MA posed a question that was never addressed, and I’d like to ask it again, and expand on it a bit. The gist of his question was, “How can a Christian, the cornerstone of whose faith demands belief in one real God, honestly work a program that requires him or her to promote the idea of a Higher Power of one’s understanding, without committing heresey?”
I can anticipate a couple of answers to this question. The first being that there are Christian 12-Step programs for those people. The second is that the Christian in AA is free to use the Christian God as their Higher Power, and therefore Christianity is not incompatible with the program. Of course, that still leaves unresolved the cognitive dissonance required for the Christian member to encourage any non-Christian to rely on a false, or inert god.
As a Christian, one can only believe that the Christian God will help, and supporting others in working the program with the HP of their understanding, is both heretical, and setting these others up for failure, by allowing them to turn their wills over to a fiction.
This opens up a real can’o’woims, which makes it very plain to me that AA itself is a religion proper. It’s ludicrous to insist that it’s not religious by pointing out that AA is not any other religion. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “AA is spiritual, not religious. You don’t have to be a Christian to be a member.” I’ve said before, that’s like saying Mormonism is not a religion because you don’t have to be a Muslim to join. It’s just gobbledygook.
The fact is that if you join AA, your religious or atheistic beliefs will have to adjust to accommodate AA’s belief system in ways that are antithetical to your best thinking. The reason it doesn’t matter if you come in as a Christian or as an Doorknobian is that, ultimately, you will adjust. You will compromise your very belief system, of necessity, if you want to get sober — and sobriety is just a perk, not the point.
So, I think this is an important question for you Christian AA’s — and for you AA’s who think that Christianity is compatible with the program. How do you reconcile the idea of a Christian supporting others in their decision to pray to a false god, when the faith requires a belief in only one Higher Power?
PS – Hey, how’dya like my first photoshop project?