I’ve been thinking a lot about the Christian roots of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’ve seen literally 100’s of people’s lives transformed over the years by God’s grace and healing power in AA.

“I’ll do anything! Anything at all! If there be a God, let Him show Himself!”  Said AA founder member Bill Wilson.

 I’ve seen communities built and sustained, people turning from the old (repenting), admitting they need spiritual help, surveying their pasts,  making amends for harm caused and rebuilding damaged relationships. I’ve seen them living in the present, sharing their own experience, strength and hope and going the extra mile for others. AA’s fundamental foundations were built on Jesus’s transforming messages of love, forgiveness and service from The Sermon on the Mount and the Book of James.

But mention Jesus in an AA meeting and people think you’ve lost the plot.

 The beauty of AA is that people are smashed to bits (rock bottom) and come to believe that they need a spiritual way of life..thats big in itself, hurrah! I get it, the idea of a ‘Higher Power’ or  ‘The God Of Your Understanding’ being more palatable to those on the first rung of the spiritual ladder. It’s so much more trendy, cool and sexy to be part of some new-agey, undefinable movement but I do wonder how AA’s Christian roots have been buried/lost/forgotten  (at least over here in the UK anyway) to the point that the name of Jesus has become a dirty word in an AA meeting.

Maybe it goes back to the fact that Christ’s message and reputation has been tarnished. Over the years his recurrent themes of forgiveness and love have been obscured by the  larger than life billboards of  fundamentalist Conservative preachers.  Highly public religious scandals have become somewhere else for militant atheists to hang their hats and say ‘I told you so’. Christianity has become something to laugh at or be repelled by and Christians are lumped together by non believers as anti-intellectual, anti-gay, Bible believing literalists who all believe the world was created in 6 days.

“Spiritual not religious” has become the battle cry. Christians are seen by society as hypocritical, judgemental and religious and some are. Most of us know it was the ‘religious’ folks that Jesus had the most criticism for.

Its time to change the face of Christianity. If it’s offensive to say the name of Christ in an AA meeting which has such Christian roots then something has gone horribly wrong.