Are you a Christian in a Twelve Step program, or a Pastor or Christian leader that believes the Twelve Steps are Christian in origin? Then please consider the following.
From the Westminster Seminary:
The Church has been entrusted with the great commission to make disciples, even of alcoholics. AA constitutes a field of hurting, gospel needy people, white for the harvest. The question is, are we hungry enough to harvest?
If you are a Christian and have made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, then you must believe that He is the center and reason for absolutely everything that has ever existed or will ever exist. All of God's creation from the beginning in Genesis 1 until the end of time as we know it – and on into eternity, it all has been for the glory of Jesus Christ. He is on every page of the Holy Bible from, “In the beginning,” in Genesis 1, to “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.,” in Revelation 22:21. Jesus is on every page of scripture in some way. All of history revolves and is centered on Jesus Christ and nothing exists that does not do so without His sustaining power. He holds all things together.
Every part of who you are as a human being is about Jesus Christ – even if you don't believe in Him. He is inescapable. One way or another, every human being who has or will ever exist will know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the human race and of all creation. It's just a matter of when and how each human being finally comes to know and accept the truth of Jesus Christ.
All of God's Word in scripture, all that the prophets down through the ages spoke of is to reveal to us His magnificent, glorious, and mysterious plan to save mankind through the sacrifice of His only begotten and perfect Son. God did this to save us from eternal damnation and separation from Him because He loves us far beyond our capability as humans to fully understand.
So, if you are a Christian who believes that the 12 steps are Christian in origin how do you answer this question: if God did all of this, then why would he inspire two alcoholics in the 1930's to create a way to obtain sobriety – and never have His Son Jesus Christ be any part of it?
This is the truth of the 12 steps – they are a brilliant plan conceived by demonic forces that keep millions from coming to a true relationship with Jesus Christ, (If this seems far fetched to you then please read the articles page on this site that explains the facts pertaining to the origins of the 12 steps). Satan and his demon's have convinced people seeking sobriety to follow a “God of their own understanding.” Then, as they become drawn into the 12 step cult Satan begins lifting the temptation to drink, use drugs, whatever the sin is. Yes, Satan can remove the temptation to sin because he is the one that put it there in the first place. God does not tempt us.
As the temptation is lifted the 12 step follower is drawn deeper into the cult by believing that a “God of their own understanding” is helping them. Satan now has his victim far off the narrow path that leads to salvation through Jesus Christ and onto a wide path of destruction. The poor soul seeking sobriety has been completely duped. Notice the glaring contradiction between the false message of salvation claimed on page 46 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book), and the true message of salvation through Jesus Christ as conveyed through God's Word in scripture.
There is only one way to God and that is through His Son Jesus Christ – you must believe in Him, accept Him, and follow Him completely with no variance.
Christ can do much more than enable you to maintain sobriety. He is sufficient to meet all of our needs in a way beyond what we could ever imagine. Please, do not be fooled into believing that anything in this world can offer you a solution for any sin that holds you in bondage. The only way to be reconciled to God, the only way to be freed from the bondage and pain of sin is through faith in Jesus Christ. The only joy there is - is in Jesus Christ. You only must believe in Him and follow Him.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. - John 8:36
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.
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
Galatians 1:8-9, But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 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.
2 Peter 2:1, But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ephesians 2:8, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Romans 11:6, But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
So, with the understanding that "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved", it should come as a great concern and raise big red flags of Christian discernment if it were to be discovered that Alcoholics Anonymous - a program that many professing Christians are members of and many Christian Churches have joined forces with in effort to help those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction, actually makes the false claim that forgiveness of sin can be had outside of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If this heresy were to be discovered, would it not be valid grounds to no longer attend Alcoholics Anonymous if one is a Christian, and also for Christian Churches who have joined with Alcoholics Anonymous to sever those ties?
Also, if it were proven that Alcoholics Anonymous does in fact put forth a message that forgiveness of sins is obtainable without the washing of the blood of Jesus Christ, would it not therefore qualify as being a false teaching that contradicts the Christian gospel message? Clearly the answer would be yes.
Alcoholics Anonymous is guided mainly by two books. One is called The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymouswhich lays out the twelve step program, and the other is Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions which is a guidebook on how to work the steps and run the program in general.
Consider the following excerpt from 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."
Step Five mentioned in the above quote is as follows: "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."
"Admitted to God" may sound good except that Jesus Christ is no part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. So there is a very big problem from a Christian perspective because Alcoholic's Anonymous claims that by resolutely tackling step five forgiveness can be received.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions then takes it even further on Page 65, "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."
The above excerpt from Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions not only repeats the false claim of forgiveness without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but also claims that we must work in order to continue in forgiveness. This is in direct contradiction to the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Based on the above examples of the teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous from the two books that their twelve step program is based on it seems very clear that Alcoholics Anonymous proclaims a false gospel message. In light of that, how must a Christian deal with such a false gospel? Should believers be a part of such obvious heresy? Obviously, we turn to God's Word in the scriptures for guidance.
Seems pretty clear.
Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Col 1:13-14, Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Any Christian believer understands that we are saved from the penalty of our sin only by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other means of salvation for anyone other than the atoning sacrifice that was made for us by Jesus Christ through the shedding of His blood on the cross. This is obviously a core Christian doctrine.
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way Ministry Church USA & Kenya.