Voting the Lord’s Prayer Out of A.A.
Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

More and more efforts are being expended by a few members of the A.A. fellowship to move Almighty God out of the A.A. and other 12-Step and "anonymous" meetings. A Common technique is to call for a "group conscience" vote on elimination of the Lord's Prayer. Doing so, they almost invariably ignore the modern tradition that a "group conscience" was intended first to seek the guidance of "a loving God as He may express Himself. . ." A concerned AA recently asked me what could be done about "voting God out," and I have written a recommended response in this article.
The answer revolves around what A.A.'s co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob did in the early A.A. days. And the answer is that they closed meetings with the Lord's Prayer.
The answer revolves around whether A.A. should tear away from its historical roots, substitute idolatrous gods for the Creator, use the lowest common denominator for prayers that would be accepted by atheists, agnostics, Jews, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists, and any and all who became soured on their church life and on God Himself.
The answer does not revolve around the question whether A.A. is Christian today. It is not. It revolves around whether A.A. is against Christians, Christianity, the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, church, and religion. It is not. Hence the real answer is whether A.A. will recognize its history, allow historical and sound practices to remain, and practice tolerance of ideas born out of early principles, practices, and successes.
Many would comment that you cannot "vote" God out of anything. You can decline His help, go it on your own, and find out how that works for you. In the beginning, God (says Genesis). In the beginning of A.A., God (said the desperate AAs who could not help themselves or obtain help from any "human" power). And, as Jim H., who got sober before there was an A.A. and who supported it for all of his 100 years of life, said to me: "Dick, If you take God out of A.A., you have nothing." And if Jim H. was right, is taking the Lord's Prayer out of A.A. by vote, just another way of pulling a nail out of the coffin where unbelievers and mystics are waiting to spring forward with New Age "spirituality" and all sorts of nonsense gods at their side?
The following is a response of mine to one of the many troubled folks who contact me and ask "what about the deletion of the Lord's Prayer by group conscience."
Craig: Thank you for your concern and for writing.
1. When I first came in over 25 years ago (maintaining continuous sobriety
from that day forward until now), not knowing what A.A. was or could enable me to do with God's help, I was delighted to hear and join in the
Lord's Prayer at the end of meetings.
2. As you observe, God is being moved out of the meetings--not because the
folks don't want Him but because the bleeding deacons are trying to destroy the A.A. that was in the beginning--a Christian Fellowship. That doesn't mean that it is or even could be a Christian Fellowship today. It does mean that it is or should be open to the principles and practices of anyone who believes in Almighty God--as the founders did! Then it's a question of what God wants, not what some individual would like to vote on.
3. The "group conscience" thing proceeds without God despite the talk about
"a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience." They don't pray because they don't believe. They don't ask Him because, if they did, God would not "vote out" the Bible, would He? Better, they say, like my first grandsponsor naively said: "Let's let the finger move around the room and point." That kind of subjective nonsense can vote idolatry, "spirituality," and baloney into the fellowship anytime the "finger" points--in the view of the perpetrator.
4. The answer today involves several important truths whether we like them
or not: (a) A.A. is no longer a Christian fellowship, and that's not going
to change. (b) AAs are not learning today about their Christian origins, history,
founding, Christian fellowship, and its astonishing successes. (c) There are
still tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Christian believers in A.A.,
and they don't let out a peep when someone tells them there is an "higher power"--whatever that is, or when some idiot tells them their higher power can be a rock, table, chair, light bulb, or Santa Claus. (d) The newcomers are sick, need intelligent help, and are being fed poisoned nonsense instead of the "fruit of the Spirit". (e) And if one believes in the devil, he will readily see where the idolatry and atheism and crafty New Age "spirituality" is coming from.
5. Is there a solution if you love A.A., as I do? Of course! It is to
learn what early A.A. was like, learn that you can apply its principles
and practices in your A.A. life today, do it, and pass it on to those
who want God's help and ask for it--going to any lengths to get it.
6. I strongly urge you to buy two of my important books, which you can
order on my main website: (a) "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s
Roots in the Bible" (b) "The Dick B.
Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010,
Recov-Guide.shtml. And then to obtain from a meeting or Central
office the Co-Founders Pamphlet P-53. You can use it to show others
precisely what Bob and Bill were saying about A.A. in 1948. And
it's about God, Jesus, and the Bible. It is "General Service
Conference-approved" literature.
Keep those cards and letters coming! Thank you.

God bless,

Dick B.

Author's Bio: 

The author is a writer, historian, retired attorney,Bible student, CDAAC, and an active and recovered member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. He has published 42 titles and over 550 articles on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement