Welcome to Make Straight Paths!
This web site is dedicated to the glory of God. It was
created to lift up the truth as revealed in the Bible, by examining
various doctrines that are held by
the religious group variously known as “the Family,” “The
Family International,” the “Children of God,” or the “Family of Love.”
These doctrines are compared and contrasted
with Bible passages that expound
on the same topics.
Tithing. Is it scriptural for the Family – or
any church – to insist that tithes be paid as a condition of membership?
Rethinking Daniel 2. One of
the most basic ‘endtime’ doctrines produced by the Family is its
interpretation of the second chapter of the book of Daniel. Daniel 2 is
often one of the first endtime studies given to new converts and in many
ways lays the foundation for the interpretation of all other prophetic
passages in scripture. It forms an indispensible foundation to the
Family's view of Bible prophecy and future events. This page discusses
several important omissions from the Family’s perspective on Daniel
chapter 2 and proposes an alternative interpretation.
Obedience to Leadership.
The Family has consistently functioned under an autocratic, ‘top-down’
management model, in which leadership authority is firmly held by those
at the top, with limited choice given to rank and file members but when
faced with a choice to accept biblical truth or the teachings of men,
one must never relinquish these matters to one’s leadership. This page briefly discusses several
important biblical principles of leadership as they relate to the
"Believe his prophets".
One Bible verse that the Family has used to support the
authority ascribed to their ‘prophets’ is 2 Chronicles 20:20. The common
Family interpretation of this verse is that faith in God is essential,
but that he also expects his people to believe the prophets he has sent.
Prosperity and fruitfulness comes from trust in and obedience to the
prophets. Therefore, Family ‘prophets’ have also been anointed by God
and should also be obeyed. However, a simple reading of the passage in
which this verse is found reveals no such emphasis. (Revised and
in the Family?
Make Straight Paths does not function as a source of
current events or news about the Family itself. However, in light of the
“Journey to Change”
in the Family a couple of comments may be
First, Make Straight Paths focuses on the biblical
inaccuracies in Family teaching. Apologies for past abuses of Family
members and assurances of change are therefore irrelevant for the purpose of this
Second, apologies and assurances that do not address
reparations or alleged criminal behaviour by specific individuals appear hollow
to many people in the former-member community. Repeated apologies and
institution of internal safeguards will never be sufficient. Far more is
required. Further, apologies that wholly lay the blame on members'
misinterpretation of otherwise valid teaching are no apologies at all.
Possibly some members abused others on the basis of misinterpretations,
but in general the teachings that promoted sexual interaction between
adults and minors were systemic and proceeded from the very top echelon
of leadership. A genuine apology would therefore acknowledge the
criminal liability of the leaders as well as those who put their
teachings into practice.
Third, nothing short of an independent investigation of
the Family will suffice. Such an audit would need to be carried out on
various levels, with the goal of investigating the allegations of
criminal actions, the links between those actions and the doctrines that
were taught, as well as auditing the financial situation of the Family.
Fourth, admission by Family leadership that they need to
re-evaluate doctrinal teaching is welcome, but does not as yet come
close to the fundamental areas of concern. The pages here on Make
Straight Paths clearly show that there have been major errors in Family
Bible teaching since its beginning. Most of these errors continue
unabated to the present day, and are of such a foundational level that
minor readjustments to Family teaching would be meaningless. By way of
analogy, repairing torn upholstery on a vehicle which actually needs its
engine replaced is a waste of time.
A note to current Family members: the above assertions
are admittedly blunt. If you take offense, we at Make Straight Paths ask you
this: Conduct your own extensive Bible study, being sure to give the
Bible precedence over the MLs and GNs. That is, allow God his right to
judge Family writing, as well as to judge this website by elevating the
Bible above all other writings. Choose any of the major unique
Family teachings: sex, spirit helpers, the keys, prophecy on demand, and see what
the Bible itself has to say. The question is not, 'Can I find this
Family teaching somewhere in the Bible?' but rather 'If I start from a
passage in the Bible, what message does it give?' In other words, would
a plain reading of the Bible automatically result in Family doctrine? If
not, then you need to do something about your life. If so,
In an effort to address one of the severe negative issues
affecting people who leave the Family, Family leadership has decided to
identify such people as "leave-takers." They were previously known as
To 'take leave' is defined in the
Free Dictionary as "to use time permitted to be away from work." In the
Macmillan Dictionary, it is "a period of time away from your job." The noun 'leave' is defined in the
Dictionary as "the period of time during which you are
absent from work or duty."
Defining people who leave the Family as "leave-takers"
implies several things:
First, that Family membership is a valid occupation or
duty. Second, that there is nothing inherently wrong with the
Family. Third, that people who leave are merely taking a
temporary break; they may return at a later time. Fourth, that this leave of absence has been graciously
permitted by the Family. Fifth, that the reasons for people leaving are primarily
Although there may be some people who leave the Family to
whom this definition applies, there is a large number of people to whom
it does not. There are many people who would take exception to these implications
for a number of different reasons.
First, the Family has such self-serving structures in
place that it can hardly be called a duty, or even an occupation. Second, serious allegations of systemic criminal
behaviour have been made against the Family. This website, Make Straight
Paths, documents systemic abuse of biblical truths. Third, many people leave the Family with no intention to
ever return, due to a number of reasons. Fourth, people either choose to leave the Family or they
are excommunicated from the Family. In general, people don't apply for a
leave of absence. Fifth, some reasons for leaving may be personal, others
may be doctrinal, or even due to a perception of widespread wrongdoing.
In short, the label "leave-takers" appears arrogant and
What to read first
If you are unfamiliar with the Family and want to know general
information, you could read the history of the Family,
then the pages about its government and
marriage and family
If you are researching a particular topic, a brief summary of each page
is given on the 'Topical
Studies' page. If there is a specific Bible verse you want to look up, you could try the
Scripture Index. If your verse is not
there, contact us and we'll add it to our
If you are thinking about joining the Family, you should start with
What Potential Members Should Know.
If you are a
current member of the Family, please read the
Introductory Letter specifically addressed to you. There is also a
special explanation for people who
used to be in the Family.
The best pages
Highly recommended pages include:
Basic Bible Interpretation
Judging on the Basis of Love
God is Love... Love is God?
The Two Builders
Deceivers Yet True
The Just Shall Live By Faith.
This site has been created specifically for three groups
Current Family members, regardless of status or
position who wish to take an honest look at ‘those doctrines’ in the
light of the Bible. Your faith is founded on the Bible. You know you
have salvation because of what the Bible says. You know the Bible is
the truth of God and contains the mind and heart of God. You are
unafraid to study what the Bible says about the Family doctrines
because you know that if those doctrines are right, they will stand.
It is the Bible on which faith is built, so studying the Bible can
true faith. Any teaching that crumbles and falls upon
cross-examination by the Bible
cannot be true. Are you willing to study the Bible? Please also read
the introductory letter written to
Former members who want to find peace in the Word.
You gave years of your life in the Family out of love for the Lord.
You knew the Bible was true. Now, however, sometimes you get
confused, especially when Family
doctrines surface. Some of these doctrines seem so logical, and easy
to accept. Are they true? You want peace in your heart. You want the
Word you can stand on, to justify to yourself or to others why you
do or do not believe certain things. You want the truth that sets
you free from the confusion that sometimes besieges you. Or perhaps you
have rejected Christianity on the basis of what you saw in the
Family, but would still like to make a comparison between the Family
and genuine faith. There is an introductory letter
written to you.
Prospective members who wish to compare specific
Family doctrines with the Bible before making the decision whether
or not to join the Family. You love the Lord, perhaps you are
recently born again and are filled with zeal to serve the Lord.
Perhaps you are tired of the complacency and spiritual lethargy you
have found in mainstream Christianity. Your ultimate desire is to
serve the Lord in truth. You have no wish to live for the world, you
don’t want to live a self-centred existence, you want to give your
life for Jesus. Yet you also know that Jesus Himself warned us not
to be deceived. Many of the Family doctrines appear appealing,
logical and convincing. What does the Bible actually say about those
doctrines? Note that the decision to join or not to join the Family
is yours and yours alone. Neither we nor Family members can take that
from you. The purpose of this site is to examine the beliefs you
would be expected to hold to in the perfect light of the Bible. You
can get an overall view of the main differences between the Family
and other churches in the page
Potential Members Should Know. It's a good place to start.
No personal attacks
The articles published on this site will not contain
personal attacks on any person in the Family, including past or present
leadership. The focus here is the Bible, not who is to blame, or what
should be done to them. We are all accountable before God to follow Him
in truth, and these articles are dedicated to lift up the truth. If you
wish to read accounts of ex-members’ personal experiences in the Family,
you could try
one of the other sites. However, the Bible says that if
you believe someone is doing the wrong thing, “you who are spiritual
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest
you also be tempted”. (Gal. 6:1 NKJ) The articles published here are
written with that principle in mind. Having said that, there are places
on this site where reference to Family leadership is unavoidable,
usually as the authors or propagators of a particular teaching. For the
most part, past and present leadership publicly have taken full
responsibility for the teachings they disseminate. They do not always
take responsibility for their followers' application of those teachings,
but they do stand behind the teachings themselves. Therefore, no offence
should be taken if a page on this site names David Berg as the author of
a particular doctrine, even if the study concludes that the doctrine is
This web site does not attempt to provide a well-rounded theology,
exposition or explanation of all the verses cited. The purpose of this
website is to examine the doctrines of the Family, and the particular
interpretations the Family gives to certain Bible verses. All pages
should be seen in this light.
The question that initiated most pages was not, "What is the message of
the book of Hebrews?" or "How does the Bible develop an evangelical
theme through the Old and New Testaments?" but rather, "The Family
believes, teaches and practises a certain doctrine. Is this doctrine
correct, according to the Bible?" The result of this approach is a
rather narrow focus. There are volumes that can and should be
written on each topic, in order to present a well-rounded thorough
teaching that is applicable to all Christians in all situations.
Therefore, if you feel that a particular study is lacking in some
regard, please bear in mind that the purpose of this site is narrow, in
that it is designed to examine Family doctrines, and then, if you wish, contact us.
© 2007-2012 Make Straight Paths