About

Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Emergent Monday - The Spiritual Map of George Otis and the NAR

Spiritual Mapping is a discipline used by the New Apostolic Reformation to... to... to be honest I couldn't figure out what exactly they use it for. But according to the NAR it's really important. I looked up Spiritual Mapping and was lead to a spiritual mapping webpage at isaiah54.org and found a page chock full of different type faces and colors, huge type, small type, shadowed type, italicized type, bold type, subscript type, superscript type, even Micosoft WordArt type, so spiritual mapping is clearly very important. And, a good thing, there was no explosive use of exclamation points so obviously the webmasters at isaiah54.org are not crazy. 

However the meaning and definition of Spiritual Mapping seemed to escape the webmasters notice. In their section titled WHAT IS THE DISCIPLINE OF SPIRITUAL MAPPING? they defined the word "Discipline" and completely ignored the whole Spiritual Mapping part. The page is covered with blather about spiritual warefare, partial bible quotes, bible quotes used utterly out of context and nonsense like 
"Like enemy intelligence gathering during wartime Spiritual Mapping gathers the strategic information necessary for effective intercessory "smart prayer" deployment." 
There is one quote worth paying attention to which came from Georg Otis Jr, the inventor of spiritual mapping:
(Spiritual Mapping is) "Superimposing our understanding of forces and events in the spiritual domain onto places and circumstances in the material world."  (from "The Last of the Giants" by George Otis Jr.)
I didn't say it made sense, I just said it was the one quote worth paying attention to. I first came across the term 'spiritual mapping' in a description of John MacArthurs sermon The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In this sermon Dr. MacArthur never actually says "spiritual mapping" but he does utter the finest definition of the NAR ever spoken, and his definition has become a classic in Christianity

... NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. ... It is like Grape Nuts – it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts. It’s like Christian Science – it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well, the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic, and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams. 
To be honest I only put that quote in this article because I like it, it has nothing to do with spiritual mapping. So let's backtrack to the father of spiritual mapping, George Otis, and maybe we can find out what spiritual mapping is. George Otis founded the Sentinel Group which relentlessly pursues the grand cause of the New Apostolic Reformation which is hell bent on unifying and controlling the entire Christian Church, defeating Satan (instead of God doing it), promoting revival, establishing the kingdom of God and transforming societies everywhere. So naturally he associates with people like Peter Wagner, Chuck Pierce, Ted Haggard and Cindy Jacobs.

Otis began his 'ministry' with something called the Moral Government Theology before moving on to Spiritual Mapping in 1990. Understanding MGT is vital to understanding Otis' theology because Otis has never abandoned MGT which is described as
Moral government theology (MGT), rooted in the philosophical definition of freedom as the “power of contrary choice,” denies the fundamental Christian doctrines of God’s perfection in knowledge, goodness, and power; original sin; human moral inability; the substitutionary satisfaction of God’s justice in Christ’s atoning death; redemption; and justification by the crediting of Christ’s righteousness to believers by grace through faith apart from works... these denials are unbiblical and are so serious as to warrant classifying MGT as non-Christian (Source)
Otis does not believe in the core message of Christianity, he's gone and made up his own bible in MGT, one which would cause Rob Bell to stand up and cheer. In lectures given to YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in 1981 Otis let fly with his heretical poison:
Christ has not redeemed us by giving His life as a ransom for our sins in order that He might release us… For God never kept man captive in sin… The truth is Christ paid no man’s debt” (1981:lecture 4)
 “If we accept the premise that Jesus literally purchased, that He literally purchased our salvation with His blood... and He paid the Father... then this approach, first of all portrays God the Father as being vindictive and bloodthirsty and totally incompatible with biblical forgiveness. It also presents another grave difficulty. If Jesus literally paid for our sins with His blood, and a paid debt is no longer a debt, and He died for the sins of the whole world, then we can only come to one conclusion and the theological word for that is Universalism – which means that everybody will be saved” (Lectures on Moral Government Theology.1981:lecture 4).
These two quotes just scratch the surface of MGT, the rabbit hole goes much deeper, but in 1990 Otis made a remarkable discovery. He never abandoned the heresy of the MGT, but he changed his entire spiritual vision and went on the hunt for Satan. In his book The Twilight Labyrinth Otis claims that spiritual warfare is based not on theology but on geography. (Yes, I said it: Geography, not Theology)
“In virtually every corner of the world there are certain neighborhoods, cities, cultures and nations that embrace more idolatry, manifest greater spiritual oppression and exhibit more resistance to Gospel light... Certain travelers have described instances in which the prevailing spiritual atmosphere changed one way or the other at the very instant they crossed a particular territorial threshold... This kind of anecdotal evidence gives weight to the proposition that spiritual darkness is palpable and geographically concentrated” (The Twilight Labyrinth (1997) pg 52)
Since 1990 Otis has been spouting the myth that demons were territorially based and that evil spirits blind and deceive entire communities in their areas or operation, and until they're power is broken, no preaching of the Gospel will take seed in those areas. Otis believes that the primary tool in fighting these demons is the process of gathering spiritual intelligence on demonic forces, he calls it “spiritual mapping" Here is the questions used to gather the information needed for spiritual mapping:
1) Spiritual ‘camps’: places that are sources harmful to the community
  • Cults and occult centres, such as Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls, Mormon Temples, Unitarian, Christian Science, etc. as well as more occult phenomena.
  • Cult and occult establishments / businesses / practices
  • Known areas of occult activity
  • New Age, metaphysical healing centres, reiki teaching, reincarnation and past life therapy, astrologers, chakra and energy works, I Chang. Also if there are retailers that might be na├»ve but sell major occult influencing material.
  • Pornography & sexual material, places where prostitution and homosexuality is practised or is seen as a stronghold.
  • Freemasonry: temples / lodges
  • Places where life is taken such as abortion clinics
2) Major monuments that are inviting a strength over the city: war memorials, obelisks, specific people, historic events These can also often be markers that will reveal the presence of ley-lines or shapes over the city that either draw occult power there (pentagrams) or hold power in a place (hexagrams).
3) Frequent accident areas
4) Persistent crime / drug dealing or abuse areas
5) Graveyards, cemeteries – particularly those used for ritual worship
6) Hospitals, public service buildings
7) Map the Christian presence – churches, outreaches, effective businesses
8) An historic map where such things as massacres, broken treaties, unrighteous acts, major traumas to the people and the land are recorded (source)

The list is quite extensive, asking about the history of the area, it's politics, logos, future plans, the Christian community, the educational system, the business atmosphere, law and order, health, the arts etc. But the NAR claims over and over that spiritual mapping is not an end in itself, what do they do with all this data they gathered? How do they drive demons out of the area? Through "Informed Intercession."

Informed Intercession is a series of ongoing prayer and in particular prayer walking with "identificational repentance" as a major key. This is where the intercessor prays for the forgiveness of the sins of our forefathers. They call this a 'prayer of standing in the gap' and claim that it is very foundational in breaking the bondage that has come on the land through sin. Then comes the unity. In the NAR's plans an intercessor begins a process and others join him. Representatives of the body of Christ become involved and they claim that often then there is a shift in the community and it is not unusual then for there to be repentance / restitution even at a governmental and national level. Or so they claim.

Then of course the apostolic declarations need to be made. (Can't have an NAR activity without apostolic declarations.) These declarations of apostolic authority need to be made (according to the NAR) so that "there can be some legislation in the heavens for change."

Then following that comes the Prophetic Acts. 
Throughout the whole process prophetic acts are important. What is imaged propehticially does two things: it points to the reality of what is being imaged, and it draws the reality to the earth. So imagery such as stakes in the ground, the use of wine, oil, salt etc. will all be important. (source)
Then, of course, comes occupation of what was cleared
We have to fill what has been vacated by the enemy, otherwise Jesus warned us we can be in big trouble. We have to fill everything, but there will be some key parts of society that we do have to ensure we fill: the key parts will be where the enemy has had a stronghold and a presence, and also any aspects of society that were particularly key in the development of the place, either in its initial birth process or at a significant growth time. The key areas to occupy in society are:
  •     business, economic and trade
  •     arts and entertainment
  •     media and communication
  •     government and law
  •     health, science and technology
  •     education
  •     family life

Lookee there, the seven mountains of the NAR. Isn't this awesome how this all ties together? But what, you may ask, is their biblical reference? The theology that supposedly undergirds spiritual mapping is events in history is what shapes a geography spiritually. For the NAR it comes from John 10:40-42
40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42 Many believed in Him there. (emphasis by the NAR)
Six geographical references and one historic one: John had been baptising earlier. Seriously, that's their biblical reference, the words away, beyond, Yordan, place, there and there appearing in 3 verses. A entire ministry based solely on a few pronouns? At least the NAR is honest enough to claim that scriptures do not justify spiritual mapping:
The Bible often does not give us a program to follow... we have to dig beyond biblical texts to a theology that then helps us read the texts. experience is to shape us: experience that is judged in the light of Scripture (Acts 15 and the relevance of the law to Gentile converts is a good example here) (source)
Maybe they need to take a quick look at proverbs
5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6  Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)
In 1991, Otis published the book, The Last of the Giants: Lifting the Veil on Islam and the End Time. In it, he confirms his previous theological fallacies from the MGT, and expands on them while also introducing the idea of spiritual mapping. In this book he publically announces that he believes the sinful nature of man to be a silly myth and that men sin because there are demons living in their neighborhood"
Because all human peoples belong to God initially by right of fatherhood, Satan has no automatic control over them. Unless individuals give themselves over to the rulership of Satan willingly, they will remain under the tender influence of the Holy Spirit...People sin because they are subjected to the influence of particular demonic strongholds in the area where they live, and also because of pacts concluded with the devil by their forefathers. They are sinners by habit rather than by nature, and need to be taught to reject, overcome and destroy the bad habits and evil influences (The Last of the Giants: Lifting the Veil on Islam and the End Time, 1991, page 88)
George Otis Jr. is a darling child of the NAR, he's a very popular lecturer among like minded people who clearly do not understand scripture and may possibly be the spiritual weak women of 2 Timothy 3:6. Still, people follow his heresy even though people have tried spiritual mapping in countries like Russia, Turkey and China, and cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, New York, Washington, and London all with complete and utter failure. 

The problem with spiritual mapping and informed intercession is that the original premise is wrong, and if the original premise is wrong, everything that follows will be wrong too. The original premise is that sin is caused by demons living in specific area, which is the most wrong headed thing that could be taught. The cause of sin is mans own sinful nature
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
Blaming the sins of our own sin nature on demons is wrong wrong wrong. The demons will tempt us to sin, but they don't cause us to sin, that's our own fault (James 1:14) "The devil made me do it" is merely a Flip Wilson comedy routine. What spiritual mapping and informed intercession does on the surface is to claim to remove sin without actually doing anything about the cause of sin. The intercessors walk away and the sin remains, and the demons (who were probably highly entertained by their antics) remain. But also remaining behind are the sinners who needed the intercession of the Holy Gospel - they were ignored completely by the heresy of the NAR.

The teachings of Otis and the NAR are heretical, dangerous lies that entertain the goats and only serve to insure that plenty of snake oil is sold to their minions. The very best outcome of their nonsense is that they cause true believers to look again to scripture with the thought "Did God really say that?" Mostly their traveling circus act drives a wedge of distrust between the Church and those that God sent us to save, and at worst they lead the unknowing straight to hell.
Otis, together with Wagner and others, have the doubtful honour to lead the way in this man-made “revival” and community transformation of the last days. The one who is least concerned about this movement is the devil himself, because he is attacked and countered in ways which do not affect his position and influence at all. His biggest ally in the battle is the sinful nature of people, which is left virtually untouched in this campaign against evil. - Dr. Johan Malan

6 comments:

  1. Doug,

    This post is an education. If you ever think about "pegging" some of your particularly important articles together in a "favorites" category, this would be one to include.

    I wonder what the core error is with Otis and the NAR?

    One thing that sticks out in your description here is the focus on spiritual powers. For Christians to focus on fallen angels is such an obviously bad idea, it's hard to imagine people would fall for it. Yet they do, despite passages like this one in Jude:

    ¶ Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
    Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
    But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
    Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (Jude 1:8-11)


    According to Jude, these professing Christians:
    * Talk about about "spiritual visions" (dreamers)
    * Are filthy
    * They address spiritual powers directly (i.e. demons)
    * They are doing this for money (power and influence)

    I haven't studied this movement, but from this passage, would expect a great deal of immorality behind the scenes or perhaps even openly. Anyone know if this the case?

    Alec

    P.S. Found this supplemental definition of Moral Government Theology which helped me and may be useful to others:

    Moral government theology traces its roots back to a 16th-century Dutch jurist named Hugo Grotius. Moral government theology cannot truthfully be called a Christian doctrine as it is based on the unbiblical and erroneous idea that both God and man have a form of freedom known as the “power of contrary choice.” For man, this power enables all men to act and make choices free from the tyranny of our sin nature. Moral government theology claims that man is born morally neutral and is always capable of choosing whether or not to sin, and his moral character is determined by his choices.

    For God, the power of contrary choice means He cannot know His own future choices for, if He did, He would in effect be restricted by those plans and no longer be able to make those choices freely. It also means His moral character is determined by His choices, meaning His will and His nature are changeable. Among its other detrimental effects, moral government theology is the basis of the “open theism” heresy which is currently gaining popularity in evangelical circles.


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    1. I'm thinking of doing one article that lists all the NAR posts and pin that as a favorite

      Good find on that definition about MGT. It's clearly a false and bitter teaching, how could someone fall for it?

      As for immorality behind the scenes at the the NAR, I think next weeks post on the NAR's "Day of Infamy" will answer that quite nicely.

      CS Lewis was so right when he penned these words:

      “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight” (C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letter. 1941, p. 3)

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  2. I'm thinking C. Peter Wagner was one of the originators of Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, with all the spiritual mapping. Frank Peretti popularized this nonsense with his several novels.

    I have some excellent books on the topic, which I highly recommend for studying this doctrine:

    Modern Myths About Satan and Spiritual Warfare, by David Kirkwood

    Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare, by David Powlison

    Making War in the Heavenlies: A Different Look, by Bill Randles

    Miracles, Demons, & Spiritual Warfare: An Urgent Call for Discernment, by Edward N. Gross

    Territorial Spirits and World Evangelisation? by Chuck Lowe.

    For NAR/Dominionism in General, I can add a couple more:
    Vengeance Is Ours, by Albert James Dager

    Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse? An Analysis of Christian Reconstructionism, by H.Wayne House and Thomas Ice

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    1. Man, I want to spend some quality time perusing your library!

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