How many times do we hear it said that NA is not religious, and that no one is going to decide for us what our concept of God is going to be?
Can anyone explain how The Serenity Prayer is to anyone other than the Christian god just because the references to Jesus Christ have been removed?
And why it is said that it is not religious when the god of Christianity is invoked before every meeting?
How does that work?
First thing I'd suggest is you read the book, the main NA book explains to us exactly what NA is and is not.
NA is NOT a religous organization, that is not to say that the program is not in many aspects religous, we like to say we live upon spiritual principles and you can find that those spiritual princples follow many religous principles also.
Bottom line is spiritual principles and concepts are good, healthy,selfless and these ideas are going to be strongly suggested to those who want to recover because there usually the opposite of how us addicts are and nothing in most of us needs to change except everything, especially our selfish natures which is usually the nature of our disease's.
So thats just my view what I strongly suggest is you reading the literature and let your miind be opened to what this all might mean for you.
From the index of the NA book
Based on our experience, we believe that every addict, including the "potential" addict, suffers from an incurable disease of body, mind and spirit. We were in the grip of a hopeless dilemma, the solution of which is spiritual in nature. Therefore, this book will deal with spiritual matters.
We are not a religious organization. Our program is a set of spiritual principles through which we are recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Throughout the compiling of this work, we have prayed:
THis in chapter 5
We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us. If we honestly try to do God's will to the best of our ability, we can handle the results of anything that happens. Seeking our Higher Power's will is a spiritual principle found in the steps. Working the steps and practicing the principles simplifies our lives and changes our old attitudes.
Thanks Big V., but my question has more to do with the identification of the deity referred to as 'God'.
People generally assume that the only possible conclusion that one could come to, is that the Abrahamic god of Christianity is the one that created us.
Yet, when asked in an official NA capacity, they say that our concept of God is up to us.
Well..., which is it?
You quoted the literature where it mentions seeking to do God's will.
If I, or anyone asks that question, people will say, "The god of YOUR understanding?
I want to know about the god of reality. Not the understanding that imagination defines.
So, if He is of MY understanding..., why invoke the Christian god's assistance at the beginning of every meeting?
Is He the Christian god, according to NA, or is He not?
If there is even the slightest doubt as to whether or not He was the Christian god..., why risk offending some other spirit by invoking Him as if He were?
Do you see my point?
NA must assume that the spirit that created us is the Christian god. Why else would they teach us to recite The Serenity Prayer which is to Him, and no other?
If NA teaches us to call upon the Christian god for serenity, courage and wisdom..., why do they also claim to be not religious?
The Christian god is the god of Christianity. A religion.
Does that help clarify the question?
"If we honestly try to do God's will to the best of our ability."
Is there any ancient text that can be read in English that concerns itself with the deity in that quote?
Or is it the god of the author's imagination?
There are none so blind as they that will not see.
While indeed the Serenity Prayer may have orginated by a Christian, the later part of the original FULL Serentity Prayer is not used intentionally by NA so that any and all concepts of a God of OUR understanding my apply to the word God.
If you choose to narrowly define the Serenity Prayer as used in NA meetings as a Christian Prayer that is your choice. However, it in no way makes it everybody else's choice or THEIR understanding or NA as a whole's understanding of the purpose or intent of the Serenity Prayer when used in NA rooms.
Assume, your posts have the word used often, and as such you state as facts that which are only YOUR assumptions and YOUR beliefs. It is you not NA attempting to foist your believe system on others.
Spiritual principles are never in conflict. (not a sandbox post)
Okay dude..., but do you believe that the spirit that created us feels the same way as the intent you describe NA members as having?
That the prayer is to whomever the spirit is that created us?
Because don't you think that the intent to have the prayer be to whomever the god is, is only achieved if He feels the same way?
If He feels differently, what kind of problems could we have?
Is what you are saying then, that "all the bases are covered", (in the event that the spirit that created us is not the Christian god), by not referencing Jesus Christ as in the original version of The Serenity Prayer?
My name is Mike, I'm an addict Clean Today recoverying from active addiction the NA Way. One Day at A Time for 30 years the NA Way has worked for me. That is my evidence and validation of a God of my understanding working in my life, I need no other.
The rest is noise. The rest is mental masturbation. The rest is irrelevant.
Mike M wrote:My name is Mike, I'm an addict Clean Today recoverying from active addiction the NA Way. One Day at A Time for 30 years the NA Way has worked for me. That is my evidence and validation of a God of my understanding working in my life, I need no other. The rest is noise. The rest is mental masturbation. The rest is irrelevant.
Hang in there james all i can suggest is to keep it simple, some of us intellects can really complicate and make mountains out of ant hills, working ourselves into frenzys and not staying open minded to what others have to share and the simplicity of it all. Remember its us that complicates this thing, it's not a complicate thing we just make it so. And I applaud your time clean you've obviously found something helpful to keep you around that long or just got sick n tired of what you had before coming to NA.
Hang in there
Hello James and welcome to MIP!I just dropped in this morning and have been reading up on the interactions here on 'GOD". I have just come from my daughters house where the miracle of "life" was presented to us from the God of our understanding(see pics in previous mail, totally awesome!Jaelyn BORN 4/20/2011....GOD IN THE HOUSE! A beautiful baby girl...
It seems as if your premise is to have NAWS ADMIT THAT NA is a religious program?. I am praying that if that happens for you ,you will find some peace. As you say in your Bio you say things to "make" people think and to "force' them to answer on certain things. I again can only pray that you find peace in your quest and that the thoughts of making and forcing are reduced to instilling and also hoping those who disagree will have another train of thought to ponder.
If you get this done by NAWS will it bring you peace?
Anyway,congrats on your clean time there must be "a Power greater than you helping you to remain clean.I know, for me, when I get obsessed about any issue it tends to lead me in a direction I choose to no longer take.
In June of 2010 ,with Imikens/Bruce/Sober Rosie/Dalin and Andy we beat the Clarity Statement' to death causing some to leave the forum and others to say the discension was not condusive to their recovery.Personal recovery depends on Na unity was the overall theme that eventually was agreed upon...Those who initiated the discussion just disappeared and we have since yet to gain any of their ESH to help us in our daily lives!The power given to the discension was just fueled by those who kept it alive by their reactions to the statements,the pattern relieved itself as we changed how "we" felt about it..It got more spiritual and subtle ,non condusive statements toward each other dissapated and we focused in on unity and not "the need to be right"...I have very strong personal faith beliefs but I always share from a spiritual perspective as in respect to our program and also my process of my recovery.(you can see my Bio with brief backround where I come from)We are free to share anything in our own words that affects our recovery as long as we take ownership that it is not the viewpoint of NA overall, it is not devisive,and we are working in the "solution" and not stuck in the problem..
There is much to be learned by us all and when we remain interactive with each other in a loving and caring manner,remaining"God" centered one can reach another to help in a therapeutic manner in order to continue to Recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind a body.to gain a daily reprieve ,based on a fit"spiritual" condition guided by our Higher Powers and our application of spiritual principles taught to us thru our process of NA.
we choose what works for us and what doesn't ,we are in the land of choices as we remain clean ,graced by whatever Higher Power we choose to believe in ,a God of our own understanding ,even if it is no God at all! I do wish you peace James ,in your journey and hope you do not disappear as the others did, but stick around to help someone in a loving and caring manner sharing your ESH.....NO DOUBT MORE IS ALWAYS REVEALED..In humble service to GOD and to others to the best of my ability!......................
Our purpose is to remain clean,just for today,and to carry the message of recovery.
Hey Mike..., Is the clarity statement for this site?
I love to see a dogmatic notion beat to death!!
That is what I want to achieve with questions regarding 'not religious'.
So far my journey is solo. There is one guy who responded to one of my questions, (so many on my questions that I must start a new thread to kep it sorted out, lol), that recognizes the influence of the Judeo-Christian influence in The Program.
How can it be 'not religious' after saying The Serenity Prayer?
Check out my next thread in a while.
Lop Dexter wrote:Hey Mike..., Is the clarity statement for this site?I love to see a dogmatic notion beat to death!!That is what I want to achieve with questions regarding 'not religious'.So far my journey is solo. There is one guy who responded to one of my questions, (so many on my questions that I must start a new thread to kep it sorted out, lol), that recognizes the influence of the Judeo-Christian influence in The Program.How can it be 'not religious' after saying The Serenity Prayer?Check out my next thread in a while.
Ok we're not going to beat anything to death here i'll cut you off before you get a chance to do that and yeah I have that much power here LOL so watchit James.
Okay Big V.