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.