Revealing the Philosophical Disease
The relationship between Christianity and AA would be comical if not for both organizations undermining free thought and spreading irrationality’s sickness. For over eighty years, churches allowed Alcoholics Anonymous to rent meeting space from them in violation of Christianity’s tenets. The rational person sees this contradictory behavior as unsurprising because religion makes no sense, but AAs and Christians see nothing wrong with this relationship. More than showing hypocrisy, AA and Christianity’s relationship reveals the philosophic disease infecting both groups.
One would assume the AA concept of god would be enough to have most Christians kicking AA to the curb since the AA view of god is one of self-design. Following AA literature, individuals can choose a God of their understanding. This decision could mean choosing nature, the universe, or even a doorknob, which is a far cry from the Christian God of creation since choosing a God contradicts the reality of god as creation’s agent.
God created man, man did not create God.
AA also violates most of the Christian morality. If you can pick your own God, you can certainly pick your morality, and AA does just that with a complete lack of moral criteria. AA, though it denies religiosity, is a moral-based program, clearly elucidated by the fact that the fourth step of AA requires a person to make a “fearless moral inventory,” which is a list of everything a person did wrong. In the next step of the program, the AA confesses all shortcomings to another person, not at all like confessing sins to a priest or clergyman. However, AA has no moral criteria since it claims it is not a religion, unlike Christian churches, which follow the Bible.
All morality becomes, like god, an individual choice.
If a person worships and follows the teachings of Satan, AA has no choice but to accept this decision, though I am sure members would take offense and try to convince the Satanist to pray to the generic, AA, pseudo, Christian god.
The philosophic virulence reveals in AA practices and the Church clergies supporting and often participating in this antichristian organization. Dr. Sam Shoemaker, an Episcopal priest and a founder of AA criticized Christians in his “What the Church has to Learn from Alcoholics Anonymous”:
The first thing I think the Church needs to learn from AA is that nobody gets anywhere till he recognizes a clearly defined need. These people do not come to AA to get made a little better. They do not come because the best people are doing it. They come because they are desperate.
So you need to be desperate to find Christ?
The third thing the Church needs to learn from AA is the necessity for definite personal dealing with people. …One can find kindness and even good advice in the Church. That is not all men need. They need to be helped to face themselves as they really are. The AA people see themselves just as they are.
Isn’t the whole point of a Christian community to create honest relationships with others and themselves?
The fourth thing the Church needs to learn from A. A. is the necessity for a real change of heart, a true conversion. As we come Sunday after Sunday, year after year, we are supposed to be in a process of transformation. Are we? The AA’s are.
Evidently, being baptized and born-again is not enough and Christianity effects no change, but AA has the answer!
One of the greatest things the Church should learn from AA is the need people have for an exposure to living Christian experience.
Evidently, the gathering of Christians in churches and communities is not enough exposure to the Christian experience, and AA produces better people than Christianity.
This audacity of AA trickles down into the fellowship and can be seen constantly throughout their discussions and writings,
The relief of being accepted can never be known by one who never thought himself unaccepted. I hear of ‘good Christian men and women’ belonging to ‘fine old church families.’ There were no good Christians in the first church, only sinners. Peter never let himself or his hearers forget his betrayal in the hour the cock crew. James, stung by the memory of his years of stubborn resistance, warned the church members: ‘Confess your faults to one another.’ That was before there were fine old church families. Today, the last place where one can be candid about one’s faults is in church. In a bar, yes; in a church, no. I know; I’ve tried both places. ~Jerome Ellison, member of AA, 1955
Is it any wonder AAs commonly vent hostility towards churches, admonishing any mention of the bible or Jesus? No, AAs regularly mock organized religions, aiming at Christianity with their common adages heard at meetings,
- Who needs church; I get everything I need in AA.
- Church is for people looking for god, AA is for people who have found him.
- Church is for people who fear hell; AA is for people who have already been there.
Christianity produced this heretical organization and supports it by giving AA groups meeting places, often with church clergy and congregation participating. What AA illustrates perfectly is the ability of the philosophic disease, Christianity, to create and support an antithetical organization.
Only a philosophic disease could create such dissonance.
Photo by Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Ellison, J. (1955). Report to the creator. New York, NY: Harper.
Shoemaker, S. (1936–1956). What the Church has to learn from alcoholics anonymous.
Wilson, W (2001). Alcoholics anonymous. New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
Originally Published 2010 then on December 6, 2021 on Christian Pollution Exclusive