By Chad Prigmore
We as believers must engage in the spiritual battle faithfully knowing that God is on our side and that we stand on the power of His truth.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8
First of all, understand that to engage in spiritual warfare and to fight back against the oppressive assaults of the enemy is very much a part of genuine true Christianity. Those apathetic, complacent, lukewarm "Christians" being entertained in "seeker sensitive" and "purpose driven" entertainment centers posing as Churches each Sunday are probably no longer even on Satan's radar - he has already gained much of the victory over those lives. The battles are fought by those on fire for Jesus Christ.
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. - Revelation 3:15-16
When oppressed by the assaults of the enemy we must remember who's we are, who loves us and who we love, who's name we are sealed with, and seek the Lord completely - forsaking all else. Our aim must be to gain the victory and that God may be glorified through it. Remember and meditate on God's never failing promises.
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. - Psalm 50:15
Prayer must always be our first course of action whether in a time of trial or triumph. When faced with the attacks and oppression of the enemy we must seek the Lord more diligently through prayer and the prayerful study of His word. As Christians prayer should be something that we are always engaged in - we must literally pray without ceasing as God commands us in scripture.
pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
Be in Christian fellowship constantly. Never become a complacent Sunday Christian who only fellowships and converses with the brethren occasionally. The Church is not meant to be a social club. Instead, pray for doors of opportunity to open for fellowship and aim to be in fellowship far more than not. Care for those in need and share your burdens with those the Lord blesses you with for strength and edification.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:2
If you are suffering and oppressed get the elders of your Church involved. Allow them to pray for you and over you that God's grace may be multiplied to you.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. - James 5:14
Consider what might be encouraging demonic activity in your life and remove it.
These are just a few recommendations. The armor that God gives us in Jesus Christ is beyond description and far more than enough to gain victory in the spiritual battles we face. Seek the Lord radically, pray for a deeper belief and stronger faith. Reject and cast away anything contrary to the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Remember who's you are and who's name you are sealed with and rejoice in the Lord always!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:35-39
This book deals with the "Twelve Steps" and the "Twelve Traditions" of Alcoholics Anonymous. It presents an explicit view of the principles by which A.A. members recover and by which their Society functions. [pg 15]
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. The problem is not insanity. The problem is sin. By fooling someone into believing their condition is due to insanity they are freed from taking responsibility for their behavior. Labeling sin as insanity removes the guilt and shame that leads to true repentance and to the cross of Jesus Christ. A "higher power" cannot help anyone. The only way to overcome sin is by the blood of Jesus Christ and to refer to Jesus Christ as a "higher power" is to deny Him before men and to be ashamed of His name. The name of Jesus Christ is to be praised above all others - never to be referred to as a higher power. Step two is a perfect example of why AA and the Twelve Steps are heresy, an insult to Jesus Christ and have no place in any Christian environment. Romans 5:6, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 3:23-25, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith..." Shame on anyone who refers to the great I AM as a higher power.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Page 34 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: "Like all the remaining Steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God - or, if you like, a Higher Power - into our lives. Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives. Therefore our problem now becomes just how and by what specific means shall we be able to let Him in? Step Three represents our first attempt to do this." Here again is one single statement that completely disqualifies the Twelve Steps from having any place in a Christian Church or gathering. While the entire statement above is anti-Christian, the two sentences in bold especially are in direct contradiction with the core belief of the Christian message - that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Read those two sentences again and then read the following passages of scripture.
Can the third step of Alcoholics Anonymous be used in a Christian context? No. Can it be used if it is re-worded or if "as we understood Him" is removed? No. The dangerous apostasy of AA's step three is apparent in claiming that we can worship a God of our own understanding which eliminates the only true way to know God which is through the Holy Scriptures in which He reveals Himself to us. Step 3 also indicates that our will and lives can be turned over to God simply by a decision that we make based upon a false understanding of God. Christ is nowhere mentioned in the AA program which makes step three complete apostasy because Jesus tells us in John 14:6, ..."I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." By removing the words "as we understood Him" does in no way justify step three from a Christian perspective because something man made and actually demonically inspired (the AA program and the 12 steps) and not of God is being used to claim access to God. We are told in the scriptures who God is and that only through Jesus Christ can we be redeemed before God and we are not to give any credence to teachings outside of or contrary to God's word. The bible is very clear that Christians are to adhere only to the one true gospel. Paul writes in Ephesians 1:9, "As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." Paul is very severe in his warning to the Ephesians. Anyone trying to justify AA and the 12 steps as being acceptable in a Christian context, and especially combining the apostasy of AA and the Twelve Steps with God's word should heed Paul's warning, "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." - Isaiah 45:22
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Pages 56-57 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, "Most of us would declare that without a fearless admission of our defects to another human being we could not stay sober. It seems plain that the grace of God will not enter to expel our destructive obsessions until we are willing to try this." So instead of grace as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ, the Twelve Steps claim that grace is had through admitting our defects to another human being? Romans 3:23-25 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."
Page 58 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, "Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we'd be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too."
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Page 65 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, "If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character." Step six is in direct contradiction to the Christian gospel. There is no forgiveness outside of Christ. By grace through faith in Christ we are washed as white as snow. There is nothing we can do on our own to be redeemed or forgiven. This excerpt from page 65 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions leaves no room for debate on whether or not the 12 steps are Christian in origin - this statement makes it clear that they are absolutely not.
Alcoholics Anonymous 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. ("As we understood Him" is underlined in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and italicized in the book Alcoholics Anonymous). Page 98 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, "There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God's kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the will of our own Creator." Here again is heresy. There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, our own works avail nothing, only faith in Christ can save us.
Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps are a false teaching and in direct contradiction to the Gospel. It really comes down to either making a commitment to believing in, adhering to, and relying on Jesus Christ or rejecting Christ and following Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps. The two cannot be combined.
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way Ministry Church USA & Kenya.