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I worked my 2nd step this weekend.

Old 07-18-2006, 10:15 AM
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Just a query - were the Oxford Group an "evangelical" one? I don't know that much about them, excpet for the stuff I've learned in "Back to Basics" meetings. I understood them to be pretty Gnostic in outlook, missing out that whole Pentecostal "spread the word" tradition?
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:19 AM
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And as for all this stuff about "compromising" ourselves - isn't that what spiritual disciplines are about, the capacity to rise above the mere words and witness the similarity in action, in a life well lived? You put it well Blake - it's about "getting rid of attachment" - but doesn't that also include you and I getting rid of our attachments to our prejudices about Christian language? If you ask me to tell you, I'll be very vocal in just how non-Christian I am - but at the same time my anti-Christianity is a prejudice of mine, not a failing of all those people I know who are Christian and living healthy lives - healthier than me! So it's more about me getting rid of my attachment to my prejudices, than it is about me protecting those prejudices by carefully choosing the words I use and avoiding "compromise"?

Just a thought.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:24 AM
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The Oxford Group was originally a religious group of Oxford students. It was founded in the 1910s by the Christian evangelist Frank N. D. Buchman and grew into an international movement until it was replaced in 1938 by its successor Moral Re-Armament. This was to disaccociate the movement because of Buchman's notorious Hitler interview. Also a catchy new title predicted the outcome of the war would not happen if enought people had the mindset to make amends and confess their sins. There were wrong. WW II killed millions of civilians and soldiers alike.

Various other movements were influenced by the Oxford Group, most notably what was later to become Alcoholics Anonymous. Oxford Group would not lend its credibility to AA because it was upscale and did not honestly want to include finacially deprived alcoholics.

The London newspaper editor A. J. Russell converted to the Oxford Group after attending a meeting in 1931. He wrote "For Sinners Only" in 1932, which inspired the two writers of "God Calling". They collaborated with A. J. Russel to publish in 1935 one of the all-time Christian bestsellers.

The Oxford Group was the brainchild of Dr. Frank Buchman, a Lutheran minister. Popular in the 1920s on college campuses (including Oxford University, from which it took its name) and in upscale neighborhoods, the group promoted Buchman’s belief in divine guidance: One should wait for God to give direction in every aspect of life (it wasn’t about alcoholism or any other single problem) and surrender to that advice. Buchman’s program emphasized public confession of sin during meetings at members’ houses, making restitution to those sinned against, and promoting the group to the public. The group’s individualistic bent—if God’s guidance could solve everyone’s problems, social movements seemed useless—divorced it from activism or politics. But when Buchman told a reporter in 1936, “I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism,” the Oxford Group’s fortunes started to fall. After Buchman’s death, in 1961, the group all but disappeared. Few remember his name today, but his principles—surrender to divine guidance, confession, and making amends—live on in another unlikely fellowship. Buchman was featured on the cover of Time magazine with the title "Cultist Buchanan". He never married.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Group
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
doesn't that also include you and I getting rid of our attachments to our prejudices about Christian language? If you ask me to tell you, I'll be very vocal in just how non-Christian I am - but at the same time my anti-Christianity is a prejudice of mine, not a failing of all those people I know who are Christian and living healthy lives - healthier than me! So it's more about me getting rid of my attachment to my prejudices, than it is about me protecting those prejudices by carefully choosing the words I use and avoiding "compromise"?

Just a thought.
I know what you are saying, I still make judgements and have a pretty big resentment against organized religion.....however it has gotten better....progress not perfection, ya know? At least I can say the word, god, today without cringing...and that all started when I got rid of my preconcievd judgments about the word.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:42 AM
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DK,

Yes the oxford group was a christian group. That doesn't mean that AA and subseqentially NA (I am not a member of AA so I try to keep things focused on NA) are christian in nature. That would be like saying that the KKK is a christian organization.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:43 AM
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That's a good point Blake. And I'm not saying they are Christian groups, but the influence is unmistakable in my eyes. I have noticed that NA, atleast in my area, is a bit less so.

I scored a 28 on a scale from 25 to 100 on the spiritual type test upstairs. I guess that's why I need something that can't be interpreted any way other but secular. LOL. Thanks folks, I've really enjoyed this thread!
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob
I think it's great that people can secularize what to me is inherently not secular.
Like you and Five, I also have a great respect for anyone who is able to make a 12-step program work for them. Even envious at times. Though I don't "believe in" a theological God, or the biblical or Western culture's depiction, choosing a higher power was the easy part. There's lots of those. It's the rest of it that I can't get my fat head around, lol.

And another thing too, is that in open meetings, the speaker most always refers to a higher power (mostly God) as the end and be-all of their recovery. Regardless of who/what one turns it over to, they're still turning it over. I think that's part of what tripped me up.

Maybe I'm just hard-headed, but I don't think so. There's just so much more to it.

Well Blake, I certainly wish you the best of luck, and I think it's great that you are able to wrap your mind around it all, really.

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Old 07-18-2006, 12:06 PM
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I wonder... if there was a program that stated something like "in order to recover, you must believe or atleast be open to the possiblilty that God did not exist, how many religious/spiritual people would use it, even if it was the only game in town.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:17 PM
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I have to say, Blake, that reading your ideas on this issue may make it easier, or make me feel better, about going to 12-Step meetings in the future.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:18 PM
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Good point Door Knob.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:19 PM
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Yes, I am with knob there. I just didnt hear from people who saw it different to others. So its good that you have filled in the silence a little Blake.
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:38 PM
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Thanks yall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread also. THats why I was happy when this forum got started, it gives me a place to find like minded people and learn more about myself.

THe whole conflict with people of faith and secular people I think stems from the effectivness of NA as a whole. It works no matter what your religious/spiritual beliefs are, but some people that have gotten clean fall under the false pretense that there way is the only right way (which may be true for them) and they get a little overzealous in sharing it since it is what has worked for them. (I'm guilty of this myself) It's jsut that it's amazing to some people that they are able to stay clean and they want other people to know it's possible and how to do it (their way to do it). I take what I can use and leave the rest as they say and try to keep as open a mind as possible.

Autum, the whole "turn it over" thing used to bother me too. I saw it as a cop-out. Like, "well if god really wants me to stop 13th stepping new commers, he will make me, so I'll turn it over to him, but untill he stops me I'll continue" That is not recovery and that is not taking personal responsibility.

I heard it put like this by a fellow secular buddy in NA. "go lock your self in a closet and pray to god to open the door for you and turn it over to him.....see if that works.....or you can stand up and open the ******* door. We aren't powerless over everything."

My view of "turning it over" is to simply take responsibility for everything that I have control over and try my best to do what i consider "right" in situations that I have power over. In situations that I don't have any control over, I try to just forget about it or "turn it over" and trust that it'll work out how its supposed to even if I don't like it.....it's hard sometimes b/c I like to keep this illusion of control in my head even if I logically know that there is nothing I can do to "fix" the situation, but eventually I get tired of trying and I just "turn it over". Life is easier when I stop trying to control things that are out of my control.

This has worked pretty well for me so far. In the first step of NA it alludes to the fact that when I try to exert control over something that I am powerless over, it brings up unmanagability in my life. Unmanagability is the outward expresion of my powerlessness. An example would be trying to pick up a huge boulder with my bare hands, I can try and try and try, but it just isn't possible for me to do, the more I try the more unmanagable my life gets....pulled muscles, hernias, ruptured disks. THe only way to get around it is not to try to pick up the rock in the first place which relates to the concept of surrender and "turning it over"

I don't know if that made any sense, but it's what I've learned to be true for me so far.
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Old 07-19-2006, 02:12 AM
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The other bit about "control" that helps me, and I always seem to fail to explain it adequately, is that when I understand a bit better what I can and cannot control I gain peace via acceptance of situations, situations which previously left me frustrated, angry, upset, guilty, whatever. I had inappropriate emotional reactions to the world, reacting emotionally to things that I had no control over whatsoever. So beginning to learn how to "let go" of situations which used to harm me has immense therapeutic value for me - in other words, it makes me happier, lighter, more carefree, more appropriate in how I take the world. This "letting go" is done without any notion of what I let go "to". So I think we have this discussion about God and "turning it over" on the wrong terms sometimes. We ask constantly, "what am I supposed to turn things over to?" and then off we go on a little metaphysical kite flying. It's the wrong approach. There is "me". And there is "not-me". I turn things over to "not-me". It can do what it likes - or what it can - with my crap. And equally I think I share with you this experience of getting to AA or NA at a point were we were out of choices about how to get clean or sober. It is that crisis of self that changes us from someone with a substance problem who thinks they can fix it themself, to someone in the type of recovery that the fellowships offer, which is based upon "letting go of the need to be right", the biggest "leting go" going.

Paul
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Old 07-19-2006, 02:18 AM
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A really great post Paul, and your damn right about the theraputic value about letting go of things out of ones control. I need to remember that. Its a great tool.
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:41 AM
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bump!
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:52 PM
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Well whatever the 12 Steppers say, it's a religious thing, this 'power greater than yourself'. I believe in myself, I'm a humanist, and that will never match with The 12 Steps, period.

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Old 10-21-2006, 05:01 PM
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That about sums up how I feel too, Marte.

I bumbed this thread up cuz I thought Arura might find it helpful.

DK
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:59 AM
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Jeez, I'm a humanist too. Humanists seem to divide into two camps.

Those who love humans. And

Those who love themselves.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:47 AM
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I'm not following your logic, Paul.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BSPGirl
Well whatever the 12 Steppers say, it's a religious thing, this 'power greater than yourself'. I believe in myself, I'm a humanist, and that will never match with The 12 Steps, period.

Marte
Marte, is the ocean a power greater than yourself? Is life itself a power greater than yourself? Are two women a power greater than yourself? Is someone that has been clean for multiple years a power greater than yourself? Is the collective experience of thousands of people a power greater than yourself?

There are many "powers greater than yourself" out there...religion has absolutely nothing to do with how I (or my sponsor) work the 12 steps of NA.

You have done a 2nd sep btw, you came to believe that SMARTrecovery (you are involved with SMART, or am I mis-remebering things?) can help you return to sanity (read: stay clean). SMART is a power greater than yourself.


DK, I think what paul was saying is that being a humanist doesn't nessecarily have to mean that you believe you are the most important, most powerful person in the world....that is just selfcenteredness, and ignorance.
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