Monday, January 08, 2007

Church and AA

On Sunday, we had a guest preacher at church.

It was a guy called Mike from a local alcoholism recovery centre in Coventry called Open Hands. Mike told us about the shambles his life had become due to alcohol, then in time his path towards recovery via the Alcoholics Anonymous. Eventually, via this 'unchristian' organisation, Mike was led to a Christian faith. He is now one of the Trustees of this tiny charity which is running a small residential 'dry' house for local alcoholics that the rest of society had decided were hopeless cases.

Mike came to believe that he was unable to function without relying on God on a daily basis - one day at a time.

Not for the first time I marvelled at the power of the 12-steps and the other mantras of AA. Not for the first time I wondered how it was that this organisation that functions at the very bottom of the social pile had managed to get so much about life right when those further up had it so wrong. Not for the first time I saw God moving outwith of the confines of church as we know it.

There are essentially three reasons why AA is often better at being church than church is. First, there is no position of glory in AA. All are alcoholics and none are allowed to forget. Second there is an attitude of complete surrender - nobody arrives at AA unless they have already worn through all the alternatives. Third there is a culture of mutual service.

Thank the good Lord in heaven for AA. If only we were more like them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chuckle. This is the first time I've heard A.A. described as an organisation that "functions at the very bottom of the social pile". I'm sure all the A.A. members in the U.S. Senate and Congress would agree!

5:07 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Sorry, you're right, that isn't what I meant...

2:18 AM  
Blogger Micky said...


Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God [John 3: 3].

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staffs were very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You

5:03 AM  

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