Which Worldview Fits the 12 Steps Part 4: Theism

We have researched atheism, agnosticism, and pantheism. None of these views have held up under the scrutiny of the 12 Step Program. Today, let’s consider theism and how the twelve steps fit within this worldview.

Theism is the belief that there is a real, personal God. {The personal connotation differentiates it from Deism, the view that there is an impersonal force known as God. This belief is too akin to Pantheism and agnosticism to justify writing a whole blog on.} This belief brings with it many radically different answers to the questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. We will look at Theism in a very broad sense in this blog and break down it’s subgenres in the writings to come.

On origin, Theists generally believe in a beginning of the universe by a divine Being. There are many differences in the particulars, but Theists also tend to believe that man in a special creation of this God, and made in his likeness.

The meaning of life is another hard to encompass subject for the Theist. Again generally Theists tend to believe that mankind finds meaning in loving and serving God.

On the subject of morality, Theists believe that because the ultimate good exists in God, good and evil are measurable entities. They believe there exists a moral law given by Him on which to base good and evil.

On Destiny, Theists generally believe in a realm outside of time and space where the souls of men will spend eternity. This could be heaven or hell or somewhere in between, depending on which Theistic view you take.

Theism is the only lens through which recovery can be seen by working the 12 Steps. Once again, we will look at these steps split into three groups: Reflection, Action, and Maintenance.

The reflective steps tell us to admit our powerlessness over our addiction. Theism offers us the chance to quit playing God in our own lives. It also affords us the ability to say that our addiction violated a moral law therefore it was evil. Such a simple concept but one easily dismissed by other worldviews. Believing that there is a God out there that is personal enough and has the ability to restore our sanity to us gives the addict a way out. This way out is not offered by other views that tell us what we feel is relative and overcomable.

The action steps gain meaning with a Theistic worldview. First, there exists a God to turn our wills and lives over to. When we do this, God begins to help us find and remove character defects. This God also gives us the desire to right wrongs and make amends to others.

Finally, Theists have the ability to maintain themselves in recovery through daily inventory, prayer, and Meditation. As with others, we will write the 12th step, finally as it was meant to be.

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