How to Spot An NAR Church

binocularsPeople often ask me, “How can you tell if a church or organization or individual is part of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement?”

Here are six clues that might tip you off.

Buzzwords: Look for the use of specific words, such as “apostle,” “prophet,” and “fivefold ministry.” Not all churches that use these words are necessarily part of the NAR movement. But if they refer to people who are alive today as “apostles” or “prophets,” then there is a very good chance they promote NAR teachings.

‘Strategic-Level’ Spiritual Warfare: Look for NAR spiritual warfare practices–sometimes referred to as “strategic-level spiritual warfare”–such as “prayerwalking,” “spiritual mapping,” and “warfare prayer” or “warfare worship.”

Dominionism: Look for a focus on “reforming society” and “bringing the Kingdom of heaven to earth.” These goals reflect the NAR dominionist belief that it is the present-day task of the church, under the leadership of apostles and prophets, to rid the earth of evil and set up God’s earthly kingdom.

The “Now” Factor: Look for greater emphasis being placed on present-day prophecies (also known as “rhema words” or “now words”) than on the written Word of God.

Statements of Belief: Look in the church or organization’s statements of belief. For example, see the list of “Core Values” held by Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California. Note that these values include apostles, prophets, reforming society by bringing the Kingdom of heaven to earth, and the “seven mountains of culture.” But be careful. Not all churches that promote NAR teachings include them in their official statements of belief. [Notice that since I published this post, Harvest Rock Church apparently has removed their page listing their “Core Values.”]

Teaching Materials: Look at the resources they sell or recommend or use in their small group studies. For example, if you go to the Web store of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, you will find books written by NAR leaders such as Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, and Bill Johnson. Also, be aware that anything published by Destiny Image Publishers promotes the NAR movement along with many of the titles published by Charisma House.

Can you think of other clues?

— By Holly Pivec

 

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14 Responses to “How to Spot An NAR Church”

  1. Richard T Says:

    NAR churches discredit those that believe in a pre-tribulation rapture or a tribulation where Christians must muddle through. They wrongly teach that those with these views have no hope or will do little for God since it is not required for them to pray in the events of the tribulation. Or if you simply believe in a pre-trib rapture, you will not be motivated to evangelize or do anything.

    Scarily, NAR churches also diminish the believers relationship to their country by stressing the citizenship of heaven. While it is true we are citizens of heaven, marginalizing individual countries in favor of their worldwide movement will result in accelerating a one world government, which is of course what they want. It would be preferable to strengthen our ties with our nation, in order to hold back the economic and political integration of the world.

    The prophecies from many of their leaders have the result of affirming and drawing attention to individuals. True prophecy does not need to be heralded by men and never should it be focused on the deliverer or how right they are. Ignoring the misses of prophecies sometimes occurs as well.

  2. Ron R Says:

    Here is the the “something” on our old churches website.  This could be a tell.  Junk like this is why we left when the pastor could not agree with our concerns.

    http://godsong.us/about/godsong-dna/

  3. M. K. Says:

    The point above about NAR churches discrediting a pre trib pre millennial reapture is quite true. Depending on how deeply the church gets into the Latter Rain teaching will affect how much this is taught. 

    When a church begins to move in this NAR direction, it doesn’t attack all the firmly held views at once. It engages a process of Dialectic” which means wearing down the opposition within a church. Satan used that effectively on Eve when he said “Has God said????…”

    The next thing is “Tolerance” which means for the sake of friendship we don’t engage in any argument, we agree to disagree. If anyone breaks that they are “argumentative”. Never mind that some things need to be argued out fully, so that we can defend the faith.

    As time goes by, different teachers within the church will introduce alternate eschatology and debate is shut down for the sake of friendship and fellowship. See Tolerance above.

    Gradually anyone who still holds to any firm pre trib and or pre mill position will find themselves sidelined. The official church position will be a lack of position during this time. Later if ever, it will be more of a Dominionist position, where Joel’s army (another Latter Rain teaching) takes the world for Christ by force. Watch for the buzz words “By Force” and militaristic terminology around youth groups.

    I watched as this played out over the 5 years before my former church went full tilt NAR. By Force Youth Ministries as they became known even had a year of work called Tour of Duty that the youth were encouraged to do between high school and job or post secondary schooling.

    By the time we were excommunicated, very few people still believed in a literal return of Christ at any point before during or after Tribulation which also wasn’t going to happen.

    The millennial reign of Christ wasn’t about to happen until the church took over the world, and brought it into submission to Christ. Note that the church holds the power in this scenario, and Christ is relegated to waiting in the wings as it were.

    This movement goes after political power and control in a serious way since they view that as their service to God.

  4. M. K. Says:

    Oh and should you hold onto you old views regarding a real rapture, a real tribulation and Christ returning to end all strife, and put everything under His feet, you will be called a defeatist, someone whose faith isn’t up for much more than just waiting about, doing nothing looking up at the sky.

    Never mind whatever else you’ve been busy with, raising kids, homeschooling, training children in the Word of God, teaching Sunday School or whatever it’s called nowadays, ministering to visitors, giving to missions, giving to charity, helping with mission work or charity, leading a neighbor to Christ, it’s all NOTHING when that crowd determines that you believe in a literal return of Christ triumphant and victorious. At that point they decide that you are one of “those” who the angels spoke to in Acts about standing looking at the clouds where they caught a last glimpse of Christ as He ascended.

    About the Dialectic process that I mentioned in the previous post, it’s sole purpose is to introduce doubt. Forgot to mention that above.

  5. J Says:

    The “Core Values” link doesn’t work anymore. Neither does the “Web store” link for I.H.O.P.

  6. Holly Says:

    J,

    Thanks for bringing to my attention the broken links. It appears that Harvest Rock Church has completely removed their “Core Values” section now, unless I am overlooking it. Nonetheless, this church–which is led by one of the leading NAR apostles, Che Ahn–is one of the most vigorous proponents of NAR teachings. It is common for NAR churches to not mention their NAR teachings in their statements of faith–which is deceptive. Only when people attend their churches will they slowly be introduced to NAR teachings. Had these churches been upfront in their statements of faith, then more people would probably stay away from these churches. As far as the link to the IHOP bookstore, I will try to fix that broken link. Their store still features books by all the NAR leaders I mentioned.

    Holly

  7. John Says:

    Do you have any resources for helping a church that is at least partly associated with the likes of Bill Johnson break free of it?

  8. Bill Anderson Says:

    We are being fed Guillermo Maldonado’s books in our life group in a AOG church.

    His stuff has familiar NAR ring. What do others think?

  9. T Says:

    M K, as you were writing your post on September 5, 2013, my pastor was inviting Mark Tubbs, one of Che Ahn’s  “apostles” in to influence our church.  in the past year, I have watched exactly what you describe unfold.  This doctrine, and yes, it is a doctrine, no matter how many times they insist it’s only about relationship, not doctrine, follows a pattern and it is infecting and destroying churches. It is not benign.

  10. Elon Moreh Says:

    Hi Holly,

    I am an Israeli believer, I am currently investigating how far the NAR has penetrated congregations here. Organisations to look out for:

    Empower21, and Christ For The Nations Institute. Over here CFNI has probably done more to introduce MSOG, NOTLR and NAR doctrine than anyone else, through its affilated organisation MAOZ.

    Since CFNI opened its doors for ministry training it has put over 40,000 believers through indoctrination into Branhamite and MSOG etc teachngs. That’s a huge number of operatives that can pass on false doctrines.

    Our nation is tiny, there are only about 200 congregations here, most of the charismatic congregations have embraced some at least of MSOG or Latter Rain doctrines, or occultic inner healing practices or word of faith etc. The biggest book publisher in Hebrew is MAOZ who publish MSOG/NAR materials for the most part.

    Frankly, things are a bit of a mess.

  11. carol Christoffel Says:

    Thanks for this report. I have used it in a expose on Ted Cruz(dominionist) facebook page. Ted is careful as are the other politicians to avoid the crazy doctrine or the word dominionist. There are about a dozen related groups that I know of. It is interesting they are publishing in Hebrew because a big part of thier agenda is the FORCED CONVERSION OF JEWS. While they don’t dwell on it, a New World Order, dominated by thier cults and forcing conversions on the Jews as well as their Replacement theology would mean a TAKEOVER of the Nation of Israel as part of their plan. After all they think they will dominate the world, force Jews to convert, and they believe themselves as the “new Jews” the only legitimate Jews in God’s eyes. I am curiouse as to whether they are mentioning taking over Israel as part of their agenda?

  12. Jack Harper Says:

    Holly thanks for your website, here in my town there are a few churches that are affiliated with the NAR network. In response to some of your readers comments about NAR churches getting away from a pre-tribulation view, as if this is a sign of false doctrine, I would point out that most reformed churches hold to post millennial or amillennial view and consider the dispensational view to be fairly new compared to what the dominate view was for over a thousand years (Amillennialism).  We need to be careful and distinguish between false teachings and what is an in house debate about Eschatology… Thanks again for your informative website…

  13. Doug Smith Says:

    ARe you familiar with the Antioch International Movement of Churches, Waco TX?
    http://www.antiochchurchplanting.com  Sr. Pastor Jimmy Seibert. 

    I’ve read some less than credible (liberal) sites who are leery of them by calling them Dominonist because they use terms like ‘end times’ and they prosyletize.   
    Anything you know would help. 
    They planted a church in my neighborhood so I’d like to know.
    Doug 

  14. Kathleen Says:

    Here is another suspect network of churches. Read the core beliefs: http://www.lifehousechurch.org/about/our-beliefs/

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