Overeaters Anonymous - OA and Faith

View Full Version : OA and Faith

10-16-2012, 08:59 AM
Hi everyone,
I am starting to deal with some serious emotional issues that recently surfaced in my life and part of that is my desire to work on my compulsive eating issues. I've been looking at OA online, though I haven't yet started to do much research. Right now I'm abroad, so online meeting are really my only option. I will be coming back to Texas in January and there are a few meetings in my area, but I'm a little restricted because I won't have a car and the meetings are a bit far.

My biggest concern, though, is one of the main focuses of the OA 12 steps (at least, from what I understand from my research) is the idea of giving up power to a higher power, or God, as we understand the concept of God. I know that the OA literature says that there is no religious affiliation and the idea of a higher power is to be interpreted as each member sees fit.

But I have to admit that I feel very uncomfortable with this idea. My background is that I am Jewish and my father didn't believe in God. So I grew up with a very negative concept of God and I am trying to overcome that. It's not that I don't believe in a higher power because I do. But my concept of a higher power is quite different from the traditional concept of God.

My sister attended an AA meeting with a friend once and she told me that the concept of God at the meeting was very close to a Christian concept of God. I think I'm afraid that this is going to be the case with the OA meetings as well. It's another reason why I am choosing to start with online meetings rather than face-to-face meeting in Texas (as the area I'll be living in is quite Christian-oriented).

So maybe people here can enlighten me a little bit as to what this concept of a higher being is really all about with OA and what my expectations should be.

Thank you for the help!


10-18-2012, 06:07 PM
This is a hard question to answer because the concept is your "own" concept of a higher power. In my experience in OA, some call their higher power God, some Goddess, some call their higher power the "power the group comradery provides". Some call it the power of the universe. So basically, just in my opinon, you have to identify the power yourself. My counselor told me to return to OA for the power of the community support. So maybe you could accept that. Also, you should be careful not to let others criticize your opinion. Choose you own path.

Anyway, good luck, hope to see you stick around.

10-18-2012, 06:24 PM
I went to OA for a while. I was concerned about that at first, but after I started going, the "higher power" thing wasn't a big deal. I too am Jewish and not very religious at all. My friend who was already in OA assured me that it wasn't religious -- except for the references to the "higher power." Maybe it depends on the group, but my group wasn't religious at all.

I eventually stopped going because I was not really getting anything out of it. I really didn't like the format. There is no dialog... just people telling their stories. Then they spend an inordinate amount of time reading the same things meeting after meeting. Its like going to Temple!

What might help you most about OA is having a sponsor and meeting people whom you can talk to - outside of meetings -- when you have issues. But I get that coming here, so I don't feel the need to go to OA.

10-23-2012, 02:02 PM
Thank you for the responses and I'm glad I didn't offend anyone. I know that faith is a touchy subject and I've been controlled for so long by family beliefs that have been all screwed up (part of my issues) that it's so hard to know what I believe in and what I don't. I guess I'll have to attend a few meetings and see for myself. But it sounds like an online meeting might be my best route right now. As I mentioned, I will be moving to Texas and an area that is quite Christian-oriented, so I fear that trying to go to OA there will have a Christian perspective (even if unintentional) that I will find uncomfortable.