There’s a massive movement sweeping Christianity, yet many still don’t know it exists or have unknowingly gotten swept up in it themselves. It’s cleverly crept into the church through subtle yet strategic means. Charismatic and likable preachers and upbeat and catchy music carry out this movement’s message. I’m writing specifically about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).
So, what is the NAR? The kind folks over at GotQuestions.org have summarized it well,
“The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is an unbiblical religious movement that emphasizes experience over Scripture, mysticism over doctrine, and modern-day “apostles” over the plain text of the Bible. Of particular distinction in the New Apostolic Reformation are the role and power of spiritual leaders and miracle-workers, the reception of “new” revelations from God, an over-emphasis on spiritual warfare, and a pursuit of cultural and political control in society. The seeking of signs and wonders in the NAR is always accompanied by blatantly false doctrine“
The NAR has been incredibly effective at camouflaging itself in plain sight through familiar Christian language and phraseology. By cloaking their false doctrine with Christian language, they can more easily slip NAR doctrines into their messaging and slowly inoculate the congregation with NAR ideas without detection. After years of a church being preached the NAR gospel, a church would likely reorient its faith around the doctrines of NAR, not the Word of God. Congregants will begin to elevate the authority of modern apostles and prophets that govern the church and become dependent exclusively on their theological guidance.
This is a difficult topic to navigate because it’s layered with so many complexities. That is why I am writing a series on the NAR to shed insight and provide clarity on the NAR and its impact on the modern church. I will be challenging NAR’s beliefs directly with scripture. I’ll be addressing the semantic ambiguities that plague the NAR; principally focusing on the NAR definition of ‘apostle’ and ‘prophet’ to see if it conforms to scripture.
When I discovered how deeply rooted NAR teachings were in the modern church, I was almost sick to my stomach. As I produce more content in this NAR series, I’m confident you’ll sense the same urgency I felt upon discovering it.
Matthew 7:15 states, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Jesus warned that people will attempt to deceive His flock. Jesus knew that false prophets and apostles would attempt to mislead the church and gave them forewarning of this impending danger. The early church experienced its fair share of false prophets and apostles and now the modern church is experiencing the same attacks.
We should adopt the Berean model described in the book of Acts. In Acts 17:10-15,
“10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.“
Today’s church should duplicate the Berean model regarding the examination of church teaching. They filtered what they were taught through the scriptures, and many realized that the Apostle Paul’s teachings were correct and converted to Christianity.
I fear our modern church is an easy target for the NAR because Christians don’t hold their church leadership accountable by cross-checking their teachings, comments, relationships, and character against scripture, as the Bereans did. The church has taken a nose-dive into Biblical illiteracy. This has made the church vulnerable, but it’s not too late to correct course. God has equipped us with His Word.
Stay tuned for more articles in the ‘Highjacking Christianity’ series!