My guest this month is Michelle Lesley, returning for her second episode of Echo Zoe Radio to discuss the New Apostolic Reformation. NAR is a large movement with dangerous, unbiblical teachings, and really tough to cover in a 60-90 minute episode with much depth, yet we try our best to at least cover the basics. If you have kids, it’s especially important to be aware of the New Apostolic Reformation, and familiar with the means by which they lure in our kids, particularly when they hit High School and college age.
An Outline of the Discussion
- Michelle begins by comparing New Apostolic to a role-playing game. There are the average church-goers and then there are the high-level “expert Christians.”
- Foundational to New Apostolic is that the offices of Apostle and Prophet, in their view, are ongoing (or in some cases, restored.)
- They have a belief they call “The Five-Fold Ministry,” which they get from Ephesians 4:11-13.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up 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 mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
The New Apostolic Reformation defines the offices in this passage differently than Biblical churches would. “Until” means that all offices must continue until all churches reach “unity” and “maturity.” “Maturity” means you can work miracles, and “unity” means ‘in submission to the New Apostolic.'
- Bill Johnson, a New Apostolic “pastor” admits that as much as 80% of the ‘prophecy' that comes out of their movement are false/fake, but claims that it's worthwhile in order to get to the 20% that he believes are real.
Correction: It's Mike Bickle, Head of the International House of Prayer, that said this.
- There's a bizarre link between the New Apostolic Reformation and Theonomists in their shared doctrine of Dominionism.
- They hold to a doctrine they call the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” in which they believe that seven areas of society and culture need to be brought under submission in the name of Jesus (their Jesus):
- Business & Finance
- Church & Religion
- Arts & Entertainment
These are necessary prerequisites to usher in the return of Christ. This is opposed to the Biblical mandate to engage in evangelism wherever God puts us in life.
- Another key doctrine is “Impartation.” They impart/transfer spiritual gifts/spirits through their apostles.
- There is a lot of crossover between the New Apostolic Reformation and Word-Faith, and they have a common history.
- They have strong influence, and control, over organizations that target young adults, such as: Youth With A Mission, Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), World Mission, and the International House of Prayer.
- They have no formal denomination of their own, they grow by taking over Churches in other denominations and/or pulling away their youth. They are a virus that uses otherwise ‘healthy' churches as hosts.
- Bands like Hillsong and Jesus Culture are recruiting tools of the New Apostolic Reformation. The format of much of their music is designed to be hypnotic.
- Hillsong is a ‘Gateway Drug' to the New Apostolic Reformation. They aren't as overt in their ties and shared beliefs.
- We discuss 10 Buzz-words of the New Apostolic Reformation:
- The Glory
- In the Natural
- In the Heavenlies
- Come into agreement/alignment
- Cast vision
— Gary W. (@GaryW63) March 4, 2017
We couldn't think of any per-se, but there are a few here and there that have poor discernment and may find themselves in the company of New Apostolic personalities, not necessarily knowing who these people are. Michelle has some reservations about Matt Chandler for his associations.
— Teal Tweet (@tealtweet) March 4, 2017
We've heard things to suggest maybe Cruz and/or his dad may be, but we haven't researched it. We've heard more of Rick Perry and Sarah Palin having connections to NAR.
— Teal Tweet (@tealtweet) March 5, 2017
Neither of us believe President Trump has any connection to any church (theologically speaking) besides the very Liberal PCUSA. He attends PCUSA churches whenever he goes to church. His connections with NAR, of which there seem to be many, appear to be entirely political in nature, he feeds off the political support they give him.
— Renee Widener (@Reneenyap) March 6, 2017
They use organizations targeting youth for their international missions, namely Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and similar organizations. They also use their large financial reserves to reach international audiences through TV and social media, as well as sending people to do seminars, conferences, and concerts.
— Brandon Hines (LTP ) (@LearningthePath) March 4, 2017
It's very hard to tell if Michael Brown is specifically New Apostolic in his beliefs and practices. However, there are a few areas of concern. First, he got his start at the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida, which was a New Apostolic Reformation event, and speaks very highly of Brownsville. He is also very shifty when asked specific questions about New Apostolic, and deliberately so. He evades any comments made that shed negative light upon NAR, and feigns ignorance of their most blatantly verifiable unbiblical practices, yet speaks well of them whenever he can do so without raising suspicion of them, their movement, or his connections to them. He has a cycle of history of being pressed by Christians to explain his connections to them and to disavow their most egregious practices and teachings; shutting down and evading real answers to his critics, and having those critics throw up their hands and walk away, only to have another crop of critics come along months later with the same questions and objections and treating them with the same tactics (I, Andy, have been one of those critics, having some of my objections and criticisms addressed, albeit poorly, for over 45 minutes on his radio program in the wake of the GTY Strange Fire Conference.) We agree: Michael Brown is dangerous. (See 2 John 9-11.)
- Ephesians 4:11-13
- 2 John 9-11
- James 3:1
- The Six Hallmarks of a NAR Church
- The New Apostolic Reformation: Influence and Teachings
- Top 10 NAR* and Seeker-Driven Buzzwords – Michelle Leslie
- Michael Brown Continues to Deny the NAR, Defends Montanism
- The Dr. Michael Brown Checklist of Manipulation
- Strange Fire Conference – Grace to You
- Apostles and Prophets and the Foundation of the Church: Bibilical Exegesis that Proves that Only the New Testament Apostles are Authoritative – Bob DeWaay, Critical Issues Commentary
- Colossian Heresy, Part 3: How Rick Joyner's Claimed Visit to Heaven is a Direct Example of the Colossian Heresy – Bob DeWaay, Critical Issues Commentary
- The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation – Bob DeWaay, Critical Issues Commentary
- Mike Bickle and International House of Prayer: The Latter Rain Redivivus – Bob DeWaay, Critical Issues Commentary