While this may seem overly simplistic, the question that always comes to my mind when I witness so many professing Christians defending the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is, "In what way does participation in the Alcoholics Anonymous program which directly contradicts the gospel of Jesus Christ bring glory to God?"
How can a "Christian" participate in a program that is idolatrous and blasphemes the Lord, and in any way honor the command of, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength"?
So much of modern Christianity has become humanistically centered and so much of modern psychology and man centric thinking has been allowed to permeate the Christian Church that the gospel and Jesus Christ himself seem to have been moved to the back burner. I am confronted almost weekly by Christians - some even claiming to be Pastors or Ministers, bragging about their years of work in the field of recovery, who defend Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Step programs in spite of being presented with scriptural proof which makes clear the idolatry and apostasy these programs put forth. And after years of being in this battle only rarely have I witnessed one of these people repent and stand in defense of the gospel. Where has the simple Christian message gone? Why is genuine faith and trust in Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of scripture so nonchalantly cast aside while liberal Christianity (which is an oxymoron) locks arms with heresy in the name of recovery?
The sword of God's Word cuts the heresy of Alocholics Anonymous and Twelve Step programs to ribbons, but so few seem willing to wield the sword.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. -- Psalm 1:1-2
Who, in the name of Jesus will take a stand and refuse to compromise the Word of God? Who will proclaim the truth of the gospel in spite of the insults and hatred of this dark and messed up world and those worshiping the god of recovery? Who will call out the heresy of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps boldly and point people to the cross? Who will shine the light of scripture on the entire premise of the modern man centered recovery concept and proclaim salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
"The most critical need of the Church at this moment is men,bold men, free men. The Church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made." - A.W. Tozer
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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. - John 3:17-18
Without experiencing and understanding the conviction of sin and the resulting condemnation, how can anyone come to see the need for Jesus Christ as Savior, repent, and be blessed with the divinely generated desire to follow and serve Him as Lord?
The erroneous disease concept of Alcoholics Anonymous works in such a way that the sinner trapped in alcoholism through rampant sinful desire is veiled from the guilt and remorse of sin by being falsely led to believe that they are afflicted with disease and that their destructive behaviors are it's symptoms. The destructive danger of the disease concept of alcoholism lies in the fact that the sinner in dire need of hearing the gospel, experiencing the conviction of sin, repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus Christ, instead begins seeking "recovery" from a non-existent disease by working a program in an effort to get their life back together. They grieve for what they have lost and the damage they've caused, but their entire concept of recovery is self focused; hence the easy to swallow "god as we understand him" put forth by Alcoholics Anonymous rather than the only true God of the Bible who by the working of the Holy Spirit through the gospel generates by grace a genuine grief leading to repentance of sin and faithful trust in Jesus Christ.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. - 2 Corinthians 7:10
By striving to provide "recovery solutions" the gospel has been pushed aside and the entire purpose of the church has been hijacked. The modern church's myopic obsession with recovery must be thrown out and replaced with a reliance on the sufficiency of scripture and faith in God that when His gospel is proclaimed without compromise the Holy Spirit will transform people who seem beyond any hope of redemption.
“The gospel has it’s convictions to make way for it’s consolations.” - Charles Spurgeon
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah."
And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink.
But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him."
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" - Matthew 27:45-54
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way Ministry Church USA & Kenya.