A.A.’s rigid fundamentalist Big Book passages

For years The Word Like Fire has unearthed the unholy origin and history of Alcoholics Anonymous, and warned that A.A. is an anti-biblical religion. All this you can find on this blog.

In several articles we have noted that A.A. can be defined as a new age religion (where anything and everything can be defined as “god”), but is nevertheless rigidly fundamentalist in key areas.

Irving Peter Gellman observes, “A member who suggests that A.A. is not as effective as maintained, and who implies that some improvement might be made, will be censured when broaching these ideas. The A.A. program is deemed infallible, whereas other methods are considered less than perfect.” [1]

Here is where the A.A. fundamentalism comes from. The following is a passage from How It Works, which is read at the beginning of each and every A.A. meeting. Consider what is being said here:

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” [2]

So, if you fail, it is because you “cannot” or “will not” work the program, and it is “usually” those who are “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.”

Is this so? Many desperate and sincere people simply cannot respond to A.A. Yet, this is what alcoholics are taught. Then, too, there is this fundamentalist tenet in How It Works, also read at each and every meeting:

“We thought we could find a softer, easier way. But we could not.” [3]

This is a fundamentalist trap. The alcoholic is convinced only A.A. works–even though A.A. works for very few. The alcoholics is taught contempt for alternatives, with “church” being the number one object of scorn. I experienced this frequently during my time in A.A.

Many survivors of A.A., meaning people who have broken free of the A.A. religion, can be found on the web. Many of these are not Christians, but they are brave people, because A.A. pretty much has its way in the courts, and in education, and in media.

The Plains Indians used to kill buffalo by having an Indian pretend to be a buffalo. Dressed in buffalo skin, the Indian decoy would lead the herd to a cliff as the tribe caused the herd to stampede by making terrifying noises from behind. At the last moment, the disguised Indian would fling himself aside, and the buffalo would continue over the cliff.

This is what A.A. is doing to this country. It is killing us by pretending to be powerful and effective. A.A. is a theological decoy, and a treatment decoy. People are pointed away from Christ the Savior, all the while trapped in an ineffective treatment system that declares it is the alcoholic’s only hope.

Things could have been very different had Christians not been convinced to ignore the Bible’s warnings about A.A.* Had we stayed with the teaching of Acts 2:42–

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

This is why in healthy churches you will find people who once were addicts or alcoholics but now are free–and this without the 12 Steps.

The people in A.A. are great. This is not an attack on them. But until Christians understand what A.A. is, and what it can and cannot do, there will be no change. It’s that simple. And that difficult.

1. Irving Peter Gellman, The Sober Alcoholic, pg. 121
2. How It Works, Chapter 5, AA “Big Book,” pg. 58
3. Ibid, pg. 58

*Gal 1:6-9, 2 Cor 6:14-18, 7:1, Isaiah 42:8, 1John 4:1

7 thoughts on “A.A.’s rigid fundamentalist Big Book passages

  1. Reblogged this on DiscernIt and commented:
    I know all about AA. As a recovered alcoholic sober 38 years, I recall the time spent in this institution. I hated it. My thinking back then was I wouldn’t drink again if I didn’t have to attend another meeting.
    I was raised in the church but wasn’t walking with the Lord at this low point in my life. Because of the grace of God, He pulled both me and my husband out of our addiction to the bottle and we both have never drank again.


    1. Amen Kim. So many of us free of drugs or alcohol, simply worshiping in our churches, praying, reading the Word, fellowshipping and breaking bread… and we are free of A.A. or other 12 Step groups. 38 years! Wow, Kim. Holy is the Lord!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This kind of discernment is rare in the church world, or so it seems to be. It’s refreshing to see that not everyone is on the AA bandwagon. 🙌


      1. Thank you for the link. You can reblog my testimony. I was saved 30+ years ago and I’m still amazed and so so grateful that the Lord saved me! 🙌🏻


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