Bob Roberts Jr. is the founding pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas (near Dallas). The statement of faith for this non-denominational charismatic church appears doctrinally sound. I cannot say the same for Roberts, his church, or his new book Lessons from the East (2016).
One of Roberts’ many lessons is “family connections,” which he believes will guide the Western church “from sterile institutions to authentic relationships” (75). One such connection is the “apostolic and prophetic” role of “spiritual fathers and mothers” who will mentor young people (87). Roberts then describes his spiritual fathers. Mentorship is biblical; we must follow leaders who themselves follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). So who is Roberts following? Who are the spiritual fathers that he names in Lessons from the East? Let’s find out.
- Bobb Biehl – executive mentor; Focus on the Family (board of directors), Jesus People International (board of directors), World Vision International (executive team)
- Bob Buford – author, philanthropist, and cable TV pioneer; Drucker Institute (founding chairman), Leadership Network (co-founder) [church-growth think tank]
- Doug Coe – spiritual mentor; leader of The Family (National Prayer Breakfast)
- Leighton Ford – spiritual mentor; Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (VP), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (board member), Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (honorary life chairman), Leighton Ford Ministries (president), World Vision USA (board member)
- Kent Humphreys (d. 2013) – businessman; Christ@Work (president), The Navigators (board of directors)
- Jim Hylton – retired pastor, Northwood Church (staff pastor)
- Bob Roberts Sr. (author’s father)
Some of these men are apostates. They teach dominion theology, ecumenism, and New Age religion – anything but real Christianity. The philosophies of Buford’s mentor Peter Drucker drove the church growth movement through Rick Warren. Leighton Ford promotes Roman Catholic contemplative prayer (Eastern mysticism) in his book The Attentive Life (2008). All his spiritual heroes are mystics. Ford’s brother-in-law Billy Graham is an ecumenical 33rd degree Freemason; his Lausanne Movement promotes contemplative prayer. Graham and Ford also endorse Eugene Peterson’s The Message, a New Age paraphrase of the Bible intended to lead sheep into the New World Order. The phrase “as above, so below” in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6) refers to syncretistic Jewish cabbalism, or the occult. It isn’t Christian.
The most alarming name here is Doug Coe, Roberts’ “current spiritual father” (95). Did he found the National Prayer Breakfast (95)? No. Should Coe mentor anyone? Absolutely not! This man was mentored by Billy Graham before leading The Family or The Fellowship Foundation, a position he’s held since 1969. Coe likens this group to a “Christian mafia.” The phrase is apt, since the Jesuit-controlled Knights of Malta supply most of the money. The goal of this Vatican-based secret society is to lead Protestants back to the Pope so they can create a one-world religion. The secret global membership list is archived at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. One member was former President Gerald Ford, who asked The Family if he should pardon Nixon.
The Family is a 501(c)(3) church, “a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to ‘spiritual war’ on behalf of Christ” (Mother Jones). Its “goal is an ‘invisible’ world organization led by Christ,” yet Hitler and Mao are leadership models (Alternet). The emphasis on Christ is ironic, since The Family’s ecumenical motto of political power is “Jesus plus nothing.” This group “doesn’t stress doctrine” or church attendance (Newsweek). Some members are Christians, others Buddhists and atheists. Two years ago, Coe and some politicians privately met Pope Francis, a Marxist Jesuit, in Washington “to promote ecumenical prayer and interfaith understanding” (Christian Post). Evangelicals have criticized “Coe’s indiscriminate alliances and his downplaying of Jesus’ divinity,” so he can “pray with Muslim and Buddhist leaders” (TIME). This isn’t surprising if one learns that Coe admires the Dalai Lama.
The Family owns many DC-area properties such as the Cedars, a mansion in Arlington, Virginia. Global ambassadors, businessmen, and politicians have stayed there. The Family also operates a C Street complex near Capitol Hill, which is owned by the Christian non-profit Youth with a Mission (YWAM). Its founder is a dominionist. The Family recruits and prays with elite leaders to produce “imperial hegemony” overseas (Counterpunch). The group believes in “trickle-down fundamentalism” and laissez-faire capitalism, so money changes hands unseen (Las Vegas Sun). The Family is always looking for a leader “chosen by God,” evidenced by “his power, his wealth, and his willingness to align himself with their version of American power” (The Rachel Maddow Show). The only public example of this strategy is the National Prayer Breakfast (NPB), an ecumenical event attended by the president, congressmen, and global political leaders.
Coe told Roberts that he doesn’t want to turn the NPB into an institution (95). Roberts himself doesn’t want to live for a bureaucracy (95). Yet institutions provide public accountability, which The Family trades for misogynistic secrecy and spiritual abuse because they want invisible influence. They believe that God works through chosen people, not churches, so they pray only “in private with people of equal status” (Las Vegas Sun). Male members of cell groups give one another “veto power over [their] lives,” making wives come second (Las Vegas Sun). Is it any wonder, then, that three Republican congressmen who lived on C Street publically confessed to adultery in 2009?
Where did such unbiblical theology originate? Fascism might be the answer. Abraham Vereide (left), a Norwegian Methodist pastor, created the prayer breakfast movement with Heinrich Himmerl in 1935, The Family in 1942. Vereide also acted as spiritual advisor to Prince Bernhard, the Nazi founder of the Bilderberg Group. Jeff Sharlet, reporter for Harper Magazine, tried to educate the public about these shadow elite in The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2008). Here’s an excerpt from his radio interview with “State of Nevada,” which the Las Vegas Sun edited and condensed.
The group began during the Great Depression because the founder thought that God came to him and revealed a vision that the New Deal was satanically inspired and that Christianity was getting it wrong for 2000 years by focusing on the poor, the weak, the suffering.
He said God came one night in April 1935 and said, “I want you to be a minister to not the down and out, but the up and out,” he called them, the powerful. And God’s going to choose a few powerful people, he’ll work through those people, and those people will distribute the blessings to the rest of us. . . .
Talking to another man, [Coe] said, “Let me explain to you the concept of ‘chosen.’ Suppose I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?”
The man says, “You would think I was awful, a monster.”
Doug Coe said, “No, I would not, because you’re chosen, and when you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.”
“Normal rules don’t apply” to pedophilia? Pedophile rapper Michael Jackson has stayed at the Cedars. The Family is linked to the Officers’ Christian Fellowship, which facilitated a pedophile network in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s. Coe himself was seen at the Bohemian Grove north of San Francisco; members perform satanic ceremonies before a 40-foot stone owl and chase children in the woods. Members of The Family believe that Coe is “closer to Jesus than perhaps any other man alive, and thus privy to information the rest of us are too spiritually ‘immature’ to understand” (Sharlet). Does this “information” include divine acceptance of pedophilia? Who is Coe’s “Jesus”: the man from Nazareth who died on a cross, or Satan transformed as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14)? If the latter, Coe appears as a “minister of righteousness,” but his “end shall be according to [his] works” – eternity in a lake of fire (11:15, Revelation 20:15).
Does Roberts want to be in the same company with Senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton, who first met Coe at the Cedars in 1993? In her memoir Living History, she calls him a “loving spiritual mentor and guide.” Young people need godly mentors. They don’t need people like Doug Coe. Roberts names this man as a mentor in a chapter on mentorship, a strong indictment of both Roberts and his book. What’s the lesson here? Roberts’ spiritual fathers haven’t guided him in biblical Christianity but in the emergent church, an apostate blueprint for the New World Order. Find out how in part two of this review.
 Lessons from the East: Finding the Future of Western Christianity in the Global Church. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2016. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
 All Scripture references are to the King James Version (KJV), unless otherwise noted.
*** Doug Coe image: A. Larry Ross