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, February 29, 2016

Emergent Monday: What Is The NAR?

24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance. (Matthew 24:24-25)
I didn't want to write about the New Apostolic Reformation, I just wanted to expose the false prophesy of Rick Joyner who, had he actually received a prophesy from God about the Carolina Panthers it would have been "Broncos by 14". But lately I've been seeing the NAR almost everywhere in the blogosphere and in media. As many Christian bloggers can tell you, sometimes you just have to write something on a particular subject. While not wanting to wax Pentecostal, I believe that the Holy Spirit occasionally wants a subject to be broadcast and I've noticed that when I feel His push to write about a subject I often see that several other Bloggers will write about the same subject too.

For those that have never heard of the New Apostolic Reformation, you're in luck, I'm going to be writing a bit about them, for a while at least. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a title invented by C. Peter Wagner to describe a group of people that seeks to establish their own form of Christendom. The conspiracy theorist would call their vision the "New World Order", and you know something? They would (for once) be right:

The new Apostolic Reformation (NAR) sprang from the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. They claim that they have been given authority to lay the foundation for the “new” global church.
They believe they are restored apostles called and ordained by God to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church. In order to maintain this governance they stress strict obedience and submission to them in all matters.
They claim they hear directly from God, and many claim that Jesus visits them in person. Like the true biblical apostles who established the early church, these so called restored apostles believe they are called to lay the foundation and government for the new Kingdom (one world church).
Their goal is complete and utter control of the church and subjugation of its current governance to them. They want power, dominion and total control.
They truly believe that the world is awaiting fulfillment of a takeover by a militant church (Joel’s Army) that will arise, govern and dominate the world politically and spiritually. This is a highly organized group with a global agenda. (Source)
The NAR is an amalgamation of several movements: Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, Kansas City Prophets, Dominion Theology, Manifest Sons of God (Joel's Army), Third Wave, Toronto Blessing - all combined to create their own unbiblical form of "Christianity", completely distinct from Catholicism, Protestantism and Orthodox Christianity. The NAR is basing their movement on what they claim to be direct revelation from Christ to each believer, and on prophecy and miracles such as healing. C, Peter Wagner calls this a theological movement and not an organization, and because it does not have formal membership it, in his eyes, is not a cult. 

According to C. Peter Wagner, the main differences between the NAR and Protestantism are
  • Apostolic governance - they claim that Jesus still appoints apostles within His church. Maybe He does, but isn't it odd that they're all associated with C. Peter Wagner?
  • The Office of the Prophet - clearly being a false prophet is not an issue with the NAR
  • Dominionism - I may have this wrong but my study of Dominionism shows it to be a belief that God isn't powerful enough to overcome Satan, that the prophesies of the end times are false and only the NAR knows the real outcome.
  • Theocracy - according to C. Peter Wagner this is NOT a theocratic government, but simply a goal to have "kingdom minded people" controlling all areas of society... wait, what?
  • Extra-biblical revelation – There is available to all believers the ability to hear from God. "any new revelation from God is that it cannot contradict what has already been written in the Bible. It may supplement it, however." yeah, yeah, yeah, We heard that one from the pope.
  • Supernatural signs and wonders – Signs and wonders such as healing, demonic deliverance and confirmed prophecies. We all know this one - "Put your hand on your checkbook and you will be HEALED!"
Those signs and wonders are probably the most blatant thing you will see when viewing the NAR. Have a look at one of the most embarrassing tricks used by the NAR to fool the goats; one sorry spectical is false teacher Rodney Howard-Browne, the "Holy Ghost Bartender" and his heresy of spiritual laughter. I've written about him in the past. Not to be out done, false prophet Rick Joyner uses the psychological attack of altered states to subdue his prey.

But the NAR goes beyond smoke, mirrors and utter nonsense. Their traveling road show may really be just be a distraction to divert attention from the real aims of the NAR:
  • The Church must be restored and equipped to rule by the five-fold ministries.
  • It must come to perfection and complete visible UNITY.
  • Out of the purified church will come a spiritual elite corps, a Corporate Christ who possess the Spirit without measure
  • They will purge the earth of all wickedness and rebellion
  • They will judge the apostate Church
  • They will redeem all creation, and restore the earth
  • They will eventually overcome death itself in a counterfeit of the Rapture
  • The Church will thus inherit the earth, and rule over it from the Throne of Christ. (Source
The vast majority of these mutterings is utter, mindblowing, arrogance straight from the pit of hell. THEY become a Corporate Christ? THEY will purge the earth of all wickedness and rebellion? THEY will judge the apostate church? THEY will redeem all creation, and restore the earth? And where is God in all this? Did they send Him out for a smoke break? "You go out for a Starbucks, God. WE will handle this because WE are APOSTLES." 

Let's tackle the terms that aren't so mindboggling, such as their unbiblical command structure. The term five-fold ministry is used by NAR leaders and it refers to the teaching that Christ has given five, ongoing formal offices to govern the Church. Those offices are Apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. Their reference for this is:
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Note that in their biblical justification the term or concept "govern" does not exist. So let's delve deeper. According to the NAR the word "until" in verse 13 indicates that all five offices must continue to govern the church until the church attains the goals of unity and maturity. Since the NAR believes that neither goals have been met then the offices of apostle and  prophet have recently been opened back up just for them. It also needs to be pointed out that "unity" in verse 13 means to NAR leadership "apostolic unity" meaning that Christians must submit to the leadership of the NAR "apostles" (source: C. Peter Wagner, Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2006), 127-129))

Additionally “maturity” is seen as a type of miracle-working ability that can be attained only by those people who will have received the entire body of new revelation given by the NAR apostles and prophets. In other words, you're not a mature Christian unless you're granted Holy Ghost Superpowers by the NAR. A benefit of being "bitten by the radio active spider" of the NAR, this maturity means you have developed the extraordinary miraculous powers needed to subdue the earth.   (Source: Bill Hamon, Prophetic Scriptures Yet to Be Fulfilled: During the Third and Final Church Reformation (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2010))

Let's look at the five-fold ministry from an actual biblical perspective. The word apostle comes from the Greek ἀπόστολος  (apostolos), which means a delegate, a messenger, someone who is sent forth, an ambassador of the Gospel. The word prophet comes from the Greek προφήτης  (prophētēs), one who is moved by the Spirit of God and hence becomes His organ or spokesman, one solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The word Evangelist comes from the Greek εὐαγγελιστής (euaggelistēs) which means simply a bringer of good tidings, someone who spreads the Gospel and isn't an apostle. The word teacher comes from the Greek διδάσκαλος (didaskalos) which means an instructor. 

None of those words has the slightest connotation of a "ruler" or "leader" nor do any of these words hint at being in charge of anything. They're all simply descriptions of someone who is carrying out the Great Commission. Each of those offices are messengers, someone who conveys the word of God to the world. Only the word pastor conveys leadership. It comes from the greek ποιμήν (poimēn) which means a herdsman, specifically a shepherd. Metaphorically it means the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly, especially a gathering of believers or a church. 

So how does a messenger suddenly become the head honcho in the minds of the NAR leadership, and the biblical leader suddenly become the low man on the org chart? My guess is that the answer is found in Two Thessalonians (for my Trumpite readers)
8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, (2 Thessalonians 2:8-11)
And there's so much more to go...


  1. Wow, Doug! This is great; what an excellent start for a series. Will be looking for more, and you can expect to see links to them on my "Random" reports.

  2. Nice work, Doug! I'm going to add this to my "NAR Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Dominionism, Charismania and Deception." http://www.piratechristian.com/messedupchurch/2016/2/the-new-apostolic-reformation-cornucopia-of-false-doctrine-dominionism-and-charismania?rq=cornucopia