The "New Apostolic Reformation" is a loosely knit association of churches and ministries with no absolute statement of beliefs or specifically defined doctrine. In this regard, it is true that the NAR is not a global conspiracy that is secretly holding meetings and making plans to dominate the world. On the other hand, there are millions and millions of people around the world who are unaware that their church or favorite ministry has all or most of the characteristics of the NAR. There's a good chance that a person holding to all, or most, of the NAR beliefs doesn't know that they've subscribed to those beliefs because they think it's just "ordinary Christianity."
C. Peter Wagner (1930-2016) invented the term "New Apostolic Reformation" and then pronounced himself God's appointed leader of it:
“I needed a name … For a couple of years I experimented with ‘Post denominationalism’. The name I have settled on for the movement is the New Apostolic Reformation.” (Source: C. Peter Wagner, The New Apostolic Churches, Ventura CA; Regal, 1998, p. 18.)
Wagner presided over the commissioning ceremony of fraudulent preacher, Todd Bentley, at the "Lakeland Revival" in 2008. This is the day that the New Apostolic Reformation was at its most glorious and self-congratulatory peak. This day turned out to be The Charismatic Day of Infamy, and all of its "Super Apostles" were proven to be incompetent, unqualified and full of hot air.
This loosely knit association of churches and ministries has much in common with the Latter Rain movement and the Word of Faith movement. Supernatural Signs & Wonders; Dominionism; Joel's Army; The 7 Mountain Mandate; Third Wave Revivalism; Mike Bickle's IHOP; Bill Johnson's Bethel Church, The Hillsong Media Empire, Rick Joyner's MorningStar Ministries, Todd White's Lifestyle Christianity, Che Ahn's Harvest International Ministries, Randy Clark's Global Awakening, Lou Engle's The Call, John & Carol Arnott's Catch the Fire/Toronto Blessing,... these ministries share much of the same theology and so they all a part of this shape-shifting movement in one way or another. It is gobbling up churches and deceiving millions around the world.
Some key beliefs of the NAR are:
- We've entered a "2nd Apostolic Age" that is marked by increasing Signs & Wonders. In order for the Church to accomplish its mission, we need to be under "Apostolic Alignment," which means that God will fully function once the new instructions from these new apostles and prophets are obeyed.
- Christians should somehow take over the world in a way that's never happened before; the "7 Mountain Mandate" is the means for this to happen. Christians now have a great "Destiny" to achieve as royalty on the earth. We are to "Bring heaven to earth."
- The Holy Spirit has introduced new demands that aren't taught in the Bible; fresh "Revival" is His new emphasis, so ongoing meetings, conventions and lengthy worship sessions are needed with rock bands, smoke machines and emotional speakers (who tend to yell a lot). The institution of the Christian Church is not nearly as important as this new move of God. We are told to constantly ask for more: "More Lord... more." (One thing for sure: there are always more and more conferences to attend.)
- Jesus is the example for us to duplicate-in fact, we should literally be doing "greater works than Him." This means we should all expect to raise the dead and heal anyone we want to at anytime. There are no leaders in the NAR who are actually doing these things, but they make great claims of having extraordinary power and ability. And if you buy their books/DVDs/conference tickets they promise to give you the "secret formula." This is the Theology of Glory, as opposed to the Theology of the Cross.
- A great end time harvest/outpouring will occur once we battle enough demons, perform enough miracles and unify under these new Apostles, (who tend to yell a lot). There is supposed to be a "billion soul harvest" according to many in the NAR, although the Bible only speaks of an end time falling away defined by great signs and wonders.
- Although God is giving new revelation to his Prophets/Apostles they will make many mistakes in the process and that's okay, but following the Bible too closely makes you a "religious" and narrow-minded Pharisee. In the NAR, using your mind is generally bad but having a mystical and subjective experience is very good.
- In this new movement, we are to give people an Encounter with God, because the simple Gospel message is not enough. People need to see the power of God with their very eyes in order to believe (this is why we should be supernatural acts for people all the time). They do not need to understand the nature of their sin and their need for a Savior, however, as much as they need to know their identity as "sons and daughters of the King." So, fundamentally, conversion is a matter of finally understanding how special and lovable we are, not understanding how our sin deserves the wrath of God which Jesus took upon Himself on the cross.
Here are a number of different articles from different theological and denominational backgrounds that all agree that the "New Apostolic Reformation" isn't new, isn't apostolic and isn't a reformation: