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ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AND CELEBRATE RECOVERY

By 1934, alcoholic Bill Wilson had ruined a promising Wall Street career because of his constant drunkenness. He was introduced to the idea of a spiritual cure by an old drinking buddy, Ebby Thacher. While in a hospital, Wilson underwent what he believed to be a spiritual experience and, convinced of the existence of God, he was able to stop drinking.

On a 1935 business trip to Akron, OH, Wilson felt the urge to drink again and in an effort to stay sober, he sought another alcoholic to help. Wilson was introduced to Dr. Bob Smith. Wilson and Smith co-founded AA with a word-of-mouth program to help alcoholics. Smith’s last drink on June 10, 1935 is considered by members to be the founding date of AA. By 1937, Wilson and Smith determined that they had helped 40 alcoholics get sober, and two years later, with the about 100 members, Wilson expanded the program by writing a book entitled Alcoholics Anonymous, which the organization also adopted as its name. The book, informally referred to by members as "The Big Book," described a twelve-step program involving admission of powerlessness over alcohol, moral inventory, and asking for help from God. In 1941, book sales and membership increased after radio interviews and favorable articles in national magazines, particularly by Jack Alexander in The Saturday Evening Post.

In Celebrate Recovery, Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, CA has developed a program that is similar to AA or other support groups. The difference is that this program emphasizes Jesus Christ and the principles of the Bible. In recent years AA and like groups are talking about a higher power and seem to be drifting away from Biblical foundations. Some in the AA program even seem to think that church is more harmful than good. Church is not a place for hope and healing.

In Celebrate Recovery, they talk about the 12-step program (AA). However, they tie it in with eight choices based on the Beatitudes.

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