The New Apostolic Reformation, What is it?
Matt S Dec 2017 Part 12 – 1 (False teachings/heresy series)
It was a little over two years ago that a friend from Canada mentioned the term “New Apostolic Reformation”. I had not heard this term that I could remember, however when she described some of the teachings and behaviours of this group, I had a partial recognition of these things. As I read and researched, the term “New Apostolic Reformation” was surfacing more and more. “New Apostolic Reformation” is a bit of a mouthful, so let’s just call in NAR for short.
I would like to say at this point that the reason I’m addressing the NAR movement first, is that it seems that this movement may be responsible, for ushering in some of the deception spoken of in the Bible in End Times prophecy. I hope this will be a little clearer as I write more specifically in articles to come. I will also say that many many people involved in NAR are completely unaware of their involvement and for the most part are genuine and good people under deception to a greater or lesser degree. My purpose is not to bash individuals in this forum, but rather to bring to light some of the more devious and dangerous aspects of the movement and name some of those who actively promote NAR teachings. I believe satan is firmly behind the deception this movement brings, and he is using people unwittingly to peddle his lies.
“So what is NAR, and where did it come from?”
The term “New Apostolic Reformation” was coined by a man named C Peter Wagner in the 1990’s. C Peter Wagner is regarded as the modern father of the latest incarnation of this movement (sorry to get all New Agey on ya, but incarnation seemed like the right word). The theology and doctrines expressed by NAR are not new and I’m sure the apostle Paul had to contend with some of the doctrines that are being espoused by this movement today.
It probably should be called the “Old Apostolic Reformation” given that it is an old idea in a new guise. Here is a video of C Peter Wagner naming the movement the New Apostolic Reformation. He also discusses the rapid growth of this movement in comparison to other denominational groups. It would seem that NAR started out looking like many other Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches in the early 90’s, however C Peter Wagner believed the offices of the Apostles and Prophets were being restored. Wagner referred to it as the “Second Apostolic Age” that started around 2001. Recent history now tells us that a great deal more has come out of NAR than just the second apostolic age. The initial hallmark of NAR was to elevate the “offices” of “Apostle” and “Prophet” into something akin to superstardom.
From my research, there is information about those that influenced C Peter Wagner, and William M Branham was a key figure. William Branham was known for his “Latter Rain” doctrine. Branham could well be the subject of an article at some point, as he was very influential and somewhat controversial in his own right.
Why have so few heard of this movement, and why is it that those that have heard of NAR, know so very little about it?
My opinion is that there are good reasons for this and these reasons give me pause for concern. I had not heard of the NAR movement until several years ago, a friend from Canada mentioned NAR in the context of it being a set of particular doctrines; these doctrines were making their way into many mainstream Churches of all flavours and varieties, and had been doing so for quite some time. I must admit that I was aware of some of these doctrines but did not associate them with any particular group, and that was the problem. NAR is a loosely associated group of people and organizations within Christendom that sits under the umbrella of NAR doctrine. There are specific doctrines that accompany organisations that embrace NAR thinking, and they may be within that organisation to a greater or lesser degree.
Because NAR is able to disguise itself under lots of different names and organizations it’s a bit hard to spot. Kind of like Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. “My, what large Prophets (profits) you have grandma” says little Red Riding Hood to the wolf. “All the better to buy you off with” replies the wolf disguised as grandma. Little does Red Riding Hood know, but the wolf in grandmas clothing (or is that sheep’s clothing?) has eaten grandma (the sleeping Church) alive and is attempting to lead the innocent Red Riding Hood (the remainder of the Church) astray……….
…….But I digress………….
The New Apostolic Reformation has become big, powerful and influential very quickly, and more to the point, very quietly. The “very quietly” part is the most disturbing, as it seems to have flown right underneath most people’s discernment radars. It is my opinion that we are living in the times described as “the end of the age”, “the last days” and “the birth pangs”. In my last article, “The Truth about Deception” I emphasized deception being a “hallmark” of these last days. It is satan that is behind this deception after all he is the deceiver. The devil is an extremely clever deceiver and I do not mean that as a compliment.
I believe that satan will use any means to covertly deceive people, the more covertly hidden the deception is, the greater its impact. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough”. To the casual observer the NAR movement could look amazing. They may look as though they are a fruitful thriving movement. They have huge Church growth, they promise experiences with and of God. They offer to train you to be a prophet of God, they offer to walk you through healing and deliverance in a special ministry that requires a formula they have developed. They have big Mega Churches happening; they are behind explosive Church growth in the third world. They have prophets proclaiming that God is going to bring great revival to the world through their movement and much much more. They have great godly assignments for those willing to take them. They want to bring Heaven to earth, imagine that! They are creating an army that will bring the world to right, and pave the way for Christ’s return. As part of this army you can be a super hero with super powers. You can “experience” the supernatural with “signs and wonders”, gold dust and feathers and much much more…….
Over the course of a few articles I will be going in to a little more depth on the “fruits” of the NAR movement and weighing up whether these fruits are as good as they look. The NAR movement has managed to maintain a very low profile, yet gain a considerable foothold within mainstream Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations. How has it been able to do this so well without someone noticing what is going on?
NAR culture (including “Jesus Culture”) is inserting itself into every “sphere” of influence. NAR doctrine believes that Christians should be involved in social justice, politics, the media, entertainment, education, family, the economy and of course religion. There will be more to come on this.
I found this little treasure in my inbox today (see screen shot below), it was sent to me by my local online Christian book retailer and this is at least one reason that NAR do so well. They have been pumping these books out. I went into a Christian bookstore in another country I was visiting around 18 months ago, I was looking for some specific authors that I had enjoyed in years gone by, I was unable to find those authors. Instead, I found books galore by NAR apostles and prophets on row after row in this store. I can’t prove this but I suspect that through “incentives” and slick sales techniques, the NAR folk have been able to successfully promote their wares almost exclusively now in certain Christian retail outlets. I mourn for the Christian bookstore of my teens, it was truly awesome. In this email advertisement below, just about every author listed is associated with NAR (two of the authors I do not know, however they are sitting listed with a NAR leader for what it is worth). These were the only books listed in this advert, what an overwhelming choice!! (Boy was that dripping with sarcasm)
The concern is that the NAR movement is disguising itself under the umbrella of mainstream Churchianity, and hitching a ride as it slowly makes its way into every corner. What is good is that God says he will expose the dark things and bring them to the light. There are a growing group of Christians that are seeing this stuff for what it is and beginning to speak out. I would also like to give some thanks to that group of Christians who were able to spot this stuff from the very beginning and continue to remain faithful in speaking out against this movement, often in the face of much derision from fellow Christians. This group of faithful believers has doggedly stood for the truth of God’s word. I would give encouragement to those who have seen this movement and are concerned about the way it is infiltrating all manner of Churches with its doctrines and programs. I would encourage you to become familiar with NAR and start to ask questions of those who are speaking NAR theology and involved in NAR organizations. Please do so gently and in love, sow a seed, offer to send some information and ensure that you send the best and least complicated information you can.
In my next article I would like to explore the hallmarks of some of the common NAR doctrines and how you might see if they are in your Church or Christian organization. I know there are many articles of research listed under “RESEARCH”, but I figured that if you have the time, this is a little (or not so little) treasure trove of information. God bless until next time with part 2 of this topic.
Here is my gmail address, if anyone has a question or a comment they can send it to me. I am not on Face Book; I struggle to keep up with emails at times as I work full time. If you do send me an email I will do my best to respond to you however it may not be quick response. My gmail address is as follows; firstname.lastname@example.org
RESEARCH. (The author of this article may not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the research material)