Dick B. interviews Christian Recovery leader Alan McC. on the January 14, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show.
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You Can Hear the Alan McC. Radio Interview Right Now
You may hear Dick B. interview Christian Recovery leader Alan McC. on the January 14, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show here:
Episodes of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show are archived at:
Introduction of Alan by Dick B.
Alan McC. is our guest today. He and his family vacation, and have visited us, on Maui. They have a condo on Maui and attend a Christian church here. Alan resides in Clayton, California, and is retired.
He’s an avid Big Book student and teacher, and has long been an active AA. He participates in the International Christian Recovery Coalition. He and his wife reach out to still-suffering alcoholics in many ways, including support for CityTeam International.
He’ll tell us his vigorous exercise and sports life–golf, swimming, diving, hiking, and running. And Alan’s Big Book and 12-Step knowledge have been extremely helpful to us, particularly since Ken and I have turned our latest research and publishing work to telling AAs and others just how much there is in present-day A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature that encourages the interests of those alcoholics who want God’s help. Who want to invoke it in their own 12-Step Fellowships. And who are looking for the ample historical facts showing that the principles and practices of the early A.A. “Christian fellowship” founded in Akron in 1935 are quite appropriate in A.A. today.
We believe that emphasis can significantly help Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena, as well as Christian newcomers, understand what the early Christian AAs did with such great success in 1935-1939. How Bill Wilson’s “new version of the program” (including the 12 Steps) altered the highly-successful “old program” yet retained its basic stress on the power of God. And how the two programs (old and new) meld together for believers needing and wanting God’s help.
Alan will tell about his drinking days,, career, and his vigorous service to God and others.
Synopsis of Radio Interview
You will learn the most and the best of Alan’s remarks by listening to the radio show itself
But there are some highlights that are important to report here:
1. Alan has no doubt he is a real alcoholic. He can’t and couldn’t control his drinking and couldn’t control to whom or where it would land him once he began.
2. The consequences of his own life and drinking were the shame, guilt, fear, separation and loneliness he felt. But, at age nine, he experienced the “ease and comfort” that came with drink. For, when he didn’t drink, his life was unmanageable. But when he got drunk, everything became joyous and manageable.
3. On New Year’s Eve of 1983, he relapsed. He was riding a motorcycle. The noise and joy left him confused. He had done the 90 meetings in 90 days. But he had a sponsor who was content to go to meetings. Period! Then the sponsor left the country. For seven years, he didn’t drink. But he had never heard of Jesus, God, the Solution, or the Program of action (a situation not uncommon in the later A.A. days of his and of Dick B.)
4. Then he found a new sponsor. The man asked what happened since he hadn’t been drunk for seven years. He then asked Alan if he believed in God and if he knew what God’s name was. When Alan gave the appropriate answer, he was told to get on his knees and pray the 3rd Step Prayer. Then the 4th, 5th, and 6th Steps. Followed by the 7th Step prayer asking God to take away his character defects.
5. But he was losing his job. He called his sponsor. They went to a meeting—a meeting of 7 men. A meeting that is still going in San Francisco and now has 70 attending. Alan had learned the importance of working with others. He is sure he sponsored between 100 and 150 men and women. He conveyed to them the hopelessness of their plight—the situation Dr. Silkworth had described so well. But there was an emphasis on morality, rather than the Christian person for morality. And he felt his life had become purpose-driven.
6. Fourteen years after he was sober—fifteen years ago—he had been insulted by a woman. He became separated from God. And he grasped the importance of God. The key was honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. Alan had been chastised for mentioning Jesus. But he was told he need never be ashamed of Jesus. That page 29 of the Big Book had nothing to do with how the pioneers got sober. It had to do with the personal stories of how the pioneers had, in their own language and from their own point of view, established their relationship with God.
7. To an AA who had reproved him for saying Jesus Christ, he said he stood on Romans 10. He told the person, “I know where I’m going.” He asked the man if he knew where he was going, and the man said he did not. Alan realized his job was to spread the news of hope and that love did not separate people. His sponsor made clear that he must not take irrelevant or hurtful remarks personally.
8. I (Dick B.) will not steal the high point of a final story that Alan told about the miracle that happened when he was under water trapped in a cave, and cried out to the Lord for help. He referred to what Bill W., Bill D., and Dr. Bob all said about who could and did deliver them. The first two said the Lord had cured them (page 191 of the Big Book). The third (Dr. Bob) said “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down.” And, when our listeners have digested that, and have heard of Alan’s deliverance, we’ll let them decide if miracles still can and do happen when resort is had to the love and power of God.