Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Conversion of Bill W....


The Conversion of Bill W.
More on the Creator’s Role in Early A.A.

By Dick B.

How many times have you heard that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is God-given, was divinely-inspired, or was accurately characterized in the article by a Chicago judge: “Why We Were Chosen?” Or that Bill Wilson was guided by God when he penned the famous “Twelve Steps?” On the other hand, how many times have you heard the expression: “A.A. is spiritual, but not religious?” Or heard that A.A. requires a belief in a “higher power?” Or heard that A.A. is about “not- god-ness?” This book doesn’t address those questions. It is not about the nature of A.A. Nor about the place of the Creator in today’s program. Nor about whether AAs are a chosen bunch.

It’s an account of the many ways the Creator seems to have touched the life of Bill W. and, through him, the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Did He impact Bill W.’s life and hence A.A. itself? You will meet a Bill W. you haven’t met in the dozen or so biographies of his life. You’ll look at events in Bill’s life you’ve probably never heard of— whether inside or outside of A.A. You will see how many times Bill seemingly had a conversion or religious experience, whether he called it that or not. You will see how many times religion and church and clergy impacted on Bill’s activities, whether or not he impacted on theirs. You’ll note the details about Bill’s decision for Christ at the Calvary Rescue Mission and his belief he had been born again.

You will see the many examples of conversion experiences that Bill might have run across, just following his own “hot flash” experience—the event resulting from his call for help to the “Great Physician” and his vision that he had been in the presence of “the God of the preachers.” Was Bill Wilson converted? Did Bill Wilson become a born-again Christian? Did Bill Wilson truly believe in the one, true, living God? Were all of Bill’s frequent references to Almighty God a manifestation of what he really believed? God knows the answers. They’re His special province. Not mine. But you will have the opportunity to focus on a new question about the part our Creator may really have played in the life of Bill Wilson and in the worldwide Fellowship which began in Akron in 1935 and of which Bill was co-founder.

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