The 5 part mini-series “The Family,” launched by Netflix last month, is presented in the trailer and intro as an expose of some secretive quasi-Christian cult that operates under cover in Washington DC and other places of power.
I decided to watch it out of sheer curiosity. I suspected there would be a political message that would try to smear true Christians by presenting the activities of some fringe group, creating guilt by association. This happens often, of course. We live in a fallen world and there are always extreme people at the fringes of any movement that make the rest look bad.
I was wrong. The producers of “The Family” weren’t trying to come at Christianity from the fringes. This production is a full frontal assault on genuine Christianity. It goes straight for the jugular by demonizing those who seek to actually live out the teachings of Jesus. While seeming to give tolerant lip service to the “institutional Christian church,” it vilifies the movement of “The Family” as a fringe group that seeks to operate on the ethos of “Jesus plus nothing,” as if such an ethos is ludicrous or even worse, sinister.
Utilizing creative artistic license through picture association (for example, linking scenes of people praying to Nazi thuggery) and scary music and special effects, the goal is clearly to demonize Christians who take their faith seriously. Bible studies, small groups, and basic Christian encouragement and counseling are portrayed as cult-like behavior. The supreme cult leader is none other than Doug Coe, the founder of the National Prayer Breakfast and one of the most godly people to have ever walked the earth in our generation. Repeatedly he is vilified for his “secret” and “undercover” approach to advancing the kingdom of God through influence and behind the scenes championing of others.
A genuine kingdom multiplier who dedicated his life to mentoring men and women in the 2 Timothy 2:2 model, Doug Coe was a soul winner who dedicated his life to introducing Jesus to people of influence. By establishing the National Prayer Breakfast, Coe and his predecessors have wielded kingdom influence by getting people in Washington DC to set aside their political differences to pray and study the Bible together. To encourage one another in the Christian faith. To step out and lead others to Christ. To be salt and light. To do all the “stuff’ Jesus taught his disciples to do. Coe is not the only target of derision. Billy Graham gets the honor as well, along with any other Christian minister who shares the gospel in arenas of influence.
Whiteboards mapping out a world evangelism strategy are portrayed as Nazi-like attempts to take over the world through power and control. Introducing the gospel to politicians is equivalent to a Russian plot to overthrow the United States. In one place, it is overtly stated that because there are so many Christians in Russia, Christians and Russians are up to no good in plotting to advance Christian family values! This, my friends, is “Christian Derangement Syndrome,” a stage two effect of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Perhaps this is why the Progressives never said anything about Coe and the National Prayer breakfast when the Clintons, Carter, and Obama attended. But when Trump attended, that was a game-changer! In this series, the 5th episode is entitled “Wolf King.” And who is this Wolf King? You guessed it: Donald Trump.
According to these Progressive umpires, bringing the gospel of Christ to people in power, whether they be congressmen, senators, presidents or dictators in other countries, is completely out of bounds. Yet Jesus targeted those who were lost, and the grace of God has no bounds.
Here’s the bottom line: Progressives don’t believe Christians have the right to evangelize, get involved in and engage local and national issues (political or otherwise), or do anything other than roll over and play dead. We can go to church have potlucks among ourselves. That’s about it.
If you are a hard-core Progressive and a Christian, you would no doubt support the agenda espoused by other hard core Progressives. Your Christian faith, for you, would be “compartmentalized” as a tame exercise of something akin to fairy worship. Any down to earth application of Bible based principles would be anathema. Such serious pursuit of a “Jesus plus nothing” Christianity gets the horrid tag of “Fundamentalist” by all Progressives. Fundamentalists deserve to be eradicated from society. As a first step, though, let’s demonize them before 100 million viewers.
The producers of “The Family” show their complete and utter ignorance of who Jesus was, what he proclaimed and what he set out to do. It was the “institutional church,” after all, that nailed Jesus to the cross, precisely out of fear that he was undermining their status quo and posed a threat to their world order. If Jesus stood for anything anything, he stood as a radical who sought to change the world. His first century followers were martyred precisely because of Roman fears that these loving, secretive Christians were giving their allegiance to another invisible king instead of their visible Ceasar. In their view, one cannot serve two masters. Of course Jesus said just that.
Whether it was the first century Romans or the 21st Century Progressives, Christians are to be seen and not heard.
Herein lies the problem: so long as Christians go to church and worship and keep their beliefs to themselves in their own private spaces, they will not be demonized or persecuted. But if they dare to reach out to others and become “fishers of men” and “disciplers of nations” they, along with the Russians and the NAZI’s before them, are part of a dangerous conspiracy to ruin the world.