Heresies Overtaking Churches Today, Pt 2
Last time, we introduced the subject of The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and how its theology is supplanting biblical truth in order to accomplish something that the Bible teaches will not happen. The Bible teaches that Jesus is going to return to this earth in judgment and immediately preceding His return, the world will experience seven years of terror known as the Tribulation. This Tribulation will mark the beginning of the “day of the Lord.”
People who are part of the NAR believe that if they can simply manage to change the world for God, Jesus will then be able to rule the world through Christians as a body. This belief goes against what the Bible teaches. The NAR is also known as the “apostolic-prophetic movement.” The goal is simple.
The people who are part of this burgeoning movement follow present-day apostles and prophets who claim to govern the church and give new divine revelation that is needed to set up God’s kingdom on earth.
But what is the NAR, who started it, and how did it begin? The following definition from Wikipedia is good enough to serve as a starting point for our discussion.
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a title used to describe a movement that seeks to establish a fourth house within Christendom, distinct from Catholicism, Protestant Christianity and Orthodox Christianity, largely associated with the Pentecostal and the Charismatic movements. Its fundamental difference from other movements is the belief that the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle are being restored.
Interestingly enough, I was recently searching for churches and openings they had for pastors, etc., and I came across an ad that was a call to “apostles.” Those associated with NAR actually believe that these offices have been restored and that people living today can and are being referred to as “apostles.” Never mind that Jesus hand-picked His first 12 apostles and then replaced Judas with Saul, who became Paul, after Jesus also hand-picked him as he traveled on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).
Now of course, it also needs to be understood that those who believe that the office of “apostle” has been restored would also argue that the authority the original apostles had is also held by these new apostles of today. In essence, what we are dealing with is a brand new sense of Christian Imperialism that appears innocent to most people because these people argue that Christians need to “take back America” for God.
This is the new rallying cry and we’re hearing many leaders within Christendom shouting it from the rooftops. People like Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist, Bill Graham, and many others (including politicians like Donald Trump) are calling for Christians to join together to take back America.
The name “The New Apostolic Reformation” is one that was provided by C. Peter Wagner (used to teach at Fuller Seminary), who is well-known for his questionable beliefs and practices. But the movement itself tends to resemble Christianity, therefore to people who have little to no discernment and therefore cannot use critical thinking skills, beliefs of the NAR are simply accepted as true.
Those within the movement hold to their denominational interpretations of the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit within each believer. Unlike some parts of Protestant Christianity, these include the direct revelation of Christ to each believer, prophecy, and the performance of miracles such as healing. This move has also been given the descriptive title, the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit.
So today, we see this unfolding in many ways and through many Protestant denominations. There is a new push to believe that God “speaks” to us today directly, rather than necessarily through His Word. Even those who would argue that God speaks to them through His Word come away with interpretations that go against the correct teachings, if things are left in their original context.
We tend to see more and more leaders within Christendom embracing one another for the sake of inclusivity and “oneness” rather than expose aberrant, unethical, and unbiblical teaching. Today, it’s far more important to “get along” with people for the common good than to disassociate one’s self from people who entertain heretical beliefs.
Some of those who are most well-known in the NAR movement are:
- Lou Engle – Founder of The Call
- Mike and Cindy Jacobs – Founders of Generals International
- Bill Johnson – Head Pastor of Bethel Church
- Rick Joyner – Founder of Morning Star Ministries
- John P. Kelly – Founder of John P. Kelly Ministries and Convening Apostle
- C. Peter Wagner – Founder of Global Harvest Ministries
- Mike Bickle – Founder of International House of Prayer
Since the movement itself began within the Charismatic Movement, the problems with it become obvious (except to the average Charismatic) and myriad. In many ways, this movement is very loose-knit. It is made up of pastors, teachers, and other leaders within Christendom, who have as their goal the one listed at the beginning of this article. You won’t necessarily find a church that comes out and says “we are part of the NAR.” What you’ll find instead are people who believe in a form of “ecumenism,” or working together to complete a goal of taking back America for God.
Those who are involved politically in order to bring America back to its alleged origins – even if they are not Christians or churchgoers – are likely to be involved in the NAR. It has become pervasive in its theology and reach.
We can see just how entrenched this movement is becoming and who is involved in it. Is it in your church? If your church is pushing the movie “War Room,” they may be doing so out of ignorance or they believe the lies of NAR and are in step with it.
We know that no church is perfect. There are problems with all of them because they are made up of people, fallen people like you and me. The problem though rests with the leadership. What are they allowing? What are they pushing? What is it they want to see happen in your church?
We are moving toward dark days and they will get much darker before the light of Jesus dawns on the horizon. We need to be thoroughly vigilant and that requires discernment. Discernment comes only from God through His Word.
Do you have it? Do you want it? The Bible says we all need it.