Is God in the Anonymous Programs?
Theology and Recovery in One
As my followers already know I share about addiction and theology on my hub page. This Hub in particular is going to be a little about both.This is my understanding of the 12 step program used by anonymous fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Basically this will explain how I think God Himself inspired the steps and uses them to draw the recovering addict unto Himself.
Have an open mind please
Please don’t stop reading here. I know that many people from both the anonymous fellowships themselves and Christianity may be offended by this idea. Christians sometimes are resistant to the idea that God doesn't just free the addict immediately from his addiction and Members of anonymous programs are resistant to the idea of the steps being used to evangelize people to any particular faith. So I expect people from both sides of my mixed family to be offended and I am under no illusion that anyone will agree with any of this idea. I only ask that if you are Christian to at least consider that if God can use anything (as the song goes) He can use a 12 step program. I ask members of the Anonymous 12 step programs to be as “open minded”as the programs tell us too and simply consider this idea.
As I stated in the first paragraph I share about addiction and theology on my hub page. You should see the stuff I put on Facebook! I lay it all out there. I talk openly about my daily struggles with the temptations to use. I don’t hold back about my short comings, the things people “see:” as my shortcomings and I post every victory great or small. I’m in the process of writing a fictional book right now about the life of a dope dealer. People ask if it’s actually gonna be sort of my autobiography. I say no the book really is fictional I’m writing my autobiography one status at a time on Facebook. LOL
Why so much detail on Facebook?
People ask me why I share so much of my life on Facebook. This is why, because I'm a recovering addict. I still keep many of my still suffering addict friends on my friends list. Although many in recovery advise against this and for good reason. But I have a calling on my life that requires me to reach out to the lost. Because as a recovering addict in this point in my recovery it is dangerous for me to directly interact with people still using Facebook has become my “safe” pulpit. I am freed from my addiction in Christ but without Him I must always remember what is waiting for me. What always attacks every time I even think of leaving His shadow.
I share my life on Facebook because my life is the story of what my God and my program can do for the still suffering addict. I want my friends who are still captive to see that if I can change so can they. And it works too! I’ve had many of my friends walk into an NA meeting over just the last month alone and they tell me that they are there as a direct result of the things I post on Facebook. For the rest of this hub I’m going to save time by referring to all the anonymous fellowships as simply NA because that is the particular one I am a member of. Though I believe that God’s hand is in all of them to different people with different addictions and different preferences.
How NA brought me back to the Church.
I was the worst of the worst drug addict. A straight out bonafide DOPE FIEND! I did not think anything could help me. Especially after I had turned my back on God and went back out. In my head I knew all the scriptures about how He loves the backslider, how merciful He is, I knew all about the prodigal son, how the moral of that story is that the Father will receive a backslider back into his grace with open arms. But you can know something to be 100 percent true in your head and not believe it for one second in your heart.
Some Christians don't understand why I am so on fire about NA as much as I am about the Church. Because it was NA that helped me find the faith I needed in God's Love again. I am back in the Church now only because NA taught me that God still loves me. They taught me what I already knew to be true but they pushed it down into my heart.
"We will love you until you learn to love yourself."
-The Basic Text of NA
Not a “System of Recovery” a Guideline to God.
The 12 steps are not just a system of recovery, they are a step by step guideline to God. The average addict grew up in a broken, cruel and dysfunctional home. The average addict doesn't have a clue one how to seek God. It took Alcoholics and then other Addicts to teach them through the steps how to begin. If you haven't read them you should some time. A man of God prayed last week and said in the prayer "Free him from addiction, not a 'system of recovery' but freedom." The rest of his prayer was powerful and loving enough for me to overlook the ignorance of a non addict.
That "system of recovery" IS freedom to the addict with no direction.
I believe with all of my heart that God's hand is all over the Anonymous fellowships. This is why I lead my friends to them. Because my God tells me too.
There is only One True God, NA does not teach this but it's true. NA does not teach any religion. NA teaches to find a power higher than yourself that is loving and caring. What God does that describe? Jesus promised that anyone who seeks Him would find Him. I believe that He is powerful enough to fulfill that promise. The 12 steps are a guideline to seeking God. (Now some of my NA friends are gonna be just as mad as my Christian friends LOL) They really are. So I believe that anyone who works them sincerely will find God. Since there is only one God to find. Since I believe His Word that they will find Him. I don't have to worry about anything else.
My apology but not really LOL
So yes I do believe that their is only one God (sorry NA) and yes I do believe that He does not always just immediately set people free from addiction (sorry Church.) Sometimes you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make that horse drink. Sometimes you have to make the horse thirsty. I don’t know how ranch hands make horses want to drink but I know very well how to make an Addict thirsty for God. First of all I don’t always take that addict directly to God’s house. Unless that addict expresses to me that he or she is already a believer.
Many people in addiction are scared to death of any form of religion though. If I try to bring some of them to Church the walls of their spirit will rise to the heavens. So I take them to a group of people that are together seeking some form of spirituality. A group of people that as a whole are not at all redeemed. But a group of people none the less that understand each other and have a common goal. Not to get saved, not to start going to Church but simply to learn how to stop destroying there own lives. Simply to learn how to love themselves. To love period. “We will love you till you learn to love yourself.”
“For God is love”
-1st John 4:8b
Spirituality verses Religion
I love a phrase I hear so often in recovery. “Religion is for people who are afraid to go to Hell. Spirituality is for people who have been to Hell and don’t wanna go back.” This is so true! The people in anonymous fellowships are a band of people who together seek spirituality. Like most people they have been brain washed by the media to believe that the Church is simply another form of religion. Their is nothing I can say or do to convince them otherwise. But that’s cool though, because it’s not my job to convince or save anyone. It’s simply my job to lead them to relationship with Christ which I know and believe is the only true form of spirituality. A fish cannot live out of water and your “spirit” is dead outside of Christ.
So I can’t lead every addict to the Church or even to Christ but I can lead them to seek God for themselves. I don’t tell them who that God is or even that their is only one God. That’s where I must rely on God to be God. I lead them to seek a god, goddess or gods whatever they want to call it. I tell them openly who my God is, that I fully believe that He is the only God and that I’m available to answer any questions about Him if they ever want to ask. Then I have faith in Him that if they are truly seeking any god (truly working the steps I believe He inspired) they will find the One True God as He promises in His word.
:"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us" -Acts 17:21
"And I say unto you. Ask and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you." -Luke 11:19