Why Isn’t Church More Like a 12 Step Program?

Below is the 12 Step program (originally for alcoholics):

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

1. We admitted we were powerless over ________ – that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Mindy and Bryan were having a conversation a while back about the 12 Step Programs and how church would probably be a much more fruitful and beneficial activity if it functioned more like a 12 Step Program. If you read the steps above they seem like a perfect path for Christians, new or old in the faith, to begin their journey. Many come to faith not as alcoholics, but as chocoholics, shoppoholics, greedy, materialistic, selfish, self-righteous, adulterous, deceptive, pious, gas-guzzling, uncaring, you pick your vice.

Could you imagine if church services where less about one message for all gathered, and more about embracing each person on their journey of faith?
I wanted to start a “Pharisees Anonymous” group at our church that would meet about 45 minutes before the service started. Folks would come together, and acknowledge their shortcomings. We would confess to one another scriptures that we were aware of that we were struggling to follow, and we would encourage one another to continue to journey. No finger-pointing, no judgment, but not a lot of “feel happy” puff yourself up stuff either. I’m thankful I live in a community that does that, now I want to spread it to the church.

Anyone else interested in starting a 12 Steps group?

9 thoughts on “Why Isn’t Church More Like a 12 Step Program?”

  1. I know that when Bryan and I were talking about it I thought it was pretty awesome….and I still do. I wonder how it would be to try and incorporate that into life goals…

    I think we should print them off and post them in our room and bathroom or something?

  2. Amen. All great works begin with humility because that is what God uses. What if our entire purpose on earth is to learn our position relative to God and each other (ie humility)? This begins with confession. AA all the way.

  3. The 12 Steps Down To Hell

    I imagine 12 Step recovery programs are a slow slide into the jaws of Satan. I was involved with this evil “satanic cult” [AA] for over 30 years but was saved through the power of Jesus Christ. He directed me to a therapist who was into “real” recovery, not the mind destroying, soul destroying, cult, which is AA. I have met two Steppers recently & I imagine they are completely devoid of any emotion or insight. I feel pain because both these men are decent human beings but AA has destroyed their individuality & they have no idea how to relate apart from expounding AA propaganda. I imagine Hell to be a continuous flow of AA meetings without any light at the end of the tunnel because one never recovers’. I beg you people who are in 12 Step programs, to get out before it is too late.

    How does one recover when one is handing one’s power over to AA. The 12 Steps were written out of Wilson’s head, he certainly didn’t get his guidance from the Bible. I imagine he was an agent of Satan & he & Smith’s “cult religion” has filled millions of Steppers with their anti – Christ propaganda.

    Step Three of AA is “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.” While many in the Oxford Group placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, there was much leeway given. Shoemaker, a leader of the Oxford Group, says, “The true meaning of faith is self-surrender to God.” He further explains:
    Surrender to whatever you know about Him, or believe must be the truth about Him. Surrender to Him, if necessary, in total ignorance of Him. Far more important that you touch Him than that you understand Him at first. Put yourself in His hands. Whatever He is, as William James said, He is more ideal than we are. Make the leap. Give yourself to Him.
    Aside from capitalizing the “H,” which Christians do to refer to the God of the Bible, “Him” could refer to any god of one’s own making [bedpan].

    Can you see what is happening to you? Ask Jesus to take control of your lives, read the Bible & instead of 12 Step groups, go to Church. Burn your Big Book or use it as toilet paper. Can you see the difference: With The 12 Steps, you never recover but with John 3:16 you are guaranteed Eternal Salvation. The “ball is in your court”
    Peace Be With You
    PS: I am a recovered alcoholic with over 22 years of sobriety.

  4. Michelle, I’d love to hear more! Let me know your thoughts.

    If you don’t mind I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on my comments above specifically, not just your thoughts on 12 steps.

  5. I agree with Patrick completly. I went into treatment and when I got home I decided that I would throw all the material I was given at treatment (AA big book, pass it on, ect.) into the fire outside while I said a prayer and made a commitment to never allow drugs in my life again. I also made a commitment to never ever allow anyone to talk about AA without me speaking up about the harmful anti Christ cult. AA makes a mockery of the death of Christ. God cannot be anything you want him to be. A person has to be drawn by the spirit before he can have salvation—to be saved. AA makes people believe that because they are drug or alcohol free they are attaining salvation. This is a lie. Christ says come as you are. He will change you without you having to work steps 1 through 12. Steps are not biblical. The bible is your guide, not the big cult book. I lost the best job in the world because I refuse to go to AA meetings. I look at not going to aa as a sacrafice I can offer to him for pulling me through one of the worst times in my life. The power of the Lord delivered me— Not some rediculous anti-christ ritualistic treatment center or aa meetings.

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