An official AA publication says, “Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything…. AAs tread innumerable paths in their quest for faith. If you don’t care for the one I’ve suggested, you’ll be sure to discover one that suits…. You can, if you wish, make AA itself your ‘Higher Power.’” It could not be clearer that any false god will do. Hell for eternity becomes the cost of sobriety in this life.
It was psychologist William James and his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, which encouraged Wilson to believe that any god would do. That was also the source from which Wilson derived justification for the mystical and ecumenical religious experience which he claims alcoholics must seek for deliverance from their affliction:
“[William] James gave Bill [Wilson] the material he needed to understand what had just happened to him—and gave it to him in a way that was acceptable to Bill. Bill Wilson, the alcoholic, now had his spiritual experience ratified by a Harvard professor, called by some the father of American psychology!”
In keeping with CT’s longstanding tolerance toward the errors of psychology, toward the false gospel of Roman Catholicism, and toward ecumenism, Stafford writes, “Christians can and do use AA or other 12-Step groups…there is no harm in getting help where it is available.” From yoga? From TM? Why not from Christian Science? And why turn to any 12-Step program unless Christ and His Word are not sufficient?
The issue is not whether an alcoholic receives some help. There are fantastic testimonies of changed lives through everything from hypnosis and psychotherapy to an alleged UFO abduction. The tragic truth, however, is that temporal help through AA’s “higher power” leads the recipients away from Jesus Christ and eternal salvation. Moreover, AA gives very little real help even in overcoming alcohol. Christian groups which rely solely upon Christ have a far better record.
Like so many other groups that have fallen into the occult, AA reflects the mentality with which John Wimber infused the Vineyards: If it “works,” then go for it. Yes, AA “works” for some people, sometimes. The Bible, however, warns against seeking help from false gods. The consequences are tragic in the destruction of lives in this present world as well as eternally. Although AA is very rigid in its opposition to alcohol, other immoral behaviors may be condoned and even encouraged to fill the void left by the denial of alcohol.
Stafford writes with approval, “The 12 Steps penetrate every level of American society.” Is this good? On the contrary, that penetration is all the more reason to sound the alarm against AA’s false god and gospel. Yet instead of sounding that alarm, Hybels and Willow Creek and countless other churches support and promote this deadly delusion. Stafford and CT ought to give a clear warning against a system which, though it kept the founder from drinking, left him firmly in Satan’s clutches for eternity. Of Bill Wilson, Stafford admits that after deliverance from alcohol, “the rest of his life was morally erratic.” Yet Stafford and CT say, “The 12 Steps are a package of Christian practices and nothing is compromised in using them.”