Promotes an unbiblical view of God and salvation.
The A.A./N.A. 12 Step Program takes these premises a step further and states the individual must make a decision to surrender their will and life over to this “Higher Power”, as well as humbly asking this “Higher Power” to remove all shortcomings and defects of character, with the full expectation that this “Higher Power” will do just that. The individual is then taught to meditate on this “Higher Power” and pray to it in order to discover its will for the individual.2 Alcoholics Anonymous of Cleveland, Ohio states on its website that each individual is responsible for creating their own concept of the “Higher Power.” “All you need is an open mind” they state.3
A.A. reiterates this by stating, “[The addict] may choose to think of his Inner Self, the miracle of growth, a tree, man’s wonderment at the physical universe, the structure of the atom, or mere mathematical infinity. Whatever form is visualized, the neophyte is taught that he must rely on it and, in his own way, to pray to the Power for strength.”4 A.A. Cleveland goes on to explain that the term god need not mean the God of the Bible, who they insist is probably not able to help as it is. They write on their website, “When we are born, we come into the world untainted and perfectly innocent. The word God means something different to just about everyone that is having difficulty with it, and if God alone was the answer, why do priests and ministers come to AA for solutions; why not just go to church?”5
Furthermore, they go on to state it is wrong to criticize anyone elses view of who or what the “Higher Power” is, as well as insisting that the only thing the individual must resist is not sin, but rather ones one ego. They write, “I must let everyone find their own brand of enlightenment, without prejudging anyone else’s approach on this matter. The only thing that I must resist is my EGO, and the way I do that is by living by sound and unselfish principles many of which are discussed in AA meetings...”6
Suffice to say, this is a completely unbiblical description of the one true and living God, and a blasphemous plan of salvation that will lead a person only to hell, and not to God.
1. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of how Many Thousands of Men and Women have Recovered from Alcoholism (4th ed.). Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Chaps 3,5,&7
2. A.A. 12 Steps, copyright © 1952, 1953, 1981 by Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing, steps 2,3,6,7,11&12
4. Jack Alexander, “Alcoholics Anonymous: Freed Slaves of Drink, Now They Free Others” (Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941). According to the A.A. website, A.A. World Services publishes the article in pamphlet format and sells about 22,000 of them each year; http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=472.