I agree with Chaz and his Unconflicted post. I am unconcerned about Bill’s personal life. He was a tool for getting the Biblical principles into our hands. I was not saved by him, God used AA to save my life when I was suicidal, but I was already a Christian saved by grace through Jesus Christ. Could He have chosen a different method of rescue? Of course.
I would guess He chose AA because I like structure and AA has enough structure to keep my focus for the rest of my life. I love methodology. AA suits me and I will continue to apply the program to my daily living because it keeps my spiritual life on track, unlike any ‘church’ curriculum ever did. For whatever reason, it works for me and I will continue to share my struggles and the AA principles out of necessity (to work my program) and gratitude.
When I taught hs English, I asked for the strugglers, the back row kids who hated English in particular and school in general. I had a heart for them because I’m a struggler, too… a struggler of life.
Yesterday Debbie at Two Minutes of Grace joined the discussion with Better Than a Hallelujah, a must-read. The video makes my point.
When I found AA, I immediately felt that camaraderie of back row fiddlers. I urgently started breaking down the Steps so I could grasp the heart of the message and apply it. It reminded me of the many hours of homework on the top bunk bed in my shared bedroom of the little trailer I grew up in. Only now I had ‘friends’ that were in the struggle with me. I could share with them the insights and tips and they would share theirs with me. It was community based upon failures and fears and struggles. Again, nothing like my church-affiliated experience to date.
One of the AA lessons I’ve tried to apply is that of loving with grace instead of insisting on ‘likeness’ of experience. Now I can learn from others whose faith may differ from mine. The judgmentalism and accompanying fear are no longer comfortable, and certainly not Christlike.
As Chaz says, “If those of us who seek to represent and emulate this same Jesus had only a fraction of the impact he did, would we really have to profess as much as we do? Or, as they did with Jesus, would they flock to us curious for how we lived, what we did, and how we treated others? Is this not what they did with Jesus?”
Therefore I hope nothing I communicate ever sounds like I have the corner on truth or that I’m superior to others because I have it all ‘figured out’. I was schooled in systematic theology, memorized scriptures and used them against anyone who was not ‘as enlightened’ and therefore could not really be ‘spiritual’…so I am a recovering judge of others, as well as a recovering alcoholic. God forgive me…and He does.