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Collateral Damage of the New Apostles

June 5th, 2013 | 8 Comments | Posted in Miscellaneous

body outlineI’ve been asked, “Why are you so concerned about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement? Even if people’s beliefs are a little off, what’s the harm?”

I’m concerned because their NAR beliefs are not just shipwrecking their own faith. They are hurting other people.

In fact, the majority of the people who visit my blog are not people who are part of the NAR movement. Rather, they are the friends and family of people who are part of the movement. And many of these people have suffered personal harm because of the NAR beliefs of others. They are part of the collateral damage of the NAR movement.

Let me share some of the different ways the NAR beliefs of others have harmed people who visit my blog. Since some people contact me privately, I will be vague so I don’t betray their confidence.

Marriage Trouble

In just the past few days, I have been contacted about two separate marriages that are on the rocks because of NAR beliefs. One person who contacted me is a wife, and the other is a husband. But both of them face a similar situation–their spouses are upset with them because they won’t dive into NAR beliefs. That is to say, their spouses treat them like they are unspiritual–even though they are Christians–because they don’t share their insatiable hunger for dreams and visions, prophetic words, and miraculous powers.

One of the couples is living apart and the NAR spouse has filed for divorce. The other couple can’t agree on a church to attend together because the NAR spouse will not even consider attending a church that is not part of the NAR movement. In fact, she asked her husband to quit his longtime job and move out of state to be near a specific NAR church–a request he denied.

Severed Relationships Between Parents and Their Children

Parents have told me stories of how their children–after embracing NAR teachings– grew emotionally distant from them. A typical scenario is that the children began making trips to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, or Bethel Church in Redding, California, where they discovered “real” Christianity. And then they started thinking that other Christians who are not part of the NAR movement–including their own parents–are not as enlightened or committed as they are.

I also know of families where the situation is reversed–that is, the parents have embraced NAR apostles and prophets, but not the children.

It is difficult for these families to enjoy Christian fellowship when NAR beliefs have put up a dividing wall between them.

Church Splits

I’ve heard about many churches that have split over NAR beliefs. Often the beliefs were introduced by a pastor. Then the church members who didn’t go along with the new teachings were asked to leave. Or they felt like they had no other option since they didn’t want their children taught NAR doctrines

And when people are forced to leave a church, they don’t leave only a place. They leave their spiritual family–that is, people they’ve known and loved, sometimes for decades.

Lost Friendships

People have shared stories of how they were pushed out of their circle of friends when they dared to question some NAR teachings. Since most of the Christians they knew were connected with the NAR movement, they were suddenly marginalized and felt very alone.

In fact, it is common for people who have left the NAR movement to be accused of having a demonic spirit attached to them. They are called mean names, such as “Pharisee,” and are regarded as a spiritual enemy by former friends.

As the above examples show, NAR teachings are not harmless. They cause real heartache. And these examples don’t even include the main casualties–the people who are part of the NAR movement. The harm they experience–though they are likely unaware of it–includes stunted spiritual growth, spiritual confusion, and a drug-like dependence on dreams, visions, and supernatural experiences so they can validate their self-worth and feel like their lives have significance.

What type of collateral damage caused by NAR teachings have you seen?

— By Holly Pivec

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8 Responses to “Collateral Damage of the New Apostles”

  1. Mary Says:

    As tears well up, my heart is grieved upon reading this article because I believe it is true. I recently left what I call a “lying signs and wonders” church after it was discovered the pastor was pursuing a married woman half his age. He was accused of pursuing other women he had “counseled” throughout the years and several came forward, only to be dismissed by leadership, and other members did not want to get involved. He was a product of the so called “Toronto Blessing” and promoted words of knowledge, visions, angels, audible voices, slain in a spirit, electric or tingling sensations, etc. and the wife of his youth was a supposed “prophetess” speaking positive words over people and interpreting dreams and visions. If you believed as they did, well, then you were part of the “in” crowd. But if you questioned these doctrines of demons, then he accused people of having a “Jezebel” spirit. One of the characteristics of a Jezebel spirit is sexual immorality…..I wonder if God, the Holy Spirit, revealed the “Jezebel” spirit that resided within his soul as he flirted with women while pursuing them in private.

    When you leave this abusive system, I want everyone to know this so you can please pray for God’s protection over you and your family….because these people who claim to love you, will turn on you and show their true colors of utter hatred because you do not believe as they do……they are like vipers biting into you and never letting go as if they have some sort of hold on you. The NAR movement in essence, worships man and exalts man’s wisdom and knowledge above and beyond our LORD Jesus Christ…..I believe the NAR movement is a cult practicing the occult (hidden knowledge.)

    Please join me in prayer for all of those blind sheep that are involved with the NAR deception.

  2. Ron Glynn Says:

    Good Article. The NAR system is totally spiritually bankrupt. The chief “apostle”of this movement is C. Peter Wagner. Those in doubt of what I state, should view on You Tube of the Apostlic Alignment of Todd “fake healer” Bentley in 2008 by Wagner and 3 other “recognized apostles.”( See the Todd Bentley’s Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning video of August 28th, 2008 on You Tube) The significance of this video is that the 4 so called “apostles” involved in the ceremony had absolutely no knowledge that Todd Bentley had been fooling around with one of his helpers, a woman much younger than his wife during the Lakeland Revival. He later left his wife and 3 children so he could marry(trading in the old model)for the new woman in his life. Bentley had also been out drinking alcoholic beverages and doing other questionable things. Thus, these men were completely devoid of discernment that Bentley was a complete fake. One can only wonder how many Believers were damaged by the this fiasco and travesty. Yet, these so called “apostles” continue to lead many astray.

    Galatians 5:22 indicates that the Fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, and faith. Any kind of system like NAR which drives a wedge between a Christian married couple is not of God. Moreover, turning on a brother or sister in Christ because they do not embrace NAR teaching is not of the Love of Christ.

    It is my opinion that NAR teachings lure Christians to think that they are better Christians than other Christians. This is not unique to NAR. Other Christian groups have fallen into similar traps of error. It not good for us to think that we are any better than the lowliest Christian. We have should pray that we are not lead astray by principles not taught by the Holy Bible.

    We should only follow one man who is Jesus Christ are Savior , God born in the flesh. That is not to say the we should not look to other mature Christians who have demonstrated that they have the Fuits of the Holy Spirit and are servants to others in the most humblest way.

    To God be the Glory, forever and ever.

  3. Kevi Meru Says:

    Thanks for exposing NAR.  Undiscerning of Todd’s adultery, these NAR heavyweights decreed more power to wild Todd Bentley.  Not only that, this practice of so-called apostolic power-decree is opposite of what Apostle Paul did to Timothy: To flee youthful lust, and charged him to preach the Word at all times (2 Timothy 2:22; 4:1-3).

  4. admin Says:

    Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It sounds like your warning comes from painful personal experience–did the people at the NAR church you left turn on you? Have you begun looking for a new church home? I’d love to hear how things are going for you now.

    Holly

  5. admin Says:

    Kevi, yes, I agree with you: I think the true colors of the New Apostolic Reformation movement were shown with the “apostolic decree” that was issued by C. Peter Wagner and his colleagues over Todd Bentley’s ministry. The Todd Bentley scandal was a huge embarrassment for the NAR movement and damage control following that decree spoke volumes.
    Holly

  6. William Edde Says:

    I was attending one of the churches that Peter Wagner had a great deal of influence in around the beginning of the NAR movement. There are multiple problems with all the practices of this group, but the problem is actually deeper than just false teaching.
    One of the “Apostles” that was appointed by Wagner and given a section of the country that he supposedly had authority over is Dutch Sheets. I watched this man inflitrate our once wonderful church in the guise of coming alongside to help the pastor. The church was ministering to wounded Christians prior to Sheets’ arrival. Once he was officially co-pastor he announced to the congregation that if they had any lingering hurts or problems they were to get over it because it was no longer “the cave of Abdullam”. He also marginalized the co-pastor who had graciously given him a pulpit as many of his friends moved up to Colorado from Texas to be a part of the newly named church.
    Dutch is a Greek and Hebrew scholar and is gifted in teaching, however, his error enters into his exegesis of salvation and redemption and makes his knowlege of no practical value.
    I also witnessed Wagner persuade his daughter to divorce her husband who was having personal problems, but was a believer, was submitting to restoration and did not want to divorce her. He was not of the right sort to join the growing pantheon.
    Cindy Jacobs was also part of this mix and with her I witnessed a demonic spirit – the true spirit of Jezebel – at work in her as she “prophesied” in the place where the worship of the Lord had once been so sweet.
    In that small community these people did much damage even before they began “spiritual mapping” and supposedly pulling down principalities and powers while the Springs slowly became overrun with the occult and all manner of depravity.
    The sad part of this is that the lies that are being promulgated by the NAR movement are, I believe, built on a truth and that is that the Lord is restoring the gifts of prophecy to the church and has been doing so for over 20 years and I believe the Lord will raise up apostles again as well. The church needs true aposltes, not that they have been entirely absent though not named as apostles or referring to themselves as apostles.
    I believe that the NAR movement has hijacked and perverted a true move of God.

  7. Juan Seventeen Says:

    Idolatry is anything that ursurps the place of God in your heart.  And be assured, any NAR follower is in danger of rendering a service of Idolatry by worshiping His “Apostle – Prophet” leadership in his church.
    And YES, you worship your Apostle when you submit to his self proclaim spiriual authority over your life and make “Pacts” and obedience covenants with them as part of your fellowship of love.

    When you call one of these wolves to be your new “Spiritual Father”, you are bringing shame over hour life, as you show lack of knowledge on the word of God as written in the Bible. The bible clearly states for us NOT to call any man your father, as there is only one father and he is in Heaven. The bible clearly states that you are sealed , marked with the COVERING of the Holy Spirit when you accept Jesus as your lord and savior. So if you say now that you are under the covering of your new Apostle, you are now proclaiming your submmission to your new Lord and Savior, the apostate apostle in your church.

    We are clearly in the End Times, times of the great apostasy within the church.

    Read the bible, dont believe every showman and circus that comes into town.

    Take care of your salvation and of your family. Your spiritual lives are at stake.

    There is only one Lord, Jesus! Theres only one covering, His Holy Spirit!

    Pray for one another, Amen!

  8. M. K. Says:

    the damage. Oh the damage! Sitting here I quickly remember a pastor destroyed by a lie from the pulpit by a senior pastor told about the younger man. I think of one couple who hasn’t been able to find a church they feel safe in since. An elderly widow who now refuses to call Christ her Saviour.

    My health broke down in the years following our excommunication. We were part of that church over an 18 year period. It’s a long time. We didn’t leave lightly or frivolously although now I’d counsel people to really be cautious of churches that want you to never leave, to “bloom where you are planted” as they liked to say. It’s a red flag.

    Another couple gifted in children’s ministry who left and for 10 years weren’t allowed to minister in their new church because of the lies told about them by that senior pastor. Finally the pastor of that congregation had the sense to really look at the source of the lies and compare it to the blameless life that couple led for an entire decade.

    Another couple who rocketed from one extreme to another. They moved into a heavy disciplining reform theology fellowship where hymn singing wasn’t even allowed because it wasn’t spiritual enough. And the men dominated over their wives in a twisted “covering” theology. Rushdoony stuff. That new church taught the quiver full theology, and it’s my opinion that the couple were harmed twice over first by the bad senior pastor, then by their new church.

    Before I quit nursing to home school our teens thru high school, and long before I understood what was really going on, I cared for an ex member of our former church who silently endured abuse, she and her husband. Gentle souls both, and her health broke down, she suffered severe fatigue that she was hospitalized for. I didn’t realize what she had been thru, till we were on our own way out. Our ex pastor had the ability to silence people and terrorize them from ever even saying what they had been thru.

    For these dear ones whom Christ loves I could not remain silent, so when I saw what was happening, I spoke out. We were excommunicated. I don’t regret that a moment. What I regret was how long it took for me to clearly see what was happening and not to excuse it as just personal differences. And I wish I’d been more clear when I spoke out. I tried to be kind and see all sides.

    I should have said EVERYTHING I saw. But I was so shocked, horrified, unbelieving almost that this could be happening.

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