We've been visiting and residing in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii for many many years. And when I came here to reside about 1990, I dived into A.A. trying to find men who were suffering and wanted help. And I found and helped many learn the Big Book, take the Twelve Steps, learn about early A.A.'s Christian Fellowship and its successes, and seize the option to combine old school A.A. with 12 Step fellowship group ideas today. There were dozens who became part of the fold and passed the info on.
But something was sorely missing on Maui. If a person was Maui friendly, A.A. friendly, 12 Step friendly, Recovery friendly,Bible friendly, and A.A. roots friendly, he or she would be hard put to bring that option of God's help into play without having someone yap at them about supposed and non-existent prohibitions on talking about such matters. I've seen several make a big play of leaving a meeting if someone mentioned the Bible. I've seen two people consistently take action (without success) trying to ban such talk at meetings, openly attack anyone who made such remarks, and try to ban books that told the truth about A.A. history and its link to God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible. And the sad thing was that the protesters didn't seem to have a clue that this was what the early A.A. Christian Fellowship of Akron Number One--founded in June, 1935--was all about in practice and success. And those compelling facts have not changed with the passage of time.
Things changed when Bill Wilson and his committee of four changed the language of the 12 Steps in order to appease atheists and agnostics. This was a last minute tiny group who negated Bill's consistent emphasis on God as he drafted the Big Book. On came the "higher powers" that were light bulbs, tables, radiators, Big Dippers, door knobs, Santa Claus, and Ralph. These nonsense Gods dominated the language of the rooms all too often. On came the mysterious words and phrases such as "spirituality" and "spiritual, but not religious" which would baffle anyone challenged to define the ideas, but fanned the flames of secularism. But A.A.'s own conference-approved literature was and is filled with plain and simple assurances that alcoholic/addicts could be cured by the power of God; and they the books and literature still do,
See Stick with the Winners http://mcaf.ee.s50mq and page 191 of the latest edition of Alcoholics Anonymous.
But this day the much-needed option for recovery (in or out of 12-Step programs) by the power of God came strongly into view. We spent much of today talking to an experienced, 12-Step oriented, believer who is in touch with the community, judiciary, law enforcement, treatment, counseling, and A.A.-N.A. leaders and workers. He was eager to make available to new men and women the option of learning what God can do for them in or out of 12 Step Fellowships if they want Him bad enough to seek Him, believe He exists, and be rewarded in the way Hebrews 11:6 makes clear. In fact, it was Bill Wilson who used the borrowed phrase "God either is, or He isn't." And asked what our choice was to be. That's in his Big Book, and those roots are not dead.
So, though our elation is preliminary, it seems quite probable that a widespread message may soon be transmitted to the afflicted, the affected, and the concerned public that God can and will help the seemingly hopeless alcoholic if God is sought. He has healed for centuries. He has healed alcoholics for centuries. The first three AAs were healed by the power of God before there were any 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, Big Book, drunkalogs or meetings as we know them today. See The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks, published by and available from Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Soon, therefore, via a virtually unknown sober living program that has excellent vibes with the community, the judiciary, law enforcement, treatment, and counseling as well as with many experienced AAs, NAs, and 12 Step leaders and workers, a new option may become a reality.
The key is that the program is A.A. friendly, Bible friendlyRecovery friendly, Newcomer friendly, and just plain friendly to the affected and afflicted. It will make available as an option recovery by the power of God, just as early AAs did in 1935--and with astonishing success.
For those who want God's help, there will be an opportunity to learn and apply what God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible made available both before, during, and after A.A. was founded in Akron in 1935. They will if they wish learn what A.A. states so plainly in its basic text: God either is or He isn't. What is the choice to be for someone seemingly hopeless, medically incurable and in despair. A.A.'s own conference-approved literature makes clear that God can do for you what you cannot do for yourself. And the miracles of healing by this route were widely reported and astonishingly successful in the early A.A. days and should be today.
It looks like help is on the way on Maui!