Yes, you read it right. I am giving props to Rachel Maddow for being one of the few TV people covering the secret religious organization known as “The Family,” whichÂ has housed politicians at a home on the District of Columbia’s C Street for decades.Â Â Most of Maddow’sÂ criticism centers around the organization’s attemptÂ to cover up the sexual scandals of C Street members and politicians like Nevada Senator John Ensign, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and former Representative Chip Pickering of Mississippi.
At NewsReal Blog, we have not been big fans of the bulk of Maddow’s work. Â We have found much of her coverage worthy of criticism, including a regular critique of her work by bloggersÂ Tim and Alissa Birkel known as “A Spoonful of Saccharine.”Â Â I personally have taken issue with her leftist views as well. Â However, anyone who criticizes should also look for opportunities to praise, where praise is merited.
Maddow has extensively covered a story that I have not seen covered by anyone else on cable news — conservative, liberal, and in between. Â I think we must call out our own whenÂ they go astray. Â How can weÂ criticize Bill Clinton or John Edwards for marital misconduct but ignore Ensign or Sanford? Â I know the left likes to play favorites with criticism — but we shouldn’t.
I do have a problem with the secret ministry that has a house on C Street. Â World Magazine recently did a cover story exposing many of the problems with that organization. Â And as this is a NewsReal Sunday article, I’d like to point out some issues that all Christians should have with “The Family” on C Street. Â Moreover,Â while I applaud Maddow for bringing this topic out, she is wrong in that she often makes “fundamentalism” the issue, when there is little that is fundamental or evangelical about The Family.
As World Magazine points out,
“Adultery is not new in Congress or in the church, and aside from three men shattering their families’ lives, a larger story emerged of the group behind the C Street row house: a 60-year-old, globally reaching organization that has muddy theology and a disdain for the established church.”
The C Street house is is run by the Fellowship Foundation — an organization many call “The Family.” ItsÂ members like to joke about its similarities to the mafia. Â The Family is best known for the National Prayer BreakfastÂ it hosts every year.Â Â Claiming to be a ministry for Christian politicians who need spiritual guidance, it says its goal is to make Jesus known to world leaders. ButÂ it is highly secretive, and now it has taken on deserved criticism for seemingly covering up scandal. Â The organization claimsÂ that itsÂ C Street building is a church purely for tax purposes, but it has no connection to any established church or church group.Â Â In fact, one of its leaders has said that church “denominations break [Jesus’] heart.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 speaks of the church when it says,
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.Â 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Sadly, C Street has missed the point. Â That encouragement and accountability must take place within the church itselfÂ — not in some secretive organization. Â In fact, the Christian ideal is not to cover up and silence; it is about bringing things to light.
Jesus himself famously talked to a religious leader in the famous John 3:16 passage.Â Â Just after that, Jesus said he was the Light, and that those who follow him do not hide in darkness:
“19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:19-20
It’s time for C Street and The Family to come into the light. Â No more hiding. Â No more defending. Â Answer the charges that Maddow and others have rightly addressed.