man stands before Pilate, beaten and shamed. Pilate asks what is perhaps the most significant question ever asked to the man who claims to be the Son of God. “What is truth?” The funny thing is Pilate doesn’t even wait for Jesus to answer. He moves on as if he hadn’t asked anything, let alone a question of this magnitude. In our modern culture of relativism the answer that Pilate walked out on has never meant more than it does right now. This truth must be found if we wish to follow any 12 Step Program to true recovery.
Pluralism, the belief that all roads lead to the same place, is the new norm in America. It is touted by those with “coexist” bumper stickers as the only way to look at religion and by traditional 12 steppers as the exclusive means by which to attain recovery. They brandish both/and as opposed to either/or ways of thinking. The problem with this lies in its fundamental break from the laws of logic. The pluralist holds that objective reasoning does not exist, therefore you must look at the world EITHER from a both/and point of view OR you are wrong. Do you see the problem here? Truth by it’s very nature excludes. If A is true, then the opposite of A cannot be true simultaneously. This is especially true of religion. Each and every major religion claims to be the only one that holds the truth. To claim that they’re all accurate would make the each view’s claim to exclusivity false, thereby making each religion false by association. This is called the law of non contradiction. Pluralism is guilty of this fallacy on many different levels.
When it comes to recovery from addiction, AA, NA, and other Anon programs have the same problem. Though they claim agnosticism as their religion of choice, the secular 12 steps are essentially pluralistic in nature. The “God of your understanding” mantra leads followers to believe that the 12 steps can be followed by any religious worldview. This is blatantly false.
Before coming to rest at a true worldview we must first understand one when we see it. A worldview is the framework through which reality is seen. It answers life’s most important questions: Where did we come from? Is there any meaning to life and death? Why is it good to do good? Basically, your worldview determines how you answer those nagging thoughts that keep us us at 3am while the rest of the world sleeps.
Presuppositions are underlying assumptions that undergird a worldview, holding it together. They are present in every one; ideas taken to be true. Upon these basic notions a mental framework is formed to give us a Cosmology that we can define our world with. A presumption must be able to withstand logical scrutiny, for if it is found to be untrue, the worldview itself will crumble.
In order to make our way up the 12 Steps, we must find their presuppositional underpinnings so that we can test these assumptions for truth. By doing this, we will be able to determine two things. We will determine if the steps themselves make sense logically and we will determine which worldview the steps assume to be the correct lens through which to view reality. Today we will with our first assertion: There is such a thing as objective truth.
This truth must exist. We must have the logical ability to come to it as well. if this presumption is true, then pluralism can not be, because everything is not relative to what we want to believe. This means there must be one true worldview, and all others false. This mean that there is one worldview that offers true recovery, and all others are simply borrowing from this one.
So what is truth? If Pilate would have waited around for the answer to his question, Jesus may have stated, “I Am.”
If Christianity is the worldview on which the 12 steps were built and the steps are emperically verified to bring recovery, then it would follow that Christianity is true. If Christianity is true, all other religions are false. If all other religions are false, then recovery must come through Christ, not any pluralistic view of the God of our understanding.