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CR vs The Twelve Step Programs

 Editor    Feb 06 : 23:24
 None    Question and Answer

I am in the CR ministry and have an alcoholic background.

I am in the CR ministry and have an alcoholic background. I just graduated from the CR program after about a year of going to it every Saturday morning. I also went through treatment in an inpatient program for two years. This is where I was taught the Big Book of AA and the 12 steps. I believe these steps are essential to a contented sobriety. I also think that it works to bring athiests and agnostics closer to God and a spiritual plan of action. My question is how does the CR ministry view AA and its freedom relating to spiritual practices? How do I convey my convictions about Christ in an appropriate way without sounding like dogma? Also what should I do next since I graduated from CR - sponsor another disciple?

Firstly, the Chemical Recovery ministry does not look down on AA or NA nor do we feel that they are ineffective. There are many people today who are clean and sober as a result of these programs and we would be foolish to deny this. Twelve-Step programs are, quite simply, the best the world has to offer. They answered a need for the addict and alcoholic when the church and society, as a whole, had failed them. These institutions did little in the way of helping the addict except for putting them into hospitals and mental asylums to finish out their days.

The Chemical Recovery ministry is different in a number of ways. The foremost of these is that it is a ministry. The CR ministry is founded on Jesus Christ. Officially AA and NA speaks only of a persons higher power. For a lot of people in these groups this is God as they percieve him, but their higher power can just as easily be the chair they happen to be sitting on. You will not be considered wrong for thinking this way. In contrasting this with CR, if Jesus is not becoming the Lord of the addicts life, the group will be ineffective for them.

It is true that the Twelve Steps can bring a person closer to making a decision about Christ. Usually those who contnually work the steps are the most receptive to the Scriptures. Looking closely at the Twelve Steps, it is obvious that those becoming disciples will be working through all these changes. So in CR we practice much more than the Twelve Steps. We call it discipleship.

With regard to reaching out to someone in an AA or NA group, there are many who walk into these groups trying to cram the Bible down someones throat. Jesus did not do this. Reaching out to the addict is no different than anyone else. Build a great friendship. Serve them but don't enable them. To drag out an old but valid saying "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." This is also true of the addict.

So what to do once you have graduated CR. As the scripture tells us "Freely you have received, freely give." With CR, you don't really have it until you give it back. Find someone to take through group and be the best possible friend they could have. On a final note, in CR we don't have sponsors, we have discipling partners. Remember to always "keep it green".

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