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Thread: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

  1. #1
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    Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    I've more or less stopped going to AA. I have nothing against the program. It has saved my arse more times than I can count. The issue is people really don't want to hear about "my understanding of God" which is Christ. Any time the Bible or Christ is mentioned in an AA meeting eyes roll and there's a very negative response (usually). That has been my excuse for not going. On the flipside, it's also a great opportunity to mention the Gospel to an unbelieving community. As I study Paul's character that's exactly what he did. He preached the Gospel to pagans and nonbelievers. He didn't care what people thought. I do so I've been avoiding it and sticking to the "church crowd" because it's my "safe zone". I don't think Christ wants us to play it safe so I may need to prayerfully reconsider this as a venue for evangelizing.
    I know what I know
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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I've more or less stopped going to AA. I have nothing against the program. It has saved my arse more times than I can count. The issue is people really don't want to hear about "my understanding of God" which is Christ. Any time the Bible or Christ is mentioned in an AA meeting eyes roll and there's a very negative response (usually). That has been my excuse for not going. On the flipside, it's also a great opportunity to mention the Gospel to an unbelieving community. As I study Paul's character that's exactly what he did. He preached the Gospel to pagans and nonbelievers. He didn't care what people thought. I do so I've been avoiding it and sticking to the "church crowd" because it's my "safe zone". I don't think Christ wants us to play it safe so I may need to prayerfully reconsider this as a venue for evangelizing.
    Hi Nick
    I am a recovered drunk my self . I went to AA too . One difference though . I was a atheist . It was very hard . I relied on my home group as my higher power . I white knuckled about it for about 7 to 8 years .It was not until about 9 years ago when God found me that I was restored to sanity. I do wish that I could have heard the Gospel and Gods Call sooner . That would have helped a lot . Most of the folks there at the meetings never brought up the Gospell or Jesus . Most were christian . They for some reason did not share that part of there story . Wich is a shame . I believe that sharing who God is and how God helped you is very important . So please do go and do share Jesus Christ . You may help someone .
    Blessings
    Your brother in Christ
    Bill

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    There are a couple different ways people share in meetings. One way is from the heart and another from the mind. Both are neccesary because it is important to hear aboout hope and it is important to hear about what works-- Tools.

    There is a big difference between a person sharing their relationship with Christ with their experience strength and hope, as a not forced but very real and exciting part of their story of sobriety healing and deliverence, V.S. sharing in order to proselytize the group.

    The first one sees the value of the fellowship of A.A.
    The second one has yet to understand it's value.

    My two cents---
    Peace to you!

    It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    1 Corinthians 1:30


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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Laish View Post
    Hi Nick
    I am a recovered drunk my self . I went to AA too . One difference though . I was a atheist . It was very hard . I relied on my home group as my higher power . I white knuckled about it for about 7 to 8 years .It was not until about 9 years ago when God found me that I was restored to sanity. I do wish that I could have heard the Gospel and Gods Call sooner . That would have helped a lot . Most of the folks there at the meetings never brought up the Gospell or Jesus . Most were christian . They for some reason did not share that part of there story . Wich is a shame . I believe that sharing who God is and how God helped you is very important . So please do go and do share Jesus Christ . You may help someone .
    Blessings
    Your brother in Christ
    Bill
    They don't share the Gospel or Christ even though they are believers because most people in the program revere AA's Big Book as God inspired. Ironically, AA was spawned from the Christian based Oxford Group. The co-founders were both born again Christians too. I sat next to a pastor in one meeting I used to attend regularly, and he seldom, if ever, talked about Christ or the Gospel. It turns the newcomer off. Like yourself, most newcomers are either atheists or agnostics and the last thing they want to hear is anything pertaining to religion.
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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    I too had the same problem when I got sober. I have attended Celebrate Recovery now for 8 yrs and for christians I find it to be a much better group. They use the 12 steps but also use 8 biblical principles to go along with it.
    My Blog at Wordpress-https://whengodsaysmove.wordpress.com

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndie View Post
    I too had the same problem when I got sober. I have attended Celebrate Recovery now for 8 yrs and for christians I find it to be a much better group. They use the 12 steps but also use 8 biblical principles to go along with it.
    I get that. CR actually started at my church - Saddleback. It's a huge part of the church today. I look at CR similar to other church venues. They are all Christ based. The point of my post was to use a venue (AA) to message to nonbelievers. That would be stepping outside my comfort zone, like Paul did, to reach the unchurched. It will likely be met with great resistance but then again, so was Paul.
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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Anytime we are witnessing to UNBELIEVERS, or atheists, or Hindus or any such person, we must step out of our 'comfort zone'. But then, it it wasn't Christ who delivered you, then no reason to talk about it to anyone. I don't find any scripture that tells us to only go witness to those who already believe..................
    My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

    "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Just a suggestion: You may want to find a Celebrate Recovery group instead. There you can find much more support which you may need at least for a while. It is also 12 step but is Christ centered and includes those who are recovering from other things not just alcohol addiction. e.g. substance abuse, abuse situations, Adult Children of alcoholics, and more.

    There is a movie out called "Home Run" which includes scenes with a Celebrate Recovery group to which the main character in the story, an alcoholic, goes and enters into the recovery process with others. Might be worth a watch.
    "The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
    and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land
    ." SofS 2:12 (RSV)

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I've more or less stopped going to AA. I have nothing against the program. It has saved my arse more times than I can count. The issue is people really don't want to hear about "my understanding of God" which is Christ. Any time the Bible or Christ is mentioned in an AA meeting eyes roll and there's a very negative response (usually). That has been my excuse for not going. On the flipside, it's also a great opportunity to mention the Gospel to an unbelieving community. As I study Paul's character that's exactly what he did. He preached the Gospel to pagans and nonbelievers. He didn't care what people thought. I do so I've been avoiding it and sticking to the "church crowd" because it's my "safe zone". I don't think Christ wants us to play it safe so I may need to prayerfully reconsider this as a venue for evangelizing.
    Paul preached Christ and Him crucified so if you can get a chance to get a presentation of what the gospel is about then I think I would do it. It's unrelated but I remember in one of my college courses this year a girl was talking about TV preachers being money hungry and I took that short oppurtunity to share the true gospel of Christ's work on the cross with her and we talked about the topic she had brought up. I said "a TV preacher can't save you only Jesus can". I think if you can get a chance to, you can do it. Even if you have a different opinion you are still entitled to proclaim and express it.
    Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Walley10 View Post
    Paul preached Christ and Him crucified so if you can get a chance to get a presentation of what the gospel is about then I think I would do it. It's unrelated but I remember in one of my college courses this year a girl was talking about TV preachers being money hungry and I took that short oppurtunity to share the true gospel of Christ's work on the cross with her and we talked about the topic she had brought up. I said "a TV preacher can't save you only Jesus can". I think if you can get a chance to, you can do it. Even if you have a different opinion you are still entitled to proclaim and express it.
    The basic belief in AA, although I don't believe the co-founders actually subscribed to this thinking, is to make it all-inclusive in that a doornob can be your god or the group. Many people come to AA violently anti-religious. It's hard for them to acknowledge that a power greater than themselves even exists. I get that. However, as they mature in their sobriety I find it disconcerting that the old timers still admonish any mention of the Bible or Christ. The irony is that nothing in AA is an original thought, just packaged differently with all precepts coming from the Bible.
    I know what I know
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  11. #11
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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Perhaps being slowly and gently led into believing that there is a God and not some nebulous higher power is the approach. Not proselytizing in an AA meeting but saying things in that meeting that will draw those persons to you to know more. Living your faith in full view of the fellowship of AA and not pushing will bring those to you that are willing to hear what you have to say. People who are hard and angry towards God and churches aren't ready to be preached to or evangelized. Relationship first, watch and listen for the opportunity to begin sharing with them. I just recently went back to meetings myself. Interestingly I got a new sponsor who is a believer. I have resisted both AA and church for a while now (church partly because it's so far away-at least one I would gladly and willingly attend). My spiritual foundations are getting shaky. So off I went.

    I fully understand what you're saying. One of the reasons I stopped going to AA was the idea that if you could stay sober through it you could do anything. Like sleep around, be profane in speech, steal, etc. And still talk about how God leads them, and well, you've heard it all I'm sure. I got tired of the meat market atmosphere in many meetings and after the meeting fellowship.

    But....outside of our primary command to preach the gospel to all nations/men and baptize them and make disciples of them, we are also to do good works (I don't mean to get and remain saved), to pray for our enemies, to do good to them, to be kind, gentle, helpful, feed them if they are hungry, relieve their thirst, clothe them....

    They (the unbelieving and angry/hard) are expecting to be preached at and criticized and judged. So....if we don't do that and instead treat them as we wish to be treated and watch, listen and wait for our opportunities to share Jesus I think that will be more successful. Our reason for being there is to serve, and in serving helps us to remain sober and clean. If your purpose is something else you will be met with failure and disappointment.

    I see nothing wrong in naming Jesus as my higher power in a meeting. And my experience has been that many who hear that have an automatic resistance to me. They have a preconceived notion of what I'm gonna say and do.

    The other way to view this (for me at least) is if I were to be more vocal openly in a meeting and only 1 person responded then if I don't get real vocal and only share my experience, strength and hope and someone (1 person) comes up to me after the meeting to know more I have still done as Jesus commanded. And....if you really believe He is in charge and you want His will done then He will bring them to you. This is about serving. Not evangelizing. Well, not directly evangelizing. Jesus is our director. We are powerless. Let Him determine how we are to reach those in AA (or wherever we go).

    I ignore the rolled eyes and the nasty comments. I expect that. Jesus told me to expect that and worse. I cannot let that influence me. Instead I pray for them. That is our response to that behavior. And to be kind when they are not. They expect one thing, we should surprise them and do what they don't expect. Jesus did that often.

    Oh, and, the Christians will come to you for help in getting and staying sober/clean. As soon as I understand that a certain person is a believer I gravitate towards them. They may not all come to you but it is a common bond that only another believer will understand who has also struggled with drunkeness. Our overcoming through Jesus will cause some to ask us questions that only we can answer. Some of these have not found CR or church again. They are fearful of either.

    I decided I would suit up and report for my orders from Jesus. I serve Him and in serving Him I serve others. Go and listen. Pray for His will and inspiration as to what you should do and say.

    Peace, Berean11

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Berean11 View Post
    Perhaps being slowly and gently led into believing that there is a God and not some nebulous higher power is the approach. Not proselytizing in an AA meeting but saying things in that meeting that will draw those persons to you to know more. Living your faith in full view of the fellowship of AA and not pushing will bring those to you that are willing to hear what you have to say. People who are hard and angry towards God and churches aren't ready to be preached to or evangelized. Relationship first, watch and listen for the opportunity to begin sharing with them. I just recently went back to meetings myself. Interestingly I got a new sponsor who is a believer. I have resisted both AA and church for a while now (church partly because it's so far away-at least one I would gladly and willingly attend). My spiritual foundations are getting shaky. So off I went.

    I fully understand what you're saying. One of the reasons I stopped going to AA was the idea that if you could stay sober through it you could do anything. Like sleep around, be profane in speech, steal, etc. And still talk about how God leads them, and well, you've heard it all I'm sure. I got tired of the meat market atmosphere in many meetings and after the meeting fellowship.

    But....outside of our primary command to preach the gospel to all nations/men and baptize them and make disciples of them, we are also to do good works (I don't mean to get and remain saved), to pray for our enemies, to do good to them, to be kind, gentle, helpful, feed them if they are hungry, relieve their thirst, clothe them....

    They (the unbelieving and angry/hard) are expecting to be preached at and criticized and judged. So....if we don't do that and instead treat them as we wish to be treated and watch, listen and wait for our opportunities to share Jesus I think that will be more successful. Our reason for being there is to serve, and in serving helps us to remain sober and clean. If your purpose is something else you will be met with failure and disappointment.

    I see nothing wrong in naming Jesus as my higher power in a meeting. And my experience has been that many who hear that have an automatic resistance to me. They have a preconceived notion of what I'm gonna say and do.

    The other way to view this (for me at least) is if I were to be more vocal openly in a meeting and only 1 person responded then if I don't get real vocal and only share my experience, strength and hope and someone (1 person) comes up to me after the meeting to know more I have still done as Jesus commanded. And....if you really believe He is in charge and you want His will done then He will bring them to you. This is about serving. Not evangelizing. Well, not directly evangelizing. Jesus is our director. We are powerless. Let Him determine how we are to reach those in AA (or wherever we go).

    I ignore the rolled eyes and the nasty comments. I expect that. Jesus told me to expect that and worse. I cannot let that influence me. Instead I pray for them. That is our response to that behavior. And to be kind when they are not. They expect one thing, we should surprise them and do what they don't expect. Jesus did that often.

    Oh, and, the Christians will come to you for help in getting and staying sober/clean. As soon as I understand that a certain person is a believer I gravitate towards them. They may not all come to you but it is a common bond that only another believer will understand who has also struggled with drunkeness. Our overcoming through Jesus will cause some to ask us questions that only we can answer. Some of these have not found CR or church again. They are fearful of either.

    I decided I would suit up and report for my orders from Jesus. I serve Him and in serving Him I serve others. Go and listen. Pray for His will and inspiration as to what you should do and say.

    Peace, Berean11
    You're spot on. I'm actually making good strides towards cleaning up my own profanity. The constant dropping of "F" bombs in meetings has actually become unattractive to me whereas before I had no issue with it UNTIL I read Col 3:8 "But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."
    I know what I know
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  13. #13
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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    You're spot on. I'm actually making good strides towards cleaning up my own profanity. The constant dropping of "F" bombs in meetings has actually become unattractive to me whereas before I had no issue with it UNTIL I read Col 3:8 "But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."
    Ugh, the profanity....the bane of the recovering Christian....well, I still struggle with the language, not as bad as it used to be. And I still smoke. Drink to much coffee. But my heart....my heart is in a better place. And when I hear God's name taken in vain I cringe. It's feels like someone just struck me. I admit once in a while I slip up (when excessively angry). But for the most part that word has left my vocabulary. And when I do slip....now that causes me to feel guilty. And well I should. Immediate repentance then.

    I'm glad you are going back to meetings. We will have to encourage and support one another. All of us. Be more consistent about checking the forums for our posts in this area. I sure need it. I live in the middle of nowhere. Meetings far or few.

    God bless you all and bring you peace, Berean11

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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Berean11 View Post
    Ugh, the profanity....the bane of the recovering Christian....well, I still struggle with the language, not as bad as it used to be. And I still smoke. Drink to much coffee. But my heart....my heart is in a better place. And when I hear God's name taken in vain I cringe. It's feels like someone just struck me. I admit once in a while I slip up (when excessively angry). But for the most part that word has left my vocabulary. And when I do slip....now that causes me to feel guilty. And well I should. Immediate repentance then.

    I'm glad you are going back to meetings. We will have to encourage and support one another. All of us. Be more consistent about checking the forums for our posts in this area. I sure need it. I live in the middle of nowhere. Meetings far or few.

    God bless you all and bring you peace, Berean11
    In the back of mind, I know I shouldn't drift too far from where I came from (AA) or I might end up back there raising my hand as a newcomer, again. I find myself having less in common with the people that go to meetings and I don't mean that in a self-righteous way. I honestly don't want to objectify women, curse, or think it's OK to gossip and slander others. When I'm around that element it's easy for me to drift back into those behavioral patterns. I NEVER would have imagined I'd be at a place where those things actually created an internal conflict, but they do. I'm 5 months off cigarettes and my coffee intake has gone way done. I believe smoking and drinking coffee is like peanut and jelly.
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    Re: Talking about Christ in AA meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    In the back of mind, I know I shouldn't drift too far from where I came from (AA) or I might end up back there raising my hand as a newcomer, again. I find myself having less in common with the people that go to meetings and I don't mean that in a self-righteous way. I honestly don't want to objectify women, curse, or think it's OK to gossip and slander others. When I'm around that element it's easy for me to drift back into those behavioral patterns. I NEVER would have imagined I'd be at a place where those things actually created an internal conflict, but they do. I'm 5 months off cigarettes and my coffee intake has gone way done. I believe smoking and drinking coffee is like peanut and jelly.
    I absolutely understand what you are saying. Which is why (and I said as much in meetings) I don't hang out continuously and go to more than 1-3 meetings a week. Besides, the whole point of the program was to make us productive members of society. That means I have to go back out into society and practice my principles in all my affairs (including obeying my Lord Jesus being as though principles are based on scripture). The same for church. If I all did was go to church, small groups etc....I would not be obeying Jesus.

    He sent His disciples out into the world after a period of learning/training. Although we are not to be 'of' the world we are in it. His gospel and His beauty and worth to be displayed to all. And some will respond....somedays though it gets frustrating and saddening to see so many in darkness and bondage-not knowing that they are....

    We come back to meetings and church to be refilled and taught and to help others there (discipling if you will). To know we aren't alone and can't do it alone. In private we are practice the disciplines that keep us focused on Him and His will and then go out to the world and practice it.

    Peace, Berean11
    Last edited by Berean11; Jun 25th 2013 at 03:39 PM. Reason: additional clarification/thoughts

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