Many people don’t believe that AA and the church have anything in common. I currently live in Dallas and completely disagree. Today I want to talk about how Alcoholics Anonymous and the church are actually more similar than you think!
In Dallas, we house almost every denomination and non-denominational church from Catholic to Protestant and many are some of the largest churches in the nation.
Similarly, Dallas houses AA groups in many different locations with many different sizes and spaces, also some of which are the largest in the nation.
No matter your Christian denomination, whether you are Presbyterian, Baptist or Episcopalian, we use the same book, the Bible.
In the same way, no matter what AA Group you are part of or where you meet, you will use the same book, the big book.
Some people choose to just attend church as a spectator and read their Bible on Sundays, while others put it into practice and follow Jesus during the week.
Some people who show up to AA meetings really engage and put in the effort during the week, while others will show up for the meeting but don’t read or apply what they are learning.
Being part of the church body both on Sundays and the rest of the week is part of the process to make you sanctified and Holy.
Being plugged in to your meetings and consistent with doing the work outside of meetings is the key to staying sober.
The purpose of a church service is to worship the Lord corporately and evangelize the message of the Cross to others.
An AA meeting’s purpose is to gather and support fellow alcoholics in a group setting, carry the message to their alcoholic members and help others on their road to sobriety.
Many denominations really stress discipleship. You have someone who mentors you and walks you through what it looks like to follow Jesus.
Similarly, AA does sponsorship or proteges. These people serve as a guide or force for those who are coming out of addiction. They help take you through the steps and mentor you.
The Bible clearly acknowledges that God is all powerful and the creator of all. It also consistently talks about dying to self. For Example in Galations 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
What many people don’t realize is that in Chapter 5 of the AA big book it acknowledges “There is one who has all power and that one is God. May you find him now.”
The 3rd Step Prayer reads:
‘God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!’
Selfishness and self centeredness might be the root of an alcohol problem but it is also root of the human condition.
I am both a Believer and a strong proponent of AA and I can tell you from personal experience that they have a lot in common. If you or someone you love has an addiction problem, I truly believe that AA can save their life. If you go to their website https://www.aa.org/ you can type in your zip code and plug into one near you.