news and of things to come according to the word. Like all saints born again, ministers of reconciliation. To be a husband and father, head of a household, a priest, prophet and king to his house, who provides and stands watch at his door. To have a new spirit, and a new heart and mind, powerful and confident, full of compassion, humble and wearing humility as a virtue and still vulnerable to temptations of anger, unbelief and impatience.
God these days, being a loving father as he is to me and an innumerable many, has me minding evermore of my increasingly renewed mind, for the most part by a grace given by him to me of an unfeigned love for the poor, addicted, and struggling, of the lost and the hurting standing on the outside of the house of God as well as those saints struggling on the inside. I stand today a man that has stumbled, a man that has fallen, but time and time again my God has picked me up through means of grace, a Godly wife whom he gave to me, and his church and its servants.
I have had great victories and terrible setbacks, but all the while he has never left me nor forsaken me and he has made good on his promise that sin shall no longer have dominion over me. This change in me that is nothing short of miraculous, as it is in every conversion a miracle being on par with the creation of the world, wrought by the grace of God, did not come from following a pragmatic program, or 12 steps of man in church or outside of church, nor in fellowship halls or smoked filled spaces serving bad coffee that I willingly and desperately though in vain subjected myself to and was encouraged unto by a world of well-meaning people, family and magistrates for 20 years, but came only by one source - the grace of God, and it involved this in its fullness of time; prayers for me from faithful saints, a miracle of regeneration of a cold dead heart, and ultimately involved only two steps commanded by God in the holy Scriptures - repent and believe!
You see God ordains all things that come to pass, he is sovereign, but he also ordains the ways and means through which his saving purposes are accomplished though man is responsible. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Thank you to Anthony for sharing his powerful story of how the Holy Spirit opened his eyes to the truth of what Alcoholics Anonymous really is and setting him free from it's clutches.
My journey in AA started when I was in the college group at my church. Another member at church attended NA meetings and at their suggestion I started attending AA meetings out of a desperate desire not to go back to drinking again. Even though I initially had concerns about their views of God and that alcoholism was some sort of disease or allergy, the people there seemed to genuinely care about helping me stay sober and would go out of their way to help me. A lot of what they had to say seemed to be pretty practical, something I didn't think anyone at church would understand or be able to provide.
My experience with AA was generally a positive one. I got a sponsor, went through the 12 steps, sponsored others, shared in meetings and even organized new groups which were “solution based". My life improved. I developed better social skills and I gained a lot of confidence I didn't previously have. I got married and had a very nice job. My thinking was less fixated on myself and more towards others. I was one of the "Big Book Thumper" types. I stuck to the "first 164 pages" and didn't get into any of the "advanced AA” stuff as some of them would say. I was told that this was the best way to stay sober and not become a "dry drunk" and I was wary of anyone who used the 12 and 12 as someone who advocated a diluted message of AA. So I stuck with it and vigorously worked the 12 steps for the better part of 6 years.
Early into my venture with AA, the nagging of my conscience was much more pronounced. I was particularly concerned about AA’s teaching that you could come to God as you understood him and that it seemed to promote the idea that anyone could have a right relationship with God regardless of their standing with Christ. I can remember on one occasion sitting on the floor in my room praying and crying out of fear I was somehow betraying Christ, but everyone around me kept telling me I wasn’t. My sponsor, who professed Christ, assured me that I wasn’t by staying with AA. I talked to two pastors at my church about my concerns and neither definitively said that I would be involved in anything dangerous or contrary to scripture. Neither of them had any direct knowledge of AA, only what they heard from others and I was encouraged to stick with it. This eased my conscience somewhat so I continued on thinking there must be some answer to my concerns that I couldn't really figure out. Additionally, my sponsor constantly reminded me not to think too hard about things or else I may drink. He said the AA program was one of action, not one of hard thinking. I reasoned that since I was staying sober and my life was improving that I must have been doing something right. My fear of drinking again, and knowing my tendency to become unhealthily fixated on things, kept me from trying to resolve what I felt were contradictions between my professed faith in Christ and AA. I was also told that the founders of AA were Christians who just wanted to help as many people as possible, which I reasoned was a noble thing to desire so it must be good. I was even told that AA was really like “the Bible for dummies” because it was simple and focused on practical applications and results. It was easy for me to see many of the parallels between the Bible and AA, so maybe what I was hearing was right after all. It was likewise hard for me to deny that other people who clearly didn’t know Christ were staying sober through the program, and AA taught that it was their relationship with God that was the cause.
The first thing which really started my path out of AA was the birth of my first son. I met my wife in AA and we were both very much committed to AA at the time. We had even made a point to attend an AA meeting while on our honeymoon. However, with my sons birth a bible verse kept coming up in my mind that I knew I needed to take seriously. The verse is Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” I began asking myself, how do I teach my son that there is one way to God through Jesus, and that there is no other way, but yet at the same time tell him that I go to these meetings and tell people that they can come to any god they choose and they will stay sober? The whole thing felt extremely hypocritical of me and that was the first thing that really bothered me enough to make me seriously question whether or not I should continue in AA. I wondered why would my son be inclined to be believe in the one who is the Truth, the Way and the Life if I was simultaneously telling others that they didn’t really need him? I had an unshakeable desire to teach my son Biblical truth and I knew that if being in AA was wrong, then I would be guilty of leading my own children away from God. This nagging at the conscience was the small beginning of an almost two year search for answers that ultimately led me out of AA.
The most pivotal in my turning away from AA was during a meeting. I can’t remember exactly what the topic was, but a man I had never seen before began talking about the cross and forgiveness. He said that when he sins he knows that they are all “nailed to the cross” so to speak. As I listened to him share, I became angry. Why in the world was this guy talking about Jesus and religion so blatantly in an AA meeting? Didn’t he know that talk of Jesus scared drunks away and that people may die because they’ll turn away from hearing the “solution” in AA? Before he was finished sharing I knew there was something seriously wrong, and it almost hit me like a ton of bricks. Did I actually just get angry because someone talked about Jesus to a group of desperately sinful people who need him? Did I really just get mad at the idea of the gospel competing with AA? Was I really buying into the idea that “god as you understand him” was just a stepping stone to the real God? God’s word teaches that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). This means that no false god should ever at any time be a mediator, or a stepping stone if you will, between us and God. It is directly through Jesus and Jesus alone that we come to Him.
As I immersed myself in the God's word, I began to realize that AA is not as neutral to the Christian faith as it claims. In fact makes it’s own claims about God and those claims actually do oppose the Christian faith. If AA stated that people of any faith could join and didn't present it's own views of God or teach it's own spiritual doctrines, that would be one thing. However, this is not what you find there. AA doctrine may claim not to oppose anyone, but since it states that anyone of any faith can join AND to then goes on to declare that you can come to God however you understand him and goes further into it's own spiritual doctrines and instruction on how to have a relationship with God. I realized this sort of misleading double-talk amounts to an opposition against Christian doctrine on a fundamental level. At this point I began to question a whole host of other things I learned in AA such as the supposed powerlessness over the first drink, meditation practices of the 11th step, the alcoholics purpose in life, the constant identification of myself with my sin, the constant and exhausting inventory of “character defects”, etc. I went through nearly two years of real spiritual struggle because I simply could not shake this idea that something was wrong with me being in AA. No amount of rationalization could keep it down.
My initial approach during all of this was to just stop teaching people that you can believe whatever god you want. I thought I could just teach them about Jesus and stop teaching all the things I didn’t agree with. I decided I would continue to participate in meetings and try to treat AA as a mission field. I did this for some time, but my list of AA doctrines I could no longer teach out of a clear conscience slowly began to grow as my understanding of God’s word began to grow. With every AA doctrine I found at odds with the bible, I felt the walls closing in and the door closing on my ability to be involved with AA. Furthermore, I discovered the claim that the AA founders were Christian proved to be totally false since they were essentially heretics involved in immoral behavior and occult practices. Harry Emerson Fosdick, referenced in the big book, was a false teacher and herald of theological liberalism that undermined biblical Christianity. On a more personal level, some of my closest AA friends who I thought were Christians actually turned out to to be heretics with cult beliefs. Then I discovered that Bill Wilson penned the words of the big book while being either directly or indirectly influenced by demonic spirits through his occult practices. With all of this I found it extremely difficult to share and participate in meetings without somehow violating God’s word.
As my biblical convictions grew, I started to become more vocal about my concerns to my wife. I questioned whether or not I was just looking for a way out so I could go drink again. We were both afraid of what this could lead to, because as they say in AA, “alcohol is a subtle foe.” Despite my fears, 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 had a profound impact on me when I understood that my involvement in AA was essentially joining Christ with Belial. Sure, I was staying sober, but at what cost? I already knew that my thinking was being more and more influenced by false AA doctrine than the bible. I became convinced that in AA I was gaining the world (sobriety) at the risk of losing my soul (Matthew 16:26). I eventually came to the conclusion that I had to leave. For me to stay would be a blending of AA and Christianity, which amounted to nothing more than idolatrous syncretism. Was I breaking my loyalty to the people in AA who had helped me stay sober all those years? Yes, I was. But loyalty to Christ supersedes any loyalty to anyone in AA or AA itself.
Although I know there are exceptions, I was generally liked and respected by the other members in the meetings I attended. Everyone's experience in AA is different and not everyone approaches the 12 steps the way that I did. Yet I mention all these things hoping that others who had a similar experience would know that my decision to leave AA wasn't because I couldn't stay sober or wasn't working the 12 steps. Neither was it because of some falling out I had with anyone there. It wasn't out of a subtle desire to just get away from people to whom I was accountable so that I could drink again. What I experienced was a constant nagging at my conscience that something wasn’t right between my Christian faith and AA beliefs and practices. Looking back, I believe this was the Holy Spirit working in me to bring me out of the organization.
After I left AA it took some time to unlearn all the false doctrine I picked up over the years there. It seemed like almost daily I was finding something in God’s word which exposed another AA doctrine as a lie. During this time it was almost as if I went through a spiritual shock and I missed having so many different people to see and hang out with at meetings. My wife was concerned because my attitude and behavior were not what they were. I had lost my main motivation to do good that I learned in AA, which was to not drink and to keep God on my good side so he would keep me sober. At first this hindered my efforts to help my wife to also leave AA because she thought she was seeing me become a dry drunk without the program. Over time I was able to root my motivations in God’s word and to serve him with love without fear of taking another drink lurking in the background. God was also working in my wife’s heart and mind to help her see the truth of what God’s word taught. Thankfully, she has also made the decision to leave AA and to serve Christ alone. My wife and I are still happily sober. My hope and prayer is that Christians will see AA for what it is, and that those involved would honor Christ and leave.
By Margie Wong
Hi. I heard you on Matt Slick. I was an alcoholic for eighteen years since I was fifteen from my first drink. I drank, went on to do drugs, drove drunk etc. I never went to AA meetings because I knew it wouldn't work because I would have to rely on my own will power and it would all be on my efforts and I knew I would fail.
God is so good. He sent someone to my house to tell me about the gospel by inviting me to his new church down the street. I was raised Catholic and had twelve years catholic school, read the bible and would cry knowing I could not live up to it, but never had answers to my many questions about life, and especially sin. This Pastor had answers to my many questions that the Catholic church or anyone else for that matter, never did. What he said rang true. And the day he came I kept him at my house for over an hour asking questions. I didn't drink that day or the next when he came back and we talked more. I went to his church for two Sunday services and the third time I went to a small bible study there of 7 people and God saved me. They were talking about Adam and Eve and the scales came off my eyes and I was crying knowing that I was a sinner from birth and Jesus forgave me of all my sin. From that moment on I was completely delivered from alcohol and it will be twenty two years on October 30.
The truth set me free from even being tempted by alcohol. God's grace is amazing and you are very blessed to have such a ministry to share the truth of the gospel. Only Jesus saves and He saves completely and that is truly good news.
God bless. Margie Wong.
Hi. After I read the walking dead post & other posts on this site I asked the sites author questions related to this topic. This was only a few months ago & even then I couldn't fathom that Jesus & God's word would be enough support. Raised a Catholic & being a member of AA since I was 18 & then both in al-anon & AA since I was 24 (I'm 41 now) I had a belief in God & thought that was enough. It was only almost a year ago when Jesus seemed to come into my heart yet I still didn't fully trust him to give me the peace & joy of His promise.
Slowly I started going to fewer meetings in spite of the many years of warning about how going to less meetings equals more insanity/likelihood of drinking (which is funny because it was at 6 years sober of diligent step work & 4-5 meetings per week that I found myself addicted to Percocet & had to change my clean date) Anyway my spouse & I started researching AA's origins. What we found was shocking & confirmed what many devout Christians are saying about 12 step programs...that they are not of God...and not of good either.
It's commonly believed that AA started off as Christian but this is fallacy #1. The Oxford originators where only christian in name (notice the small c) and were really new agers. In fact all one has to do is look up the names of folks mentioned in the "big book" and see all roads lead to new age, eugenics, cults, and other satanic influences. Look up Herbert Spencer, a Darwinist (infact his "contempt" quote was to get Creationists to believe in evolution). Look up Harry Fosdick who believed God was a barbarian. Look up the book the Oxford founder Buchman who loved Hitler & influenced AJ Russell who published the book God Calling & then see how the book for AA's 24 Hours a Day has meditations based on God Calling. Look up Sister Francis & her farm where the early AA's spent much time & how she sent new age media all over the world. Oh and don't even get me started on the Rockefellers.
Even non-Christians should see the real ties 12 steps have to so many supposed unaffiliations. Why is the AA Grapevine housed in Hollywood? Why is Al-anon headquarters in Virginia Beach? Once you investigate...you won't be the same.
Anyway I finally gave myself over fully to Jesus...not AA. And I am amazed! Jesus is truly the "easier" way. When I repent to Him I'm set free in a way amends to others never did. When I read The Bible I have more comfort than sharing at meetings. I don't even know anymore if alcoholic is a term I need to embrace anymore because I'm a sinner and booze was definitely one way I sinned. But for years in AA I continued to sin in so many truly dangerous ways. I almost lost my life & family. Now I pray for this wonderful family The Lord has given me, and in Jesus we are happier, handle problems better, and have less shame. We are sinners AND we are forgiven!
So I say amen to this site & it's author. It was Chad's emails that helped me see that with Jesus at the wheel I can find friends who I can share this faith, I can be cleansed of my horrible past, and best of all, I don't have to stay somewhere out of fear.
It's a very big leap for some of us to trust in Jesus Christ. And I feel it can take time, as it did for me. But every day I pray for those who are lost in the snares of booze/drugs and those who are also lost in the snares of supposed recovery. I say this prayer as I know others prayed & I finally am saved.
A young man named Taylor Gaffney testifies to the transforming power of the love of Jesus Christ. Thank you Taylor for allowing us to share your writing.
My testimony varies greatly from yours, but would probably have many similarities. Briefly: Parents divorced when I was 8 or 9. Got very rebellious and had a lot of anger. Around 11, began stealing liquor and smoking marijuana. By 13-14, this led to prescription pills. I was sent to military school at 14, got out, got worse, then off to rehab.
Spent all of my teenage years in and out of rehabs, hallways houses, detox, programs, etc. Dropped out of school. Around 18, I took too much of those things and overdosed, alcohol poisoning from a blood alcohol level of .4, several Xanax bars and a lot of marijuana. I could hardly breathe and could not respond. My friends took me for dead and left me on my doorstep. My parents drove me to the hospital just in time. After several hours, I sort of responded, but became very physically aggressive and violent with doctors, nurses and family. When they sent 2 LEO's to assess me and bring me to county, I assaulted a cop.... It was bad. They objected me with something to put me down, and the mixture of it and the drugs/alcohol put me in a 3 or 4 day coma. I woke up at home and my parents told me the story while in tears. I didn't believe them and had them tell me a second time, to realize they were serious. I remembered nothing, at all.
I sent myself to rehab, because I was worried of going to prison. Stayed sober in AA for a year+ and moved in with a Christian buddy. Relapsed worse than ever. Lasted 3 months or less. The last night I did drugs and drank like that was June 8, 2013. The weed wouldn't work. The alcohol wouldn't work. The pills wouldn't work. I felt nothing, no relief, no difference, just empty. And, it was at that moment (that I believe, though God's timing is different than what we may expect) that the Holy Spirit regenerated me and caused me to be born again. I cried out, and was initially angry, but more in a wanting to die way. I told God that I didn't want to live anymore if all I was just going to be a slave to drugs, dead, in prison or miserable and sober. I said what do you want from me?! And, it is hard to explain... But, inside, it is as if Jesus revealed Himself. It's as if I didn't have to ask who He was, I just knew (evidence of Spirit's work). And, I repented of my entire life being thrown away in sin, and I asked Jesus to please take control of my life. I said, "Lord, I don't know what to do. But, I know that I need you. Please take control of my life and teach me to live for you. I am so sorry!!!!" He changed me radically! And, everything up until now, would take too long to write. Would need to write a book."
Taylor Gaffney on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009360802024
I received an email from a woman yesterday that was such a blessing to read. She is a living testimony to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save and transform lives. Her message makes so very clear that there is no need for Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, or any other "programs" to overcome any sin because we have the power of the Gospel in the Word of God.
All of the articles here can be accessed by category on the Articles and Breaking Through Recovery Pages.