2; AA/NA AND THE SEX ISSUE
Note- when I post these types of post on Facebook- my intent is not to ‘preach’ to my friends who are living in various situations [I have gay friends- friends in different situations]. No- these types of posts are for those who are in these types of groups- AA- etc. and seem to be wanting a lifestyle change to some degree. So- for those who keep seeking some difference- and keep stumbling over stuff- for those- I thought this type of post might help- ok- trust me- I don’t wish to offend anyone.
I want to cover Sponsors in one post- but first let’s get to what I think might be the most important aspect of why some- in AA/NA- might still be struggling- with continual relapse- after an entire lifetime in the program.
This past year as I did read the Big Book- and attended meetings- I noticed- and was told- that many in AA/NA have ‘traded one addiction for another’.
Actually one of our first Halfway House residents told me how- in his view- many have traded the substance addiction for ‘sex addiction’.
That is- a lot of the people are ‘picking up’ people for sex- to put in bluntly.
A few months ago- I was having a talk with a friend who is sort of ‘an expert’ in AA.
Been in it for 25-30 years- knows the material well- good guy.
In our discussion I told him that I feel like many are continuing to have problems because the sex issue is really not dealt with- as a sin- and many who stop drinking/using- are still dealing with the guilt- and what the bible calls ‘wrath’ on a daily basis- because of this actual issue.
Ok- I’m not preaching here- I have ‘been there- done that’.
As most know- I’ve pretty much talked about stuff in an open way this year.
So- no one here is a saint.
But- in scripture- the act of sex- outside of marriage- is considered much more destructive to a person’s soul than all other sin [outside of murder].
So- when people stop abusing drugs/alcohol- but still participate in adultery- the penalty- feeling this Wrath- will still be there- but in a much more pronounced way.
Let me explain.
The Apostle Peter wrote ‘There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises- whereby we can escape the corruption that is in the world THRU LUST’.
As I have stated in other posts this past year- I have come to believe that the core issue of addiction is indeed this lust [sex] issue.
Now- many will identify as a substance abuser- but often the person started using substances- maybe years earlier- as a way to deaden the Wrath [that feeling of guilt- and judgment] that comes along with ‘sleeping around’.
You cannot escape this- period.
So- for some- the root cause of their addiction is this very thing [remember- the bible- which I just quoted above- actually says that the corruption exists in the world- thru lust. Which means that is the root of all other sin in the world. Not saying sex- the God ordained way- in the marriage covenant- but any sex outside of marriage brings this judgment on a person].
I do believe that this is a root cause of relapse- continuing in what the bible describes as a much worse sin/addiction- then the actual substance abuse itself.
But now- when some do indeed find freedom from the substance- but can’t seem to overcome the sex thing- Walla- you begin feeling this judgment- this wrath- in a more pronounced way.
And because the sex thing is not dealt with [I’ll explain in a moment] then there is a natural tendency for the user to want to return to the drug/drink- because that’s the thing that ‘deadened’ the guilt from the start.
Now do you see?
Ok- when I was talking with my friend who has much experience in AA- I told him that when I read thru the big book this past year- I remember reading a page that said the founders of AA decided to be neutral on the sex issue.
My friend vehemently denied this!
See- once again- it was more of a defense of the movement itself- then an honest conversation.
I was not defensive- I told him ‘oh- maybe I’m wrong- I just remember reading a passage- and I remember how it talked about the popular philosophy of Freud- Hedonism- and then that page seemed to say that AA takes a neutral position on the sex issue’.
I remembered the passage because I teach philosophy as well as history- and when the Big Book was written the thinking of Freud was a big debate- Freud taught that one of the problems of man was him trying to restrain himself from any expression of sex at all. That if we throw off all those old ‘Victorian/religious’ rules- and practice unrestrained sex- Hedonism- then we can resolve man’s problems.
So- that’s why I remembered the passage from the big book- it did not say it accepted Freud- but also chose to take no position and not really deal with the whole sex issue [which in my view is THE ROOT of most addictions].
So- my friend- who at first said I was wrong- that the big book does take a stance- went and found the page.
I read the passage- and sure enough- it was the page I remembered.
And- as I re-read it- I was right.
[Just a note here- when he showed me the page- he seemed to say ‘see- it’s here’- like he was defending the Big Book. When I sat there and read it- I told him ‘yeah- this is what I just said- that here AA takes the neutral position’. He then agreed with me. He too knew Freud. He admitted I was right. See? That’s a problem in AA- even my friend- who was open and sincere- when he knew the page he opened to was actually agreeing with my point- he still went ahead- to defend the book- knowing he was wrong.]
I wasn’t mean- I just told my friend how as you read the page [he did know about Freud] that you can see that the Big Book is not taking a stand on the sex issue.
And actually teaches- in another section- that on these issues you follow your conscience- and if whatever type of sex your conscience says is ok- then that’s acceptable.
Ok- once again- if you follow this- and try it- you will never be able to escape the ‘built in’ wrath of God- and in my view- eventually relapse- because the root issue is not dealt with.
I want to say that my experience in AA was not a negative one- but because I was open minded- and never was ‘anti-AA’- this allowed me to get to know people- ask them questions- and try and learn from their experiences.
This last year- as I read up on addictions and the Rehab industry in the U.S.
I found some who are totally opposed to AA- and want to end the program.
I am not in that camp.
As I sit here and write- a verse comes to mind.
When I was back in N.J. - I struggled with whether or not to stay in the meetings.
Most of all I didn’t want to be a stumbling block to those who have found AA/NA as a great help.
To those- I say ‘great- keep doing what you’re doing’.
My intent in this brief critique is for those who are finding themselves in some of the examples above.
The bible says ‘you will know the truth- and the truth will set you free’.
I have found many- most- of the AA friends do not want to hear- or read any of the other literature on addiction.
If someone is close minded- or has a view that reading the other stuff is somehow wrong- then those people will continue to suffer from not knowing the latest information about addiction.
The verse that I read while asking God what position I should take- I knew I was seeing lots of this stuff because I have taught- and participated in Movements over the past 25 years.
So I knew many of the good things about Movements- as well as the dangers.
So- I could see some of these things- and many of my AA friends had no way to spot some of these flaws.
The verse- from Acts ‘REFRAIN FROM THESE MEN- IF IT BE A WORK OF GOD- NO ONE CAN STOP IT- BUT IF OF MEN- IT WIL FALL’.
I believe AA/NA is a work of God- and that as it goes for all movements- you can attack them- pick them apart [as many did in the books I read- or from friends who did not want to get clean].
So- this critique I write for the benefit of ‘Bill’s Kids’.
Yeah- one of the most amazing things to me in my year with AA was how God used an ex-alcoholic to start a worldwide movement that would help many people become free from substance abuse.
If I were talking to Bill W right now- I would say-
‘Brother Bill- what a great work of God you founded with a small group- I truly enjoyed being with your kids this year- they are a great family.
These things I write are not meant to simply criticize you.
But I felt like the kids needed this- that as all movements- and books go- apart from the bible- they are with flaws.
I even think you would be displeased to see that some of your kids treat the Big Book- almost like the bible.
So- as I say goodbye to AA- I might stop in every now and then- but I felt like my purpose was done with this great family.
I worried- a lot- that my seeing these things- and not being able to deal with them in a meeting format- might cause others to fall- who are your kids Bill- not mine.
So- I bless your kids- they are a great family- you did something that most never do.
You remained anonymous as much as possible.
You effectively passed off the movement to THE KIDS.
Your kids run the show- that’s great!
Yes- many biblical principles have been introduced thru AA.
I pray that as the movement goes on for many more years.
That the adjustments that need to be made- will be made.
God bless you all
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBoook] - I have posted lots.