Is your church shifting into becoming NAR apostate? It could be, and your leaders might not even be aware.
The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is a counterfeit, unbiblical movement that has been gaining worldwide momentum. Its anointed celebrity leaders, meanwhile, are scurrying to distance themselves from the “NAR” label (invented by NAR founder C. Peter Wagner), especially now that discernment reporters have been shining the light of Scripture and the sheep have begun to take notice.
How does a Christian recognize the red flags if their leaders deny being associated or affiliated with the more recognizable founders and celebrity leaders? There are 6 distinct traits that characterize NAR’s core teachings, even if leaders or churches deny they have anything to do with the NAR brand.
First, you need to understand that NAR isn’t an official organization, nor can it be characterized by a common creed. It is instead a loosely knit and often unaffiliated network of leaders who share a common vision and goal for the visible Church.
Supernatural Signs & Wonders; Dominionism; The Latter Rain Movement; Joel's Army; The 7 Mountain Mandate; Third Wave Revivalism; IHOP; Bill Johnson's Bethel Church, The Hillsong Media Empire, these are all a part of this shape-shifting movement in one way or another. It is gobbling up churches and deceiving millions who don’t even know they’ve become a part of an apostate, end-times falling away.
The Six Hallmarks of a NAR Church
Here are those traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents:
We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These "Super Apostles" are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.
Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.
3. “DESTINY” “PRESENCE” “GLORY”
Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.
Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in. Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that's always just around the corner.
Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement. Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders of charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.
Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon a major tenant of Christian faith:
6. NAR DENIES THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE.
NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.
What can you do?
First, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If you church has any part of these six traits, you'll want to humbly alert your leaders. I've included links below to many of the best research articles, and will keep this list updated.
While you're researching, take a listen to the guest interview I did along with Steven Kozar on Chris Rosebrough's Fighting For The Faith program:
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
— Galatians 1:6-9