Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

Dick B. discusses A.A.'s higher-powered gods

  • Broadcast in Religion
Christian Recovery Radio with DickB

Christian Recovery Radio with DickB


Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow Christian Recovery Radio with DickB.

Call in to speak with the host

(929) 477-1573


When I came into A.A. in April 1986 to get sober for the first and last time, I was sufficiently sick and confused that I don't think I gave God much of a thought. I saw "God as we understood Him" in the Steps on the wall of the room. I felt I had an understanding of God, and that was that.

Before long, my newly-sober sponsor and his sponsor were talking repeatedly about "higher power" this and "higher power" that; and I think I concluded that I had two higher powers: one was our Creator; the other was the A.A. group. And nobody set me straight on any of this. Unfortunately, it was a long time before I went to a Joe and Charlie Big Book Seminar in Sacramento and learned how much God was embedded in A.A.'s General Service Conference-approved literature.

Furthermore, I learned from DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers that A.A.'s basic ideas came from the Bible--which many AAs--including Dr. Bob--called the Good Book. And there was plenty in A.A.'s Big Book and its Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers that called God the Creator, Maker, Father, Heavenly Father--all biblical descriptions.

But then came the nonsense gods that were flooding meeting sharing. I heard that your higher power--whatever that  was--could be a light bulb, a door knob, a radiator, the Big Dipper, a Coke bottle, and Ralph. And I heard it often.

As my A.A. years rolled on, I realized that A.A. newcomers were being short-changed in their knowledge of their history, the Bible, God, and prayer. And that much of the trouble--coupled with frequent relapses--could be identified with those who looked at A.A. as a place to get sober, but learned little about God's role.

Today and in future shows, I'll introduce you to what I believe is not typical of early A.A. and not typical in A.A.'s literature today--the so-called higher power craze.