One Spirit One Lord
For we are of One Spirit serving One Lord

The Family Of God or not?

A Family A Fellowship of Christ?

Recently Netflix put out a series on something called The Family.

Founded by Dutch born Methodist minister Abraham Vereide according to Wikipedia its purpose is to: "The stated purpose of the Fellowship is to provide a fellowship forum for decision makers to share in Bible studies, prayer meetings, worship experiences, and to experience spiritual affirmation and support." (
It hosts the National Prayer Breakfast the Presidents attend. This makes POTUS seem Christian but Barak Obama attended and when he was inducted as senator he made a big deal of having his oath done on a Koran because it was more meaningful and would call him to be "faithful to the office".

So is POTUS and POTUS family attending because they are Believers aka Christians or ... just for show? Eisenhaur reportedly did not want to attend initially but when he saw that is was "good press" he attended the following year.

Now all this sounds very nice. We should support our leadership in Washington, God knows they need it. But to what extent is that to be done? God fearing Christian men and women genuinely called of God to serve the nation in an elected position doing their job as unto the LORD with His morals and ethics and scruples in place in "the devil's playground" as it were provides for influence of Godliness in a National Leadership setting. But to serve these people, to network the likeminded folk in a Jesus only service that seems to be more about quiet power than true unseen servitude with an agenda to Christianize nations for Jesus until He returns might not be the right aim here. This kind of Dominion Theology can corrupt the heart from Holiness. What I see here is an "at all costs" style of service to hold accountable said served leadership in "fellowship" but also to support even when in sin? One step to far in my humble opinion.

The program cites a certain scandal involving a governor by name of Mark sanford who mentioned a place called C Street in a conference. Because they have this big privacy thing going on that nasty fallout became a big public newsstory and hot potato. Eventually apparently the Governor being a chosen of God politician was permitted to apparently marry the women he was involved with. The former spouse and long time friend talks about the pain he went through as he watched "The Family" or "Fellowship" "fix" the issue. There are also alarming pictures of Trump with all those hand being laid on him. Some of which I can vouch are really wolves in sheeps clothing. Our poor POTUS either is totally clueless or totally careless, I dont know.

More from the wikipedia site.
The Fellowship Foundation's 501(c)(3) mission statement is:

"To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as "ambassadors of reconciliation," modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of many nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows, and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner. Youth groups will be developed under the thoughts of Jesus, including loving others as you want to be loved."

Newsweek reported that the Fellowship has often been criticized by conservative and fundamentalist Christian groups for being too inclusive and not putting enough emphasis on doctrine or church attendance. NPR has reported that the evangelical group's views on religion and politics are so singular that some other Christian right organizations consider them heretical.

David Kuo, staffer in President George W. Bush's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, who has been affiliated with the Fellowship since college, said of the Fellowship:

For all the hysteria about Christian organizations, the irony that the Fellowship is being targeted as a bad egg is jaw-dropping. This is so not Focus on the Family, this is so not the Christian Coalition. There are other Christian groups that are truly insane. Who purport to follow Jesus Christ and who I would submit do not. The Fellowship is a loosely banded group of people who have an affinity for Jesus.

Current Fellowship prayer group member and former U.S. Representative Tony P. Hall (D-OH) said, "If people in this country knew how many Democrats and Republicans pray together and actually like each other behind closed doors, they would be amazed." The Fellowship is simply "men and women who are trying to get right with God. Trying to follow God, learn how to love him, and learn how to love each other." When he lost his teenage son to leukemia, Hall says, "This family helped me. This family was there for me. That's what they do."

Hillary Clinton described meeting the leader of the Fellowship in 1993: "Doug Coe, the longtime National Prayer Breakfast organizer, is a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship to God."

Investigative reporter Jeff Sharlet wrote a book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power as well as an article in Harper's magazine, describing his experience while serving as an intern in the Fellowship. Sharlet did intensive research in the Fellowship's archives before they were closed to the public. He also spent a month in 2002 living in a Fellowship house near Washington, and wrote a magazine article describing his experiences. According to his 2008 book, their theology is an "elite fundamentalism" that fetishizes political power and wealth, consistently opposes labor movements in the US and abroad, and teaches that laissez-faire economic policy is "God's will." He opines that their theological teaching of instant forgiveness has been useful to powerful men, providing them a convenient excuse for misdeeds or crimes and allowing them to avoid accepting responsibility or accountability for their actions. Sharlet's book was endorsed by several commentators, including Frank Schaeffer, once a leading figure of the Christian right, who called Sharlet's book a "must read... disturbing tour de force," and Brian McLaren, one of Time's "25 most influential evangelicals" in the U.S., who said: "Jeff Sharlet [is] a confessed non-evangelical whom top evangelical organizations might be wise to hire—and quick—as a consultant." Lisa Miller, who writes a column on religion at Newsweek, called his book "alarmist" and says it paints a "creepy, even cultish picture" of the young, lower-ranking members of the Fellowship.

Now this is their website:
Jesus’ Model
What example did Jesus set for humanity? When He was asked, “What is the work of God?”, He responded that the work was to believe in the one whom God had sent, that is to believe in Him. (John 6:29) Our common denominator is that we first work on ourselves to love God, to love our families, to love one another, and to seek to follow Jesus, as He is a great example in caring for others.

When people asked Jesus various questions, He seldom answered directly and often responded “come and see” or “follow me”. (John 1:38-39, 43) He was inviting them to fellowship with Him in small groups away from the crowd by working together, eating together, playing together, traveling together and resolving problems together. He was at the center of their devotion and their activities. When His disciples asked if they should oppose those who were not in their camp he told them, “No”. (Mark 9:38-39)

When the person of Jesus is examined apart from all the history and trappings of religion, people who would otherwise be alienated from religion in general and from each other in particular find common ground to build understanding, friendships and commitments. Jesus promised if He would be lifted up He would draw all people to himself. (John 12:32) Any group that focuses on Jesus instead of on their differences, problems or limitations will find the truth of his teaching that “nothing is impossible with God”. (Matthew 19:26)

That said, we prefer to follow the dictum of St. Francis of Assisi, who said, “Lift up Jesus, and when necessary use words.”

Because most leaders of any community or societal group wrestle with how to care for the underserved and how to train and educate the children, the friends of the Foundation throughout the world answer this need in a variety of ways that suit the local culture. This involves hundreds of volunteers in efforts to help others.

The Foundation provides a core service to these men and women throughout the world who feel a call to teach others to love God and to love their neighbor as they love themselves. They seek to do this on a relational basis and without precondition. The friends of the Foundation facilitate private settings in which political, business, community and religious leaders can meet for encouragement, prayer and fellowship, thus exercising their freedoms of assembly and religion. These activities and meetings occur all over the world with the focus being determined by the needs of the location. Examples include:

Befriending and mentoring children in poor areas of the US and other countries to keep them in school and out of trouble. Mentoring at-risk young people and providing shelter, food, life skills, and training for literacy, vocations, and service to their communities. Assisting single mothers, reconciling between races, economic classes and generations, and connecting those with needs to those with resources.
Hosting overseas visitors and diplomats in Washington, DC at the Cedars in Arlington, Virginia. The Cedars is a place of peace and privacy, where trusted relationships are nurtured to encourage a leadership led by God. The Cedars is dedicated to impacting the hearts of those in position to make decisions to be “servant-leaders led by the Lord”. As these relationships are developed it mandates caring for the least of these. In addition, the Cedars provides a place where young people learn the ways of servant leadership.
Encouraging individuals to love Jesus with heart, mind, and spirit through one-on-one contacts, facilitation of small groups, seminars, and retreats.

A young Norwegian named Abraham Vereide came to the United States in the early 20th century. He had a great commitment for Jesus Christ. He became a Methodist circuit rider traveling on horseback, preaching in small rural churches in Montana. Later he moved to Seattle where he and his friends began working with people suffering through the Depression.

During these years, Vereide realized that many people were poor because of the failure of community leaders (from all spheres) to assist them. He reasoned that if the leaders and people of prominence in the state of Washington knew and cared more about Jesus and more about the plight of the poor, they could give better leadership. He sought out and started meeting regularly with the mayor and some of his friends from Seattle and around the state of Washington. He simply met with these leaders and counseled them to study Jesus and his teachings, especially about the poor and disenfranchised.

Because these meetings often occurred over breakfast and always included prayer, they became known as “prayer breakfasts.” Vereide gathered groups that were intentionally diverse, nurturing friendships with people from across religious, political and philosophical viewpoints. He took this model from Jesus, who gathered his own disciples from many different backgrounds.

As the groups flourished and began to interrelate, positive changes began happening through these friendships. These ideas caught on, and eventually Vereide’s friends suggested that he move to Washington DC, to cultivate at the national level the same ideas that had such positive impact at the local and state levels.

In the 1940s, with encouragement from Vereide, small groups were formed in the Senate and House of Representatives to provide a place for people of differing opinions to meet privately to express their concerns as leaders, to pray, and to share in each others’ lives personally. Early leaders who embraced the power of small prayer groups included Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, Judge Gordon Powell, General Merwin Silverthorne, Richard Halverson, Chaplain of the Senate, and Conrad Hilton (who personally hosted the first breakfasts).

In 1953, the two groups in the US Congress joined together to establish the National Prayer Breakfast to afford President Eisenhower the opportunity to participate in such a group once a year. Out of this success prayer breakfasts were started in many nations, cities, and states to discover and to work with leaders at all levels of society. Often these were modeled on the Washington, DC example, but not controlled or funded by the Foundation.

As a result of such gatherings in the United States and around the world there have been many examples of leaders’ lives being changed in American and around the world. The key idea is for leaders to be humble enough to admit that the problems they face are more complex than can be solved out of human ingenuity and to seek inspiration from studying the teachings of Jesus together.

Vereide continued the work in Washington, D.C. and globally until his death in 1969. A band of approximately half a dozen of Vereide’s closest trusted friends agreed to provide consensus leadership as a team, without titles, to continue the mission. These included lay leader Doug Coe, businessman Paul Temple and attorney Jim Bell, who joined with initial prayer group leaders such as Senator Carlson, Judge Powell, General Silverthorne and Chaplain Halverson.

The structured, visionary-led organization that Vereide established quickly transitioned into a vision-directed model after the approach of Jesus, that reflected a decentralized network of people-to-people relationships focused on serving people in need that is still in effect today.

I want to draw your attention to a line of text in the above section which is right from their website. "Vereide gathered groups that were intentionally diverse, nurturing friendships with people from across religious, political and philosophical viewpoints. He took this model from Jesus, who gathered his own disciples from many different backgrounds."
This sounds right in theory until you take a second look at Scripture as a Biblical Studies major... which I happen to be. The "disciples from different backgrounds" were all to a man... Jewish. This is important as Jesus and the Old Testament state that "salvation comes from the Jews" Paul the apostle preached to the synagogue first and when they rejected him and the message of the Gospel he openly declared he would preach it to the Gentiles. Because this salvation is "To the Jew first and then the Greek". There is a whole long passage in Romans about the Olive Tree branches that were removed from the Cultivated tree and the grace of the grafting of Wild Olive branches into the Cultivated tree. Paul also told the Gentile Believers that it is the Root (Christ) who supports them and not the other way around. Moreover this selection from admittedly various business backgrounds tore the workers permanently away to a different occupation for life. Thus there is a serious error in understanding and interpreting that Gospel section on the selection of the Disciples. What Vereide is doing is tapping people from diverse socio-religio-politco backgrounds rather than from just diverse job backgrounds. Of course it is arguable that all these people so tapped to be a part of this grouping or of the groups service are seen as God's chosen civil servants. Are they all Christians in the sense of as God sees as "born out of God ones" to put it from the Greek for "born again". Also there is a blurring of amendment of separation of church and state. Finally we are told to PRAY FOR...our leadership in 1 Timothy...1 Timothy 2:1-2 - I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Jeremiah 29:7 - Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
Morover we are also as Believers told to obey within bounds of Godliness our leadership and show respect for their position. 1 Peter 2:17 - Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Romans 13:1 - Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

We are not to cheapen that office. However when men and not God choose who rules.... we really need to pray that God overrules and overrides man's choice that corrupts easily for God's choice which rules justly. I will say that our nation truly needs God's leadership accross the board in every branch as there is to much that goes on behind closed door that eventually makes into the newsroom that shames us.

From their About Us page.
Policy on Political and Religious Orientation

"The Foundation believes that Jesus transcends all forms of government and belief. Friends come from many faiths (and no affiliation at all), backgrounds, and forms of government, representing a full spectrum of ages and generations. The policy is not to discriminate against or in favor of anyone. The friends endeavor to be available to persons, wherever they may be, who have spiritual and/or physical needs and encourage others to do the same"

This is Inclusive thinking and it comes from a warped understanding of God's love that tempers His Holiness and not a Holiness that tempers His love. God is first and foremost Holy. In that He actually loves and cares for whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world to the extent that He sends His own Son to take on human flesh and to become the solution to our sin problem is miraculous. For more on that you can go to (insert Doze links to articles guilty yet pardoned forgiven. and site all)

Are the books written by Jeff Sharlet of which I give you this article in Harpers Mgazine March 2003 (, the true picture or a jaded man's viewpoint.

Here is the opinion of a former member of the Senate Prayer Group.
"Former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, also a former member of the Senate Prayer Group, has described Fellowship members' method of operation: "Typically, one person grows desirous of pursuing an action"—a piece of legislation, a diplomatic strategy—"and the others pull in behind." Brownback has often joined with fellow Family members in pursuing legislation. For example, in 1999 he joined together with fellow Family members, Senators Strom Thurmond and Don Nickles to demand a criminal investigation of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and in 2005 Brownback joined with Fellowship member Sen. Tom Coburn to promote the Houses of Worship Act."
This IS Church in Politics and a clear violation of the Ammendment on separation of church and state. Now some Evangelicals and Fundamentalists will tell you that the ammendment rightly states that the Government is to make no leglislation regarding the Church but does not say that the Church cant seek to be an influence to the Goverment. If a person is sent by God to a government official with the Scripture to give God's counsel that may be one thing. We are informing a government official of God's viewpoint and what said official does with the information is between them and God but to meddle in the voting proceedures of legislation is another. If what this Governer alledges is true then this group is a problem. What if they are wrong in their steerage of the Committees that steer the nation?

No we do need to pray and we can utilize social platforms to inform elected officials of God's word regarding their service but to become inadvertantly or intentionally a force of power behind the "throne" is to become at one with the world. I encorage you to read the article above and decide for yourself, if this is God backed or not. I tend to think not because it just wants everyone saved especially in leadership. But the Bible explicately states that Many are called but few are chosen. In other words the whole world is called to hear the Gospel but only the Chosen before the foundation of the world ones will hear toward faith and in His faith believe and become born out of God ones by the regenerating of the Holy Spirit and by that same Spirit be sanctified to become in sanctification what they were declared to be in justification. This is just making a network to rule the world using Jesus as a platform.

Think about it

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