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The Family International

Children of God, Family of Love, The Family, The Family International Fellowship; Fellowship of Independent Missionary Communities


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About This Entry

• This entry provides a brief look at The Family International. For indepth information we refer you to our collection of research resources.

• Entries in Apologetics Index are updated as time permits.

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Cult of Christianity

The Family International has gone to great lengths to present itself as a mainstream Christian movement.

However, while the movement's stated beliefs may at times sound like those of mainstream Christianity, many aspects of its theology are incompatible with those of legitimate Christianity.

Like many other movements that claim to represent - or be compatible with - orthodox, Biblical Christianity, The Family International uses terminology that means one thing to its followers, and another thing to Christians.

For example, while orthodox Christians understand the Bible's portrayal of Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom and His Church as His Bride, to be symbolic of Christ's relationship with His followers, The Family International - on the basis of the so-called "Loving Jesus" revelation - talks about "spiritual lovemaking with Jesus."

Dated July, 1995, the "Loving Jesus Revelation" - published in full in January and February 1996 as a series of articles for the Family's full-time adult membership - purports to be a message from Jesus encouraging a "more intimate fellowship with Him."

The 'revelation' was related by Maria (one of the aliases used by Karen Zerby, the movement's current spiritual leader) who refers to herself as "Mama":

(Jesus Speaking)
[...]

8. Oh, l am so proud of My children and l love them so dearly! In this they have shown Me great, great love. But now they too must learn that I desire them and their love in My bedchamber, that they too must take that time to come and lie down in My arms that I may caress and love them, that I may fill them, for they too need My seeds and My strength and My power.

9. For as the dark days ahead come upon the Earth as a strong storm, so must these at that time know how to communicate with Me, how to hear My voice. They must learn and know how to hear the whispers of My Spirit in their ears. The way for them to learn this is to spend time with Me in the bed of love listening to Me.

10. They must let Me whisper unto them Words for these days. They must hear from Me fresh day by day. They must learn to rejoice at My voice as they would rejoice at the voice of their lover, and they must take time for My caresses and My love. (End of message from Jesus)

11. (Mama:) What a commendation from the Lord! He's greatly pleased with our service and our witnessing. He also brings out, however, that along with that service He wants time with us in His bedchamber, time to love us, and us, Him.

12. He states that He wants us in His bedchamber because He wants to fill us with His seeds, strength and power! Sounds sexy, doesn't it? Well, that's because it is! We're His Bride, and the thing the Bride groom wants to do most with His Bride is to make love to her, and she should want to do the same with Him. He has stated here that we need to take this time, and in the following prophecy He tells us the benefits of doing so.
[...]

20. So far, the Lord has told us that He definitely wants us to spend more time with Him and His Word, and He has told us about the blessings that are there for us if we will! Now in the next prophecy He wants to show us how this will enhance our witnessing, and how if we take in His Words and His love, we will be more like Him, more full of Him and His Spirit. Again, notice how sexy the Lord is – how He likens spending time in communion with Him to sex with Him!
Source: Loving Jesus - Part 1Off-site LinkPDF file July, 1995
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3. Dad taught us that "marriage is a type of the spiritual union of the believing Bride with Christ" (ML #332C:84). Also, that "God in His wisdom has created this sexual union, this husband and wife relationship, this lover-and-loved intercourse, to be a marvelous picture, an illustration in the physical of your spiritual relationship with Him and your union with your Heavenly Bridegroom!" (ML #1188:78).

25. (Mama:) What a beautiful, powerful and wonderful message! Wow! How sexy! I can't get over how much the Lord is trying to show us the importance of loving Him. ft's just amazing to see things as He sees them. God is anything but conservative! He's radical and He doesn't seem to care if people know He's wild and free!

26. Like Dad has said, the Lord is a sexy God! If you can accommodate this new wine without asking why or trying to analyze its ingredients, God has such thrills and intoxication of the Spirit in store for you that you will be glad you drank it without question! And you'll be whisked off into a world which you never dreamed existed, where you'll enjoy the very wonders of total intimacy with a sexy, naked God Himself in a wild orgy of the Spirit, as His totally surrendered Bride!" (ML #286:23).

27. See, it's nothing new-even the Lord talking about us having a spiritual orgy with Him–it's been there all the time! The Lord just wants us to put it into practice. He wants us to love Him, to desire to be with Him like we desire to be with a sexy lover. He loves us, and we love Him, so let's learn to love Him the way He wants to be loved!

May God bless you and help you to spend good loving time with Him — time in His Word, praising Him, telling Him you love Him and letting Him fuck you with His Word!
Source: Loving Jesus - Part 2Off-site LinkPDF file July, 1995
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In its official statement of beliefs, The Family International says this about God:

God:
We affirm our belief
in the one true eternal God, the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present invisible Spirit of Love, Who is the Creator and Supreme Ruler of the Universe and all things therein. We believe in the unity of the Godhead, that there are three distinguishable but inseparable Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (See Isaiah 43:10,11; John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 4:8; 5:7.)
[...]

Jesus Christ, the Son of God:
We believe in the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Who was miraculous in His divine conception and birth of the Virgin Mary, was sinless throughout His life, and made a full and vicarious atonement for the sins of the world by His death--the substitutionary sacrifice and death of the Just for the unjust. We affirm that Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and Man, Who gave Himself as the only ransom for sinners. We believe in His physical resurrection and His bodily ascension into Heaven, His perpetual intercession for His people, and His soon coming personal visible return to the world in power and great glory, to set up His Kingdom and to judge the living and the dead. (See 1 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 4:14,15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24,25; Romans 1:3,4; Matthew 28:18; Acts 1:9-11.)
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Again, this may sound like orthodox, Biblical Christianity. However, when we take into account what The Family actually believes and teaches about Jesus and God, it becomes clear that this movement's understanding of the nature of God places it outside the boundaries of mainstream Christianity.

The Family International's actual beliefs and practices fall outside those of Christianity and identify the movement as, theologically, a cult of Christianity.


A former high-ranking members states, ''The Family has produced a professional looking Statement of Beliefs and has gone to pains to make it sound as orthodox as possible, carefully wording the text to hide their real teachings from Christians. In reality, they promote an unbelievable pantheon of pseudo-Christian heresies.'' Family members believe that (1) the Holy Spirit is a sexy, near-naked woman (God the Father's wife), (2) Christ is a creation of God, (3) Christ was conceived through sex between the angel Gabriel and Mary, (4) Christ freely fornicated with his female disciples and may have possibly even contracted venereal diseases, and (5) Christ has orgies in heaven. Family members may freely fornicate and commit adultery as long as they ''do it in love''; they have extolled ''Flirty Fishing''(using sex to gain new members) as the best method of witnessing. Necromancy (contacting the dead) is also practiced.
Source: Charts of Cults, Sects, & Religious MovementsOff-site Link, H. Wayne House. Page 122.
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About This Page:

• Subject: The Family International
• First posted: Dec. 1, 1996
• Last Updated: Apr. 7, 2005
• Editors: Anton and Janet Hein
Copyright: Apologetics Index
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