We often hear medical professionals and addiction treatment specialists say that addiction is a disease, but this concept is a secular conclusion, not a Christian philosophy. In fact, the roots of AA were securely planted in the Oxford Group Movement, which said that addiction was a spiritual matter and must be dealt with accordingly. They blamed the problem of human existence on self, the idea of personal sinfulness, asserting that individual sin was the key problem and the entire solution was in the individual's conviction, confession, and surrender to God.
In tracing the history of the Christian recovery movement, we learn that recovery programs of The Oxford Group, The Salvation Army and other early Christian pioneers were based on Biblical principles and salvation through Jesus Christ. These recovery processes were later altered by Bill W and his AA program.
While AA acknowledges the importance of a higher power, it also allows each participant their own version of a god. In addition, Bill W promotes the concept of coping with addictions instead of standing on the premise that there’s complete freedom in Christ. This is unusual because Bill W acknowledges that he had a Christian conversion experience that set him free.
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia (the online dictionary) that clarifies the issue: “The AA concept of powerlessness is different from the Oxford Group. In AA the bondage of an addictive disease cannot be cured only controlled and is a departure from the Oxford Group belief, which stressed a spiritual conversion that would bring complete victory over sin.”
If Christians believe that addictions can only be controlled, then like the rest of the world, they have no hope. Therefore, it’s important that Christians be reminded that Jesus died for the sins and iniquities of mankind. His death led us out of captivity and into a life of victory. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
There is no doubt that Christians must learn to walk out their freedom. But first, Christians must claim or even reclaim this free gift from God. And if we agree with the Bible that we’re new creations in Christ, then it’s important to understand how counter-productive – and perhaps anti-Christian – it is to stand up in front of a group and continually claim that you are either a drug addict or alcoholic.
The Solid Rock Road Christian recovery program in Oregon helps the addicts, their loved ones, along with pastors and ministry leaders. You can visit our website at www.thesolidrockroad.com, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also read a Christian recovery book I co-wrote titled Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery.