By Chad Prigmore
The following is a brief fictional story based on a common reality.
Our main character is a young man in his late twenties named Taylor.
It's a cold dreary late Tuesday morning in a suburb south of Los Angeles and Taylor is just waking up from a fitful sleep. He opens his eyes and the light through the bedroom window of his condo is like a brick being pressed into his head. He sits up on the side of the bed for just a few seconds and then jumps up and nearly falls from dizziness as he stumbles into the bathroom, raises the toilet lid and throws up.
This morning ritual has been a recurring episode in Taylor's life over the last couple of years. He's an alcoholic and a cocaine addict and the last year especially has gone from fun and wild parties with his friends to a rapidly growing panic that he's under the control of something he can no longer battle against. He's home in bed late on a Tuesday morning because he no longer works. He lost his job because he was undependable and then his girlfriend left a few months ago.
Taylor's burden of depression, anxiety, and disgust because of what he has let himself become is near the point of breaking him. He never in his life considered suicide, but over recent months the idea of it regularly comes into his mind on mornings like this. As the memory of the previous night's depravity seeps into his foggy mind he drops to his knees on the bathroom floor and cries.
A few hours later, after a failed attempt at trying to eat breakfast without getting sick again, Taylor is back in the bathroom trying to shave as his hands shake like those of a ninety-five-year-old man. As he stares at his once vibrant face in the mirror and notices the dark bags and sallow skin he decides he'll do something he swore he'd never do - he'll go to a church for help. After all, isn't that what churches are supposed to do? His friend Josh's mom nagged them for years about going to church. Taylor never had any desire or interest because it all just seemed like a big scam carried out on the weak and ignorant. But he was willing to try anything on a day like this. He'd go to the big church a couple of miles from his condo he always drove by. In fact, he remembers seeing lights on and cars there just about every evening so he'll go tonight and see if maybe they can help him.
That evening as it continues to rain, Taylor drinks three beers to stop the relentless shaking, gets into his car and drives to the big church. As he comes up the street to the church it's just getting dark and the wet streets glisten with reflection from the car lights. The low clouds and drizzle add to his already despondent and dark mood. But as he nears the church he sees the front door is open a bit and a warm light streams out onto the sidewalk. He thinks to himself maybe the inviting aura of the light is a sign he might find the help he so badly needs. He pulls into the parking lot next to the church where twenty or so cars are parked.
As Taylor walks up to the front door of the church he becomes extremely nervous. What are the people here going to think of him? These are church people - those shiny happy people who send those evangelist guys on TV all their money. Will they maybe just send him down the road because he's so messed up? But he continues toward the slightly open door and it's welcoming light and pulls the door open. Just as he does, a man coming out the door nearly runs him over. The man stops and asks Taylor if there's anything he can help him with and introduces himself as Pastor Doug.
Taylor - to his own surprise, briefly explains to Pastor Doug that he's in a bad place because of drinking and drugs and is hoping that maybe the church could somehow help him but he'd never been there before. Pastor Doug explains they would love to help him and as a matter of fact, there is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting starting in one of their meeting rooms in just a few minutes - God must have led him there! Pastor Doug tells Taylor that he doesn't go to the meetings but knows they help people suffering from alcoholism. He invites Taylor to church the next Sunday and then ushers him inside to the meeting room and introduces him to a man named Tony who runs the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Tony welcomes Taylor to the meeting and offers him a cup of coffee. The meeting is just getting ready to start so Tony goes to the podium at the front and Taylor finds a seat toward the back. As people begin sitting down around him many of them introduce themselves and seem eager to make him feel welcome. Just about everyone there seems to know everyone else.
As the meeting begins, Taylor is surprised that a prayer called the "Serenity Prayer" is recited and it doesn't offend him. Then one of the men goes to the podium and reads something called a "Portion of Chapter Five" from a book they call "The Big Book." As Taylor listens to the man he becomes a bit intrigued by what he hears - especially something about "God as we understood Him". After the man finishes reading, Tony invites people up to share their stories and Taylor actually begins feeling a bit of hope because the people who speak seem to have been through some type of struggle with booze and drugs similar to his own.
After the meeting, Tony asks Taylor if he can buy him a cup of coffee and they head out of the church and into the parking lot to Tony's car. They drive a short distance to a coffee shop and go inside. There are a couple guys from the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting there and Tony introduces them to Taylor.
Over coffee, Tony tells Taylor his story and how he's stayed sober for five years and believes Alcoholics Anonymous saved his life. Taylor asks Tony if he goes to the church the meeting is at and Tony says no explaining that sobriety is not found in churches and that he was finally able to get sober because he came to believe in a god of his own understanding and did not need anything churches offer. They just hold meetings at churches because the rent is cheap and sometimes even free. They spend a couple hours talking and Taylor is excited and hopeful. He's astonished when Tony tells him that alcoholism is a disease and Taylor was only suffering from the effects of it. As Tony drops him off at his car he hands him a brand new "Big Book" and tells Taylor he should start reading it right away and invites him to a noon meeting the next day at another church a few miles away. Taylor thanks Tony for the book and agrees to meet him at the noon meeting.
Now we fast forward the story. Taylor has now been sober for two years and Tony is his sponsor. Taylor has another job and a new girlfriend. He attends five AA meetings a week, prays to a god of his own understanding, asking him for sobriety each morning and thanking him for his sobriety every night. He lives one day at a time and understands that if he ever neglects his sobriety or walks away from Alcoholics Anonymous he'll probably die from his disease. He still attends the Tuesday evening meeting at the big church but has never been there for a church service. He's learned in AA that all he needs is his own higher power, a sponsor, and to completely give himself to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and he will be assured of a place in the kingdom of his higher power.
It's again a Tuesday evening - but a nice warm evening. We see Taylor leaving the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the big church and get into his car. As he pulls out of the driveway his cell phone rings and he looks down to pick it up off of the passenger seat, pulls into the street in front of a semi truck, the semi-truck slams into Taylor's car, crushing Taylor inside and he dies almost instantly.
Taylor was suffering on a cold rainy evening two years ago. He went to a big church seeking help. He was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous for the help he sought.
Taylor died without ever hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Devil is running rampant in an orgy of destroying souls in your own Church if it allows Alcoholics Anonymous to meet on its premises.
Visit your local Alcoholics Anonymous website and you will see that a vast majority of meetings are held in Christian Churches.
If you're not familiar with the false teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous please visit the Exposing Recovery page.
Are you suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction? Please know that you are who Jesus came to deliver and save.
If you need help please fill out the Contact form on this website.
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way Ministry Church USA & Kenya.