AA and God

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Re: AA and God

Postby mstone449 » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:26 pm

Thanks John!!!
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Re: AA and God

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:44 pm

Originally posted by mstone449:
As I read my earlier post I didnt notice anywhere mentioned that god was in the first 6 steps?
I didn't notice anybody say otherwise. But I interpreted an attempt to make a direct correlation between AA / Steps and fundamental Christianity, with the words "Understand that AA was once a fundamentalist Christian organization that included 6 steps". So I pointed out that the first 5 of those 6 Steps made no mention of religion, God, Jesus, or prayer.

AA was never a Christian organisation. It was derived from a Christian organisation known as the Oxford movement, and it had many Christian members (including a co-founder), but that doesn't make it Christian. The two organisations should be kept distinctly separate, because they had an entirely separate membership and a different basis for existing.

Otherwise it's like claiming the monarchy of England is Catholic.

Bill's own story indicates that he had little respect for those who claimed Jesus.
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Re: AA and God

Postby curtis s » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:40 pm

Okay guys I edited a bunch more posts here. Lets stick to what has worked for us personally and not take inventories on the recovery of people we have never met.

AA says that it is not allied with any sect, denomination or religion. We may not always live up to that but this is how it is supposed to be. The program may have been founded by Christians but there were some important reasons why they did not mention their particular religion.

AA talks about the GOd of our understanding Or as I express it, the God of my misunderstanding.

So we can all have our own understanding of God including what my limited understanding of Buddhism says about there is a God but He doesn't exist. (He does something else because existence is only possible as an act of existing apart from something and since God is everywhere He can not exist) At least that is my understanding which may well be drastically flawed.

So lets talk about our concept of God but drop all the accusations about who has really read what, who is trying to make AA and who is trying to ram their beliefs down someone elses throats.

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Re: AA and God

Postby Veronique » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:18 am

Hear, hear Curt - I fully agree.

The concept of God which I originally clung to as AA literature. Not the group, because to me they were only humans, sober humans, but still humans. Literature however, although thought up by humans, had to be more solid, because when you write things, you reflect upon them.

Now, I'm convinced God is part of us all as we are all part of him/her...Don't know exactly why, but seem to like the idea that we are all linked...

I don't realy pray, although I talk to God daily.
Don't go to mass... but do go to church as being a place where I can reflect and meditate upon things.

Don't believe in a God who wants us to get down on our knees and beg for everything. Do believe in a God who apparantly found it lonely out there, and therefore used pieces of him(her)self to create beings who looked a lot like him.

Perhaps for some people my concept of God is close to heracy... Doesn't really matter, as long as it helps me to get through life sober.

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Re: AA and God

Postby mstone449 » Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:50 am

John,

Thank you very much and I agree with you wholeheartedly. The misunderstanding was really a great opportunity to get to know eachother better. You sharing your belief with my last week really made me realise that I have been trying to change AA instead of justing practicing love and tolerance and accepting it as it is. I moved to MI last year and my lack of acceptance coupled with my defects of character have allowed me to be seperate from. Which is what I have really wanted. And I believe we always get something from our defects of character. After reading your post I decided to go to a meeting and just be a guy in AA. I just came back from a Saturday morning AA mens stag and a fantastic spiritual experience. I realised that my resistance to things...whether it be painting the basement with my wife or accepting AA as it is are the primary source of my discomfort. When I accept life, AA, that fact that I have to paint the basement with the wife than I can simply enjoy the experience. i always struggle witht he perception that those things are taking away from what I really want to do. I have to remember P.449 acceptance...amd when I do I am at peace with you, AA and myself. So John.....seriously....thanks for coming at me the way that you did. I really did need it and you did me a huge favor.

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Re: AA and God

Postby BillPritts » Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:08 pm

May I suggest reading DR. Bob and the good oltimers. This might clear up some of the issues of when, how and why AA split from the Oxford Group. Plus it was a good read for me!!!! :coffee:
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Re: AA and God

Postby MommyFish » Thu Aug 18, 2005 1:24 am

Sorry to drag this back up, but I agree with the initiator of this thread, as well as appreciate Mstones comments, very helpful for me.

Both my parents were German Lutheran or agnostic at best, and the only Church we attended was when my practicing alcoholic mother felt she was under some obligation to teach her pre-teen daughters some religion (we hit the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christians and Hare Krishna's in one month alone, gotta love that insanity, hehe). Unfortunately, my later life experiences with organized religion were no better.

I realize AA claims to be a "religion-free zone", and for the most part it is, but I too cringe when I hear "GOD" this and "God" that, it just sets my nerves on edge. However, when you get a bunch of believers (or non-believers, for that matter) in one room together, certain shared habits & commonalities will come forward, it can't be helped. It certainly shouldn't be a barrier to anyones sobriety, but I think we have to understand that it can be. It is simply not enough to toss someone's beliefs and experiences out the window, whatever they may be, and tell them they should "live with it or die without it."

On a solution-focused note, maybe there should be a larger effort to create more meetings that are specifically without religious references? Like we do women's groups, stag groups, G/L groups? After all, it's about giving people the tools to help themselves, and sometimes that means finding left-handed scissors or a special hammer that fits in a small hand.... =)

Thanks for letting me read your thoughts.

<small>[ 08-18-2005, 01:30 AM: Message edited by: MommyFish ]</small>
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Re: AA and God

Postby Dean C » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:41 pm

From "As Bill Sees It" (page 191; copyright AA World Services Inc.; reprinted with permission):

"There are few absolutes inherent in the Twelve Steps. Most steps are open to interpretation, based on the experience and outlook of the individual.

"Consequently, the individual is free to start the steps at whatever point he can, or will. God, as we understand Him, may be defined as a 'Power greater...' or the Higher Power. For thousands of members, the A.A. group itself has been a 'Higher Power' in the beginning. This acknowledgment is easy to make if a newcomer knows that most of the members are sober and he isn't.

"His admission is the beginning of humility - at least the newcomer is willing to disclaim that he himself is God. That is all the start he needs. If, following this achievement, he will relax and practice as many of the steps as he can, he is sure to grow spiritually."
"Whatever can be said can be said clearly."
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Re: AA and God

Postby Dean C » Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:02 pm

It is a pretty good article, though some of the history is wrong. Still, thanks for posting!
"Whatever can be said can be said clearly."
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