On Sunday, Chuck Pierce–an influential prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation–presented a “new mantle for the future” to television and radio host Glenn Beck, a Mormon. The mantle was presented to Beck at Pierce’s Global Spheres Center in Corinth, Texas, during a church service Beck attended with his family.
Some of Pierce’s followers expressed concern that Pierce would present a mantle to a Mormon. Pierce responded Sunday by posting a brief comment on Facebook defending his action. In short, Pierce distanced himself from the mantle by claiming that “Glenn Beck is devoted to Israel. The mantle was given from Israel.” It appears–from the other comments posted on Pierce’s Facebook page–many of his followers are buying his explanation. But I’m not. Here’s why.
What’s a “mantle”?
Anyone who is deeply involved in the NAR understands what it means when a prophet presents a “mantle” to someone. This practice is an allusion to a story in 1 Kings 19:19, when the prophet Elijah gives to the prophet Elisha his cloak–or “mantle,” as the word is rendered in the King James Version. This biblical story is interpreted by people in the NAR as a symbolic action, showing that the prophet Elijah was naming the prophet Elisha as his prophetic successor.
So when Pierce presented a mantle to Beck, people in the audience–who regard Pierce as a prophet–understood that their prophet was conferring some type of prophetic status on Beck. This should trouble Christians. Why? Because a leading prophet in the NAR is recognizing a member of the Mormon church–a cult of Christianity, which rejects essential doctrines of the Christian faith– as a true messenger of God. A true prophet of God would do no such thing.
Pierce apparently felt the need to offer a further justification for his action. Yesterday he posted a lengthier comment in which he acknowledged that Beck is a Mormon–though he also hinted that Beck may be on the path to becoming fully Christian. (And take notice that he referred to Beck as a specific individual’s “son in the Lord”–language that is typically used by Christians to describe a true Christian believer.) Certainly, many of Pierce’s followers have interpreted Pierce’s action to mean that he recognizes Beck as a fellow Christian.
Petty details? Really?
Alarm bells should ring for people in the NAR when they see their leaders giving mantles to non-Christians. But, sadly, they’re not ringing for some. The following undiscerning comment–posted on Pierce’s Facebook page by one of his followers–sums up many of the other comments.
Who cares if Glenn is Mormon? You know the Global Spheres team, you know they hear from the Lord. Let’s celebrate the Jesus we see in the love extended. The Lord can manage this situation. Don’t be drawn into petty details.
Notice how the commenter assumes that Chuck Pierce and his ministry should not be questioned because they “hear from the Lord.” Notice also how she downplays the stark and important differences between Christianity and Mormonism, describing the differences in the two religions as “petty details.”
What this is really about
With the presidential election around the corner, the timing of Pierce’s mantle-giving is no coincidence. Beck didn’t just happen to stop by Pierce’s church last Sunday morning. Pierce didn’t just happen to present Beck with a mantle–out of courtesy for his high-profile visitor. This event was orchestrated. Think about it. Pierce gives a mantle to Beck–and, as a result, people in the NAR movement will now listen to Beck when he speaks in support of a presidential candidate. Who will he speak in support of? He’s thrown his support to Ted Cruz, who, just yesterday, announced that he’ll run for the Republican Party nomination for 2016.
Interestingly, some researchers have sought to show close ties between Ted Cruz’s minister father, Rafael Cruz, and the NAR movement. See one such report here (notice the NAR teachings referenced in the article, including “divine government” (a reference to apostle-led government), the “end-time transfer of wealth,” and dominionism). Does Ted Cruz also have ties to the NAR? This is something to watch.
Here’s the takeaway: In politics–as the NAR becomes increasingly powerful–it’s not enough to follow the money. You must also follow the mantle.