Karen Zerby is definitely a controversial character, who has been the recipient of a lot of negative media reports in recent times. In my personal opinion, many of these negative reports have not been: objective, reasonable or placed into a realistic context. Karen has also been the recipient of a variety of verbal abuse from various people, including Christian’s from other denominations. The negative attacks toward Karen Zerby have been some of the nastiest I have ever seen. In this article I am going to provide an objective and reasonable perspective on Karen Zerby. I am not a member of Karen Zerby’s group (the Family International, formerly known as, the Children of God), but I am considered by some to be an expert on: conspiracies, religious groups, alternative information and cults. I am also a born again protestant Christian with extensive Bible and theology training, and I have researched most Christian groups out there.
Karen Zerby is the current leader of; “The Family International” Christian evangelism and charity group. Karen is the daughter of a Nazarene Christian minister and according to my observations, she was a fairly keen Christian and follower of Jesus Christ from a young age. Karen would have been brought up in a Christian environment, which consisted of Bible studies and regular church sermons relating to her fathers church. It seems logical and reasonable to assume, that Karen Zerby has been a devoted Christian since her childhood and youth. It also would be logical to believe that Karen has extensive Bible and theology knowledge.
According to reports, Karen Zerby joined a Christian youth outreach group in 1969. This group was led by David Brandt Berg (also known as Moses David) and was known as; “The Children of God.” Karen Zerby worked as David Berg’s secretary in this group, and a romantic relationship between Berg and Zerby eventually developed. Zerby eventually became Berg’s spiritual wife.
As Karen continued with her membership in the Children of God, the groups doctrines and theology began to take on an alternative Christian theology, as it departed from the doctrines of the traditional church denominations. The group took on new doctrines relating to personal prophecy received from its leader, David Brandt Berg. Some of the doctrines related to a more free form of sexual beliefs and practices which included: women using sex to persuade men to accept Jesus as Savior, swinging (People sharing their wives and husbands sexually with others. This is a fairly common practice in mainstream society as swingers clubs are quiet popular), open sexual practices, and it was permissible to have sex with whoever you wanted, provided it was in love. The progressive aspects of the groups doctrine, related to a more free form of sex than most religious groups practiced.
Karen Zerby embraced much of the sexual doctrines preached by David Berg, and many of the Mo letters (Christian theology and prophecy writings composed by Berg) which have made there way onto the internet document Karen Zerby’s sexual experiences. Many of Karen’s sexual acts with men, relate to her trying to persuade men to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. In the candid Mo letters, Karen can be seen displayed in illustrated drawings engaging in a variety of sex acts with men. These drawings are accompanied by detailed writings relating to Karen’s sexual experiences with men, and her trying to persuade them to follow Jesus Christ. According to the Mo letters, Karen Zerby has had sex with a number of men in order to convert them to believers in Jesus Christ (If these men did genuinely pray to Jesus Christ for salvation, it’s logical to assume they were saved from hell). According to the Mo letters, Karen Zerby was definitely a leading figure in the moving forward of the sexual doctrines of the group.
It is the above sexual beliefs that have prompted various: Christian denominations, the media and others to attack Karen Zerby. Karen Zerby has been portrayed as one of the most evil people in society by some, and she has also been portrayed as an enemy of the Christian church. Current member of the Family International, Michael Basham (the friend who invited me to write on this website), has stated that Karen Zerby and the Family International have been ostracized by the traditional Christian church and others. I do agree with Michael Basham’s comments to some extent, as the Family International and Karen Zerby do get treated badly by the traditional churches and much of society.
I personally do not think Karen Zerby is evil. This is a woman who was raised in the Christian church since she was a child, and she has been working as an evangelist for Jesus Christ since her youth. She has not stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, even though she has suffered the loss of her son in tragic circumstances. Even though she continues to get persecuted, she continues on her course of preaching Jesus Christ. That does demonstrate some element of character. If I had suffered the losses and experienced the persecution Karen Zerby has suffered, I probably would have stopped doing what I was doing out of exhaustion. I do commend Karen Zerby in standing strong on her beliefs, in the face of persecution and difficult circumstances.
Right: a picture of Karen Zerby and her current husband, Steven Kelly (also known as: Peter Amsterdam). Karen and Steven are the present leaders of the Family International (formerly known as the Children of God).
I also do not think the Family International (formerly the Children of God) is evil. I think the Family International is an alternative Christian group with some alternative beliefs. The fundamental aspects of the groups doctrines make it a Christian organization, as they believe in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone. This doctrine of salvation through faith in Christ, clearly makes this group a Christian organization, and a part of Jesus Christ’s worldwide disciples. Those claiming that the Family International is not a Christian group are in error, as their salvation through faith doctrine, clearly make them a Christian group with a Biblical foundation.
We really should leave the judging to God, as Jesus himself said, “just not lest you be judged.” No person or organization is perfect, as God’s people are made up of imperfect people. Karen Zerby has admitted she has made mistakes on particular issues and she has publicly apologized, and this does demonstrate a lot of character. I have respect for leaders who admit their faults, and I do not trust leaders who claim to be perfect.
Regarding Karen’s sexual practices, at the end of the day, that is her personal choice. Christian’s should not crucify a woman for her sexual choices, after all, one of Jesus main followers was a promiscuous woman named, Mary Magdeline. Mary Magdeline was also the first person to witness Jesus in his resurrected form, and she played a major role in the life of Jesus. Whether you agree with Karen performing sex acts on men to persuade them to choose Jesus Christ, you still have to admit, the woman had a sacrificial desire to save people from hell. It could be genuinely stated that Karen Zerby has remained a: missionary, evangelist and disciple for Jesus Christ her whole life. Even if someone adopts unorthodox practices in their spritiual and religious persuasions, this does not disqualify them from being considered a follower of Jesus Christ. I think people who make comments on Karen Zerby should adopt a Christ like attitude before doing so, because some of the negative comments I’ve read about Karen Zerby are quiet nasty and unfair.
Recently I had the opportunity to evaluate the comments made by a former Family International member, who left the group, and has adopted a rebellious position against Karen. This person stated that he left the Family and has joined another church denomination he claims is more ethical. I have been involved with the new church group this person joined, and in my country this church group is controlled by organized Satanists at the highest levels. The leaders of this church denomination are involved in: executions, gang stalking, contract killings, torture, cannibalism and Satanic rituals. But on the surface, these so-called “Pastors” seem like the most perfect and squeaky clean people around. Many popular churches with big financial backing are now controlled by organized Satanists and the Jesuit Order, who want to raise up the Antichrist through these controlled churches. Researchers such as Rev Kevin Annett have clearly proven that many mainstream churches are now controlled by Satanists, as Satan wants to control the churches to help raise up the final Antichrist. Most of these churches will never mention the mark of the beast (implantable microchip) either, because these churches have been secretly recruited to help force apostate Christian’s to receive the mark of the beast (which sends them to hell).
The Family International may be an alternative religious group, but they are certainly not a malevolent cult seeking to do evil. The Family International if evaluated reasonably, is a benevolent Christian group who have a genuine desire to follow Jesus Christ. The Family International is also one of the few groups not fully controlled or infiltrated by the Jesuit Order and its subordinated secret societies (Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Martinism, Rosicrucianism, the Illuminati, Theosophists etc).
According to reports, at around 1988, Karen Zerby began taking a major leadership role in the Children of God and in 1994 when David Berg died, Karen took the official leadership role in the group. At present, Karen Zerby and her current husband, Steven Kelly, are the present leaders of the Children of God which is now known as, the Family International.
Right: Karen Zerby is engaged in: preaching, teaching and instruction at a spiritual and religious conference.
As stated at the beginning of the article, Karen Zerby would have to be one of the most persecuted Christian leaders out there today. You only have to do an internet search to see the amount of critisism this woman has been subject to. But if you evaluate the woman’s life in context, she has been a faithful and dedicated Christian believer for many years.
In conclusion I believe Karen Zerby is a genuine missionary and evangelist for Jesus Christ. She has been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ for decades, and I have found no record of her ever taking a break from evangelism (that definitely shows her as a dedicated Christian). This woman is a follower of Jesus Christ and should be respected for this, whether you agree with all of her views or not.
Regarding the teachings of sex and marriage in today’s church, I believe no church has it all right. The one husband and one wife doctrine is not necessarily biblical. Jesus did preach a parable about a man marrying ten virgins (The parable of the ten virgins), indicating it was a normal and reasonable practice, for men to be sexually active with more than one woman. There are a number of doctrines in Christianity that are still progressively being explored, and we should not abusively attack people, because they believe a little differently than us. If a person or group of people, believe that Jesus Christ is their personal Savior, and believe in salvation through faith in Christ, then they are Jesus Christ’s people and our brothers and sisters. Karen Zerby is a believer in Jesus Christ, a member of the Kingdom of Heaven, but most importantly, she is a sister in Christ Jesus.
In addition to Karen Zerby being the leader of the Family International, Karen is also believed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that consists of the gift of prophecy. The gift of prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit, so this may very well be possible. In the past it has also been suggested that Karen Zerby could be one of the two witnesses from Revelation 11 in the Bible. Karen continues to teach Christian and Biblical theology in additional to sharing personal prophecies she receives from the Holy Spirit.