An Introduction to the NAR – New Apostolic Reformation

The New Apostolic Reformation is a spin-off group of Christianity. The basic tenets of NAR theology is that God is restoring the lost offices of PROPHET and APOSTLE to church governance and that a new breed of Christian will be raised up to prepare the Kingdom of God so that Jesus can return.

This movement seems to have gained popularity due to the discontentment of people within the body of Christ who aren’t able to simply believe the truth of the Bible and its sound theological doctrines. They believe that there MUST BE MORE to the normal Christian life than simply trusting Jesus for salvation. The beginning of the NAR, sometime during the 1970s, is credited to C. Peter Wagner and is rooted in Charismatic Pentecostalism. Charles Peter Wagner (born 1930) is a former professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary. He coined the Christian idiom Third Wave. He is the founder of Global Harvest Ministries, and co-founder of the World Prayer Center.

The mystics of the new age, fringe churches have latched on to the spiritual warfare component of the dominionist theology of leaders of the NAR quite readily. Notable among these mystics are John Wimber, Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Bob Jones, Stacey Campbell, John Arnott, Mike Bickle, Randy Clark, Che Ahn and Ryan Wyatt (to name only a few!!) All these people are supporters of the “New Wave” which is supposedly God’s own “New Breed” of young people that He is raising up in the church today. These people will take by force all the ground that is not Christian ground and make it perfect and holy so that Jesus can return to earth to set up His Kingdom. See “Joel’s Army.”

As C. Peter Wagner looked to hand over the reigns of the driver of the NAR there seemed to be a bit of a scramble by some who probably felt they would be the natural choice to inherit Wagner’s self-appointed mantle. Strong contenders were Che Ahn and Bill Johnson as they struggled to lead the promotion and commissioning of Todd Bentley near the end of the Florida debacle in 2008. Stacey Campbell took a good stab at it as well. But in the end, Chuck Pierce seems to have been chosen to succeed Wagner.

You might have deduced, by the inflections in my writing, that I am not a supporter of the NAR. You are correct! Let me explain why…

First of all, The NAR promotes the office of the PROPHET. I believe the Bible is complete with all the prophetic words we need in order to be able to understand what our purpose is and also to understand the reason Jesus died on the cross. (See “Are there Prophets in the Church Today?”)

Secondly, The NAR promotes the restoration of office of the APOSTLE. I believe the office of the apostle was retired after the real apostles who walked with Jesus and demonstrated their authority by working of signs and wonders and the preaching of the true Gospel laid the foundations of the church.

Thirdly, I believe there are false teachings being promoted within the NAR that are rooted in MYSTICISM, which cannot be mixed with Christianity. The Bible warns that in the end times there will be many false teachers who will bring all kinds of strange fire and winds of doctrine into the church and that Christians will discard sound doctrine preferring to have their ears tickled. The teachings of the NAR tickle our ears because they lead us to believe that we have some kind of POWER that gives us the ability to perform miracles and bring about the appearance of signs and wonders. There is nothing inherently wrong with miracles, signs and wonders but when people begin to see the reality that they don’t actually have POWER, some of them will start to lie and make up tall tales about wonderful things they have seen and/or done in order to fit in to the NAR or feel accepted by its leaders. The followers of the NAR are seeking a sign and a wonder and desiring mystical experiences which in itself is not so wrong but when people are made to feel guilty of being faithless doubters when they don’t see these miraculous manifestations, then we have spiritual abuse going on. Also, Jesus said that a wicked and adulterous nation seeks a sign but none will be given except the sign of Jonah. (Mat 16:4 / 12:39)

Fourth, the NAR is structured kind of like AMWAY in that its hierarchy of governance is based on a pyramid style-marketing scheme. This is wrong because nobody ever has to take responsibility for what they teach or believe because they are all in somebody else’s “down-line” and nobody has access to the ones at the top of the pyramid. These guys have bodyguards and you have to navigate through an army of underlings to get to speak to them. One of the big ideas promoted in the NAR is “accountability” but the leaders in the movement are actually accountable to nobody. As long as they say they are “under a covering” they don’t have to take responsibility for any false doctrines that get spread around by or through them.

Finally, the doctrine that is used as a basis for the foundational beliefs of the NAR is patently false! It is based on a message that puts the onus on people to be able to earn salvation for themselves by behaving properly and/or doing good works. We know that we are totally wretched beings; incapable of pleasing God or keeping his Laws apart from trusting JESUS for the sanctification we receive by trusting in HIM for the Grace that is ours if we will only accept it.

Are you looking for REFORMATION? Maybe look into the Protestant Reformation brought about by Martin Luther and his 95 Thesis, nailed to the door of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s.

Martin Luther


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3 Responses to “An Introduction to the NAR – New Apostolic Reformation”

  1. Linda Says:

    You hit the proverbial nail on the head when you referred to the bio of Martin Luther, a renowned reformist whose works were very beneficial to the Christian church until his egotistical power took an evil turn in the form of anti-semitism. Did he not know, after all, that his Jesus was a Jew?

  2. - Says:

    or, the proverbial “proverbial nail on the head”

  3. Sean Says:

    The NAR takes the joy out of serving God. It becomes all about works, the leader, more works, the leader, even more works, the leader…all in the “name of the Lord.”

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