I am firmly convinced, now, more than ever, that the 12-step program as originally adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous, is closer to capturing the true essence of a Christian’s attitude and relationship to God Alcoholics Anonymous and to others than anything taught or modeled in our Christian churches at least in my lifetime. If all Christians were 12-step Christians, all of the ugly traits that have wrapped themselves around Christianity in this culture in the last 40 years would never have come about.
Things like pride, self-righteousness, judgmental attitudes, anger and overbearing assertiveness would never have had a chance to even sow their seeds in churches and Christian organizations had Christians all been recovering sinners in humble fellowship rather than “holy” saints in God’s faux army marching against everything we don’t like about the world.
Recovering sinners have not a judgmental bone in their bodies, since they are so overwhelmingly conscious of their own sinfulness and lack of self control. Recovering sinners have had all pride and self-righteousness stripped away through coming to the full realization of their own helplessness and inability to change themselves. Recovering sinners have nothing to be angry about since they are so full of gratitude for the grace and undeserving favor bestowed on them by God along with the knowledge that this grace and favor has already been extended to every person on the planet whether they know it or not. Blame is nowhere in the mind or the vocabulary of a 12-step Christian. With no one to blame, there is no one to be mad at. The only legitimate anger for a recovering sinner is anger towards Satan and evil, but that is warfare in a spiritual realm beyond our control.
It is for this reason that we at the Catch are going to embark on a 12-week study of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. It will be a reorienting of our priorities and attitudes and will set us up to be a different kind of Christian — one that the world desperately needs to see, now that the judgmental, self-righteous, ungrateful, pushy Christian is so firmly entrenched in the culture’s consciousness. And in doing so, we will be well-suited to be carriers of the true gospel of welcome — grace turned outward.