"Any teaching that detracts in the slightest from the glory of God is not a biblical teaching."
- James R. White, The Potters Freedom - A defense of the reformation, pg 181
Because Celebrate Recovery is based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and practiced in thousands of Christian churches without ever being questioned or held up to the light of scripture it is one of the most damaging forms of apostasy in the modern Christian church. The Twelve Steps in no way bring glory to the Lord and false teachings cannot be combined with the word of God.
"Substitute anything for Christ, and the Gospel is totally spoiled!
Add anything to Christ, and the Gospel ceases to be a pure Gospel!
Put anything between a person and Christ, and that person will neglect Christ for that very thing!
Spoil the proportions of Christ's Gospel, and you spoil its effectiveness!
Evangelical religion must be the Gospel, the whole Gospel and nothing but the Gospel!"
- J.C. Ryle
The common argument from proponents of Celebrate Recovery when presented with the truth of the twelve steps heretical origins is that because bible verses are used along with the Twelve Steps in Celebrate Recovery it is a Christian program - this defense is ridiculous. If bible verses were added to Hitler's Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, would these writings then be considered Christian? Of course not. False teachings are false teachings and have no place in a Christian church.
This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ]. A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church]. - Galatians 5:8,9 Amplified Bible
Is adding to God's word by blending the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with the scriptures as the Celebrate Recovery Bible does biblical? Not according to Proverbs 30:5-6, "Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar."
Celebrate Recovery is part of Rick Warren's Saddleback church. Rick Warren made the following claims regarding the twelve steps during his "Road to Recovery" series of sermons:
"In 1935 a couple of guys formulated, based upon the scriptures, what are known as the classic Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and used by hundreds of other recovery groups. Twenty million Americans are in a recovery group every week and there are 500,000 recovery groups. The basis is God's word."
Rick Warren's statement above is completely false and it is irresponsible for any Christian Pastor to make such claims. He either never took the time to research the origins of the Twelve Steps and what they teach or he was intentionally making a false statement. There is no way that the Twelve Steps were "based upon the scriptures" or that their "basis is God's word" as he claims. The concept of God as a Higher Power of our own understanding put forward by Bill Wilson in the Twelve Steps is blasphemy. The Twelve Steps also falsely teach forgiveness of sins by a God of our own understanding while Christ is no part of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step program whatsoever.
If you have not yet done so, please read through the sections on this website that disclose The Origins of the 12 Steps, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Other Alcoholics Anonymous Writings and Publications, and Views and Commentary on the 12 Steps. Then honestly and prayerfully decide if, based on the truth of scripture, it is acceptable for Celebrate Recovery meetings to take place in Christian churches since Celebrate Recovery is founded upon the heretical Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. - 1 Corinthians 10:21
The word of God is all we need. There simply is no way to justify the need for anything else - especially something as far from the Christian gospel message as the Twelve Steps.
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
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way Ministry Church USA & Kenya.