So, many years ago, I attended numerous Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. While I liked many of the people, the system itself seemed very dark to me. I was not yet saved, but I was kind of amazed how many Bible believing Christians were in these 12 Step programs.
I was amazed because I (as a non-believer) had read 2 Corinthians:6:14-17, and this command to come out and be separate surely applied to all these Christians. Didn’t it? And these Christians, if they really believed their Bible, why couldn’t they see all the verses that forbade participation in A.A.? Galatians:1:6-9, Isaiah:42:8, and many others.
It baffled me.
A few years later, still an unbeliever, I went on a Christian talk radio show to ask how Christians could justify going to A.A. I read a number of verses to the listeners including 2 Corinthians:6:14-17: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (v14)
“Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (v15)
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (v16)
“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.” (v17)
The reaction from the Christian listeners, most of whom attended A.A., ranged from anger to outrage. Every person who called in defended attendance in A.A. One man (who actually worked for the radio station) called in and accused me of serving Satan.
The talk show host, who knew the Bible prohibited Christians from attending A.A., told me later that he knew that night that I was going to be saved. And so I was.
Now, years later, many Christians are aware of the nature of A.A.’s spirituality. But millions still attend, and this is a primary reason why the visible church is so weak. How could it be otherwise? In their churches on Sunday they call God by that Name above all names: Jesus Christ the Savior. But then, in their all-gods sect, they call Jesus by the term all members use for their various gods. So, Jesus becomes a “higher power.” Thus has the Savior been placed in the pantheon, the temple of the gods.
Looking back, I wish I had known enough to read two more verses: 2 Corinthians:6:18 and 2 Cor:7:1: “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. (v18)
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor:7:1)
Regarding 2 Cor:6:17, in Believer’s Bible Commentary, William MacDonald notes: “…Paul issues a challenging call to come out. He quotes from Isaiah:52:11. These are God’s plain instructions to His people concerning separation from evil. Christians are not to stay in the midst of it, as part of it, in order to remedy it. God’s program is to come out. The unclean thing in this verse is primarily the heathen world, no doubt, but it also applies to any form of evil, whether commercial, social, or religious” (emphasis Macdonald’s).