No need for Christ in Alcoholics Anonymous


Many people believe Alcoholics Anonymous or A.A. is a Christian based organization.  Well, nothing could be further from the truth.  Researcher and blogger John Lanagan has uncovered the occult origins of this organization and has written a book and a plethora of articles to expose A.A.’s beliefs.  To discover the truth behind A.A. and its popular Twelve Step program (sadly, many churches have adopted Twelve Steps) visit My Word Like Fire.

Now to John’s piece…

Alcoholics Anonymous

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

In the Alcoholics Anonymous theology there is no need to accept Christ in order to gain peace with the Father. Christ the mediator has been eliminated.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

The Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” contradicts this:

“As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed by a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.” (Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book”, pg.46) (bold mine)

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (Matthew 7:13)

Because of fear and/or idolatry, Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous continue to defend this anti-biblical organization.***

Alcoholics Anonymous is a ripe mission field–or should be. Unfortunately, the worst missionaries to people in A.A. are often those Christians who attend A.A. and have absorbed the twelve step philosophy. There is much timidity, and much syncretism. There are exceptions to this, but it is a mistake to believe the Christians in A.A. are effectively and boldly delivering the Word of God.

Of course, Christians should not be there in the first place–just as we should remain spiritually separate from Mormons, Jehovahs Witness, etc. (2 Cor 6:14-17)

A.A.’s spiritual emphasis is not on eternity, but on “recovery,” a word that many A.A. Christians now confuse with “sanctification.”

How devious this all is. The twelve steps do not address sin, or repentance, but rather put such things in generic terms: wrongs, making amends, etc. Incredibly, A.A. teaches there is no “easier, softer way” (Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” pg. 58), meaning there are no other alternatives, and this means “church” in particular.

That is correct: Negative comments about “church” are frequentlymade in A.A. meetings. This can even come from members identifying themselves as “Christian.” And so, in this way, alcoholics are further discouraged from going where they could hear about Christ.

Another lie propagated is that alcoholics are too angry to hear about Christ, and so it is better to tell them to seek a “higher power.” Again, incredibly, this seems to be accepted by numerous Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous. I have even heard this from an A.A. Christian in a pastor’s office!

Being in bondage to alcohol is no light thing. Of course, neither is eternal damnation. Alcoholics Anonymous was created to corral people into A.A. to ostensibly deal with alcohol addiction–with life long meetings!–in order to steer them away from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 6:12)

Understandably, such a statement angers many. Yet, after decades of twelve step spirituality, we have a weakening church, and a powerful twelve step religion. There is a connection between the two. Secular author Christine Wicker accurately credits Alcoholics Anonymous with “hastening the fall of the evangelical church.”(Fall of the Evangelical Nation, pg. 134-138)

What do alcoholics need to hear? That Christ can save them from eternity in hell, and that Christ can deliver them from bondage to alcohol.

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:4)

We are sinners by nature (Original Sin), and by our actions. We are guilty before Him. We cannot measure up to God’s holy standards, and indeed our sins are an offense to Him.

For I delivered to you of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Ask His forgiveness and turn from your sins in your actions and thinking–turn to Him.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10:11)

Let us approach alcoholics in love, and with the truth. Be sensitive to the Spirit. This is not about beating someone over the head with the Bible–but it is absolutely NOT about avoiding the gospel message–because we are not ashamed of the gospel, right? We can say “sin,” right? We can explain repentance. We can also share how much He loves us–so much He died for us while we were yet sinners.

If you are in A.A., please understand there are many of us free of drugs and alc0hol who do not attend A.A. or Celebrate Recovery.

Christ may deliver someone instantaneously. I have a number of friends who have been freed like this. So too have many benefited from Teen Challenge, Setting Captives Free, and other Bible-based approaches.

The Lord is fierce; the Lord is holy; and the Lord is kind. He loves us–and may He show us how to reach alcoholics and drug addicts with the Good News.


*** It is a fearful thing, leaving AA. The Big Book (the AA “bible”) states, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”[1] Because this passage of AA “scripture” is taken literally, alcoholics rarely look elsewhere for help. Christians continue to jam their God, the Ancient of Days, into AA’s chameleon theology.

“Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11-12)

It is not just fear that keeps us bound to this all-gods religion. The 12 Step experience becomes an idol–long term involvement almost always results in a transference of faith. Bluntly stated, when it comes to sobriety, many Christians end up with more faith in the power of the 12 Step program than in Jesus Christ. (From the article Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders were not Christians.  Read article here)

Reprinted with permission.

Source: My Word Like Fire


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17 Responses to No need for Christ in Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. Nettie June 8, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    “No human power can alleviate my alcoholism, God could and would, if he were sought.”

    Coming from a family where alcohol was the norm, my body over the years started to reject it, but by then it was a normal habit and an addiction. While what you have written is more or less accurate, we are entitled to our opinions, it is this approach that is used due to a ‘wet brain’. When church or religion was mentioned in the rooms, I would remind people that their fear is about a man-made institution and not about God. As Jesus declared “You have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves.” Still applies today….

    God granted me the gift of sobriety on 9/10/2004 – and I seek Him every day with the result of the desire of alcohol being lifted. Most of the AA book is based on the book of James. And please note that addiction produces extreme mental health issues.

    “Take what you have heard that is of use to you and leave the rest behind.” If God has given the gift of faith it will give discernment of what to take and what to leave.

    And in order to have a spiritual awakening, one must do what is impossible without
    God, being completely HONEST with oneself and to accept that God is a power that is greater than mortal man……This is where the ‘bed of mental health’ enters and many are not capable of giving themselves to God completely. Therefore, there are a lot of ‘dry drunks’ running the AA show………….

  2. angela August 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    I completely agree with the early response way to go. I’m a recovering alcoholic of 5.5 yrs by the grace of God on Feb 7 2011. We are asked to choose a higher power mine yes was and is JESUS. But the earlier writer is correct the big book is based on James so how is that not involving Christianity and if you’ve never been involved in AA how can you write about it or what people go thru because each case is so different and yes there is mental health issues with the majority of cases some from abuse some from PTSD and many other difficult situations also for some people it’s the first time in their lives they have been somewhere someone has ever cared about them. Honesty with ones self and being able to admit to another our wrongs we have to be able to do. Yes and the earlier writer said there are dry drunks I didn’t make it my first try. Honesty doing the work daily trusting in ones higher power and so much more along with what was suppose to be anninimity and living our lives one day at a time sometimes one hour at a timeis how ssome get thru. Please learn what it’s about not what you think or have heard because AA has helped and saved millions and believe it many if us hace chosen Jesus for our higher power GOD BLESS.

  3. Michael G January 21, 2017 at 11:02 pm #

    This authors misguided view would kill many alcoholics…. keep in mind the church and christ were around long before AA, yet AA was needed. Many people come in having to let go of their previous concepts of God because they were preverse. AA helps them open the door to spirituality when they were morally bankrupt. AA exists in over 50 different countries worldwide without a need to conform to any particular religious beliefs other than loving other members…. Id suggest you make it your mission to strengthen your personal relationship with God rather than judging others in the name of God, after all, are you God? Much love to all!

  4. Michael Hernandez June 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    Thank you so much for this… I completely agree- this is it• God is so good~ this artical is an answerd prayer- Praise God in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen and Amen

  5. Juanita I. Cunningham June 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    I tried very hard to get and stay sober in church but could not be successful.
    I loved God with all my heart and prayed for His will every day of my life.
    I never ever stopped praying for sobriety.
    I believe that God led me to AA where I finally got sober and where I learned how to
    live the life of a christian. That was 50 years ago. God has been very good to me
    and I still love Him with all of my heart. I have not had a drink in all of that time.
    Having said all of that – I really long for christian fellowship with the people in the
    church. Many times I have tried to find acceptance in the church but it hasn’t
    happened. I married a Presbyterian church minister (now deceased). I have been
    a church organist for many years. I long for fellowship with people who love Jesus
    but I have never found it in the church so I stay in AA and try to help others find
    Jesus. AA people “love to hear me talk”. My prayer is always that God would
    speak His words through me and I believe it happens.
    I am not saying that people in churches don’t love Jesus. What I am saying is that it is
    difficult to find acceptance. People speak, they are courteous but they have not allowed
    me into their lives – e.g. go for coffee … even although I have often “made the first move”
    by giving them my personal info card. Actually, it is hurtful. Even worse is the fact
    that when I realize certain AA people want to go to church, I have no church to take them to!!!!

    • Maggie June 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

      Juanita, many of us have struggled in finding a good Bible-believing church, whether in a church building or in a home. Until I found my current church, I, too, was unable to recommend any church. I travel an hour to get to my church, which makes it a little difficult to connect with people because of the distance, but I make it work. (There are numerous people in my church who have come through AA, though I have no real opinion on AA.)

      Perhaps you could start “church” in a home or in the building your AA group meets. It’s not hard to do, although I think it’s important that mature Christians lead the meeting. I need to warn you not to affiliate with any house churches that are in a network, which may indicate they are part of the NAR. And there is no need to read any books or manuals in doing church; many books have an agenda they are pushing. The essential elements are prayer, worship/singing, Bible study and fellowship.

      • Juanita I. Cunningham June 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

        Hi Maggie
        Who is NAR?
        You idea sounds great but I do no feel capable of such an undertaking and
        I do not know anyone to get to help.
        It certainly is something to pray about though. If doors were open I certainly
        would try.

  6. Brent October 10, 2019 at 11:00 am #

    I actually clicked on this article because this is something as a born again Christian I’m wrestling with. I know AA’s beliefs (especially in the beginning when Bill and Bob were constructing AA) do not line up with scripture. I’ve heard the book of James and referenced in AA as I fall back to explain how one with Christianity it is. And there is “some” truth to that. But “some” truth isn’t the Truth. I still have guys I am sponsoring. And what AA holds to is that I could hurt someone’s recovery by speaking to them of Jesus and what the true nature is of their soul. How can I reconcile that! That’s supremely more important than sobriety right? Of course I’ve had sponsees that have asked me about my spirituality and I was able to tell them the Gospel. But those that don’t (which there are far more) I feel and I have always felt like they don’t know what could truly set them free from the bondage of self. AA is a type of legalism it seems and it can’t set one truly free from bondage. Sure they can work on selfishness etc.. But when they are truly struggling with sin (which that is what selfishness, resentment and fear are) and cant seem to overcome it than your not supposed to talk them of the One who can set them free indeed. And where my simple issue is, is that I know people get sober and stay sober for years in AA. and I have helped them along their way. I go to rehabs and speak to guys and I love that. So, what I’m to do? I will continue to seek God around this as my heart seems to be leaning further and further away from AA.

  7. Juanita Cunningham October 10, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    My present personal experience is the same!!! I was sooo happy to read your article. I am in a continuous state of “shall I come out from
    among them.” I have been sober for 49 years next month.

    • Juanita Cunningham June 9, 2020 at 6:21 pm #

      A.A. taught me: A.A. is NOT a ticket to heaven
      Nor will it keep you from going to hell
      But it will keep you sober long enough
      For you to make up your mind which way you want to go!

      When I first went to AA I was very ill mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally. The church was not capable of helping
      me. I tried for years. AA did. I have always been a born again Christian and always loved Jesus with all my heart. I was raised in
      a very disfunctional family — unloved by my Christian mother and abused beyond description. She was very active in an evangelical
      church. I have now been sober many years and I really love my Brother and Sisters in Christ. They are in the church. Occasionally
      I find one in AA.
      God never let me go. He was patient and merciful. I still love Him more than words can tell.
      I believe He knew what I needed —– AA is a stepping stone to do whatever is in your heart. In my case I wanted to Jesus’ will
      and He enabled me to do just that.

      • Bill September 7, 2021 at 3:27 am #

        What I’ve seen and what I was more or less ran out of is churchianity and had a hard time escaping the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous. According to their own statements the success rate over there is only around 10%.
        I read the Bible cover to cover for the most part then reread. On my second trip thru the Bible I noted the several inconsistencies throughout. Nonetheless I found myself clouded in a religious fog.
        I’m now irreligious and sober. Free to believe. Positive humanism grounded in reality instead of the supernatural belief systems abounding.

    • Connie March 30, 2021 at 6:24 am #

      Hi. Can I please talk to you about Christianity and AA. I’m sober 38 years. Trying to go back to AA but something just feels off for me.

  8. John May 1, 2020 at 8:57 am #

    Blasphemy know the truth!! What about eternity? Grace alone faith alone Christ alone. Truth will set you free. It’s not faith plus works!! Its faith in Christ our sins can only be forgiven through Jesus Christ! Denial that he Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, is a Sin its Blasphemy it’s wrong and you will be judged by God and it’s his wrath to worry about for eternity.

  9. John Zipperer September 18, 2020 at 6:11 am #

    Lung Cancer is often the result of years of cigarette smoking. Heart disease can result from poor diet and a lack of exercise. Everyone dies, and as the Bible says “the wages of sin is death,” so in some sense we all die as a result of sin, which sickens the body in one form or another, and even when there is no moral “choice” per se that can be pointed to as causing the illness.
    Addiction is believed to be the manifestation in part of an aberrant reward-circuitry in the nucleus accumbens/median forebrain bundle, which “hijacks” the brain making it virtually impossible for the addict to resist the behavior with will power alone. Most Christian’s accept that strokes or epileptic seizures or brain cancers can alter the underlying structure and function of the brain, and most reformed theologians and believers would have no problem with a believer taking medications to treat those disorders, especially, for example seizures, which in times past were believed to be spiritual disorders. Why is it not possible that other aspects of the brains function could be altered adversely in a way that manifests the “illness” of addiction?
    ALL illness is a result of sin entering the world through Adam, according to our Biblical worldview. Just like the lung cancer mentioned above, it is true that certain sinful behaviors and patterns are often underneath the development of addiction, yet who would argue that lung cancer is not an illness or that it’s only appropriate treatment would involve repentance, confession of belief in the death burial and resurrection of our Lord, and prayer? Yes, for Salvation all of that is essential, and can certainly impact survival of an illness, but what Christian Pastor would advise a parishioner not to get surgery chemo and radiation treatment from doctors and a medical center of excellence unless all of those treatments were based on biblical teachings?
    Yet in AA, the disease concept of a alcoholism was melded with a solution based on mutual support, honesty, humility, service, and the seeking of guidance from God, all of the ideas behind the steps were originated in the Bible, but the God of the Bible and Jesus are not specifically mentioned so that people can start with where they are. One blog post mentioned Pauls use of “the unkown god” in his Mars Hill sermon as a comparable tool.
    At the age of 19, as an atheist I began attending meetings of AA. After a couple of years, while at Emory, someone gave me Josh McDowell tapes and I gave myself to the Lord. After two years of seeking “God as I understood Him” in AA I was led to Jesus. Not everyone in AA will find Jesus. Not everyone who has epilepsy, or a stroke or lung cancer who receives treatment will find Jesus. Yet I am sure the Great Physician is very much for the caring and treating image bearers with as much dignity and respect as we can muster. This love and compassion comes from Him; no way could it be from any other source. I believe it’s a manifestation of common grace: He makes it to rain upon the right rapid and the unjust.

  10. Roger Mounger January 5, 2021 at 10:12 am #

    I to am alcoholic,but I’m also a Christian..
    I’m not into the 12 steps as others are,I can easily see the occult concept.
    Others believe the completion of the steps,promises are rewarded.
    It’s difficult seeing souls unsaved,it’s difficult seeing my friends led down the wrong road..
    6+ years ago,I was going through withdrawal,I ask to take em away,I promised I’d get back in Church,and AA.
    I had my spiritual awakening..God is in AA,saving power of Jesus is not..

  11. Jerry Z. March 9, 2021 at 5:06 pm #

    It’s really sad that anyone would confuse getting sober with getting into heaven. Esp someone who has written a “plethora of articles” and a book, and who is supposed to know better…I pray for John and anyone else here who not only fails to distinguish one from the other but who promotes subsequent nonsense by basing their beliefs on their own misunderstanding and failure. All I can say is I hope and pray that, for whatever personal reason John is upset with AA, does not detain others who have yet to learn how to let go of the demons in their lives. God bless you all!

  12. paul March 22, 2021 at 6:15 pm #

    it is important to not judge, I read that in a book somewhere,,,,, most of you have it laying around. As a Christian my daily goal is to show love, arent we told this the greatest gift of all? In my effort to show love i find myself doing what the carpenter did by putting myself in all sorts of places most people turn away from.
    I believe context is important when i read scripture and no more important than reading the book of alcoholics anonymous.
    The authors were christians, this isnt up for debate its just a fact. They weren’t starting a religion and to say they were is just not so, true some may use it that way but thats not the intent. They were on the firing line watching alcoholics die in front of them and felt lost. If youve seen this you would understand the intent of sharing their experience overcoming drinking. Of course they werent of full disclosure, how could they be in the effort they undertook. You have to remember the times the book was written, how does one write a book that doesnt offend Christians, Jews, Agnostics and other mainstream religions of the day yet still help those same folks overcome drinking? Impossible right,,,, reading the book you will find that they state “we have no monopoly on God” and “Be quick to see where religious people are right” these and many more humble statements tell the reader to search on in their own personal chase of God not stop after sobering up but continue.
    Of course i to can see the dogma in AA, The literal use of its literature as a say all end all but that wasnt and isnt the intent. I would encourage all christians who have stepped into AA to look for opportunities to share the message of Christ it is a very fertile ground for that. And tho we may scoff i encourage you to pray