Theologian John Piper recently expressed some spiritual concern about the famous Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program for recovering from addiction.
In an episode of the podcast “Ask Pastor John,” a listener named Tanya asked about the A.A. program, as it had helped her recover from alcoholism.
“I’m five years sober from alcohol because I went to A.A. and was miraculously delivered from the desire to drink. I was, and am, a born-again believer,” inquired Tanya.
“However, I’m now hearing that it is wrong for a Christian to attend A.A. I only want to do the right thing before the Lord. I have entered a deeper relationship with God through A.A. and am always at liberty to declare that my ‘higher power’ is Jesus Christ. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the matter.”
Piper responded by noting that he did not object to Christians attending A.A. meetings and pointed out that the roots of the program “are in the Christian tradition.”
“The founders, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, were members of a Christian revival organization called the Oxford Group,” explained Piper.
“With this much outward similarity to the way Christians overcome sin, it’s not surprising to me that the 12 steps have and can be amazingly helpful for those moving out of addiction to alcohol.”
However, Piper did take issue over the non-sectarian nature of the 12-step program, stating that “the most serious omission of A.A. is not that the higher power is unnamed.”
“Tanya says that she sees Jesus as her higher power. Well, that’s good. But the most glaring omission is the entire transaction between God and man in Christ Jesus at the cross. The cross is missing. The atonement for sin is missing,” said Piper.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski