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Helping Someone Exit the NAR Movement

helping someone exitPeople often ask me for advice to help a friend or family member see the errors of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a silver bullet. But I do have five strategies I find helpful.

Give Them the Big Picture

Educate your loved one on the big picture of NAR teachings. Most people who have embraced some NAR teachings don’t yet see how the various teachings fit together in a larger framework. In fact, there is a very good chance they don’t even know what the NAR movement is–let alone that they are part of it!

But when they do see the big picture–including the dominionist goals of the movement and the extreme “Manifest Sons of God” teaching –they are often surprised. You can help them see the big picture by giving them my article “New Apostolic Reformation: Influence and Teachings.”

Focus on One or Two NAR Teachings

Choose one or two specific NAR teachings and show how they are not supported by Scripture. It is impossible to try to refute every NAR teaching at once. But pick just a couple and hammer those hard. Ask where those teachings can be found in the Bible. When they point to a specific verse, show how that verse is being used out of context and explain its proper interpretation. If you succeed in convincing your friend that just one NAR teaching is not supported by Scripture then that will likely undermine other NAR teachings.

Point Out Manipulative Behavior

Point out behavior in your friend’s church that is controlling. For example, it is often the case that anyone who criticizes NAR teachings or leaders is said to be under the influence of an evil spirit, such as the “spirit of Jezebel” or “a religious spirit.” This tactic–of demonizing the movement’s critics–is used to stifle criticism and keep NAR followers from thinking critically about NAR teachings. If you draw attention to it, your friend may become more aware of the ways her church leaders are seeking to exert undue control over her life and thoughts.

Incidentally, I use this same strategy when Mormons come to my door. I like to ask them this question, “Why does your leadership forbid you from reading materials that are critical of Mormon teachings?” I then say, “What would you think if you heard that another religious group was not allowed to read materials that were critical of their beliefs? Wouldn’t you think this looked like an attempt to keep information away from them that might cause them to question their beliefs?”

The last time I posed these questions to a young Mormon missionary, he admitted that the ban on anti-Mormon literature did appear suspicious. He didn’t leave Mormonism instantly. But hopefully a seed of doubt was planted.

Don’t Stop Challenging Them

Don’t give up. Just because your friend doesn’t seem to be listening doesn’t mean she isn’t. Often it can take some time for a person to admit she has been deceived.

Pray For Them

Don’t forget to pray for God to open your friend’s eyes to deception. False teachings are one of Satan’s most effective strategies for tripping up Christians in their walk with God. You are engaged in a spiritual battle, and prayer is one of your most powerful resources (Ephesians 6:10-20).

These are my tips. What strategies have you found effective to help someone leave the NAR movement?

— Holly Pivec

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22 Responses to “Helping Someone Exit the NAR Movement”

  1. Jane Says:

    I have a friend who’s been very caught up in the Charismatic Movement for about 25 years.  She was a hard one to convince but I did it by convincing her that God never ever told men to take over the world or any ‘kingdom’ for God.  In fact, God will take his over His own Kingdom.  He will never let man be the hero…Christ is going to do that!  Oh what a day that will be.  But seriously…I reminded my friend about the Great Commission and told her that’s our whole job, getting our family and friends and others saved before it’s too late.  Making society “be good” is not part of the Great Commission.  

    Ask your friends to show you ‘where’ in the Bible God tells us to take over any aspect of society to set up God’s kingdom.  And don’t forget to get an answer.  Again…get an answer!  They won’t be able to find one. But keep asking for that answer they can’t give.  It’ll really get them to thinking!  God Bless!

  2. Lindsay Says:

    I can only suggest that example, prayer and Bible study are needed.  Example from our own lives, prayer for those involved and Bible Study for the ignorant one(s).  The person must be completely open to hearing what God teaches in the Scriptures.  My latest blog has a little bit to say on the NAR issue: http://itaintthesame.wordpress.com.

  3. admin Says:

    Great advice, Jane! The dominionism teaching is an excellent one to challenge people on.

  4. Jayne Says:

    Oh my… this hit so close to home.
    I was in an NAR type Word of faith based apostolic church for 19 years. The apostle was self appointed though he claimed to have run from the calling. I wish he’d kept running. he got involved with C.Peter Wagner’s ICA (International coalition of apostles” and strategy to take over the city, country and world was almost Hilter like in concept.
    People within the fellowship became commodities and were manipulated and controlled little by litte. after so long you start to ask your own questions, especially about the “cut n paste” they do with scriptures, shunting out context and forming their own ransom notes with out of context sentences strung together… they put it into another context and then, just like a ransom they hold you to it.
    Everything about teaching becomes impossible.. impossible to please God, impossible to reach the ever moving bar or measurement and performance and then there was the punishment tacticks of keeping the gag in place to prevent questions and speaking freely. you never read the word enough or prayed long enough, gave enough in offerings, there was always more and more and the next step and the next level… it was a driving force of the worst order.
    Yes the Jezabel and Rebellion card were pulled if anything was said or done that was not welcomed.
    the funny thing is that for the whole of the 19 years i was there (I and those i became closer to in the last quarter of my “sentence” there), one thing we always knew to be missing was the one thing that we should have all been looking for… LOVE… Oh there were hugs and “Love you” s thrown around all over the place, but the actual stuff of love, the genuine stuff was always missing. Relationships between members was discouraged with a well placed word here n there to cause you to doubt the other person or you got told how the person you were getting close to was unsubmitted or dangerous in some way. Control over who you socialised with and had fellowship with outside of church was on the increase and if you dared ask a question you would be spoken to ok at the time but then an open pulpit address of the subject coupled with ridicule was enough to make you think twice before asking another question – eventually in order to protect your credibility you never asked a question you knew would rock the boat.
    I could write a book about it but it is enough to say… Keep on trying… folks in there need us though they dont want us to keep chipping away at those erroneous teachings.

    It is 3 years since we and a bunch of others came out and i am glad to say it closed 17 months after we left, but still the effects of spiritual abuse (and yes that cut n paste controlling garbage is just that) continues. The worst of it was seeing how very distorted our view and image of God became in those years… i had even forgotten the grace message after having been so focussed on being right in His eyes – having lost the understanding that it is ONLY because of Jesus that any one of us can be in that place.
    For me it is a passion to see people have their eyes opened to this awful stuff, but when i was in it, i thought those who spoke against it were short sighted, didnt understand the anointing… It took the lord himself to slowly bring me back to his word over and over, teaching by teaching in order to have me look again. CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT…
    Your advice to keep bringing them back to scripture and pushing for an answer is absolutely right, it was the bible and The Holy spirit who taught me and it took a long time and a lot of courage to step out and whilst it was the best thing to do, it devastated me.
    The worst of it is that I heard the Lord’s calls and felt his concerns but i was so well taught to take every thought captive, i did… i gagged God as i was gagged, tearing down every thought that was not in line with teaching… This is utter mind control… and sadly the definition af those 19 years experience can be summed up in jusy one word CULT.
    they may confess christ is lord but really it is the apostle who takes that throne within the context of church. I pray it will collapse and be exposed for what it is across the globe.

  5. Jane Says:

    That’s a great post, Jayne, and I’m so sorry for all those hard years.  But I’m thankful you are one person who saw the light and escaped.  As I’m beginning to understand things, the devil works much the same way in all these false ‘churches’.  He wants to put the people in chains, take away their freedom to think for themselves, and completely control their lives.  Why?  Well, there’s always the money, and then more importantly, it keeps the people away from the real God who knows how to set people free and bring confidence and hope into their lives.  I know a lady in a ‘Oneness’ church, and I think the reason she got stuck there was that she never really knew her Bible.  So she didn’t have God’s opinion about  anything, so the ‘pastor’ ruled.  Sadly, she’s still there, suffering in ignorance.  And I can’t really talk to her about it…it’s not allowed….

  6. Jayne Says:

    Thats the key Jane… finding the truth for yourself and thats not going to drop on you like a download from heaven, it means going to the word and testing it against the context of the scripture… i tell everyone.. dont accept anything from me, go read it, search it out, ask for inderstanding. if not the next roaming lion will have a bite too.

  7. B Says:

    “Control over who you socialised with and had fellowship with outside of church was on the increase and if you dared ask a question you would be spoken to ok at the time but then an open pulpit address of the subject coupled with ridicule was enough to make you think twice before asking another question – eventually in order to protect your credibility you never asked a question you knew would rock the boat.”

    I have noticed this characteristic in NAR/third wave/signs and wonders influenced churches. This is done in an almost backhanded compliment sort of way. They will mention someone and compliment them and then in way kind of ridicule that person and put them on the spot. It is done in a subtle way. I have also noticed the thing about questioning the leaders of the church. By this I mean asking basic simple questions. There is almost like this unspoken agreement that you shouldn’t question the leadership. And another thing I’ve noticed is if you ask a question instead of answering the question sometimes they will kind of put you on the spot by asking you a question in return, kind of as a way to put you in your place.

  8. Jane Says:

    Jayne has just given me a great idea.  I’m going to pray that God will download all his answers from his hard drive to my software (brain) so I don’t have to study so hard.  LOL

    If you have suffered from spiritual abuse, think about going to this Support Group on the Net:


    There is an NAR thread there too.

  9. Jane Says:

    I should mention that the Support Group for Spiritual Abuse is very much about those who’ve experienced the spiritual abuse of Pentecostalism.  But as we know, all these things like the NAR, Charismatic churches, and Pentecostals go very much together.  At least that’s what I discern from their teachings.  And yes, they’re very Cult-like, with self-anointed hard leaders and scared followers.

  10. Jayne Says:

    B.  Yes you are bang on… flattery held in tension with ridicule keeps you attentive to keeping the balance on the side of keeping them happy. Its not the flattery you want, but the ridicule you work hard to avoid. I often felt like i was play acting and regularly i would feel sickened at the amount of flattery that went on in a form of idol worship of the apostle. yuk.

  11. Cheryl Says:

    I think it’s a bit of a generalization to say that ALL Pentecostals/Charismatic Christians should be lumped in with NAR.   False teachings can slip into any church or denomination.  Not being raised in a Christian home or in any church, I don’t know what you would call me because I’ve never been tied to any one denomination.  However, I know what I believe and I do believe God supplies gifts through the Holy Spirit for the edification of the church.  The Bible says He does.  If what you call Pentecostalism is people who believe that God poured out His Spirit on the disciples on The Day of Pentecost, and they were filled with His Spirit, and that God still fills us with His Holy Spirit then you’ve lumped me into the NAR group too.  I can assure you that I am just as sure as you are that the NAR teaching is false teaching.

  12. kadri-liisa Says:

    Concerning asking questions i have been experience that when i have emailed my questions related their dogmas or something else to my NAR church office -i am member via web as in my country do not have strong and experienced NAR church- i have gotten answer usually by some of those leaders in Glory of Zion int.  in Corinth TX.
    Maybe in person they may behave differently i do not know.

    At moment after some crises of life i still consider myself as member there- as i want to be still apostolically aligned in everything i do spiritual work in my country and as  i feel that their prayers helps me to move on and  as there is no else better apostolic prophetic movement to join with.  Enough i have taken more distant view of teachings of NAR as whole. Because of their weak end time theology what i discovered while rereading the faith statements one year ago i had been bit worried  about that do i get raptured while being in this church.

  13. Jane Says:

    Cheryl, If you define the followers of Pentecostalism as people who believe that God poured out His Spirit on the disciples on The Day of Pentecost, and were filled with His Spirit, and that God still fills us with His Holy Spirit” ….that’s not quite a true definition of Pentecostalism.  
    Go to that Spiritual Abuse link to find lots of testimonies from ex-Pentecostal followers who’ve been damaged by the cult.  You’ll find out all the ways their ‘pastors’ take advantage of the people and destroy families.  One of the latest tragedies is the Faith Tabernacle church in Junction City, Kansas where the ‘pastor’ took off with the money and his son was finally tried and imprisoned for more than 20 years for sexually abusing little boys in the church.  But the spiritual abuse is just as bad and damages many more people.
    kadri….you don’t want another ‘apostolic prophetic movement’…you just want a good Church that’s got its feet on the ground with good solid Bible teaching.  If that ‘apostolic’  church is the only one you’ve ever known, then you might have trouble recognizing a good church.  I hope you can find one though.  The Bible tells us in 1 Cor 4:6 “not to go beyond that which is Written” (in the Bible) …and that’s what the NAR seems to do a lot of.

  14. Jane Says:

    kadri…I forgot to ask you something.  You asked if you will get raptured if you’re in that church.  If you’re a believer in Jesus you’ll be raptured.  I’m pretty sure that all of us have at least one doctrine that’s not quite right that we haven’t been able to figure out yet.  But we should not stay in a church that we think is teaching wrong doctrines.  I sure hope you can find a church or some people to fellowship with that are good Christians that have not been deceived.

  15. kadri-liisa Says:

    Hi Jane, for me just sitting under some pastor as i have done in past, is finished. No more being in pastoral model, ie pastoral centred church. I have done it in past and it just kept me trapped in certain limits spiritually without letting me to grow up spiritually. I saw that when i changed by becoming aligned apostolically with apostle C.Pierce church.

    NAR churches at least seemed to help me to grow more spiritually and become spiritually more mature.
    As biblically there is only right alignment thru apostles then i maintain my alignment as i believe that this helps me to get thru life crises etc.

  16. Jane Says:

    kadri….you talk in very general terms.  What do you mean when you say, “NAR churches at least seemed to help me to grow more spiritually and become spiritually more mature.”?

    And who is Apostle C. Pierce if not a pastor (leader)?

  17. kadri-liisa Says:

    Jane, i mean that what i said in that sentence. I supposed you are english speaking person should have clear those terms “to grow spiritually” and “becoming more mature spiritually”. Do you really do not know what they means ???????
    NAR churches leaders trains/equips their members and believers in whole body of Christ more specifically than pastoral model church do it.
    Term apostle is an office of one fundament gift of the church, so called overseer as Eph 4:11 and 1Cor 12:28 states it. In Global sphere center there is not general pastor as in generally in churches. There is a fivefold offices leadership team and Dr apostle Chuck Pierce is not pastor -as he do not operate as pastor- but apostle/overseer of that leadership team.”

  18. kadri-liisa Says:

    Jane, i think terms such as“to grow spiritually” and “becoming more mature spiritually” be clear enough i think. I mean that what i say.
    Concerning rapture issue i believe i got insight concerning that thought i had once i listened GZI. As they seems to be post-millenial by those qualifications i have read from Holly’s books then they train ppl so too. so my faith for attending in this secret rapture is not enough builded up.
    Because for attending in that rapture there is needed special readiness or being alertness spiritually first i suppose.

  19. kadri-liisa Says:

    Jane….Oneness and NAR are two different thing. I have researched Oneness Pentacostalism and tried to put together article in Estonian. I heard recently that one person who read my article back then got out from there. I had to make things clear at that time with UPCI as my close girlfriend got converted into upci by her pastor mistake who joined with his church to upci network-she is out now- and started “to convert” me. In Oneness Pentacostalism have also teaching about baptism into Jesus name and only then when person is repented, baptised in jesus name and speaking in tongues he or she is saved according to oneness terms. They believe too that as it was model in acts they are biblical church. They have their own concepts concerning holiness etc.
    Online were somewhere i think in carm.org about how to talk about trinity for example with person who is in upci.

  20. Ms. C Says:

    Thank you Holly for your website, and the rich information on this NAR-This movement is running rampant.  I just resigned from a church at the end of February of this year.  I had no idea I was involved in a Prophetic Movement until I just recently left a church in my area after almost 13 years,  I was allowed to take ministry classes, but not allowed to do any other things within the house of the Lord? but  I have noticed things over the years there that was not right, but I just kept on discerning things especially regarding the Leadership’s control tactics.  You were not allowed to question the Leadership’s decisions on any thing?  You had to obey, pay your Tithes and Offering(A Must)!, Members would come and go like a revolving door, and nothing was said about it.  Membership Classes would replace the old Members.  Everthing was expensive, even in the bookstore, selling items, Prayer breakfasts, and so on.  Bill Hamon is also the Bishop of this Church, and the pastor’s are ordained by him.   Please if anyone is involved in a Christian International Church(CI).  RUN, RUN, RUN.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path(Psalms 119:105).  The Lord will reveal things to his people.  God will santify them through thy truth: Thy word is truth(John 17:17).  Also, this church instructs per Bill Hamon to pray in tongues for an hour each month?  This clearly is not scriptural.  Thank God I’m free from this doctrinal heresy.  I pray that others see the light, and get out too!

  21. Nick Says:

    Holly, a new teaching I noticed before I left my NAR church in Maine was that the church is now the emodiment of the savior of the world and is thus now in essence the redeemer of the world and culture. It was introduced to us at the same time as a teaching that the spirit of man is the Holy of Holies and is only a compartment and not a living person. 

    It used to bother me how I could not detect the motive for teaching that the spirit of man is a lifeless compartment. It reminded me of cults diminishing the persons of the trinity by denying the deity of the Son or the personhood of the Holy Spirit, but denying the personhood of man didn’t change the Gospel or any major or minor doctrines I could think of. It was subtle, but it was deception.

    So I studied. 

    Job ascribed emotion to his own spirit. God said the spirit of man is God’s lamp. My pastor said it was a lifeless compartment. I had to find an agenda behind this doctrine, because my pastor was supposedly introducing it from Bethel and threatened to “beat it into” our heads every week until we “grasped it”.

    So, what is its danger? Help me understand. I suspect it is to reinforce another teaching: since your spirit is the Holy of Holies where the presence dwells, then the soul–the mind, will and emotions–where negative emotions arise, that is part of the outer courts measured out of the new temple and thus we cannot utilize our mind, will or negative emotions. Plus, if the spirit of man isn’t the man, then he is reduced down to his experiences and prophecied destiny because we have also discouraged functions of the soul.

    We were not valued human lives. We were used, abused and discarded. And they were always on the hunt for new talent and giftedness to consume and claim ownership of their good works by association.

    “There is no negativity in the Holy Spirit” is something I heard a lot to shut down an opposing argument or grievance. You were taught not to have “an offendable heart” and that it was your own fault if you did.

  22. Nicky Says:

    I am in a quandary; I have recently joined a new church in my new location. I have been there for 3 months. It is over the last 4 weeks that things have really come to light and it has me grieved so much that I started searching for help on this place I find myself in. I have spent the last 2 weeks intensively doing research and this church is 100% NAR – they tick every single box. I have checked, I have done my reading, I see it clearly. I can give a long list that matches those of everyone else’s but just for example: Last week the pastor called the children up and told them to stage dive during worship. Sounds like I’m old fashioned (I’m not old!) or just over dramatising. Worshipping the King with a performance akin to that which heavy metal satan worshipping unsaved people is NOT God honoring and is not teaching children reverence or the sanctity of worship. It is turning it into a show and spectacle with no focus on Jesus, God the Father and certainly not of the Spirit. So I made that my last and wont’ be back but I do not know what to do next if anything. The leadership are in the movement hook, line and sinker. They all on the same page. They speak the same language. They drink the NAR kool aid. They had a couple reporting back on their Bethel visit where they had been the last few weeks and have told the church that they will be doing things in the same way and “expecting more” and “seeing more” and and and …. all the NAR trash they start parading as truth. Is walking away the only thing I am to do or do I need to do anything else. Can someone provide some insight on what’s Biblical in this situation? This isn’t one person going off on a random tangent – this is an ENTIRE CHURCH is sold out to something that is now tantamount to a cult.

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