In A.A., Calling God “God” – Yesteryear and Today!

What did the A.A. Pioneers call God!

Earliest A.A. Leaders Specifically Described Their Trust in God

Dick B.

Copyright 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Making Up Some “god of your own?”

Some today have made up their own gods and not-gods. They’ve called them chairs, somethings, somebodies, door knobs, light bulbs, the Great Pumpkin, the Big Dipper, and whatever they are told they can do praying to a tree or a table. In later A.A., treatment people, therapists, some AAs, and even clergy began thinking they were some new self-made, extra-terrestrial “higher power.”

Not so with four important Early AAs.

A.A. Pioneers Heard: “God either is, or He isn’t;” and they chose God!

Bill Wilson summarized the real God in whom they trusted. He did it in the First Edition of the Big Book. And he clearly referred to the Creator! He referred to the Creator as such 12 times. Called Him our Maker, our Heavenly Father, and the Father of Lights—all right out of the Bible.

Here was Bill’s statement of the real Solution for the alcoholic:

There is a solution.

The great fact is just this, and nothing less: that we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences, which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous.

Alcoholics Anonymous “The Big Book” The Original 1939 Edition: Bill W. With a New Introduction by Dick B. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2011), 35-36.

The Pioneers Made Up No God. They Specifically Used Bible Terms

The early AAs were consistent in their references to trust in God, His Son, the Bible, and the power of God that had made their cures possible and effective.

Bill W. said: “Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed, 191.

DR. BOB said: “If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you . . . . Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 181.

A.A. Number Three (Bill D.) said: “That sentence, ‘The Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep telling people about it,’ has been a sort of a golden text for the A.A. program and for me.” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 191.

Clarence S. (who got sober in February of 1938, was sponsored by Dr. Bob, and founded A.A. in Cleveland in 1939) said–as he was about to be discharged from detox at Akron City Hospital: “Then he [Dr. Bob] asked, ‘Do you believe in God, young fella?’ . . . . ‘What does that have to do with it?’ ‘Everything,’ he said. ‘I guess I do.’ ‘Guess, nothing! Either you do or you don’t.’ ‘Yes I do.’ ‘That’s fine,’ Dr. Bob replied, ‘Now we’re getting someplace. All right, get out of bed and on your knees. We’re going to pray.’” DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 144.

When You Pray for Help, Would You Ask a Light Bulb to Cure You!

Gloria Deo

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About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement. www.dickb.com
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